India partnership at heart of 21st century vision: US official

October 13th, 2011 - 10:44 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 13 (IANS) America’s vision of a secure, stable, prosperous 21st century world has at its heart a strong partnership with a rising India, according to a senior US official.

“The question is not whether we will have a strategic partnership, but whether we are doing as much as we possibly can to ensure that we realise its full promise,” Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said Wednesday ahead of the first US-India Higher Education Summit.

Over 300 higher education leaders, government and private sector representatives are participating in the day long education summit co-chaired by India’s Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Few questions will matter more in the new century unfolding before us,” Burns said asking American business and education leaders to seek out new avenues for cooperation with India, including community college, distance learning, and new technologies in education, at the summit.

“This will be good for our students, good for our societies, good for our economies, and good for the world,” he said at an opening reception hosted by US-India Business Council (USIBC), a premier advocacy group representing about 400 top US companies doing business with India.

“We have high expectations for this relationship in the years ahead,” Burns said asserting that “India and America-two leaderships and two peoples with so many converging interests and common concerns-can help shape a more secure, stable, and just global system.”

The official said he was confident that India can make a decisive contribution to building what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called “the global architecture of cooperation,” to solve problems that no one country can solve on its own.”

“The truth is that we have crossed a threshold in our relations where-for both of us, for the first time-our success at home and abroad depends on our cooperation,” he said.

“As the world becomes ever-more competitive, the knowledge partnership between the United States and India will become central to assuring that American as well as Indian companies remain globally competitive,” USIBC President Ron Somers said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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