Government has begun stock-talking of initiatives agreed upon during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September. The external affairs ministry has set in motion inter-ministerial consultations for an ambitious agenda, which will also be driven by ‘Make in India’ plan and innovation in advanced manufacturing and skill development, during the visit of US President Barack Obama in January.
Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh chaired an inter-ministerial meeting last Tuesday discussing an agenda for the visit in various sectors, including energy, with a special focus on clean energy, security, space, joint-research, infrastructure, sanitation and defence.
A special focus is given to the Make in India initiatives and infrastructure developments including smart cities, sources familiar with the development told HT.
However, prime minister’s office (PMO) is keen to know the follow-up done on various initiatives announced during Modi’s visit to Washington in September. “The review of MoUs and pacts have now become a regular feature as to ensure initiatives don’t remain on paper, and that could bring in more accountability to the system”, an official said.
‘Make in India’ initiative is set to get a boost with plans of a joint-investment fund, which would focus on infrastructure development and capital market development, set to see further forward movement soon, sources said. The special focus will be on collaborations on ‘advanced manufacturing’— using high technology to improve both processes and products—an area where the US has a cutting edge advantage.
“Each sub committees, headed by a joint secretary, will look into various aspects before finalizing the details where US cooperation can be sought in developing the three smart cities,” said a senior UD ministry official.
The US industry will be the lead partner in developing smart cities in Ajmer, Vishakhapatnam and Allahabad.