India and the US have agreed to hold a dialogue on artificial intelligence to harness opportunities for joint innovation and cooperation in new domains, the two countries announced after the 2+2 ministerial.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin hosted the fourth 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar.
The Dialogue was preceded by a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden.
“They decided to hold an inaugural AI Dialogue this year to harness opportunities for joint innovation and cooperation in new domains,” according to a joint statement issued by India and the US after the 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Monday.
They also discussed additional training opportunities for the respective militaries, and the United States welcomed enhanced Indian participation in advanced courses across these emerging domains.
During the meeting, the Ministers acknowledged the importance of deepening collaboration in science and technology in the US-India Joint Technical Group (JTG), and in evolving new defence domains, including space, artificial intelligence (AI), and cyber.
They underscored the importance of cooperation in space and welcomed plans to conduct an inaugural Defence Space Dialogue in 2022. They welcomed the second Defence Cyber Dialogue held in 2021 and look forward to the next round this year, said the joint statement.
Recognising the importance of building robust private industry collaboration, the four leaders welcomed ongoing projects under the auspices of the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), including a project agreement to co-develop Air-Launched UAVs.
They called on both sides to consider additional DTTI projects, such as a counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS) system and an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) platform, said the joint statement.
Seeking trusted and resilient defence supply chains, the Ministers welcomed the progress made towards implementation of the Industrial Security Agreement to facilitate collaboration on cutting edge defence technologies between industries.
As such, both sides would explore and further promote the means to encourage reciprocal participation of U.S. and Indian vendors in each other’s defence supply chains, it said.
Acknowledging India’s focus on developing its domestic capabilities and helping to ensure reliable defence supplies, they committed to work closely across their respective governments on co-production, co-development, cooperative testing of advanced systems, investment promotion, and the development of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in India.
“To further enhance defense industrial cooperation in the naval sector, both sides agreed to explore possibilities of utilizing the Indian shipyards for repair and maintenance of ships of the US Maritime Sealift Command (MSC) to support mid-voyage repair of US Naval ships,” the joint statement said.(With PTI inputs)