First ever Indian American US ambassador to India says two top democracies can do much together.
Describing India-US relationship as “the most consequential relationship of this century”, Richard Verma, the first ever Indian-American US envoy to India, has said it was now time for it to deliver.
The modern US-India relationship was quite young, he said in his commencement address Monday at Jindal University School of Banking and Finance on ‘Driving Shared Prosperity — A 21st Century Priority for US-India Ties’.
“We mark the start of this era with President (Bill) Clinton’s visit to India in the year 2000. It was a breakthrough visit after decades of being somewhat distant, and even at times, estranged,” Verma told students of the Sonepat, India, based institution.
Asserting that it was now time for the relationship to deliver, he said, “We can no longer look decades into the future. The time to deliver results for our people is now – it’s today.”
“That’s a big challenge, but it’s also exciting, for us here in America, and for all of you in India, especially as you start out on your studies and then careers,” said, Verma, currently Executive Vice President & Global Head (Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs) at Mastercard.
“The reason I care about this subject so much and want to talk to you about it today is that I do think this is the most consequential relationship of this century. We can do so much together,” he added.
“Whether it’s battling a pandemic, countering terrorism and proliferation, or bringing to market all those new innovations and solutions that will make people’s lives easier, safer, greener, more prosperous, more inclusive and more secure,” Verma said.
“We can do that. We are not there yet, but can we get there,” Verma said recalling how he first-hand witnessed the picture of India on a dramatic rise when he travelled to every Indian state.
“It is why I am so excited for all of you. You have the world at your fingertips,” he said.
“Your country will have a leading seat in international institutions, your businesses will continue to power economic growth and innovations globally, and all of you can choose what role you want to play today and in the future.”
By 2030, India might lead the world in every category, Verma said noting India has the youngest workforce in Asia “…and you’ll hold that advantage until 2050. That’s pretty formidable.”
“I look out at the year 2030, for example, and I see an India that may lead the world in almost every category…the most populous nation, the most college graduates, the largest middle-class, the most cell phone and Internet users, along with the third largest military and third largest economy, all coexisting in the world’s largest democracy, with 600 million people under the age of 25,” he said.
“That’s on top of the massive development that is taking place in India today right before our eyes. Some $2 trillion will be spent on infrastructure in just the next decade.
“The bulk of the infrastructure needed for 2030 is yet to be built. That’s why some 100 new airports are under planning or construction today alone,” he noted.