India and US have step up their bilateral relationship and five US cabinet officials have visited India only this year, with Leon Panetta being the latest one. The country is all set for the third Strategic Dialogue to begin on June 13, led by SM Krishna and Hillary Clinton.
The dialogue covers five key areas:
1. Strategic, defense, homeland security, counter-terrorism and intelligence
2. Economic, energy, climate
3. Science and technology, innovation and health
4. Higher education and empowerment
5. Regional strategies and linkages
According to officials, the two countries are likely to announce the first eight projects the two countries will finance together, as part of the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. Moreover, US will pressure India to further curtail its oil imports from Iran.
There are growing concerns that India-US partnership has not lived up to its expectations and potential. Although India wants US arms and technology, the nation does not want to be used against China. There is a growing sentiment that India does not seek an alliance with the US as it has with Japan and other Asian powers.
On the other hand, US has refuted the relationship with India has been oversold, while emphasizing its importance in regional dynamics of East Asia and Afghanistan.