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India US Relation UPSC NOTE


  • The India-US relationship has grown significantly since the  25 years ago when the US imposed sanctions on India after its nuclear weapons tests in 1998.

  • The relationship has been built by five American Presidents and three Indian Prime Ministers over the past two decades.

  • Different leaders focused on various aspects of diplomacy, such as summit-level diplomacy, nuclear diplomacy, trade, and military diplomacy.

  • Prime Minister Modi's recent visit to Washington led to advancements in technology diplomacy, including a promise of technology transfer for fighter jet engines.

  • India has seen the growth of ties as an opportunity to move past historical hesitations and Cold War-era policies towards the US.

  • The US has made exceptions specifically for India, indicating a shift from "American exceptionalism" to "American exception-ism for India."

  • The civil nuclear deal played a significant role in this relationship, with waivers and exemptions being granted to India despite it not being a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • The US has also made exceptions for India in regulations related to Russia, such as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

  • India has been exempted from certain sanctions despite its ties with US adversaries like Russia and Iran.

  • The US has also granted exemptions to India under the International Religious Freedom Act.

  • The exceptions have been made without India accepting conditionalities or cutting ties with its adversaries.

  • Challenges to the relationship lie in the exceptions made for India, which can be reversed at any time, and the one-directional nature of the relationship in terms of investment and technology transfer.

  • The future growth of US-India ties will require a change in the rules and a transformation into a relationship between partners with mutual respect for strategic autonomy.

why the US is giving exceptional status to India:

  • Promise of ties: The US recognizes India as the world's most populous democracy and sees potential in fostering strong ties with India due to its history as an inclusive and pluralistic nation.

  • Economic and military opportunities: India's market size and status as a significant buyer of military equipment make it an attractive partner for the US. 

  • The US aims to benefit from economic collaborations and strengthen bilateral trade with India.

  • Geopolitical considerations: India's strategic location in Asia, along with its border disputes with China, presents an opportunity for the US to establish a reliable partner in countering Chinese influence in the region.

  • Indian-American diaspora: The Indian-American community is successful, law-abiding, and prosperous. 

  • This diaspora has become a strong advocate for closer India-US ties and has influenced the perception of India as an important partner.


  • One-directional nature of the relationship: While the US has provided exceptions and waivers for India, the relationship remains largely one-directional

  • with India relying on the US for investments, technology transfer, and hardware procurement. 

  • Achieving a more balanced and reciprocal relationship is a challenge that needs to be addressed.

  • Case-by-case basis: Advancements in areas such as high-tech co-production, clean energy transitions, semiconductor technology, and artificial intelligence are likely to proceed on a case-by-case basis, with no predictable timeline. 

  • Cooperation in these areas will depend on specific circumstances and agreements.

  • Geopolitical context: The desire to counter China and contain Russia has influenced the US-India relationship. 

  • However, this geopolitical construct is primarily an American perspective and may not fully align with India's priorities and foreign policy approach.

Cooperation on Technology Dominates India-U.S. State Visit

  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's U.S. state visit, technology cooperation emerged as a key topic.

  • Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra highlights substantial outcomes from the discussions.

  • U.S. tech companies express concerns about policy hurdles in digital trade with India

Mechi River



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India US Relation UPSC NOTE
India US Relation UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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