Daily Current Affairs for UPSC

India and US Bilateral Relations

Syllabus- International Relations [GS Paper-2]


Recently the assassination attempt on a Sikh separatist in the United States (US) has become a bone of contention between India and the US.

Overview of India and US Bilateral Relations

  • Since India’s independence, ties with the USA have weathered the Cold War era distrust and estrangement over India’s nuclear program. 
  • Relations have warmed in recent years and cooperation has strengthened across more than a few economic and political areas.
  • Bilateral Trade: The bilateral trade between the 2 countries has risen by 72 percent between 2017-18 and 2022-23.
    • The US accounted for 18 percent of the gross FDI inflows into India in the course of 2021-22, ranking 2nd behind Singapore.
  • Defense and Security: India and USA have signed a troika of “foundational pacts” for deep army cooperation, beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, observed by the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) after the first 2+2 dialogue in 2018, and then the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020.
    • In 2016, the United States extended India to a primary protection associate.
  • Space: Artemis Accords signed via India established a common vision for the future of space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.
  • Multilateral Cooperation: India and the United States cooperate intently in multilateral organizations and boards, along with the United Nations, G20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
    • Along with Australia and Japan, USA and India convene as the Quad, a diplomatic network, to promote a loose and open Indo-Pacific.
  • Nuclear Cooperation: Civil Nuclear Deal was signed in 2005, under the agreement, India agreed to separate its civil and army nuclear facilities and place all its civil assets under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
    • In trade, the USA has the same opinion to paintings in the direction of full civil nuclear cooperation with India. 
  • New projects: Several new tasks have been announced like GE-HAL deal to manufacture jet engines in India and the initiative on Critical and Emerging technology (iCET), to convey revolution between the relations of the two nations.

Divergence in relations

  • Conflicting positions: India’s muted grievance of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 expectedly brought about a few frustration within the West, raising questions over India’s credibility as a security companion.
  • Limited Utility: India’s application to the US in an Indo-Pacific conflict, consisting of a Chinese invasion or naval blockade of Taiwan, is probably constrained.
    • In the event of US army involvement in Taiwan’s protection, India could probably keep away from entanglement in such a US-China war.
    • The US seeks greater alignment from its allies in opposition to Russia. While countries like South Korea and Australia have dispatched military resources to Ukraine, India is regarded via USA and the West as opportunistically importing more oil from Russia amid the warfare.
  • Defence Relations with Russia: The US is concerned about India’s acquisition of arms like the S-four hundred air defense system, as it strengthens Russian power, hinders interoperability and steady communications between US and Indian forces, and prevents sharing of sensitive weapons technologies.

Concerns for India

  • Dependency on China: US resource in the Russia-Ukraine war strengthens Ukraine’s defense and counter offensives, forcing Russia to depend more on China for guidance. This diminishes Russian autonomy and doubtlessly its capability to honor protection agreements with India in an India-China conflict.
    • The Russia-Ukraine conflict has shifted the focal point of USA away from China, and has, therefore, contributed to significantly eroding the strategic convergence between India and the United States.
    • Further, the conflict within the Middle East has diverted US attention away and Indo-Pacific in popularity and India, specifically, have suffered overlook.

Concluding observation

  • The India-US ties have come a long way within the remaining 25 years, and it holds enormous significance in shaping the worldwide order of the 21st century. However, searching at it these days, the relationship appears hitting a ceiling as the strategic glue within the basis is coming aside. 
  • The strategic convergence of India and USA is because of the not unusual danger posed through China. The more the US makes a speciality of Russia or some other adversary and India makes a speciality of Pakistan, the extra their strategic convergence weakens.

Source: The Hindu

UPSC Mains Practice Question

Q. ‘What introduces friction into the ties between India and the United States is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy, which would satisfy India’s National self-esteem and ambitions’. Explain with suitable examples. (2019)

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