WASHINGTON: India, Israel and the United States have begun collaboration in developmental area, and in next generation of emerging technologies, including a transparent, open, reliable and secure 5G communication network, a top official has said.
The branching out of this trilateral initiative in development and technological arena is a result of the people-to-people collaboration, in particular those by the Indian diaspora in the US and Israel, that was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his historic visit to Israel three years ago in July 2017, community leaders said.
A collaboration in 5G is a just tip of the iceberg and a first step, according to US Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick.
"Because we'll collaborate in science and research and development in coming up with the next generations of technologies, things that the likes of you and the rest of us on the phone can't even imagine what they might be.
But by partnering by officially, affirming the importance of this relationship, we'll advance it," Glick told PTI in an interview after the US-India-Israel forum featuring discussions on strategic, tech and development/water cooperation held last week.
"We are thrilled to work with these partners to solve the world's development challenges," she said in her keynote address to the virtual US-India-Israel summit that focused on trilateral partnerships in the strategic, technology and development arenas.
The summit was also addressed by Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka and his counterpart Sanjeev Singla.
"One area we've been cooperating on is digital leadership and innovation, particularly in next-generation 5G technology," Glick said.
"In July, I chaired a roundtable discussion with several like-minded donors on 5G and digital development.
To me, it was extremely important that India and Israel be part of that conversation. And the discussion was richer because of their contributions," she said.
Silicon Valley, Bangaluru and Tel Aviv have all earned reputations as leading, innovative technology hubs, and rightfully so, according to Glick.
"So it's only right that our three nations play a key role in delivering the promise of 5G in a way that is open, interoperable, reliable, and secure," she stressed.
"We cannot allow any nation to dominate this technology or use it to dominate other nations." When Israel, the US and India collaborate in defence, much of that collaboration and discussion is done in closed rooms, because the topics are highly sensitive, the official said.
"When we're talking about development cooperation, we're talking about transparent and open activities that can make all three countries extremely proud about the way that they impact the lives of people all over the world," Glick told PTI.
Javier Piedra, deputy assistant administrator of the Bureau for Asia at USAID, said that in the case of India and Israel, they had a "peer-to-peer relationship", always looking to see how they might advance their respective activities cooperatively so that they might leverage common goals, resources, and comparative advantages in pursuit of self-reliance globally.
"Moreover, we continue to set the stage to further international development trilaterally, wherever possible," he said.
"Our partnerships with Israel and India, given our peer-to-peer relationship, exemplifies the importance of working together on issues related to water, water management and security," Piedra told PTI.
M R Rangaswami from Indiaspora, who presented the tech-triangle (Silicon Valley-Tel Aviv and Bangalore) concept to Modi in Israel in 2017, said the beauty of this model was because technology was a commonality in the three things, all kinds of "incredible things" had come out of it.
Dr Bharat Barai, an Indian-American from Chicago, said the people-to-people relationship, business, science and technology among the three countries would not only strengthen the ties, but also help in developmental activities in the third-world countries.
Nissim Reuben, assistant director, Asia Pacific Institute (API) at the American Jewish Committee, said a strong, prosperous, vibrant and resilient Indian economy was a top priority for many countries, especially the US and Israel.
To achieve that goal, India needs to continuously update its agro, water & wastewater management techniques, an area where Mashav Development Agency of Israel could play a key role with support of the USAID.
AJC, Indiaspora, GIJRI & the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) will jointly advocate for this expansion of this US-Israel-India developmental partnership, he said.
"We hope to be able to advocate the setting up of US-Israeli joint centres of excellence in health in India similar to the 29 centres of agro-tech excellence set up by Mashav in India.
"Skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship, water and renewable energy cooperation will be other areas of trilateral cooperation advocacy by our four organisations in the US," Reuben said.