By Karmendra Kohli , CEO & Director, SecurEyes
The United States and India have long recognised the significance of their strategic partnership, which has evolved over the years. Recently, the focus has shifted towards harnessing technology for mutual benefit and addressing the challenges posed by the ever-expanding digital landscape. Last week, the two nations took a significant step forward by signing a series of agreements, cementing their alliance as technology partners in the realm of digital defence, with a particular emphasis on cybersecurity collaboration. This development marks a crucial milestone in their relationship. It paves the way for increased cooperation in cutting-edge technological areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced telecommunications, and critical and emerging technologies.
Building Trust and Cybersecurity Collaboration
The signing of these agreements reflects the growing arecognition of the threats posed by cyber warfare and the importance of joint efforts to tackle them. Cybersecurity has emerged as a critical area of concern, with malicious actors exploiting vulnerabilities in digital systems to disrupt economies, steal sensitive information, and compromise national security. By embracing India as a technology partner, the United States is recognising the country’s capabilities and expertise in combating cyber threats.
India’s Rising Technological Prowess
India has made significant strides in technological advancements in recent years, boasting a robust IT sector, a burgeoning startup ecosystem, and a talented pool of tech professionals. This progress has positioned India as a global leader in several key areas, including AI, telecommunications, and emerging technologies. The United States acknowledges the potential that lies in collaborating with India to leverage these capabilities for mutual benefit.
Advancing Artificial Intelligence, Quantum, and Advanced Computing
The two countries have established a Joint Indo-US Quantum Coordination Mechanism to facilitate joint research between the public and private sectors across the two countries. They have also signed an implanting arrangement to support joint research on quantum, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced wireless technologies. Additionally, both nations signed an implanting arrangement to further support joint research on quantum, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced wireless technologies for commercialisation and encourage public-private collaborations to develop high-performance computing (HPC) facilities in India.
Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming industries and societies worldwide, presenting both opportunities and challenges. The partnership between the US and India aims to harness the power of AI to enhance cybersecurity capabilities. By pooling their resources and expertise, both countries can develop AI-driven solutions to detect and mitigate cyber threats, fortify critical infrastructure, and protect sensitive data. This collaboration not only strengthens the defence capabilities of both nations but also fosters innovation and economic growth.
India and the US have launched public-private Joint Task Forces on developing and deploying Open RAN systems and on advanced telecoms research and development. India’s Bharat 6G and the US Next G Alliance will co-lead this public-private research. This work will reduce costs, increase security, and improve the resiliency of telecommunication networks.
The telecom sector is at the forefront of digital transformation and is instrumental in facilitating secure communication networks. Recognising the significance of advanced telecommunications, the US and India are committed to joint research and development efforts, knowledge sharing, and the establishment of best practices. By collaborating on cutting-edge technologies such as 5G and beyond, both countries can enhance the security and resilience of their respective telecom networks. This collaboration will not only benefit their defence capabilities but also promote economic growth and enable the adoption of emerging technologies.
Embracing Critical and Emerging Technologies
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced 35 joint research collaborations with India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and signed a new cooperative arrangement with India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on emerging technologies. Furthermore, NSF and India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will bring fresh funding for joint projects in applied research areas such as semiconductors, next-generation communication, cyber security, sustainability and green technologies and intelligent transportation systems.
The partnership between the US and India extends beyond AI and telecommunications. The two nations are also focusing on critical and emerging technologies that have the potential to shape the future. These technologies, including quantum computing, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), offer immense possibilities but also introduce new vulnerabilities. By collaborating on research, development, and standardisation in these areas, the US and India can jointly address the security challenges associated with these technologies while unlocking their transformative potential.
Tech Deals: Elevating Cybersecurity Collaboration
The Critical and Emerging Technology initiative (iCET) with India allows the US to partner with a country looking to compete with China’s technological advances. The US is also determined to remain a global leader in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 6G. With its burgeoning expertise in information technology, India has the potential to surpass the United States in areas such as data analytics, advanced computing, and cybersecurity.
The significance of cybersecurity has taken centre stage in the Indo-US tech deals, as both countries recognise its crucial role in fostering digital ties. With robust expertise in cybersecurity, both nations are emphasising its importance across various domains through this partnership. Cutting-edge research in cybersecurity will be underscored, opening up abundant opportunities for the IT sector. This impetus will enable cybersecurity professionals and organisations to contribute to this domain actively.
While not explicitly mentioned, cybersecurity serves as the foundation for any digital technology, especially in a highly connected and innovative partnership like the “innovation handshake” initiative. It underscores every interaction in the tech landscape between the two countries. Moreover, cybersecurity and privacy requirements must be considered to ensure smooth collaboration. From tech design to implementation, cybersecurity is the cornerstone of hi-tech deals.
The signing of agreements between the United States and India in cutting-edge technological areas marks a significant step forward in their strategic partnership. By embracing India as a technology partner for digital defence, with a particular emphasis on cybersecurity collaboration, both nations recognise the urgent need to address the evolving threats in the digital landscape. The partnership seeks to leverage India’s technological prowess in areas such as AI, advanced telecommunications, and critical and emerging technologies to enhance cybersecurity capabilities and foster innovation. This collaboration not only strengthens the defence capabilities of both nations but also promotes economic growth and reinforces the shared commitment to a secure digital future. As the digital realm continues to evolve, the US-India alliance sets an example for other nations, emphasising the importance of collaboration and mutual trust in safeguarding cyberspace. Truly, this is a transformational moment in the US-India Digital Defence Partnership; implicitly, a new cybersecurity cooperation era has just taken off.