As an effort to increase partnership for the Digital India program, India and the U.S have signed a Joint Declaration of Intent for cooperation in the field of Information & Communications Technology and Electronics (ICTE).
The Joint Declaration was signed by the Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT RS Sharma, and the US Ambassador to India Richard Verma, in New Delhi.
The announcement, which coincides with Obama’s visit in India, would further strengthen the cooperation between industries of both the countries in the sector.
The Joint Declaration, for a period of next five years, will focus on strengthening industrial, technological, research and innovation and economic cooperation between India and U.S. in the ICTE sector.
The joint effort would also lead to US companies exploring opportunities for collaboration in India’s ambitious Digital India program, Electronics manufacturing and Human Resource Development, through cooperation among private and public entities in a focused manner under the umbrella of the ongoing India-US ICT Dialogue.
The agreement also follows the Indo-US Joint working Group meeting on ICT held at Washington last week. At this meeting several U.S companies expressed their interests for participation in India.
The Joint Working Group then also agreed on exploring opportunities for collaboration on Digital India initiative, with the goal of enhancing digital infrastructure, deploying e-governance and e-services, and expanding the diffusion and use of ICT as a tool to expand economic opportunities, boost productivity, create jobs, and empower citizens.
Besides, broad agreement was also reached on the importance of policies that promote innovation in the ICT sector, facilitate the flow of data across borders, and foster the global and open nature of the Internet as a platform for economic growth.
R S Sharma also highlighted that VISA issue relating to Indian IT professionals should be treated as an issue relating to trade in services and not as an immigration issue.