March 30, 2010
Mr. Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology visited the US from 24-30 March, 2010. Besides Washington DC, the Minister also visited New York and Philadelphia.
2. During his stay in In Washington DC from March 28-30, the Minister met with senior officials in the White House and in the US Department of Commerce to exchange ideas on how to take the India-US economic and technological collaboration to the next level, including through fostering joint innovation with broad-based benefits. Some potential areas that came up in discussions were healthcare and skill formation. In the meetings, the Minister highlighted the mutual advantages of establishing close India-US collaboration in the area of cyber security, in particular against cyber terrorism. He also emphasized the need for bilateral initiatives to be specific, result-oriented and time-bound. Among the officials who called on him were the newly appointed Under Secretary for International Trade Administration, Mr. Francisco Sanchez, Mr. Aneesh Chopra, Federal Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Vivek Kundra, Frederal Chief Information Officer and Mr. Alec Ross, Senior Adviser for Innovation to the US Secretary of State.
3. In New York as well as in Washington DC, the Minister met with senior executives from a number of US and Indian companies to discuss the potential for further collaboration between India and the US in the field of technology, particularly with regard to using Communications and Information Technology to promote inclusive growth.
4. On March 30, the Minister addressed a round table organized by the US India Business Council (USIBC), which was attended by representatives of over 100 companies that are already doing business with India and are keen to strengthen their relationship. Earlier in the day, the Minister interacted with the Minister interacted with the members of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest Association in the US representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector.
5. At both forums, the Minister described the opportunities that India presented in the field of Communications and Information Technology, not only for services but also in manufacturing. He spoke about the commitment of the government to use information technology as a platform for providing access to services to those who had not benefitted so far. To meet this objective, the government was working on providing broad band connectivity even to the remote villages within a short time frame so that rural populations could have access to healthcare, education and other services. He also told the gathering about the progress on e-governance and future plans to expand its coverage and scope.
6. On March 29, the Minister spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Study (CSIS) on the subject of "India and the US : Partners in a Tech-driven World". He talked about the determination of the Government of India to use technology to serve the masses and described some of the key initiatives that had been undertaken to make healthcare accessible and affordable in remote rural areas and to use mobile telephony for financial inclusiveness.
7. In all the interactions, the Minister emphasized the mutually beneficial nature of the bilateral economic relationship, pointing to the broadly balanced trade in services, the fast rate of growth of US exports to India and the rapid growth in Indian investments flowing into the United States.He said that the two governments should work to provide an enabling environment in which goods, services and persons can move freely to utilize emerging opportunities from which both sides stand to gain.
8. In New York, on March 25, he addressed a Press conference at the Consulate General of India. On March 26, he interacted with the membership of South Asian Business Association at STERN, New York University.
9. He also visited Philadelphia on March 27 and gave the keynote address at the annual Wharton India Economic Forum meeting organized by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.