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Human element key driver of India-US relations, says Jaishankar

According to Jaishankar, policymakers in both countries are sharply aware of the immense difference that our educational collaboration can make.


Washington: The India-US relationship has undergone a "real transformation" in the last two decades and a key driver of this partnership has been its human element, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

"The (India-US) relationship has undergone a real transformation in the last two decades. Whether it is our strategic and security cooperation or our economic or technology partnerships, it is making its weight increasingly felt in world affairs," Jaishankar said in his interaction with students of the Howard University here.

"A key driver of this change has been its human element. The 4.4 million Indian diaspora has literally defined our image in this society and helped forge relationships that are an enormous source of strength for us in our work," he said, making a joint appearance with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a day after the India-US 2+2 Ministerial.

"At its centre (are) our students, academics, researchers, and professionals who have contributed to America's progress even as they remain the bridge between our two societies. For our ties to grow, it is equally necessary that there is a better understanding of India and the world on the part of young Americans," he said.

"Your appreciation of a civilizational state and a democratic and a fellow democratic polity that is daily overcoming enormous odds is essential. After all, we are natural partners only when our people have a strong sense of connect," he told the students.

"And that is why Secretary Blinken, and I were especially pleased yesterday to launch the Working Group on Education and Skill Development that he spoke about. It will enable us to explore a range of opportunities that exist in the field of education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship," he said.

According to Jaishankar, policymakers in both countries are sharply aware of the immense difference that our educational collaboration can make. On the Indian side the 2020 National Education Policy contemplates, indeed prioritizes international cooperation in education. "At the American end, we recognize the renewed focus on the STEM sector including in activities which we are both part of the Quad," he noted.

In his remarks, Blinken said that the US-India strategic partnership, he is convinced, is absolutely crucial and essential for addressing the problems of the 21st century.

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