India has institutional capacity to become world power: Blake

WASHINGTON, June 5: The US believes India has the required institutional capacity to become a global power and sees a growing strategic convergence between the two nations, a top administration official has said ahead of next week’s India-US strategic dialogue.
Robert Blake, Obama Administration’s point man for South and Central Asia, said the rapid strides made by the two sides in their ties over the last 10 years indicates that “sky is the limit” for the relationship between the two countries to grow.
“It (India) does has the institutional capacity… That’s why we invested so much of our time and energy to this relationship.
“The President has said this is going to be one of our defining partnerships of the 21st century and we believe that,” the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said.
Following his remarks on India-US relationship at an event organised jointly by the Asia Society, East West Center and India-US World Affairs Institute, Blake was responding to a question if the US believes that India has the institutional capacity to become a global power.
“We believe it because there is growing strategic convergence between our two countries. We are two great democracies. We are two great market economies… And perhaps most of all we have capacity for innovation,” Blake said.
Earlier in his remarks on ‘The United States and India: Continued Strategic Engagement’, Blake said: “There is perhaps no country in the world, with whom we have travelled faster and further than India over the last 10 years”.
The Indian American community, he noted, has played a crucial role in this.
“The common thread from the classrooms of Chennai to Charlottesville, from the boardrooms of Mumbai and Minneapolis is the passionate and committed Indian American community.
“All of you are committed to shape and guide one of the defining bilateral relationships of the 21st century,” he said, adding that the Indian American community is certainly one of the most energetic and successful diaspora groups in the United States.
Noting that fostering people to people exchanges is at the core of smart power, he said that the “Passport to India initiative” is one way to do this.
The goal of this initiative is to send more and more US students to India.
Over the last three years, he said, the two countries have expanded areas of cooperation to reflect 21st century needs, partnering across diverse areas such as education, clean-energy and defence.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that even the sky is the limit because we are talking about cooperation in space as well,” Blake said. (PTI)