US Looks for Milestones for Obama's India Visit

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Sep 21 (IANS) As the US prepares for President Barack Obama's visit to India, it is looking at marking achievements in areas of technology, innovation and trade besides defence and security, according to a senior official.

The technology theme was related to "India's economic rise", inclusive growth was intended "to help lift millions of Indians out of poverty" and defence, security aimed to demonstrate "our support for India's growing global role and influence", Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said.

"Thanks to the leadership of President (Barack Obama) and Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton, the US aims to forge a partnership with India that will help shape the 21st century," he said at a roundtable he co-chaired with Molly Maguire Teas, senior advisor for education, last week.

"No other country has the humanitarian legacy, thriving democracy, economic promise and sheer human capital that India has. This is one important reason why President Obama has called India an 'indispensable partner' for the US," Blake said.

"A strong education system in both the United States and India is at the crux of each nation's knowledge-based economy, and will fuel innovation and cooperation for decades to come," he said according to a transcript released by the State Department Monday.

The roundtable was designed to bring together a high level "brain trust" to "identify what types of partnerships with India are currently working well and to conceive new initiatives that will address growing challenges faced by our two knowledge-based economies", the department said.

"In particular, the aim was to identify successful and sustainable models for collaboration and partnerships in all types of higher educational institutions including research institutions, professional schools, undergraduate liberal arts schools and community colleges," it said.

Nineteen US Universities were represented at the roundtable. The group included six university presidents, a number of vice provosts and heads of South Asian departments and centres.

Participants agreed that the roundtable would help enhance cooperation between the US government and higher learning institutions, ultimately leading to the strengthening of our partnership with India.

University representatives welcomed the roundtable as an excellent forum for universities and other institutions to collaborate with the US government on expanding engagement with India, the State Department said.


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Title: US Looks for Milestones for Obama's India Visit

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