India-US talks may resume in March

  • Jayanth Jacob Jayanth Jacob Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Feb 10, 2014 23:32 IST

The India-US dialogue, which was marred by the row over the arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade, is likely to get back on track by March.

US energy secretary Ernest Moniz will be on a two-day visit to India for the energy security dialogue from March 10. The trip ran into rough weather in December last year in the aftermath of Khobrgade’s arrest.

India is keen on US help in exploring shale gas in the country. New Delhi is keen getting on US technology in the shale gas resource assessments as well as sharing lessons on its exploitation, officials pointed out.

The other ongoing cooperation in the energy sector between the two nations include in the areas of electrical grid cooperation, energy efficiency, expanding markets for renewable energy technologies and addressing barriers to clean energy deployment, clean coal technology development, and civil nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, the US continues to have reservations about India’s nuclear liability law and the slow progress in beginning the nuclear commerce.

Moniz’s visit will signal the bilateral calendar of events being back on track. The visit of the commissioner of the US food and drug administration, Margaret Hamburg, will be next on the agenda.

“The two ministers reviewed recent developments in India-US relations. They agreed that the bilateral relationship was very important for both countries. Both sides looked forward to the early realisation of the mutually-agreed calendar of bilateral exchanges,” a statement issued after the meeting between external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and US secretary of state John Kerry in Montreux, Switzerland in January had said.

However, the Khobragade episode is far from over. The Indian income tax department has already begun a discreet probe into the tax violations of the American school in New Delhi.

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