President Biden, PM Modi hold bilateral discussions; sign MoUs on 5G, education


President Joe Biden met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in Delhi late Friday evening, shortly after Biden’s Air Force One landed in Delhi ahead of the weekend’s G20 Summit.

“Happy to have welcomed POTUS Joe Biden to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. Our meeting was very productive. We were able to discuss numerous topics which will further economic and people-to-people linkages between India and USA. The friendship between our nations will continue to play a great role in furthering global good,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.

In a joint statement issued by India and the United States after the bilateral meeting, President Biden lauded India’s G20 Presidency for further demonstrating how the G20 as a forum is delivering important outcomes. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the G20 and expressed confidence that the outcomes of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi will advance the shared goals of accelerating sustainable development, bolstering multilateral cooperation, and building global consensus around inclusive economic policies to address our greatest common challenges, including fundamentally reshaping and scaling up multilateral development banks.

Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were finalized during the meeting including one between Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance, to further public-private sector partnership in networking and telecommunications and the other between Indian universities, represented by the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Council), and the Association of American Universities (AAU) to establish the India-U.S. Global Challenges Institute.

An “Innovation Handshake” agenda under the India-U.S. Commercial Dialogue was agreed upon to bring together start-ups, private equity and venture capital firms, corporate investment departments, and government officials to forge connections between the two countries’ innovation ecosystems. Two events, one in each country will be hosted during Fall under the program.

The leaders welcomed the completion of the Congressional Notification process and the commencement of negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India on 29 August 2023. Biden and Modi recommitted to work collaboratively and expeditiously to support the advancement of this unprecedented co-production and technology transfer proposal.

They also lauded the conclusion of a second Master Ship Repair Agreement, with the most recent agreement signed by the U.S. Navy and Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders, Ltd., in August 2023.  Both sides recommitted to advancing India’s emergence as a hub for the maintenance and repair of forward-deployed U.S. Navy assets and other aircraft and vessels. The leaders also welcomed further commitments from the U.S. industry to invest more in India’s maintenance, repair, and overhaul capabilities and facilities for aircraft.

After the closed-door meeting on Friday, the leaders commended the India-U.S. Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) team for establishing a robust collaboration agenda to harness the innovative work of the U.S. and Indian defense sectors to address shared security challenges. INDUS-X convened the inaugural Academia Start-up Partnership at IIT Kanpur, with the participation of Penn State University, and initiated the Joint Accelerator Program for Indian Startups, through a workshop led by U.S. accelerator Hacking 4 Allies (H4x) and IIT Hyderabad in August 2023.

President Biden welcomed the issuance of a Letter of Request from the Ministry of Defence of India to procure 31 General Atomics MQ-9B (16 Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardian) remotely piloted aircraft and their associated equipment, which will enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of India’s armed forces across all domains.

Modi and Biden reaffirmed the importance of the Quad in supporting a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.

President Biden reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and, in this context, welcomed once again India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29.

Biden congratulated Modi and the scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing at the south polar region of the Moon, as well as the successful launch of India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1. ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have commenced discussions on modalities, capacity building, and training for mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024, and are continuing efforts to finalize a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023. India and the US also intend to increase coordination on planetary defense to protect planet Earth and space assets from the impact of asteroids and near-Earth objects, including U.S.  support for India’s participation in asteroid detection and tracking via the Minor Planet Center.

The leaders reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains, and spoke of a multi-year initiative of Microchip Technology, Inc., to invest approximately US$300 million in expanding its research and development presence in India and Advanced Micro Device’s announcement to invest US$400 million in India over the next five years to expand research, development, and engineering operations in India. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the ongoing implementation of announcements made in June 2023 by U.S. companies, Micron, LAM Research, and Applied Materials.


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