July 19, 2005


'Bush most India-friendly US President' (Palash Kumar, 19 July , 2005, AFP)

Washington's decision to reopen access for India to civil nuclear technology is another example of the Bush administration's engagement of the South Asian nation as a counterweight to China, Indian analysts said on Tuesday.

"People have it in their minds that in Asia it should not be a wholly China-dominated scene," former Indian foreign secretary Salman Haider told AFP.

"Japan has become more assertive and we are seen as a potential counter balance. Whether it should take the form of rivalry with China, that's a separate question. I think the United States would like to bring us into play (vis-a-vis China)." [...]

"I think this agreement to reopen civil nuclear technology is perhaps the most significant aspect of what transpired in Washington," said former Indian ambassador to Pakistan G. Parthasarthy.

"The United States was claiming that it wanted India to be a partner and yet had imposed sanctions on India on nuclear space and hi-technology transfers that were far more stringent than on China.

"So any kind of partnership was meaningless unless these were removed. It's the first step in that direction... Full credit to President Bush. He is the friendliest president India has had in the White House."

Parthasarthy said the developments should be viewed in the context of "the emerging Asian balance of power (in which) the United States sees India as a partner".

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2005 2:49 PM

Bush - the First Indian president.

Posted by: AWW at July 19, 2005 7:34 PM

I heard two interesting statistics the last couple days. Don't know if either was accurate.

1. Number of Indians with enough education to work in modern tech economy: 2 million.

2. Number of Americans pursuing master's degree in business administration: 2 million.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 19, 2005 11:53 PM

While we might prefer more of catagory # 1, and fewer of catagory # 2 among U.S. citizens, the current ratio rather makes sense, because in the end, # 1s work for # 2s.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 20, 2005 3:20 AM

Michael, there are MBAs and MBAs. The difference in quality among programs is staggering. However, anyone with an MBA from a top 50 B school in the US is pretty damn well-trained.

The presence of one country with lots of MBAs and another with lots of techies is just an example of Economies from Trade and the Theory of Comparative Advantage.

Now, when the techies in India start going to American B schools en masse, things might change.

Posted by: bart at July 20, 2005 8:46 AM

I had the low quality of Indian tech education driven home to me at my tech discussion group a couple weeks ago.

One guy had a problem (a simple one) with his Dell and spent three hours with an Indian reading from a script. He did, eventually, identify the problem.

But only the technically illiterate get the Indian reps. Another guy in the group had gone round and round with Indian Dell reps, but his questions were far more complex.

Although Dell has not announced it, high class problems are now intercepted and you get an American in Texas once you've been identified. Only the dumbos get Indians.

The situation reminds me of the Egypt in the 1967 war, where, it was reported, the Israelis did not have to attack the Egyptian tanks in the Sinai because the Egyptian soldiers had not put oil in the engines.

India is still a medieval country.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 22, 2005 3:02 PM

Fortunately technology and design is such that's all that's required to assemble stuff.

Posted by: oj at July 22, 2005 3:13 PM