National Security Advisors of India, US to explore ICET meet before Lok Sabha polls

India and the US are planning to hold a meeting between their National Security Advisors (NSAs) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to review the Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).

Noteworthy, US NSA Jake Sullivan, who was earlier scheduled to visit India for the Raisina Dialogue and meet his counterpart Ajit Doval on the sidelines for the iCET review, had to postpone his trip to handle the volatile situation in West Asia.

Both sides are now exploring dates for Sullivan’s visit to hold a review meeting of the iCET, ET has learnt.

ET has also learnt that the Quad members are exploring the possibility of organising a physical summit in India at the end of this year following the US elections.

It is India’s turn to host the Quad Summit this year and it had proposed to host it in January.

However, US President Joe Biden’s schedule did not permit to participate either as the chief guest on Republic Day or for the Quad Summit.

The four sides – Australia, Japan, the US and India – are now exploring if the Quad Summit could be organised in the weeks after the presidential polls.

Last Saturday, addressing a ‘Quad Think Tank Forum’ session on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue, external affairs minister S Jaishankar stated that the coming together of India, the US, Australia and Japan as part of the Quad serves to illustrate the growth of a multipolar order and advance a post-Cold War thinking against “spheres of influence”.

It also expresses the democratising of global space and a collaborative, not unilateral, approach, and “is a statement that in this day and age, others cannot have a veto on our choices”, Jaishankar said.

Last December, deputy NSAs from the US and India held a review of the iCET and agreed to broaden the scope of the initiative to biotechnology, critical minerals and rare earth processing technologies, digital connectivity and digital public infrastructure, and advanced materials. J

onathan Finer, US’ principal deputy NSA, had held consultations with Vikram Misri, India’s deputy NSA, and affirmed the importance of easing regulations to facilitate high-tech collaborations and transfer of technology.

The two deputy NSAs at that meeting took stock of the progress made in building technology value chains under the iCET and expressed satisfaction with ongoing collaborations in diverse domains, including semiconductors, quantum, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing, defence innovation, space and advanced telecommunications through interactions between the respective governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders, officials said.

Their discussions had served to highlight the immense potential to tap synergies between the domestic initiatives and boost the competitiveness of industry in both countries.