U.S.-India People to People Conference: Building the Foundation for a Strong Partnership

Posted by Mitul Desai
October 28, 2010
Two People in Conversation in New Delhi

About the Author: Mitul Desai serves as as Senior Advisor for Outreach for South and Central Asian Affairs.

Tomorrow, the Department of State will host the U.S.-India People to People (P2P) Conference. Ahead of President Obama's visit to India, this event will highlight the crucial role of Indian-Americans in the U.S.-India relationship. Secretary Clinton has been clear that connecting with all citizens, not just government officials, is essential to cultivating long-term relationships. While government cooperation remains essential, it is the myriad people-to-people connections that continue to define and further deepen the U.S.-India partnership.

The P2P conference will provide a grassroots discussion forum on four areas important to both countries: renewable energy, global health, education, and economic empowerment. By bringing together innovators and thinkers in these fields, this conference seeks to strengthen the personal networks that spark innovation. We aim to continue working with Indian Americans and others to strengthen and leverage such networks for the mutual benefit of both our countries. Tomorrow's conference is only the start of our conversation, and we look forward to following up with all the conference attendees and participants.

You can stay connected to the conference by following the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on Facebook and Twitter.

The People-To-People Conference will be hosted by the U.S. Department of State in cooperation with the Indian American Leadership Council (IALC) and the American India Foundation (AIF) in the Loy Henderson Auditorium from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 28, 2010. The program will consist of panel discussions related to the five pillars of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, specifically Renewable Energy, Global Health, Education and Economic Empowerment. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs Robert D. Hormats will provide opening remarks. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will give the keynote address and Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar has been invited to give closing remarks. Other senior U.S. government officials will also be in attendance and participating in the various conference sessions. Click here for more information.



South Korea
October 27, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:


India in the 3rd world without losing the initiative a new economic and social system, while maintaining the developed countries maintain policies that continue to invest a lot in trying to keep dissonance is thought to occur. bollywood? I think it is a good example.

Bollywood? I think it is a good example. Outside of the active and growing public support, but the movie is the oppression of the majority of the members of society about the customs of the Old World Social eoknulrimeul eliminate the role of a surrogate as the film was a huge consumer class that showed the potential for Bollywood and India must think about my opinions.

The Academy Awards are still a problem even though, who gave you the award and a lack of awareness as to whether to keep thinking hemendaneun. The obsession with race and tradition, not a bad thing that (-_-), ability to think that the great Indian leaders. Choose to believe. Or, waiting time is moderate? To them .....
I'm more of a problem, but in

When the Republic of Korea to host the G20 countries are coming closer to the little. However, the Republic of Korea rallies, freedom of association and the nation, few expressed the opinion, I think the country is possible. Intervention, I think. If possible, I, along with a few to hold a rally in the developed world that the Republic of Korea would like to announce that. If you want to hit, do .....

Since someone was bothering at Pohang, the person examined, if I need help. In all respects,
MB and his brother's favor is - whether violence or financial pressures, putting Dharma, people in need while making their selection methods, and still think so.

North-Korea is .............................

South Korea
October 27, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

2011`s issue is "energy"
more talking is after election. election, maybe, change issue.

Job? come from energy industry.

Pamela g.
West Virginia, USA
October 28, 2010

Pamela G. in West Virginia writes:

Keeping good relations with India is imperative they have the second highest populationin the world . We need to keep on their good side and ask for favors from them too.

Ashim C.
October 29, 2010

Ashim K.C. in India writes:

It is wonderful to learn that P2P conference is going to take place following the press conference on President's trip to India. One expects that content and tenor of conference would be same as they were in the press conference in white house. Though India signing convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage, news on defense and civilian deals worth US$ 12 bn, Hadley etc are doing rounds in media and are being interpreted critically as signs of UPA government sell off to US big business one's sense is all these media diatribes shall not makee much impession in India immediately nor hopefully ultimately in long run.

One sensitive issue, which has to be addressed is the issue of outsourcing. Understandably President seems to be quite committed on it, which sparks off concerns in India. If these concerns are addressed by the business delegation members, it would be good. One read that there was mention of Indian being the second largest investor in USA and that deals that would be signed during President's visit would create fifty to sixty thousand jobs in USA. One is sure that as economic cooperation widens, India is quite capable of creating more jobs in USA. USA has to appreciate that whatever potential that USA is wanting to harness in India is largely the result of barely quarter of population of India emerging as middle class - their habit of savings and disposable income. If US India economic cooperation or for that matter cooperation with any other country can push the remaining three quarter of India's population to middle class level, potential of increased trade and commerce shall be that much more.

In this context, there is need to look at two things- Civil Nuclear Cooperation as a mechanism for substituting ultimately India's oil based energy needs, which is the factor for India's adverse balance of trade. Surely, in a situation where India saves substantially or fully on oil bill, India can be huge driver of stabilising western economies. Secondly, for more of India's billion plus population to join the ranks of middle class, Indo-US cooperation must focus on programs in India, which empower the rural India and people lower down in economic hierarchy in urban India. Food processing industry, focus on second green revolution and creation of urban infrastructures in villages as concieved by Ex-President of India Dr Abul Kalam can go a long way in accomplishing these.

US must realise the full implication of vibrant Indian democracy. Public issues are discussed and debated in great depth by more people than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Everything and the way things shall be said about the President's visit shall be followed intently and certainly in bits and phases by close to anything between 30 to 40 crore people thanks spread of electronic media and vernacular press. Therefore, the President's visit is great opportunity and can do to US and India and impact the future of world far greater than what Kissinger Nixon visits to China did. Significant things are happening in India. Success of Commonwealth inspite of what seems like rampant corruption has brought brought into once again the need of removing corruption, which dampens India's growth potentials. Leftist ideology is literally breathing it's last. Those who indulge in divisive politics are still well entrenched in cow belt in India but are under severe attack from secular forces.

But there is no great hurry from Indian point of view. Indians by nature are patient. India can wait till beyond President Obama's visit. It is not implied, however, things will not happen and relations won't move forward without being detrimental to any country including China and Pakistan. In fact one expects strong diplomatic intitiatives between India and China on climate related issues and clean technology and cooperation among US, India, Russia, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil and South Africa for reform of UN, expansion of security council and amending UNSC decision making process by simple or two third majority and majority decisionof veto power.


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