Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington on Monday on his fourth visit to the USA in the last two years since taking office. Modi met Obama and the two leaders discussed a range of issues.
Some of the significant developments are:
1. Some key defence agreements between the two countries have been finalized. "I can tell you that there was important progress on finalising agreements relating to defence logistics, sharing of maritime information, and even the movement of US aircraft carriers in the region," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
2. US giant Westinghouse has entered into an agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to build six nuclear reactors in India in a sign of deepening cooperation on nuclear energy.
3. President Obama has reiterated support and backed India’s claim for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The 48-member NSG is an exclusive group that allows member nations to get easy access to and trade in nuclear energy.
4. India has been recognized as a major defence partner of the US which means that it will be on par with the US’s closest allies when it comes to defence agreements. "Noting that the US-India defense relationship can be an anchor of stability, and given the increasingly strengthened cooperation in defense, the United States hereby recognizes India as a Major Defense Partner," the Joint Statement said.
The two sides finalised a "roadmap" under which India can have "better" and "licence-free" access to America's defence and dual-use technology.
5. The two sides also signed an MOU to Enhance Cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change, and an MOU on Cooperation in Gas Hydrates as well as another MOU to enhance cooperation on Wildlife Conservation and Combating Wildlife Trafficking.
6. India is all set to become member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as all hurdles related to its membership have been cleared, the US has said. India becoming a member of MTCR is expected to pave the way for increased defence trade and technology transfer between India and the US.
7. Amazon will invest an additional USD 3 billion in its India operations to take its investment in the country to over USD 5 billion. "We have already created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy," founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said.
(With PTI Inputs)