- Our Mission in India processed over 1 million visa applications. We process more H-1B and L employment visas than other country, with Indians receiving 69% of all H visas and 30% all L visas issued worldwide.
- Last year saw record growth in the number of Indians studying in the United States. More than 130,000 Indian students were in the U.S. in the 2014/2015 academic year – a 29% increase over the previous year.
- US and India Partner for Global Development: The US and India have partnered to deliver intensive training in India on extension and marketing to participants from Kenya, Liberia and Malawi. In 2016, we will expand this “triangular” collaboration beyond agriculture to health and women’s empowerment, and to additional countries in both Africa and Asia.
- A TB-Free India: USAID is supporting India’s Call to Action Toward a TB-Free India, a full-scale campaign to engage health care providers, corporate partners, media, celebrities, academia, and patients to end TB in India. Soon USAID will launch a major new initiative to focus on preventing and treating TB in India’s largest cities.
- Clean Energy: USAID and the government of India have launched the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Deployment, designed to help prepare India’s power systems for the large-scale integration of renewable energy.
- Senior-Level Agriculture Discussions: In 2015, the USDA and Indian Ministry of Agriculture leadership reengaged at the senior political level after a nearly five-year hiatus. Both sides committed to develop a new Memorandum of Understanding.
- Agro-Science Collaboration: Our two governments established a Working Group on Agriculture under the Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology. USDA and the Ministry of Science and Technology are currently developing collaborative research opportunities to reduce post-harvest loss and food waste, protecting and utilizing genetic resources, and promoting climate smart agriculture.
- In November, we celebrated the signing of a landmark contract between General Electric and the Ministry of Railways, estimated at two and half billion dollars, to manufacture 1,000 next-generation locomotives in Bihar.
- In September, Boeing and the Indian Defense Ministry finalized a $3.3 billion deal for Apache and Chinook helicopters that will enhance the Indian Air Force’s capabilities and support over 15,000 American jobs and Indian manufacturing with plans to make Apache parts in India.
- Our engagements in support of the Government of India’s Smart Cities program took a leap forward this year, such that we now have active programs in all three states for which we have been invited to play a leading role. We engaged our US companies under an Infrastructure/Smart City consortium to assist with ground-level needs assessments and master planning.
- We also amplified our inward investment promotion program this past year by leading the second largest foreign delegation to Washington for the annual SelectUSA Summit.
- The U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Government of India hosted the 5th U.S.-India Aviation Summit from November 3-5, 2015, in Bangalore, India. The summit built on successful collaboration under the U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP) by offering high-level government and business aviation leaders the opportunity to set bilateral priorities, identify new high-technology cooperation areas, and build a larger commercial engagement agenda.
Environment, Science and Technology
- Paris Agreement to Combat Climate Change: The United States and India played a leadership role in achieving an ambitious, long-term, durable global framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement commits all countries to submit progressively ambitious, nationally determined climate targets and report on the progress toward them using a rigorous, standardized process of review.
- Mission Innovation: President Obama and Prime Minister Modi were joined by other world leaders to launch Mission Innovation, a landmark commitment to accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation, and dramatically expand the new technologies that will define a clean, affordable, and reliable global power mix. A coalition of 28 global investors led by Bill Gates committed to supporting early-stage breakthrough energy technologies in countries that have joined Mission Innovation.
- Civil Space Cooperation: Representatives from NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) agreed to convene the Mars Working Group and to extend the existing agreement for NASA’s support for ISRO’s Mars Orbital Mission.
- Internet Governance: This year, we were pleased to have India join other like-minded democratic nations in supporting the multistakeholder model of internet governance – a model that takes all stakeholder concerns into account and helps ensure a free and open internet.
- Re-Energized U.S.-India Cyber Consultations: Our cyber engagement highlights the strategic nature of our relationship and cover digital development, internet governance, cybercrime, cybersecurity, and international cyber codes of conduct.
- Information Communications Technology (ICT) Working Group (ICTWG): The United States and India conducted an ICT dialogue that addresses important technology, commercial, and national security issues related to telecoms and information technology.
- U.S.-India Transportation Partnership: In April 2015, the U.S. Department of
Transportation and the Indian Ministry of Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping established the U.S.-India Transportation Partnership. the Transportation Partnership guides collaboration across a broad range of transport topics including the transport elements of Smart Cities, Intelligent Transportation Systems, best practices for planning and funding transportation infrastructure projects, regional connectivity, and other areas of mutual interest.
- 2015 Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship. The new Defense Framework Agreement is a renewal of the 2005 agreement and reiterates our commitment to building a strong partnership through defense dialogue, military-to-military interactions and exercises, intelligence exchanges, and increased opportunities in defense technology collaboration.
- Major Army, Navy, and Special Operations Forces Exercises in 2015 and Commitments to 2016. These included Exercises YUDH ABHYAS, MALABAR, and TEAK IROQUOIS in 2015 with the latter being the first-ever US military engagement with India’s National Security Guard (NSG). Commitments to Exercises VAJRA PRAHAR, RED FLAG, MALABAR, RIMPAC, and YUDH ABHYAS in 2016.
- Key Senior Leader Engagements, highlighted by landmark counterpart visits by US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to India and Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar to the US. Other significant engagements included the Defence Policy Group and all its subgroups, and visits by ACM Arup Raha, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar to the US. There were also seven USD, ASD, or 4-Star GO/FO visits to India.