US - India

May — Aug 2022
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Relations at 75: Hawaii to the Himalayas

By Akhil Ramesh
Published September 2022 in Comparative Connections · Volume 24, Issue 2 (This article is extracted from Comparative Connections: A Triannual E-Journal of Bilateral Relations in the Indo-Pacific, Vol. 24, No. 2, September 2022. Preferred citation: Akhil Ramesh, “US-India Relations: Relations at 75: Hawaii to the Himalayas,” Comparative Connections, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp 63-76.)

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This chapter was made possible through a grant from the Hindu American Foundation

Like the saying, “after the storm comes the calm,” US-India relations witnessed four months of productive talks, cooperation, and collaboration. This contrasted with the previous trimester, mired as it was by Cold-War era differences brought about by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. There were thriving Indo-Pacific synergies and the decline of Cold War-era differences. The US and India continued and expanded cooperation on a wide array of regional and global issues, such as climate change, supply chains, and the Sri Lankan crisis. They solidified their defense partnership from Hawaii to the Himalayas through navy and military exercises. The US turned down pressure on India over Russian oil purchases and recalibrated the dialogue to address other pressing challenges. They did not avoid tough conversations, however. India reinforced its view of the US and other Western nations’ role in keeping the Indo-Pacific a safer and more open region.

While minor differences remain, the two democracies found common ground in addressing what they both consider to be the most pressing challenges: China’s belligerent actions and the existential threat of climate change. Their targeted actions to address the two issues became more overt and coordinated. Through the launch of initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the Biden administration reentered the Asian economic architecture—though not through a trade agreement—bringing otherwise-hesitant economies, including India, into the fold.

Domestically, Biden and Modi were both preoccupied with amending historic injustices and preparing their societies and economies for 21st century challenges.

Home is Where the History Is

Both President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have advertised their humble beginnings to connect with the electorate and push ambitious foreign policies; domestic undercurrents drive much of their recent cooperation. President Biden’s ascent to the Oval Office was a product of his election campaign that promised a “foreign policy for the middle class,” including a revival of US manufacturing, tackling of climate change, and promotion of diversity. Acting on those promises, Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first African-American woman to serve on the Supreme Court bench. Modi demonstrated similar priorities when he nominated Draupadi Murmu, a woman belonging to the scheduled tribal community—among the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups in India—to the office of India’s 15thpresident. For nations with histories plagued by discrimination, both Jackson and Murmu’s ascent to the highest offices in the land would seem to support their governments’ commitment to righting historic wrongs. These developments occur against the backdrop of the US and Indian government’s launching of the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative in June, which aims to advance civil rights and inclusion around the world.

Figure 1 US President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hold a bilateral meeting alongside the Quad Summit at Kantei Palace in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Other measures addressed the policy missteps of the 20th and early 21st century. Biden, along with his predecessor, has evoked the idea of reshoring manufacturing to the United States, addressing its hollowing-out since the 1980s. The Biden administration’s recent legislative successes, the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, seek to revive semiconductor chip manufacturing and increase the share of renewable energy. The Modi administration has a similar agenda. Modi is the first Indian prime minister to use the term “license raj,” one often used by leaders of global corporations to describe the bureaucracy and rent-seeking practices prevalent in India pre-1990. He has not shied away from critiquing practices prevalent in quasi-socialist India in the 1970s and 1980s and his legacy includes that of being the first Indian leader to improve its ease of doing business ranking and his determination to see India participate in the unfolding industrial revolution.

Domestic reforms often have a strong foreign policy undercurrent. For instance, through several supply chain related initiatives, the US has sought to redesign the trade architecture and reduce overreliance on China. While the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act target that objective, the Biden administration has included India in its supply chain diversification initiatives in sectors such as renewable energy and critical technology. Moreover, through groupings such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and the newly formed I2U2—a new partnership between the governments of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States—the administration has expanded the discussion on resilient supply chains and India’s role in those discussions.

To that end, subnational diplomacy and public diplomacy are drivers of the relationship. Both Biden and Modi have emphasized Middle America and rural India in their policy proposals, respectively, and a flourishing US-India relationship will need Middle America’s and rural India’s cooperation. Over the four months, the Indian mission in the US traveled across the country, meeting with manufacturers and state representatives in the Midwest to increase cooperation between India and US states in manufacturing and services sector.

Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu’s meetings with manufacturing and technology companies in middle America, such as in Indiana and Ohio, along with his trips to Hawaii, suggest that India and Indians have a significant role to play in the Biden administration’s plans for the Midwest and in the evolving security sphere of the Pacific. Indian human capital has played a significant role in elevating the US tech sector. Given the dearth in engineers and highly skilled technological talent in parts of the US, the Biden administration’s hi-tech manufacturing push could be complemented by Indian talent, especially through initiatives like the Quad Fellowship. Similarly, the Indian consul general in San Francisco, Nagendra Prasad Rao had a busy summer, traveling and meeting with governors and representatives from states such as Utah and Nevada. Their counterpart in Chennai, US Consul General Judith Ravin, joined the director of the National Science Foundation, Sethuraman Panchanathan in announcing awards that will connect researchers from universities across the US with scientists and engineers at several technology innovation hubs.

These domestic measures will find foreign policy convergence through broader trade initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

Figure 2 Indian Consul General Nagendra Prasad meeting with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox. Photo: Twitter/@nagenTV

No to Agreement but Yes to Framework

As anticipated in the last Comparative Connections chapter on US-India relations, the Biden administration unveiled its plan for re-entry into Asia’s economic architecture through the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Tokyo in late May. IPEF includes 12 partners: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, comprising 40% of world GDP. This will be the first multilateral trade grouping in the region that India has joined. In 2019 it withdrew from RCEP, frustrating other partners. With the US out of CPTPP, and India out of RCEP, the two had an unprecedented urgency to re-enter the Asian economic architecture and not give up ground to China, which is a signatory to RCEP and which has played a leading role in infrastructure-building through the Belt and Road Initiative.

IPEF has four pillars that complement key parts of the US-India relationship:

Pillar 1 – Connected Economy: The US envisions engaging collectively with partners in establishing high-standard rules of the road in the digital economy, including standards on cross-border flows and data localization. This pillar could be a sticking point for India’s participation in the framework. The Modi administration has insisted on data localization and US enterprises have resisted abiding by the localization mandates. This pillar also focuses on strong labor and environmental standards. The Modi administration’s reforms of India’s archaic labor laws are intended to consolidate them and make it easier for businesses to invest and operate in the country. However, tightening standards on labor and the environment may prove an impediment for more cooperation for a developing country like India.

Pillar 2 – Resilient Economy: This pillar seeks to garner supply chain commitments that can assist in anticipating and preventing disruptions in supply chains, creating a more resilient economy and guard against price increases. The Biden administration has proposed establishing an early warning system, mapping critical mineral supply chains, improving traceability in key sectors and coordinating on diversification efforts. In the near future, this will be the crucial pillar that provides the foundation for diversification efforts in the Indo-Pacific region such as the China+1 and for instilling confidence in measures such as “friend-shoring.” Over the last two years, India has acted as the pharmacy of the world, providing vaccines to countries in need, and the US and other Quad members had leveraged India’s expertise to manufacture a billion vaccines for Southeast Asia. Whether of not such initiatives and other broader supply chain diversification efforts succeed will be the litmus test of the Biden administration’s efforts at reviving manufacturing at home and building the pillar of a resilient economy.

Pillar 3 – Clean Economy: The US seeks a first-of-its-kind commitment on clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure. This pillar is supported by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Bill (which will quadruple renewable energy consumption in the US) at home and through partnerships with India such as First Solar’s announcement of photovoltaic manufacturing in southern India. India’s support for solar energy (through the International Solar Alliance) and the Modi administration’s support for clean energy transition will find resonance in this pillar. USAID Chief Administrator Samantha Power, in her recent trip to India, referred to the world as “one family,” a phrase used by the Indian prime minister when referring to the challenge of climate change. This is one sphere where the two administrations share values and can work toward common goals.

Pillar 4 – Fair Economy: The fourth and last pillar seeks commitments from partners to enact and enforce effective tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery regimes in line with existing multilateral obligations. This pillar may not impact the bilateral relationship as much as it would affect the partnership’s efforts in third countries. Several nations who are part of the framework are also party to China’s BRI, which has caused debt distress in some countries, most recently in Sri Lanka. By strengthening the fourth pillar, IPEF would bring about more transparency in projects supported by China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in participant countries and limit diversification efforts from indirectly supporting Chinese SOEs.

While these pillars are timely and directed toward addressing both the existential challenge of climate change and competition with China, they have limitations. As the name suggests, IPEF is a framework and not an agreement. The recurring criticism of the IPEF is that it does not provide market access, the most enticing component of any trade deal.

Still, like the Quad, IPEF has earned buy-in from otherwise skeptical nations, including India. The complementary nature of the four pillars of the IPEF coupled with the bilateral relationship and the domestic policies of US and India give reasons to be optimistic. Moreover, as Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani put it, “submarines are stealthy but trade agreements are stealthier.” Since Donald Trump’s presidency, it has become clear that free trade agreements that move manufacturing to Asia are not politically viable. In India’s case, free trade agreements with Asian neighbors have ballooned its trade deficits and any agreement that has China or even ASEAN countries as participants will exacerbate this—an issue Delhi is working to address.

Trade cooperation was not limited to addressing the China challenge. In the first iteration of the I2U2 group (“the West Asian Quad”), leaders of the US, UAE, Israel, and India came together to address food security and clean energy transition. The group plans to advance a hybrid renewable energy project in India’s Gujarat consisting of 300 megawatts of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery storage system. This is another group alongside the Quad and IPEF, through which the US is supporting India’s transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The US Trade and Development Agency funded a feasibility study for the $330 million project.

Not an Alliance, but Moving That Way

Over the past few years, a recurring question posed to India experts in Washington is “Will India become a US ally?” When former ambassador Lisa Curtis, was asked this question at an event organized by CNAS, she responded that “the relationship will grow significantly, but just short of an alliance.”

The 28th iteration of the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 maritime exercises organized by the US Navy were held around the Hawaiian Islands between June 29 and Aug. 4. This year, RIMPAC included around 25,000 personnel, 170 aircraft, three submarines, over 30 uncrewed systems, 38 surface ships, and nine national land forces from across 26 countries. Indian Navy’s frigate INS Satpura and P8I aircraft were deployed for the exercise. India first participated in 2014 (the year Modi became prime minister) by sending its indigenously built Shivalik-class stealth frigate INS Sahyadri. Since then, there have been several exercises in the Pacific and Indian oceans such as the Malabar, Milan, and others. Besides navy exercises, the Indian army and even special forces have trained alongside US forces to increase interoperability. In 2021, Indian soldiers from the 7th Battalion, Madras Regiment trained with US soldiers in Alaska under Arctic conditions. US-India security and defense cooperation has been steady increasing across the board.

Figure 3 US-India joint military exercise. Photo: Yudh Abhyas/Facebook

Ever since the Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Galwan valley in 2020, the training locations of US and Indian troops have been noteworthy, such as in Alaska and, Vajra Prahar by the India-China border in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, where special forces concluded recent Indo-US joint exercises.

Furthermore, neither India nor the US shy away from calling out China. Speaking at a seminar organized by Heritage Foundation, US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday termed India an important ally that would play a “significant role” in countering China. He went to say that “China faces a two-front challenge from India. They now force China to not only look east, toward the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, but they now have to look over their shoulder at India.”

The most significant symbolic development in this sphere was the Department of Defense decision to provide the Indian defense attaché with unescorted access to the Pentagon; as news outlets pointed out, this is a privilege not offered even to the US Air Force.

In mid-May it was announced that the Biden administration was preparing a military aid package worth $500 million, putting India alongside Israel and Egypt amongst US military aid recipients. With India sending frigates to Hawaii and for the first time with the US sending warships for repairs and maintenance to the Kattupalli port near Chennai, the relationship is truly evolving into an “Indo-Pacific” partnership.

On India, Everyone Swipes Right

India’s cozying up to the US caused some anxiety in China and Russia. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attempted rapprochement in response. In late June, he called on the Indian envoy, and according to the press readout from their meeting said that China and India’s common interests “far outweigh” their differences, adding that the two sides should support rather than undermine each other, “strengthen cooperation rather than guard against each other, and enhance mutual trust rather than be suspicious of each other.”

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar made it clear that there was no interest on the Indian side to dial back relations to pre-Galwan without settling the border dispute. Furthermore, in a first, the minister, speaking at an event organized by Asia Society Policy Institute sold the Quad grouping as an effective alternative to ASEAN, as there were challenges beyond the remit of ASEAN’s institutions and platforms, aggravated by anachronistic multilateralism. To effectively address deficits, he said, would best be accomplished by plurilateral groups such as the Quad. Elsewhere he statedthat, “From time to time, there is also talk about Asia for Asians. Such thinking needs to be carefully analyzed, both from a national interest perspective as well as the implications of the proposition itself. …Asia for Asians is also a sentiment that was encouraged in the past, even in our own country, by political romanticism. The Bandung spirit, however, got its reality check within its first decade. Indeed, the experience of the past affirms that Asians are second to none when it comes to realpolitik. …India espouses a cooperative, inclusive, and consultative approach to international relations.”

That did not stop China and Russia. Both nations expressed interest in expanding the BRICS group to include several nations from the Global South, capitalizing on their sense of being left out of major decisions such as sanctions on Russia that had an impact on their economies. Nations like Argentina and Iran, which have disputes with Western nations, were the first to express interest in joining the group. Concluding the virtual BRICS leaders’ summit, Putin called for a toast in honor of this emerging anti-Western coalition. Modi was the only leader who did not raise his mug. The prime minister’s restraint shows the limit of India’s multi-alignment.

India does not view the world in bipolar terms as West vs the rest. Time and again, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has batted for multipolarity—and as an extension, issue-based coalitions. With regards to the China challenge, events of the last four months indicate that India and the US are on the same page.

Figure 4 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivered a lecture on ‘India’s Vision of the Indo-Pacific’ at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Photo: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar

Jaishankar, in his recent trip to Thailand, referred to the Quad as the “most prominent plurilateral platform that addresses contemporary challenges and opportunities in the Indo-Pacific.” Even a couple of years ago, this would have been unfathomable.

On Russia, on economic interests or security matters pertaining to India’s immediate neighborhood (think Pakistan), the US and India may not see eye to eye. Regardless, India’s relations with the US and nations such as France, Japan, Israel, and Australia are on an upward trajectory. The same cannot be said of its relations with nations such as the UK. India does not club Western nations into groups such as “West.” Rather, it tends to different bilateral relationships on their own merit.

For example, during his trip to Argentina in late August the external affairs minister expressed support for Argentina’s membership in the BRICS and reiterated support for resuming talks over the territorial dispute surrounding the Islas Malvinas, also known as the Falkland Islands. While referring to Falklands as Malvinas was a significant development, the British High Commission in India’s response that “the United Kingdom has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas, nor about the principle and the right of the Falkland Islanders to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter…” demonstrates that India continues to have feet in both worlds—the Global South (as a post-colonial society) and the North; but shakes hands with those with whom its interests align with most. As India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (“self-reliant India”) and Make in India plans take flight, markets such as Argentina will be important—especially for its defense exports. A case in point is its plans to sell its indigenously manufactured Tejas fighter aircraft to Argentina.

Coming to Terms

A month prior to celebrating 75 years of independence, Modi unveiled a giant sculpture of India’s national emblem—the four lions—in front of the new Parliament building. In contrast to the benevolent lions that appear in most government insignia, these looked aggressive and ferocious. A portion of the India media termed this another nationalistic turn under the Modi administration. But it is more than just a changed sculpture. The Modi administration is active in its decolonizing efforts, and in asserting its identity on the world stage. When India commissioned its first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in early September, the prime minister also unveiled a new ensign for the flag of the Indian Navy. The St. George cross that was part of the flag was dropped and the ensign was changed to one inspired by that of Indian ruler Chhatrapathi Shivaji. Modi, in his address, said “India has removed a badge of slavery from its chest” and tweeted that “INS Vikrant is an example of Government’s thrust to making India’s defense sector self-reliant.”

This development captures India’s interest in decolonizing while building indigenous industries to produce and export to the world. India wrestles with these multiple identities—as a post-colonial society that has to undo centuries of humiliation and as a 21st century power that requires capital to develop its economy and foreign markets to export its goods. The events of the last four months indicate that the US is beginning to grasp the complexities associated with India’s multiple identities and the decisions that come with it. White House spokesperson John Kirby’s comments on India continuing to purchase Russian oil—that sovereign nations have a right to make their own decisions, and that the US has made clear its concerns about business as usual with Russia—sum it up well: Contrasting this statement to the war of words the world witnessed in the previous quarter, there has definitely been a change in attitudes.

India for its part is no longer diffident about the multifarious challenges posed by China and has welcomed an active US role in the Indo-Pacific region.

With the scheduled military exercise in Auli near the India-China border in early October, the US-India partnership will continue to expand from the shores of Hawaii to the foothills of the Himalayas.

Chronology prepared by Pacific Forum Non-resident Lloyd and Lilian Vasey Fellow Angela Min Yi Hou

May 3, 2022: India’s Secretary of the Department of Defense R&D and Chairman of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization Dr. G Satheesh Reddy and Indian embassy officials in Washington DC meet US Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heido Shyu and Acting Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities Terry Emmert to discuss bilateral defense R&D cooperation.

May 10, 2022: US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks with India’s new Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra to congratulate him on the new role. They reaffirm the strength of the bilateral partnership and a shared commitment to a prosperous, free, and open Indo-Pacific.

May 12, 2022: US Consul General to Kolkata Melinda Pavek and US Agricultural Minister-Counselor Ron Verdonk visit Pepsi in Kolkata to celebrate the efforts of women farmers participating in the Women Economic Empowerment Program led by USAID India and Pepsi.

May 12, 2022: US hosts Second Global COVID-19 Summit and reaffirms that it will continue to work with partners to expand the manufacture and distribution of vaccines and therapeutics globally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers virtual remarks at the invitation of US President Joe Biden, and the summit reaffirms that bilateral cooperation to address COVID-19 builds on 75 years of successful partnership in health and biomedical research.

May 23, 2022: Director General of the US Foreign Service Carol Perez and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson visit US Consulate General in Chennai to commemorate the 75th anniversary of US-India ties.

May 23, 2022: CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Scott Nathan and Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra sign the Investment Incentive Agreement between DFC and the government of India. The agreement allows DFC to continue to support India’s private sector and invest in climate, health, food security, and more.

May 23, 2022: Alongside Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Indian PM Modi, President Biden launches the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity in Tokyo. The launch is attended virtually by representatives from 12 initial partners representing 40% of world GDP: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. At the event, Biden reaffirms the US’ long-term investment in the Indo-Pacific.

May 24, 2022: Leaders of the Quad (Australia, India, Japan, and the US) meet in Tokyo. They release a Quad Joint Leaders Statement. Among their announcements is a new initiative to improve maritime domain awareness across the Indo-Pacific. On the margins of the summit, Secretary Blinken meets Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to reinforce bilateral cooperation on global economic challenges to strengthen security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. They also discuss the Ukraine conflict.

May 24, 2022: Biden and Modi meet bilaterally to reaffirm the commitment to work together for a more prosperous, free, connected, and secure world, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific as the future of the 21st century economy.

May 24, 2022: Quad leaders launch the Quad Fellowship to encourage research and innovation among young minds in the four countries.

May 25, 2022: Indian Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal meets Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. They discuss expansion of bilateral trade and investment to cement the bilateral global strategic partnership.

May 25, 2022: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar publishes an article on the establishment of the Quad as one of India’s major diplomatic accomplishments.

May 26, 2022: Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu meets Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to discuss deepening the bilateral partnership in healthcare, digital technology, and education.

May 27, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt to discuss collaboration in technology, innovation and education. Sandhu thanks him for administering the Quad STEM fellowships.

May 28, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets Sen. Todd Young in Indiana. They discuss strengthening the bilateral strategic partnership. Sandhu also meets with elected representatives from Indiana and Ohio to discuss bilateral ties through partnerships with local governments.

May 30, 2022: US Congressional staff delegation calls on Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra to discuss bipartisan support for deepening bilateral ties, regional developments and growing partnership for global issues.

June 7, 2022: Chargé D’Affaires of the US Embassy Patricia Lacina meets Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra to discuss ways to advance the bilateral strategic partnership and shared regional and global goals.

June 7, 2022: Commanding General of the US Army Pacific (USARPAC) Charles A. Flynn visits Indian Army Headquarters, hosted by Indian Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Baggavalli Somashekar Raju. Flynn also visits the National War Memorial.

June 7, 2022: General Flynn calls on Indian Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Manoj Pande to discuss aspects of bilateral defense cooperation.

June 8, 2022: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nancy Izzo Jackson arrives in Delhi to meet business, civil society, and government leaders to discuss US-India regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

June 9, 2022: Sandhu meets Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr, and the CEO of Fairfax County EDA Victor Hoskins to celebrate India-Virginia ties.

June 13, 2022: INS Satpura, indigenous frigate of the Indian Navy, arrives in Guam ahead of RIMPAC. The Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.

June 14, 2022: Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs team announces the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative, a new exchange program in partnership with the University of Alabama to inspire young leaders in the US and India to advance civil rights and inclusion. On June 21 program participants meet Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Nancy Jackson.

June 14, 2022: UN ambassadors from the Quad meet in New York to discuss ways to strengthen the rules-based international order and reinforce efforts at the UN.

June 16, 2022: Sandhu meets Sen. Jon Ossoff at India House to discuss the bilateral partnership in healthcare, higher education, skills development, and clean energy and technology. They discuss the bilateral trade and economic partnership and deepening it.

June 22, 2022: Biological E. Limited of India obtains World Health Organization approval as an additional manufacturing site for the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The US Embassy in India calls this “great progress for the Quad Vaccine and US-India health partnerships through US technical support and US International Development Finance Corporation financing.”

June 28, 2022: Sandhu hosts Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Cecilia Rouse, Governors Asa Hutchinson and Tom Wolf, Lt. Governors Eleni Kounalakis and Garlin Gilchrist II, and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets Arun Venkataraman.

June 29, 2022: Sandhu hosts Quad Fellowship Advisory Board at India House in Washington DC. The event was attended by senior officials and diplomats from Quad countries, including the US National Security Council, the Department of State, the Department of Energy, Schmidt Futures, among others.

July 3, 2022: Marking the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, Ambassador Sandhu hosts veterans of the Indian Armed Forces in the US and their families, thanking them for their devotion and dedication which shaped India’s defense and security and partnership with the US.

July 4, 2022: Modi delivers greetings and congratulations to Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and the people of the US on the 246th US Independence Day. Jaishankar extends the same greetings to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and expresses anticipation of further cooperation to strengthen the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

July 5, 2022: As part of the celebration of 35 years of the US-India Vaccine Action Program, the National Institutes of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology, and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council announce the Clinical Research Bioethics Program to engage early-career scientists in the bioethics of clinical research and advance the US-India health partnership.

July 5, 2022: Indian Navy’s P8I LRMRASW aircraft arrives in Hawaii to participate in the 28th edition of RIMPAC.

July 8, 2022: Japan’s former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is assassinated, while delivering a speech for a political candidate. Modi announces a one-day national mourning on July 9 and writes a heartfelt tribute. He expresses condolences and respect for Abe and commends his contributions to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

July 8, 2022: Jaishankar meets Blinken on the margins of the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting. They discuss enhancing regional economic stability and security, including global efforts to reduce the effects of crisis in Ukraine, and expanding bilateral ties.

July 9, 2022: Sandhu visits Indian frigate INS Satpura at Pearl Harbor, as part of a visit to Hawaii for RIMPAC.

July 10, 2022: Department of State’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed visits Chennai to celebrate the 75th year of US-India relations. He meets startups, students, US and Indian companies, and Tamil Nadu officials to discuss the expansion of the bilateral economic partnership.

July 11, 2022: INS Satpura participates in the sea phase of RIMPAC. Ambassador Sandhu hosts a reception on board Ins Satpura, in attendance including US INDOPAC Commander Adm. John Aquilino, Commander of US 3rd Fleet V Adm. Michael Boyle, Indian V. Adm. Sanjay Mahindru and other senior officials and sailors of 26 navies. Sandhu highlights PM Modi’s SAGAR vision (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and reaffirms India’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific and bilateral defense ties. Sandhu also meets US Rep Ed Case.

July 11, 2022: US orders 3.2 million doses of the Novavax COVID vaccine, the initial doses of which will be manufactured by Novavax’s partner, Serum Institute of India.

July 11, 2022: Sandhu pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi as part of his visit to Hawaii for RIMPAC.

July 12, 2022: Sandhu meets US Indo-Pacific Commander Aquilino at Command headquarters in Hawaii to exchange views on bilateral defense cooperation, strategic partnership, and other global developments.

July 12, 2022: Sandhu visits USS Illinois (a Virginia class nuclear-powered submarine at RIMPAC) and meets Commander of the Submarine Force Pacific R. Adm. Jeffrey T. Jablon.

July 12, 2022: Sandhu hosts a virtual roundtable of select US universities with the International Financial Services Centres Authority and GIFT City to seek opportunities for strengthening bilateral education ties.

July 13, 2022: Sandhu visits USS Abraham Lincoln to cultivate bilateral maritime ties. He observes flight operations and interacts with the aircraft carrier’s leadership and crew.

July 13, 2022: Sandhu meets Hawaii Gov. David Ige to discuss strengthening bilateral ties through enhanced connections with Hawaii. Areas of cooperation include trade, information technology and investment, sustainable tourism and environment, and expanding educational and people-to-people ties.

July 14, 2022: Leaders of India, Israel, UAE, and the United States virtually convene first leaders’ summit of the I2U2 Group. They discuss joint projects within the I2U2 framework and other common areas of mutual interest, including strengthening economic partnerships.

July 15, 2022: US Food and Drug Administration authorizes emergency use of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for adults in the US, the first authorized vaccine in the US that is manufactured in India.

July 19, 2022: Indian Secretary of Economic Relations of the Ministry of External Affairs Dammu Ravi participates in COVID-19 Global Action Plan Foreign Ministerial Meeting co-hosted by Foreign Minister of Japan Yoshimasa Hayashi and Secretary Blinken.

July 19, 2022: Cultural and Educational Affairs counselor at the US Embassy in New Delhi Anthony Miranda meets Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar of the University Grants Commission of India to discuss collaboration between Indian and US universities for twinning, joint and double degrees, and establishing US university campuses in India.

July 20, 2022: USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Änjali Kaur joins US-India Strategic Partnership Forum to discuss women’s economic advancement, the critical role of the private sector, and USAID’s partnership in the US-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment.

July 21, 2022: State Department Spokesperson Ned Price congratulates Draupadi Murmu on her election as the 15thPresident of India and looks forward to deepening the bilateral partnership.

July 21, 2022: Sandhu hosts Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) at India House to discuss deepening the bilateral partnership in health, clean energy, education, defense, and technology.

July 21, 2022: US announces partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry to organize a speaker series on bilateral cooperation on renewable energy to combat climate change and foster economic innovation.

July 22, 2022: Sandhu meets US Rep. Ro Khanna (D-California), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) and other representatives from industry, academia, and think tanks at an event hosted by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

July 22, 2022: Sandhu joins Ambassador Tomita Koji of Japan and Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos of Australia at a discussion on advancing a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific.

July 25, 2022: USAID Administrator Samantha Power arrives in India to advance the bilateral state partnership and address the global food security crisis. She meets food security and climate experts, civil society groups, and officials about the bilateral development partnership.

July 26, 2022: Sandhu meets Senator and Member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota). They discuss cooperation in the Quad and Indo-Pacific and working together in areas such as healthcare, technology, and energy.

July 26, 2022: Jaishankar meets USAID Administrator Power to discuss global development prospects in the context of food, energy, and debt challenges. They exchange views on expanding the bilateral partnership, climate change, and the situation in Sri Lanka.. She visits a Water ATM near Sarojini Market, a US-India collaboration that provides safe and affordable drinking water 24/7 to the local community.

July 26, 2022: US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo host a virtual meeting of economic ministers and officials from 14 countries that have joined the IPEF,. They discuss trade, supply chains, clean energy, infrastructure, taxes and corruption.

July 26, 2022: Sandhu meets White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Dr. Rahul Gupta to discuss bilateral cooperation in counter-narcotics, affordable vaccines, and medicines.

July 26, 2022: Sandhu delivers keynote address at the 40th Annual Convention Gala of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. He compliments the role of Indian American doctors during COVID-19 and in shaping and steering bilateral healthcare cooperation. He meets Rep. Tony Gonzales to discuss bilateral strategic and healthcare ties.

July 27, 2022: In celebration of 75 years of bilateral ties, USAID Administrator Power delivers a keynote address entitled “The World is One Family,” stating that the US-India relationship can be a model for today’s development partnerships. She meets Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra to discuss the bilateral development partnership and working together to respond to climate change, tackle the digital divide, develop resilient infrastructure, address global food security and more. She also promotes equity and equality for women in sports by joining young Indian women players for a cricket lesson.

July 27, 2022: Sandhu meets US Senator and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Jack Reed to discuss the deepening of bilateral strategic ties and working with like-minded partners in the Quad and Indo-Pacific. They discuss bilateral cooperation in new and emerging technologies, supply chains, healthcare, climate change and clean energy.

July 27, 2022: INS Satpura and one P8I maritime patrol aircraft from the Indian Navy enters Pearl Harbor to participate in the US Navy-led biennial RIMPAC.

July 27, 2022: PM Modi participates in the G7 leaders’ summit in Germany. He meets President Biden at the summit.

July 27, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets Sen. Ron Johnson, Reps. Bryan Stiel and Glenn Grothman, and Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos at a Sadbhavana event in Chicago.

July 28, 2022: Sandhu meets US Rep. and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Brad Schneider to discuss the Quad, I2U2, and bilateral cooperation to address global challenges.

July 28, 2022: A first tranche of MH60R Multi Role helicopters are received by the Indian Navy at Cochin International Airport, delivered by the US Air Force Special Air Assignment Mission Flight. Ambassador Sandhu commends this as deepening bilateral defense ties and attends a handing over ceremony in San Diego with Commander of the US Naval Air Forces V. Adm. Kennedy Whitesell and Indian Naval Group DCNS Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh.

July 28, 2022: Counsellor of the Indian Embassy in Washington attends a Space Foundation event to highlight India’s space program and bilateral ties in the sector. Also in attendance are US representatives from several international space agencies and congressional staff.

Aug. 2, 2022: USS Frank Cable of the US Pacific Fleet’s Submarine Force Pacific visits Indian city Visakhapatnam/Vizag while on patrol in the 7th Fleet Area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Aug. 4, 2022: Jaishankar attends ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, on the sidelines of which he meets with Blinken. They discuss food insecurity exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine and shared support for Sri Lanka’s return to economic and political stability.

Aug. 5, 2022: Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Ambassador Michele Sison meets Additional Secretary of Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ Americas Division Vani Rao to discuss US-India cooperation in the UN system and opportunities to strengthen the bilateral partnership on multilateral priorities. Sison also meets UN Resident Coordinator and think tanks in India—RIS, United Service Institution of India, Manohar Parrikar IDSA—to discuss cooperation at the UN to address development and peacebuilding, health and food security, and peacekeeping challenges.

Aug. 5, 2022: US Patent and Trademark Office renews partnership with the National Research Development Corporation, an enterprise of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology. They sign an MoU to strengthen technical cooperation and exchange information on the acquisition, utilization, transfer and protection of intellectual property rights.

Aug. 7, 2022: US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin and Department of Defense Attaché R. Adm. Michael Baker visit USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10), a US Navy and Military Sealift Command sealift dry cargo ship at Kattupalli Port in India. USNS Charles Drew becomes the first US navy vessel to use maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities in India.

Aug. 8, 2022: 13th edition of India-US Joint Special Forces Exercise Vajra Prahar commences at Special Forces Training School in India. The exercise aims to share experiences and best practices in mission planning and operational tactics of Special Forces operations.

Aug. 8, 2022: Director of the US National Science Foundation Sethuraman Panchanathan visits India to deepen science and technology collaboration with Indian partners. At a lecture at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Panchanathan announces new awards to connect researchers from universities across the US with scientists and engineers at several Technology Innovation Hubs of the Indian Department of Science and Technology.

Aug. 9, 2022: Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser of the Government of India hosts a high-level meeting with Indian Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and US National Science Foundation director Panchanathan to strengthen bilateral scientific cooperation through robust institutional framework and people-to-people connections. Areas of mutual priorities include clean energy, one health, emerging technologies, and STI statistics.

Aug. 10, 2022: Biological E’s Corbevax vaccine is approved as an adult booster for Covaxin or Covishield, demonstrating the impact of the US-India partnership on affordable healthcare.

Aug. 10, 2022: Indian Embassy in the US organizes a roundtable with US universities, wherein the International Financial Services Centers Authority shared opportunities in GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City).

Aug. 11, 2022: Chargé D’Affaires Lacina, US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin, Director of the US National Science Foundation Panchanathan, and Indian Minister for Higher Education Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N. meet industry leaders in Bengaluru to celebrate the 75th anniversary of bilateral innovation and technology partnerships.

Aug. 14, 2022: Representatives from Congress, academia, the private sector, and other organizations in the US share messages on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Aug. 15, 2022: Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall announces that the Indian attaché team has unescorted access in the Pentagon.

Aug. 15, 2022: Biden issues statement commemorating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and in honor of India’s democratic journey.

Aug. 16, 2022: Special forces troops of the Indian and US armies practice a series of tactical drills during the joint exercise Vajra Prahar.

Aug. 16, 2022: Chargé D’Affaires Lacina and Consul General Mike Hankey visit John Deere factory in Pune, which manufactures tractors and is a symbol of US-India trade and investment.

Aug. 17, 2022: Chargé D’Affaires Lacina and Consul General Hankey visit the Aga Khan Palace to commemorate India’s 75 years of independence and learn about Mahatma Gandhi’s imprisonment and the Quit India campaign. They highlight US-India health collaboration in global immunization efforts with the support of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the manufacturing partnership between Novavax and Serum Institute in India.

Aug. 17, 2022: Sandhu hosts US guests on board INS Satpura–including Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and representatives from industry, academia, and the Indian diaspora in the US– to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Indian independence and US-India ties.

Aug. 18, 2022: Jaishankar addresses Chulalongkorn University and discusses India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific in the context of a changing landscape, updated capabilities of players, and the importance of safeguarding the global commons.

Aug. 22, 2022: Sandhu and US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro discuss deepening the bilateral defense partnership and enhancing navy-to-navy cooperation.

Aug. 22, 2022: Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), co-chaired by the US and India, signs a headquarter agreement with the Government of India in New Delhi, according it the status of an independent and international legal entity. The CDRI is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies, multilateral banks, private sector and academia.

Aug. 26, 2022: Sitharaman meets US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo in New Delhi to exchange views on global economic and financial sector issues.

Aug. 26, 2022: Speaker of the 27th Lok Sabha, Parliament of India, Om Birla meets US political representatives, academics and students, healthcare experts, and community leaders in Boston.

Aug. 27, 2022: At a seminar hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday says that India plays a key role in countering China.

Aug. 28, 2022: India-US joint special forces exercise Vajra Prahar culminates in Bakloh with an indigenously developed weapon and equipment display to showcase Aatmanirbhar Bharat prowess of India.

Aug. 29, 2022: Jaishankar addresses launch of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New Delhi, where he sells the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue as an effective alternative to problems “beyond the remit” of ASEAN.