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Obama's visit to underscore India's growing leadership in Asia

President Barack Obama's three-day visit to India next month will not only mark another milestone in Indo-US relationship but also underscores its growing leadership in Asia and illustrate its economic rise, a top US official has said.

world Updated: Oct 02, 2010 08:54 IST

President Barack Obama's three-day visit to India next month will not only mark another milestone in Indo-US relationship but also underscores its growing leadership in Asia and illustrate its economic rise, a top US official has said.

"The visit will underscore the importance we attach to India's growing leadership in Asia and beyond, and how our partnership will help build global security and prosperity," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said.

"In a little more than one month, in early November, President Obama will make a three-day visit to India that will mark another seminal milestone in our bilateral relations," Blake said.

Delivering 27th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture at San Diego State University in California, Blake said the visit will illustrate how India's economic rise has created new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic partnership between the two knowledge-based economies.

"Our education and agricultural collaboration will draw on resources in both countries to help sustain inclusive growth in India and the continued rise of India's poor into the middle-class, enlarging a market that benefits the world economy, and especially the US," Blake said, adding these are the three cross-cutting themes that would illustrate the breadth, depth and promise of Indo-US partnership.

A strong education system in US and India is at the crux of each nation's knowledge-based economy and will fuel innovation and facilitate growth for decades to come, he said.

"With so many young Indians ready to enter the work force, India needs to rapidly expand its system of higher education to provide them the training they need to sustain India's knowledge economy," he said, but quickly pointed out that India cannot do this alone.

"Later this year or early next, India's Minister of Human Resources Development Kapil Sibal hopes to shepherd a bill through India's Parliament that for the first time will allow foreign universities to establish campuses and offer degrees in India.

"This will open significant new opportunities for American universities to develop new partnerships, and new research and development opportunities with Indian counterparts," Blake said.

The US official said Obama envisions a partnership where American and Indian businesses create new wealth with job opportunities for the peoples of the two countries, where scientists can develop jointly new drugs to combat global diseases, and where their militaries can work to protect global sea lanes from piracy.