National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will hold crucial talks with top US leadership including his counterpart Jake Sullivan on the first high-level dialogue on Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET). Doval is arriving in the US with an unusually large delegation that comprises five secretary-level officials and corporate leadership from Indian companies that are doing some cutting-edge research in India.
Officials, academicians and industry experts believe the talks could be the “next big milestone” in the India-US relationship after the India-US nuclear deal.
Doval will arrive here on Monday for the talks.
Officials on both sides remained tightlipped on the details of the ambitious iCET meeting, the deliverables of which are expected to be announced after the conclusion of the meetings of the two sides at the White House on January 31.
Both sides expect that the dialogue would lay the foundation for developing a trusted partner ecosystem between the corporate sectors, so that the two countries with public-partner partnership, driven by a culture of startups, can successfully address the challenges posed by authoritarian regimes in the domain of technology and scientific research.
The iCET was first mentioned in a joint statement after the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden in Tokyo in May 2022.
The five secretary-level officials include ISRO Chairman S Somnath, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister, Ajay Kumar Sood; Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri, G Satheesh Reddy; Department of Telecom Secretary K Rajaram and Director General of Defense Research and Development Organization Samir V Kamat.
Under iCET, the two countries have identified six areas of cooperation which would include co-development and co-production, that would gradually be expanded to QUAD, then to NATO, followed by Europe and the rest of the world.
The objective is to provide cutting edge technologies to the rest of the world which are affordable.
The six areas that have been identified for cooperation as part of iCET are scientific research and development; quantum and artificial intelligence, defense innovation, space, advanced telecom which would include things like 6G and semiconductors.
Given that such an effort can be led only by the industry, the delegation on either side would comprise top leaders from the industry from these sectors.
Doval is arriving in the US with an unusually large delegation that comprises five secretary-level officials and corporate leadership from Indian companies that are doing some cutting-edge research in India.