Intensive follow-up meetings scheduled post Narendra Modi-Barack Obama summit

Source: Economic Times

WASHINGTON: Indian and American officials have scheduled a series of
meetings before the year-end to follow up on decisions taken during Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden meeting with US President Barack Obama here
in September to ensure their time-bound implementation.

The two sides have scheduled more than a dozen-odd high-level interactions
on topics ranging from education, trade, science and technology and
strategic affairs in the coming weeks.

Modi, who is very strong on follow ups, has directed his officials for a
timely implementation of the decisions as mentioned in the Indo-US joint
communique issued on September 30 during his visit to Washington.

One of the meetings of the Defence Policy Group was held at the Pentagon
last week, which was attended by US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel,
reflecting the significance being attached to India-US defence ties by the
Obama Administration.

The venue for most of the series of these meetings now shifts to New Delhi,
which would host the Higher Education Dialogue on November 17, and the
first-ever India-US Technology Summit on November 18 and 19.

John Holdren, Assistant to the US President for Science and Technology,
Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and
Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
(PCAST) will lead the US delegation to the Summit.

Holdren would also lead the US-delegation for a meeting of the India-US
Science and Technology Commission in New Delhi on November 17, while on
November 21 officials of the two countries would hold meeting on high-tech
co-operation.

In less than a week, New Delhi would host the first meeting of the
high-level working group on intellectual property, which was established
after the Modi-Obama meeting.

Constituted as part of the Trade Policy Forum (TPF), the working group
would sort out the contentious issues which have been hampering
investments.

And the next day, for the first time in two years, officials of the two
countries would meet for the Trade Policy Forum meeting.

It is the principal trade dialogue between the countries. It has five focus
groups: Agriculture, Investment, Innovation and Creativity (Intellectual
Property Rights), Services, and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.

The India US Civil Aviation Working Group would also meet in November.

Two separate meetings on Indo-US Investment Initiative investment and
India-US Infrastructure Collaboration Platform have been scheduled for
December – the exact dates and venue for which are still being worked out.

The Indo-US Investment Initiative will focus on deepening capital markets,
especially debt markets, to support the long-term financing of
infrastructure in India.

The Infrastructure Collaboration Platform would include mechanisms to
identify and clarify critical infrastructure needs of India, provide a
single Government of India point of contact for coordinating across
ministries in the execution of Indian infrastructure projects in such
sectors such as power, water, sanitation, transportation, safety and smart
cities.

The India-US Nuclear Contact Group, established after Modi-Obama summit, is
also scheduled to meet before the end of the year to sort out outstanding
liability and technical issues to fast-track its full implementation.

The India-US Political Military Dialogue as of now has been scheduled for
later November or early December.

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