US eyes closer ties with Telugu States in defence  

US Consul General Joel Reifman

Hyderabad: The bilateral defence relationship between the United States and India is continuing to grow. The partnership has evolved into a strategic relationship involving joint research, co-development and production of high-end defence equipment and systems. While the US is strengthening ties with India at the national level, there is a clear intent to work with Telugu States in this space.

Sharing the US government plans at the regional level, Joel Reifman, US Consul General, said, “Like the US, India is a federal system. And there are a lot of potential ideas emerging out of labs across both the nations. There is enormous potential and capability in Telangana in the defence sector due to its strong research and manufacturing ecosystem.”

He added, “Andhra Pradesh is also creating industrial and entrepreneurial clusters and with SRI City, several automotive companies have evolved which could potentially look at entering into defence production in future to cater to other sovereign states. Both the States share the DNA and are important for US’ initiatives in future.”

Visas & education

In the last 10 years, the US Consulate has issued 2 million visas. In the next two years the US Consulate is looking at facilitating issuance of more visas once it moves to a new site, besides facilitating interoperability and cooperation in the defence and commercial fields.

The US also finds a great scope for cross training and skill development. Students from these States and from across India continuously prefer to study in the US Universities. This number has been growing consistently in the last six years. There an estimated 202,000 Indian students studying in the American varsities.US will continue to promote it.

At the fundamental level, the US is encouraging English outreach programme to the underserved communities. English is the key for young students to learn at early age and gain mastery in that.

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