New Delhi– The US and India can jointly make a difference in the lives of ordinary people, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Tuesday.
“Our work together is improving the lives of ordinary people everywhere,” he said while delivering a talk on ‘US-India Relations’ with a focus on education at the Jamia Millia Islamia here.
Verma said the two countries can also help overcome the shared challenges faced by their citizens and people around the world.
Noting the 21st century is increasingly defined by a new security paradigm, which includes terrorism and asymmetrical warfare, cyber threats, environmental degradation, climate change, pandemic diseases, resource scarcity and other non-conventional challenges, he stressed that “like-minded partners must come together and leverage all the elements of our national powers in order to overcome these challenges”.
The US Ambassador said strains to the international order, compounded by globalisation and economic inequality, are also bringing to the fore voices who seek to exploit fears and build barriers to cooperation.
“We see this in many parts of the world, with growing pockets of intolerance and anti-immigrant sentiments. This includes instances of unacceptable rhetoric against the Muslims, including in the United States, and particularly during this Presidential campaign season,” Verma added.
About the US-India education linkages, he said the number of Indian students studying in the US reached 132,000, the highest number ever.
“We would like these numbers to grow even higher. We have Education USA advisory centres in seven cities across India, which are assisting students in accessing higher education opportunities through virtual and in-person outreach sessions and one-to-one consultations,” he added.
He said that it was important that partnership of the two nations have a practical impact on the ground.
“Twice in the last 12 months, the US and India have come together to combat global climate change, first at the Paris Agreement in December and last month at the Kigali Conference on hydroflurocarbons,” he said, adding that it is the “global leadership” in action.
Verma also noted that 18 countries, across Africa and Asia, working with the US and India to advance global development in areas like agriculture, nutrition, health, clean energy, women’s empowerment, education, and sanitation.
“We’re also working to build security capacity in Africa. Earlier this year, the US and India launched a new joint training programme for United Nations peacekeepers from Africa. The first batch of nearly three dozen African troops completed their training in August,” he added.
He also said that space remains “most exciting areas of cooperation” between the two nations.
NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation are working together to develop an advanced satellite that will observe and measure some of the planet’s most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards, he added.