NEW DELHI: A pool of defence and strategic experts cautioned that “unless there is a greater degree of technology transfer between the US and India, the full potential of the partnership in areas like joint research and development cannot be tapped”.
They were speaking during a virtual meeting organised by the Kolkata centre of research and advocacy body CUTS International. During the meet, the experts also suggested the areas where investment from the USA can be channelized for India’s indigenous defence production.
Sharing his observations, Sanjaya Baru, former media advisor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said that the strategic relationship with the US has always been intertwined with transactional and commercial aspects involving arms transfers and the sale of defence equipment. He mentioned the circumstances surrounding the 123 Civil Nuclear Agreement and the bilateral cooperation on civilian nuclear energy in this regard.
The workshop shed light on the need for greater cooperation between two strategic partners India and the US on aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines, climate change in the Indo-Pacific region and as well as cooperation in the area of the space domain. The virtual session was mainly focused on capacity-building sessions for media professionals and educating them further on defence and strategic affairs.
The panel also acknowledged that the entry of Chinese forces into the Indian Ocean region had altered the strategic calculus. The capacity gaps between the navies in the Indo-Pacific and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) are significant, and concerted efforts toward greater naval cooperation will be required to maintain a deterring maritime presence in the region.