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    India and US National Security Advisors meet to discuss critical and emerging technologies

    India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and U.S. National Security Advisor (APNSA) Jake Sullivan chaired the second meeting of the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in New Delhi during Sullivan’s visit to India where he also held a subsequent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    This meeting follows the iCET intersessional review meeting held in December 2023, in keeping with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden’s commitment “to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries.” These critical and emerging technologies, according to the U.S. government, “are a subset of advanced technologies that are potentially significant to U.S. national security.” They include space, semiconductors, advanced telecommunications, artificial intelligence, quantum, biotechnology, and clean energy.

    What was discussed in this meeting?

    According to a fact sheet published by the White House, the meeting focused on “enhancing coordination with like-minded nations” and developing technology in a “manner consistent with our democratic values and respect for universal human rights.” The U.S. also noted that the meeting aimed to create “technology protection toolkits” and “prevent the leakage of sensitive and dual-use technologies to countries of concern,” acknowledging that the “future security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific will hinge on the strength of the U.S.-India partnership.” This likely refers to countries such as China, as the U.S. has introduced legislation to curb the export of advanced technology like AI models to countries like China in recent months.

    In January, the U.S. National Security Advisor noted, “the framework won’t be solely driven by the geopolitical challenge China poses, but… Beijing’s aggressive military moves and economic practices have had ‘a profound impact on the thinking in Delhi’ and other capitals around the world.”

    Here are the key initiatives discussed by the National Security Advisors:

    Bridging Innovation Ecosystems

    The U.S. and Indian governments have committed to providing funding to various initiatives, including the U.S.-India Global Challenges Institute – an association of American universities and the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Council) as well as the National Science Foundation and the Indian Department of Science and Technology. These initiatives will collectively focus on sectors such as telecommunications, connected and autonomous vehicles, machine learning, semiconductor technology and manufacturing, sustainable agriculture and food security, clean energy, health equity, and pandemic preparedness. Additionally, the governments inaugurated the “Innovation Handshake” to address regulatory barriers for startups entering the U.S. and Indian markets. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Global Diversity Export Initiative also aims to deepen STEM partnerships between institutions leading innovation in technology areas such as AI, quantum, data sciences, space, and financial technologies.

    Civilian and Defense Space Technology Cooperation

    NASA and ISRO will collaborate to secure a carrier for the first-ever joint effort between the countries and commence advanced training for ISRO astronauts at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The space centers will also prepare for the launch of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, a jointly developed satellite to combat climate change and other global challenges. The U.S. Space Force and Indian startups, 114ai and 3rdiTech, will also partner to advance space situational awareness, data fusion technologies, and infrared sensor semiconductor manufacturing. Additionally, in May 2024, the U.S. and India strengthened their defense space cooperation by conducting a space tabletop exercise and bilateral expert exchanges on emerging domains such as artificial intelligence at the Advanced Domains Defense Dialogue held at the Pentagon.

    Defense Innovation and Industrial Cooperation

    Through the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) investor summit, both countries intend to provide funding to U.S. and Indian companies to address the challenges of space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and create the “INDUSWERX Testing Consortium” to promote access to testing and certification facilities across the United States and India, facilitated by academia and non-profit organizations. The countries also intend to deepen cooperation between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit and India’s Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX). Through defense industrial partnerships, such as the launch of an AI Multi-Domain Situational Awareness product jointly developed by General Atomics and 114ai, the countries intend to support innovation in joint all-domain command and control.

    Pursuing Advanced Telecommunications Opportunities

    In the past, the U.S. and India announced the U.S.-India Open RAN Acceleration Roadmap and the 5G and 6G R&D Task Force collaboration. In the future, both plan to build partnerships to deploy high-quality, cost-effective Open RAN technology at scale. A $5 million USAID Edge Fund grant has been given to Qualcomm and Mavenir to test their ORAN stack in India in partnership with Bharti Airtel. They also plan to promote Open RAN workforce development opportunities in India by integrating Open RAN-related educational content into Indian technical training programs and fostering collaboration between Indian institutions and the Asia Open RAN Academy in the Philippines. Regarding the proliferation of 6G, public-private cooperation between vendors and operators of the two countries, such as India’s Bharat 6G Alliance and the U.S. Next G Alliance for Open RAN, has facilitated Open RAN field trials and rollouts in both countries.

    Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains

    The initiative has also enabled a new strategic semiconductor partnership between General Atomics and 3rdiTech to co-develop semiconductor design and manufacturing for precision-guided ammunition and other national security-focused electronics platforms.

    Pursuing Quantum, Artificial Intelligence, and High-Performance Computing Collaboration

    A workshop on post-quantum cryptography launched at the University of California, Los Angeles, facilitated visits of Indian technical experts from academia and the private sector to visit U.S. national laboratories and quantum institutions. The countries also aim to expand cooperation in quantum communication, post-quantum migration and security, and Digital Twins. The U.S. will also welcome the Indian Centre for Development of Advanced Computing’s membership in the U.S. Accelerated Data Analytics and Computing Institute, a multilateral information exchange mechanism. Concurrently, the Biden-Harris Administration has stated that it will work with the U.S. Congress to lower barriers to U.S. exports to India for high-performance computing and source code.

    The countries have also committed to improving research and development and optimizing supply chains for building clean energy and critical minerals partnerships for the 21st century and progressing in the field of biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

    Also Read:

    The post India and US National Security Advisors meet to discuss critical and emerging technologies appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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