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India, U.S. Framework for initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET)

  • Published
    28th Sep, 2023

India and the United States are working together on advanced technology collaboration, aiming to address regulatory barriers and align export controls for mutual benefits.

  • India and United States (US) first announced the framework on the sidelines of the Quad meeting in Tokyo in May 2022.
  • It was launched to strengthen their strategic partnership and drive technology and defense cooperation.

What is iCET?

  • The Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies is a framework agreed upon by India and the U.S. for cooperation on critical and emerging technologies in areas including Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, semiconductors and wireless telecommunication.
  • The United States and India affirm that the ways in which technology is designed, developed, governed, and used should be shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights.
  • Both the countries are committed to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual trust and confidence that will reinforce our democratic values and democratic institutions.

Key Points of the framework:

  • The iCET seeks to build supply chains and support the co-production and co-development of items.
  • Both countries agreed to include setting up a research agency partnership to drive collaboration in areas like AI.
  • They will also aim to develop a new defence industrial cooperation roadmap to accelerate technological cooperation for joint development and production;
  • Other takeways are:
    • Developing common standards in AI;
    • developing a roadmap to accelerate defence technological cooperation and ‘innovation bridge’ to connect defence startups;
    • Supporting the development of a semiconductor ecosystem; strengthening cooperation on human spaceflight;
    • Advancing cooperation on development in 5G and 6G; and
    • Adopting OpenRAN network technology in India.

Progress done so far on lines of the framework

  • The Semiconductor policy: India and the U.S. signed a MoU on establishing a semiconductor supply chain that paved the way for creating a semiconductor sub-committee to review recommendations from an industry-led task force launched in connection with the iCET.
  • Quantum Coordination Mechanism: Both the counties has already launched a public-private dialogue (PDD) on telecommunication to drive collaboration in OpenRAN, 5G and 6G, and held important exchanges on AI and space.
  • On the defence front, the two countries are close to concluding a mega jet engine deal.
  • India-U.S. Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X):
    • India and the U.S. have concluded a roadmap for ‘Defence Industrial Cooperation’ to guide the policy direction for the next few years.
    • The two countries have also established a Strategic Trade Dialogue to remove regulatory “barriers” and review existing export control norms to take forward strategic technology and trade collaborations envisaged under iCET.

India’s Efforts:

Initiatives by MeitY in Emerging Technologies;

  • Artificial Intelligence Committees Reports
  • Centres of Excellence for Internet of Things (Gandhinagar, Bengaluru, Gurugram & Vizag)
  • Centre of Excellence on Virtual & Augmented Reality (VARCoE) at IIT Bhubaneswar
  • Centre of Excellence on Gaming, VFX, Computer Vision & AI at Hyderabad
  • Centre of Excellence on Blockchain Technology at Gurugram
  • Design, Development, and Deployment of National AI Portal (INDIAai)
  • POC for AI Research Analytics and Knowledge Dissemination Platform (AIRAWAT)
  • Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence
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