India and US partnership to turbocharge innovation in emerging tech: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

By Nishant Arora (IANS)–

The tech sector partnership between India and the US, announced last week during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic state visit, will turbocharge tech ecosystems in both the countries, accelerating the pace of innovation in critical emerging technologies for mutual and global benefit, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT.

In an interaction with IANS, the Minister said the tech sector partnership — starting with an MoU in the critical and emerging technologies — is tectonic and historical.

“This cooperation and partnership between India and US will certainly shape the future of tech in general and, in particular, the emerging technologies of OpenRAN wireless networks, semiconductors, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and quantum,” said Chandrasekhar.

During the visit, US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Modi hailed the inauguration of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in January 2023 as a major milestone in US-India relations, calling on governments, businesses, and academic institutions to realise their shared vision for the strategic technology partnership.

The leaders recommitted the US and India to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual confidence and trust that reinforces our shared values and democratic institutions.

According to Chandrasekhar, the critical emerging technologies will shape the future of technology and economies in very deep and tectonic ways and will certainly impact lives of consumers and enterprises all over the world.

“The technology and innovation ecosystem has really come a long way in the last 9 years and today, there is no space of tech and emerging tech that India and Indian enterprises are not present in. PM Modi’s ‘Digital India’ vision, way back in 2015, was prescient and he foresaw the deep impact of technology on peoples’ lives and opportunities for our youth,” the Minister told IANS.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, after meeting Prime Minister Modi in Washington, D.C., referred to his vision of ‘Digital India’ as way ahead of its time that other countries were following it now.

In the last nine years, Prime Minister Modi’s policies have resulted in creating a vibrant internet and ConsumerTech (D2C) innovation ecosystem, an India AI programme with Digital India Bhashini (a language translation model at its core), electronics and semiconductor ecosystem that is rapidly growing, high-performance computing platforms and a multi thousand crore quantum Mission, wireless technologies programme with 5G/6G etc.

Biden and Prime Minister Modi also hailed the signing of an MoU on semiconductor supply chain and innovation partnership as a significant step in the coordination of semiconductor incentive programmes between the two nations.

This will promote commercial opportunities, research, talent, and skill development.

“The curriculum changes in our higher education system are underway to ensure high-quality talent for all these areas where the world seeks talent,” said the Minister.

Rapid digitalisation, demographics and changing global supply chains are the three trends that represent a big unprecedented opportunity for India and Indian youth.

“We are certainly in the most exciting period in India’s modern history, thanks to the hard work, effort and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Chandrasekhar noted.

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