India's Minister of External Affairs Shri S.M. Krishna and the US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met in New Delhi on July 19, 2011, for the second annual meeting of the US–India Strategic Dialogue.
Topics covered in the bilateral relationship ran from education, science & technology, to defense, security and counter-terrorism, trade, and women empowerment.
Education Summit Planned
The two countries plan to host a Higher Education Summit in Washington D.C. on October 13 to find ways for higher education communities in the United States and India collaborate.
Both sides plan to expand their higher education dialogue, to be co-chaired by the US Secretary of State and Indian Minister of Human Resource Development, to convene annually, incorporating the private/non-governmental sectors and higher education communities to inform government-to-government discussions.
As part of the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI), the two governments announced the publication of their requests for proposals from post-secondary educational institutions that support OSI's goals of strengthening teaching, research, and administration of both US and Indian institutions through university linkages and junior faculty development.
The United States created the Passport to India initiative to encourage an increase in the number of American students studying and interning in India. The leaders recognized the great bridge of mutual understanding resulting from the more than 100,000 Indian students studying and interning in the United States.
The United States' Department of Energy and India's Department of Atomic Energy signed an Implementing Agreement on Discovery Science that provides the framework for India's participation in the next generation particle accelerator facility at Fermilab.
The US-India Science & Technology Endowment Board, established by Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna in 2009, plans to award nearly US $3 million annually to entrepreneurial projects that commercialize technologies to improve health and empower citizens. The two sides are strongly encouraged by the response to this initiative, which attracted over 380 joint US-India proposals. The Endowment plans to announce the first set of grantees by September 2011.
Towards enhancing the infrastructure and capacity for research in India, the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) is assisting India's Department of Science & Technology to develop its Science and Engineering Research Board.
The Indo-US Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF), along with its US counterpart the India Science and Technology Partnership (INSTP), has facilitated travel of nearly 10,000 scientists between the United States and India, established 24 virtual joint research centers and organized more than 30 training programs and 150 bilateral conferences, two-thirds of which have resulted in long-term partnerships.
As a follow up to the successful US-India Innovation Roundtable held in September 2010 in New Delhi, the two sides agreed to hold another Innovation Roundtable in early 2012.
India and the United States plan to host their third annual Women in Science workshop in September 2011.
Collaboration In Space Research
The US-India Joint Space Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation met in July 2011 in Bangalore. Building on the successful Chandrayan-1 lunar mission, NASA and ISRO reviewed potential areas for future cooperation in earth observation, space exploration, space sciences and satellite navigation. Recognizing the research opportunities available on the International Space Station, both sides agreed to explore the possibilities of joint experiments.
NASA reiterated its willingness to discuss potential cooperation with ISRO on human spaceflight activities. The two sides also agreed to expand upon previous work in the area of global navigation satellite systems with the goal of promoting compatibility and interoperability between the US Global Positioning System, India's Navigation systems, and those of other countries.
By exchanging and utilizing satellite-based scientific data about the Earth, its climate, weather, and geophysical features, the United States and India are working together to share information on tropical weather, monsoon forecasting and climate change.
At the July 13-14 Civil Space Working Group, the two countries took steps towards their cooperation in this area by concluding substantive discussion on Oceansat-II and Megha-Tropiques missions, which will help the countries refine scientific models and improve understanding of global weather patterns.
Climate Change, Energy Security
Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reaffirmed their countries' strong commitment to continue ongoing efforts to address climate change, ensure mutual energy security, and build a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century, including through implementing the 2009 US-India MOU on energy and climate change.
Towards Nuclear Security talks, the two sides planned to meet later this year at the first meeting of the US-India Joint Working Group to implement the MOU on Cooperation with India's Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnerships.
The next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue is planned for Washington D.C. in 2012.