US Risks Losing Out to India, China: Obama

Washington, Jan 26 (PTI) : President Barack Obama today warned that the US risked losing out to countries such as India and China in areas like in education, technology and research, noting they were undertaking investments in these areas. 

Delivering his annual State of the Union address to the US Congress, Obama made three references to India in his hour-long speech during which he said his administration has built a "new partnership" with the south Asian country as part of his efforts to shape a world that favours peace and prosperity.

Obama, who visited India in November last, also referred to the recent business agreements with India and China that would create jobs in the US. "We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations like India," Obama said in the address in which terrorism and war took a backseat with the President's focus being on education and economy.

Building new relationship with countries like India, Obama said is part of his efforts to shape a world that favours peace and prosperity. Obama also unveiled his blueprint to maintain American leadership in an increasingly competitive world marked by the surge of nations like India and China.

The blueprint has four key pillars--innovate, educate, build, reform and responsibility. Obama put forward a plan to help the US win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the global competition.

"Nations like China and India realised that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world," he said, adding, "So they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They are investing in research and new technologies."

On the other hand, Obama said, the quality of the US’ math and science education lagged behind that of many other nations and the country had fallen to ninth rank in terms of the proportion of young people with a college degree.

Obama also highlighted the importance of emerging markets like India and China in creating more jobs in the US. "Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United States," Obama said.

While calling for new investments in American innovation, the US President also underscored the need to reform the way the government conducted business--by investing in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t. The President’s Budget will help increase the nation’s R and D investments, as a share of GDP, to its highest levels since President John F Kennedy.

Obama also pledged to prepare an additional 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by the end of the decade.  


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