Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies hosts US-India Partnership Summit on Capitol Hill

Indian American delegates pose for a picture on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on June 13, 2024. PHOTO: FIIDS

Director of National Science Foundation (NSF) Sethuraman Panchanthan, will be joining a delegation led by US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan to India next week for the review of US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).

At a recent meeting on Capitol Hill, Panchanthan emphasized the significant advancements achieved by both nations through this initiative while highlighting that the ongoing partnership will greatly benefit the citizens of both countries.

Panchanathan was speaking at the US-India Partnership Summit organized by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) on Capitol Hill on June 13, 2024, where Congressional leaders Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Shri Thanedar, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Dr. Rich McCormick, President & CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Mukesh Aghi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Indian Embassy, Sripriya Ranganathan, President of US-India Business Council, Atul Keshap, Dr. Bharat Barai from Illinois, Congressional candidate from Virginia’s 10th district, Krystle Kaul and others spoke about the ongoing partnership between both nations.

Sethuraman Panchanathan addressing the gathering on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on June 13, 2024. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Panchanthan told News India Times, “We are thrilled to be able to continue with our partnership with India on iCET. I think this presents a tremendous opportunity for India and the United States [that] are already partnering on so many fronts on focused partnering around science, technology, innovation. This will advance opportunities and innovation in both our nations for the benefit of the citizens of both our countries. I think this is a great platform. And I look forward to working with our Indian partners in continuing to expand the partnership.”

Chief of Policy and Strategy, FIIDS, Khanderao Kand spoke about the policy impact FIIDS is having especially in US-India relations, Indo-pacific trade and security, Tech immigration, and against Hinduphobia. He said FIIDS is also conducting a voter campaign to encourage the Hindu American community to vote in the upcoming general elections on November 4th in the United States. FIIDS gathered a diverse group of over 100 Indian American delegates from across the country on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional leaders and advocate for key issues affecting the community.

Keshap, noted that during his tenure at the US Embassy in India, he worked with a small team primarily to facilitate a stronger US-India Economic and Technological relationship. He further added that the private sector plays a crucial role as a key partner alongside the two governments in enhancing cooperation.

Ranganathan quoted Deputy Secretary of State, Kurt Campbell from an event where he described the Indian elections as the “most successful democratic experiment and demonstration in modern history.” She went on to say that Campbell also said “the India-US relationship has never been as close as it has been today” while adding that “I would say that this is a sentiment that we absolutely echo in India. We see this relationship as being an extremely important partnership…”

Aghi stated that the 642 million voters in India have demonstrated that democracy prevails, countering the perception that India is becoming less democratic or moving towards autocratic leadership. He compared the cultural diversity of the two nations, saying that while US is a melting pot, India is like a salad bowl, where everyone preserves their distinct culture, language and religion. He said the relationship between the two countries can be redefined in terms of geopolitical, economic, and through people-to-people ties.

Dr. Barai congratulated Prime Minister Modi on winning his third term and extended his appreciation to the people of India on the recently concluded elections. However, he cautioned Indian students participating in the Israel-Gaza protests to maintain peaceful conduct and to avoid getting involved in violent activities in US universities.

Khanna said he was happy to witness the growing interest of Indian Americans in visiting Washington DC while commending their participation in the policy making process. He said the India Caucus “probably the largest country caucus” is very active and has grown to over 150 members and is supporting matters critical for US-India relations.

Thanedar expressed his pride in the achievements of the Indian American community across various fields and praised their increasing involvement, passion, and activism in the political arena. He noted that while progress in this area has been slower than desired, he is now witnessing the Indian American community strengthening its political influence.

While commending the leadership of FIIDS, Krishnamoorthi said, “What you’re doing is you’re bringing the whole diaspora concerns to us, not your own concern. You’re talking about the community. And there’s nothing more important than talking about our whole society and our community.”

Meuser recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit last year where he spoke about the advancements taking place within India, the diversity of India and the great alliance and cooperation with the United States of America.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Nancy Jackson noted Secretary of State Antony Blinken often calls US-India relationship the “most consequential” and maintained that events like this summit “demonstrate that the US India partnership continues to enjoy very strong bipartisan support in both countries and the Indian diaspora community’s passion for and commitment to this relationship has contributed greatly to its investment.”

Kaul stated that the “US-India relationship is the most critical relationship of this century” while emphasizing the necessity for addressing the Green Card and H1B backlog and implementing tech immigration reform in the country. Kaul mentioned that these issues inspired her to run for the public office.



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