For nearly fifty years, India and the United States have shared a history of bilateral collaboration and cooperation in science and technology. In the 21st century, this relationship has already reached two important new milestones: the launch of Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) in March 2000 and the signing of the Indo-US Science and Technology Agreement in October 2005.
Indo-US Science & Technology Relations
Scientific and technological cooperation between India and USA has taken place for more than five decades now and has been characterized by successful and productive exchange of scientists and scientific ideas, joint workshops and conferences, joint collaborative research projects, training and fellowship programs in virtually all areas of science and technology. The most critical and enduring result of this cooperation is the development of mutually beneficial science. Through an exchange of knowledge and expertise the two countries share a platform, support innovation and facilitate the creation of cutting edge technologies.
Indo-US collaborations in agricultural sciences lead to Green revolution in India with US PL 480 rupee funds. Establishment of Land Grant Colleges in India to sustain research and education in agricultural sciences.
Consortia of American universities facilitated the establishment of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; National Council of Educational Research & Training, New Delhi was founded with American participation, Tarapur Atomic Power Plant was established under a nuclear cooperation agreement.
SITE program for distance-education in India was launched between the US National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
S & T Sub-Commission
The Indo-US Joint Commission on Economics & Commerce, Science & Technology, Education & Culture, and Agriculture was established in 1974. As provided for in the Joint Commission Agreement, an S & T Sub-Commission was established in 1975. The S & T Sub-Commission had seven working groups in different areas: material & physical sciences; earth sciences; atmospheric & marine sciences; energy; environment & ecology; information S & T; health, medical and life sciences. These working groups generally met concurrently with the meetings of the Sub-Commission. A large number of joint research programs and workshops were developed and implemented as a result of the activities of the S & T Sub-Commission
In 1983, a new cooperative fast track program known as Science & Technology Initiative was jointly established for an initial period of three years to enhance S & T collaboration in areas of agriculture, health, monsoon research, biomass research and engineering and solid state science. The program continued until 1991
US-India Fund (USIF)
In January 1987, the two governments signed an agreement for the establishment of US-India Fund (USIF) to carry out joint activities such as workshops, exchange of scientists and experts, joint research programs, etc. in the fields of education, culture and science by using US-held rupees from the PL-480 funds. USIF was initially set up for ten years but was extended by a year. A large number workshops and joint scientific projects were developed under this program.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States of America on December 16, 1997, in Washington DC. Specific areas of cooperation include weather analysis and forecasting techniques; satellite product development for atmospheric, land and ocean parameters; applications to flood forecasting and drought monitoring. The MoU provides for data exchange and derived products between the two countries from Indian National Satellite (INSAT) as well as Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) of the USA.
S & T Fellowship Program was a parallel activity during the period 1991-94 under which Indian and American scientists spent 3-12 months in each others institutions. The program was supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, India.
DST-DOS/ NASA-NOAA MoU
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for scientific cooperation in the area of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences was signed between the Department of Space (DoS) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Government of India and the
A Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and Cornell University for cooperation in the area of Agricultural Research was signed in November 1998. With the signing of this MoU, both sides agreed to promote research, training and improvement of production techniques through exchange of faculty, scientists and technologists. The MoU facilitates exchange of germplasm and breeding material, as well as scientific literature, information and methodology. ICAR had signed a similar MoU with Iowa State University during early 1998. Earlier, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A & M University, Texas, in July, 1997, for cooperation in the field of agricultural research.
Indo-US Vaccine Action Program
MoU for the Indo-US Vaccine Action Program (VAP) was signed in 1987 under the Health, Medical and Life Sciences Working Group of the Indo-US S & T Sub Commission. The cooperating agencies on the Indian side are: Department of Biotechnoloy (DBT), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), those on the US side are: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Vaccine Action Program has proven to be a forerunner of other bilateral programs in health and biomedical research leading to development of several vaccines. In addition to VAP, India and United States have seven bilateral programs in high-priority areas such as HIV/ AIDS research, maternal and child health, reproductive health, environmental and occupational health, disability technology and disease surveillance.
A program for Indo-US collaborative research projects was initiated in 1997. The cooperating agencies are: Department of Science & Technology (India) and the National Science Foundation (USA). This program supports workshops and joint research projects in fundamental areas of science and technology (excluding medical sciences). More than 75 bilateral projects were supported.
Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF)
An agreement to set up an Indo-US Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF)
was signed on March 21, 2000, during the visit of President Bill Clinton to India. The IUSSTF was formally launched on July 20, 2000. IUSSTF works as an autonomous, bilateral, non-governmental, not for profit society that promotes and catalyzes Indo-US bilateral collaborations in science, technology, engineering and biomedical research through substantive interactions among government, academia and industry. The bi-national body supports innovative programs aimed to stimulate interactions that have a strong potential for generating follow-on activities and building long term Indo-US Science and Technology relationships. The IUSSTF promotes program that nurtures contacts between the young and mid career scientists and technologists and fosters active public-private partnership in research and development.
Indo-US Science and Technology Agreement
The Governments of India and United States signed an umbrella Science & Technology (S & T) agreement in Washington on October 17, 2005. The purpose of the agreement is to strengthen the science and technology capabilities of the United States and India, to expand relations between the extensive scientific and technological communities of both countries, and to promote technological and scientific cooperation in areas of mutual benefit. This new agreement, which for the first time establishes intellectual property rights protocol and other provisions necessary to conduct active collaborative research, will accelerate cooperation between Indian and US scientists in government agencies, private sector, and academia in such areas as basic sciences, space, energy, nanotechnology, health, and information technology that will advance scientific understanding and benefit both nations. The new science and technology agreement will complement the activity of the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum by facilitating follow-on technical collaborations.
Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP)
The Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) initiative launched in January 2004 allowed to open a dialogue and build trust on a number of sensitive areas, including high-technology trade, civil nuclear cooperation, space, and missile defense. The US-India strategic partnership is rooted in shared values and is broad in nature and scope, with our two countries working together on global issues, including expanding economic freedom and democracy; ensuring plentiful sources of clean, safe, and reliable energy; protecting security; supporting innovation and technological advances; and promoting public health.
In March 2005 the US and India agreed to build on this successful partnership, moving beyond the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) to a Strategic Dialogue. Energy Dialogue seeks to expand cooperation in areas such as clean energy and civil nuclear energy. Economic Dialogue includes, for the first time, a forum of chief executive officers (CEOs) from leading corporations to advise both governments on how to accelerate economic cooperation. The United States and India resolved to build a global partnership based on eight areas of cooperation announced at the summit between the US President and Indian Prime Minister in Washington July 18, 2005 White House fact sheet:
United States and India: Strategic Partnership
March 2, 2006
United States and India Successfully Complete Next Steps in Strategic Partnership
July 18, 2005
The areas of cooperation are:
High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG)
High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) formed between India and US, which is chaired by Under Secretary, Department of Commerce, USA and Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. HTCG focuses towards building knowledge economy through public-private participation in the areas of biotechnology, nanotechnology, defence and information technology.
Indo-US Space Cooperation
As a part of Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP), which proposed expanded engagement on civilian nuclear activities, civilian space programs and high-technology trade based on a series of reciprocal steps, an Indo-US Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation (JWG) has been established. The JWG endeavors to build closer ties in space exploration, satellite navigation and launch in the commercial space arena. The JWG identified new and expanded areas for civil space cooperation, including negotiating of the Memorandums of Understanding to place two instruments provided by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Indias Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission, negotiations on space launch agreements, and discussions on promoting interoperability between Indian and US civil space-based positioning, navigation and timing systems.
Indo-US Cyber Security Forum
Indo-US Cyber Security Forum was established in April 2002 as a step to intensify the on-going cooperation to address national security issues arising from the increasing interdependency of our critical network information systems involved in outsourced business processing, knowledge management, software development and enhanced inter-government interaction. The group is mandated to cooperate on policy, procedural, and technical issues of cyber security interest to both nations.
Indo-US Cooperation on Information and Communications Technologies
The US-India ICT Working Group (ICTWG) will work towards development and formulation of policy in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector. As a crosscutting theme under the US-India Economic Dialogue, the steady growth of the bilateral economic relationship in the ICT sector is reflected in the wide-ranging agenda of the ICTWG.
Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture
Recognizing the long history of cooperation in agriculture and the success of India's Green Revolution launched 40 years ago with US assistance a Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural (KIA) was established. The KIA builds on this tradition of collaboration and addresses new challenges and opportunities of modern-day agriculture including education, teaching, research, service, and commercial linkages. Through public-private partnerships, it will help to facilitate technology transfer, bolster agricultural research, education, and extension, and strengthen trade and regulatory capacity building.
Bi-National Science and Technology Commission
Bi-National Science and Technology Endowment Fund and a standing Science and Technology (S & T) Joint Commission will accelerate cooperation in many technical fields of mutual interest to India and the United States and benefit the economy and well being of citizens of both countries. These initiatives are build on the S & T Cooperation Agreement signed October 17, 2005