How the Indo-U.S. Relationship Will Serve the Next 7 Billion People, Featuring Samir Saran

Observer Research foundation Samir Saran. Saran is a known face in the arena of diplomacy and is curator of Raisina Dialogue.

How the Indo-U.S. Relationship Will Serve the Next 7 Billion People, Featuring Samir Saran

The key idea of the video is that the India-U.S. partnership has the potential to shape the political and technology landscape, as India seeks to manage its relationship with China and partner with the U.S. to meet global requirements and the aspirations of a young India.

00:00  The upcoming India-U.S. partnership has the potential to shape the political and technology landscape, as India needs to manage its relationship with China and partner with the U.S. to meet global requirements and the aspirations of a young India.

  • The India-U.S. partnership has remained strong and bipartisan throughout various administrations, and the upcoming visit of PM Modi to the U.S. has the potential to shape the political and technology landscape for the future.
  • The upcoming visit between India and the US has the potential to shape the political and technology landscape for the future, as India needs to effectively manage its relationship with China and partner with the US in order to contribute to global requirements and meet the aspirations of a young and demanding India.
  • China's influence and control over media platforms and institutions allowed them to manipulate the narrative surrounding the pandemic and silence criticism, while the rest of the Free World, including the US, EU, and India, suffered from negative media coverage.
  • China's actions were not done secretly, as they had publicly announced their intentions, while Western nations, including the US, were unaware and compromised, with even Biden facing pressure to view China as a friend, but China is not seeking partnerships or a G2, they are playing for dominance as a G1.
  • Chinese dominance in critical labs in India has led to an antagonistic attitude towards India, with China using various tactics such as protests and potential border conflicts, as they aim for a unipolar Asia while promoting multipolarity in the rest of the world.
  • India is the target for the Americans, and it is a good time to discuss the diverse nature of America.

10:06  The US recognizes the need to manage China's growing influence and sees India as a crucial part of a new partnership framework in the Indo-Pacific region, with the transatlantic partnership serving to change India's perception in the West.

  • The US has a strategic elite that is consistent in its thinking about the nation and its future, as seen in the continuity of American foreign policy between different administrations and parties.
  • The US recognized the need to manage China's growing influence in different regions, as they observed China's ambitions expanding beyond the Asia Pacific, with involvement in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Western Europe, leading to the realization that the current political arrangements established in 1945 are no longer sufficient for future management.
  • The Indo-Pacific region is a new political landscape that requires a modern partnership framework, and India is a crucial part of this new alliance.
  • The centrality of India in American strategic thinking has been consistent and strong, with the nuclear deal serving as an announcement of India's new role and the Americans being clear about their intentions.
  • The purpose of the transatlantic partnership was to put an end to India's sanctions and start afresh, as India had been seen as a shrinking violet in the global South.
  • India's perception in the West, particularly in the US, has changed from being seen as aligned with the Soviet block to being rebranded in a positive way by the US government for its own political and strategic interests.

17:18  India's transition to a more confident and vocal global player, fueled by advancements in technology, is hindered by past challenges but holds potential for development, while open societies must guard against disturbances in the digital age.

  • India's branding as a rising economy and technology superpower by the US in 2000 led to inflated expectations, but now India is reimagining its role in the world and becoming more confident and vocal.
  • In the past, access to basic necessities like food and household items was limited in India, but now with advancements in technology, people have access to services on their mobile phones that were once considered a privilege, highlighting the progress made in the country.
  • India's transition to a new role on the global stage was hindered by a lack of familiarity, a sense of solidarity with other nations, and a reluctance to break away from the group, but its growing economy, industry, and global relevance are now contributing to its development.
  • The speaker discusses the impact of the 1991 reforms in India, the continuity between the Manmohan Singh and Vajpayee eras, and the challenges faced during the second term of the UPA government.
  • The speaker discusses the consequences of the decline in India-U.S. relations between 2009 and 2014, highlighting how it allowed for the rise of China and the negative impact it had on India's geopolitical position.
  • In today's digital world, the proliferation of social media platforms and the ability to rapidly promote ideas has led to the potential for disturbances within countries, and open societies must recognize that their democracy and freedom of expression can be weaponized against them, necessitating the need to guard against and take action against such disturbances.

33:16  India and the US have a strong partnership driven by shared values and a desire to address global challenges, with both countries valuing diversity of opinions and the need to prevent online content from affecting real life.

  • Multiplicity of views is encouraged in think tanks, but there is concern about the polarization of thinking within institutions and a desire for a unified purpose-driven recruitment process.
  • India's diversity of views and protests against the Indian Prime Minister's visits in America are similar to the criticism and protests against America, and regardless of political parties in power, the India-U.S. partnership remains strong.
  • The speaker discusses the performative nature of politics and the need to call out prejudice and condescension, while also acknowledging the influence of individual influencers and the growth of content creation through digital media.
  • India's ability to have different opinions and celebrate diversity should not be lost, and there is a need for governments, communities, and citizens to get smarter in preventing online content from infecting real life.
  • The visit of Prime Minister Modi to the US signifies a significant and unique partnership between India and the US, driven by the convergence of their leaders' personalities and their determination to address global challenges such as climate change, technology, defense, and space.
  • The US is realizing that partnering with India means dealing with a country that has a strong sense of self, adheres to international law, and is not seen as an expensive actor seeking to reshape the political maps of the world, and India should not be concerned with the opinions of individuals that do not impact foreign policy.

56:06  The India-U.S. relationship is evolving with a focus on critical and emerging technologies, and it is crucial to have cautionary voices, trust, and long-term planning for successful cooperation.

  • The purpose of finding the largest prime number, as discovered by a mathematician during his PhD, is the discovery itself and not its impact on politics.
  • The new generation of voices and thinkers in charge today have a different assessment of the world and should be considered when thinking about the implications for the India-U.S. relationship.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of voices that provide cautionary messages and highlights the lack of connection between the commentariat and the actual transformation of the transatlantic partnership, stating that the current level of cooperation requires trust, longevity of planning, and the involvement of scientists, researchers, and industry.
  • The India-U.S. initiative on critical and emerging technologies is becoming an important pillar in the bilateral strategic partnership, with cooperation in areas such as AI, quantum computing, space exploration, semiconductors, and defense technology, and the American private sector is betting on India for various reasons.
  • India needs to be nimble and open to opportunities in the digital and services space, with a more agile bureaucratic class and institutions, in order to achieve success in the 21st century.
  • Visas between India and the US should be seen as a strategic bridge and essential for preserving the relationship, rather than just a distribution network, as it is the human bridge that allows for improbable and impossible things to happen.

01:04:54  India needs to attract global talent to develop its chip-making industry and become a major player, similar to how China has built its capabilities by attracting skilled individuals and encouraging the return of Chinese origin Americans and European talent.

  • India is already an integral part of the chip-making industry, and in the future, it will need to attract global talent to further develop its capabilities and become a major player in the sector.
  • China has been able to build up its capabilities and intellectual property by attracting skilled individuals from Western institutions and encouraging the return of Chinese origin Americans and European talent to work with them, including many Harvard and East Coast professors who advise on economic and trade policies.
  • India's growing economy will require global talent to help create jobs and solve challenges, leading to a more robust movement of human capital in both directions, and the Observer Research Foundation is a think tank that aims to demystify foreign policy and provide policy recommendations.
  • Observer Research Foundation's main objective is to provide policy ideas and frameworks for India to address various national objectives, such as job creation, economic growth, national security, digitalization, climate change, women empowerment, agrarian and food security, blue economy, urban planning, electricity and water, and legislative and democratic reforms, through research, engagement with communities and stakeholders, and dissemination of their findings.
  • The role of a think tank is to advise societies, governments, and the private sector on governance policies and regulations to ensure the equitable and empowering distribution of goods and services, while also fostering global communities and exchanging ideas across borders.
  • Positive disruptions can have both positive and negative consequences, and quantifying success in terms of policy change or research impact requires humility and consideration of the potential consequences.

01:16:41  The transatlantic partnership and emerging Indo-US partnership are working together to shape the region and serve their ambitions, despite discomfort from other countries, with a focus on diplomacy, outreach, and addressing global issues.

  • The speaker discusses the progress of the transatlantic partnership and the importance of the Quad, highlighting the increase in participation and engagement from foreign ministers and naval commanders.
  • The transatlantic partnership and the emerging Indo-US partnership are sending a message of comfort, coordination, and deeper relationship, despite the discomfort of other countries, in order to shape the region and serve their individual and collective ambitions.
  • The Shangri-La dialogue had American and Chinese defense ministers speaking on different days, with a handshake and a meeting between Mr. Blinken and his counterpart in Racina.
  • India's strength lies in its ability to bring the world together, as seen through the appreciation of its actions by Pakistani TV channels, despite the competitive nature of smaller countries in the neighborhood.
  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal have suspicions about India's growing partnership with the US, which may push them closer to China, and this reality has been present for a while.
  • We need to be prepared to respond to China while also engaging in diplomacy and outreach, and think tanks play a crucial role in research, leadership development, and addressing important global issues.

01:25:40  The Kigali initiative brings together Indian thinkers and leaders with people from around the world to build a community invested in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, as the India-U.S partnership aims to serve the next 6.5 to 7 billion people, including Africa.

  • Kigali is a refreshing place that offers hope, positivity, and optimism, making it a recharge for individuals who are used to experiencing other parts of the world.
  • Europeans attending a conference in Africa were surprised to find that the discussions did not revolve around Ukraine or gas prices, highlighting the different perspectives and priorities of the African continent.
  • The 21st century will be shaped by the engagement of India and other countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, and the Kigali initiative aims to bring together Indian thinkers and leaders with people from different parts of the world to build a community invested in these countries.
  • The India-U.S partnership aims to serve the next 6.5 to 7 billion people, in contrast to the previous partnership which served only the elites, and Africa is an important part of this partnership.

Key Insights

Shaping the political and technology landscape for the future

  • 🌟 The transatlantic partnership served the first billion people, and now the partnership between India and the US has the potential to serve the next seven billion people by shaping the political and technology landscape for the future.
  • 🌍 The transatlantic partnership served the 1st bn; Ind-US will serve next 7 bn.
  • 🌍 The Americans recognized the need to manage China's growing assertiveness and expanding ambitions beyond the Asia Pacific region.
  • 🌍 The Indo-Pacific region is a new political map that includes not only the Asia Pacific, but also the Indian Ocean, Africa, the Mediterranean, and southern Europe, highlighting the need for new partnerships and alliances.
  • 🌍 The nuclear deal with India was a significant step in announcing the new appreciation and positioning of India in the transatlantic partnership, with the actual nuclear trade happening with Europe.
  • 🌍 Defense and technology are the key areas of focus in the transatlantic partnership between India and the US, with implications for sectors such as climate, space, and digital technology.
  • 💼 The success of tech partnerships and transfers relies heavily on the involvement and support of the private sector, which has shown a strong interest in investing in India due to factors such as resilience, diversification from China, and risk mitigation.
  • 🌍 The India-U.S partnership is aimed at serving the next 6.5 to 7 billion people, emphasizing a global focus rather than just serving elites.

India's growing global relevance and role in the world

  • 🇮🇳 India has undergone a transformation in self-perception, with the younger generation being more confident, demanding, and clear about their country's role in the world, leading to a more vocal and confident India today.
  • 🌍 India's growing global relevance is not only due to its economic growth, but also its progress in science, technology, and defense.
  • 🌍 India is not seen as an expensive actor trying to reshape the political maps of the world, but rather as a country that adheres to international law and commitments, making it a more trustworthy partner than China.
  • 💼 India's growing engineering sector, with millions of Indians enrolling in engineering colleges, positions the country to become a deeply integrated part of the chip-making industry, potentially attracting global talent in the future.
  • 🌍 China's influence extends globally, as they have targeted Chinese origin individuals and non-Chinese talent from America, Europe, and Canada to work with them, shaping their economic and trade policies.
  • 💼 India aims to attract global talent to create jobs and become a job producer for the world as it strives to increase its GDP from five to ten and eventually twenty trillion dollars.

Strength and stability of the India-U.S. partnership

  • 💪 The India-U.S. partnership has remained bipartisan and unchanged throughout multiple administrations, highlighting its strength and stability.
  • 💡 The strategic elite in America, regardless of political differences, have a steadfast vision for the nation's future.
  • 🌍 The India-U.S. relationship should view visas as a strategic bridge between the two countries, connecting people and preserving the essence of the relationship.


Q1: Why is the India-US partnership crucial for shaping the future?

A1: The India-US partnership is considered crucial for shaping the future due to several reasons. Firstly, managing China and partnering with the US are key equations for India, especially given the challenge posed by China's economic and political power. By collaborating with the US, India aims to effectively navigate this challenge and counterbalance China's influence. Additionally, relying solely on western nations is seen as dangerous, as some of them have been compromised or apologetic towards China. In contrast, the India-US partnership is based on shared values and interests, with both countries seeking a future defined by cooperation and common objectives.

Q2: What were the factors that hindered India's growth and progress according to the discussion?

A2: According to the discussion, several factors hindered India's growth and progress in the past. One factor highlighted is political guilt and a reticent approach to change. It is mentioned that organizations were hesitant to move away from the status quo and the herd mentality. Additionally, there was a resurgence of left-leaning policies post-2009, which slowed progress and instilled guilt for wanting more for the country. These factors created inertia and limited India's ability to adapt to new realities and unleash its full potential.

Q3: Why is the partnership between India and the US on critical and emerging technologies important?

A3: The partnership between India and the US on critical and emerging technologies is of great significance for both countries. This collaboration is driven by an initiative that emphasizes cooperation in areas such as AI, quantum computing, space exploration, semiconductors, and defense technology. The involvement of the private sector is considered crucial in leveraging the opportunities presented by these technologies. By working together, India and the US can pool their resources, expertise, and innovation to accelerate advancements in these critical domains. This partnership is not only mutually beneficial but also vital for both countries to remain at the forefront of technological advancements.

Q4: How does the Quad grouping deepen relationships in the region?

A4: The Quad grouping, consisting of the US, India, Japan, and Australia, is expected to deepen relationships in the region through various means. The Quad's message is seen as clear and important, showcasing a degree of comfort and consonance among the four countries. India, in particular, plays a significant role in bringing the world together and strengthening the Quad's regional ties. The discussion also notes that even the Pakistani media appreciates India's efforts within the Quad more than its own media does. By promoting dialogue, cooperation, and coordination, the Quad aims to enhance regional stability, security, and prosperity, ultimately fostering deeper relationships among its member nations.

Note - This content is generated by AI, we believe it is accurate, but we don’t claim any liability of inaccuracies in the AI generated content.

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