India-US development partnership to help the world: Rajiv Shah

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WASHINGTON - The development relationship between the US and India has evolved from traditional donor-donee to

peer-to-peer as manifested in their new “Evergreen Revolution” partnership, according to a top US official.

The partnership, announced during President Barack Obama’s India visit, “is intended to be cast in the same way that the previous partnership for a Green Revolution that reached hundreds of millions of people,” Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development said.

The development relationship between the two countries has already “evolved to a peer-to-peer partnership and will look for opportunities where Indian innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs can create solutions that apply all around the world,” the highest ranking Indian American in the Obama Administration told the foreign media.

“The first thing is this shift to real technical cooperation and, instead of thinking of it as a traditional development partnership, looking at how we can work together to solve global problems,” Shah said.

Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, had launched a joint aspiration to bring some of the unique technological and organisational solutions in India to places like Africa as part of Obama’s Feed the Future food security initiative.

Obama’s talk with farmers in a rural village in India via a system called e-panchayat “is consistent with the president’s theme overall on transparency and government effectiveness and accountability to the people, and we look forward to continued partnerships with India in that space,” Shah said.

The important message of Obama’s speech to Indian parliamentarians announcing some of these development-oriented efforts, is that “this is now a partnership with two countries standing together as peers capable of addressing the challenges that the world faces these days”, he said.

“We also think we’re going to showcase this new way of working where we bring so much of the innovation that exists in different parts of India to other parts of the world that could benefit from having that kind of greater Indian engagement,” he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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