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Diaspora says its expertise in healthcare, IT boosts soft power paradigm between India, US

The Indian diaspora’s expertise in healthcare and IT in the US have strengthened the soft power between the two nations, noted Indian-American professionals from the field said on Thursday.

As visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a slew of CEOs and sought their technological collaboration on Wednesday, eminent members of the diaspora community also said that it is time to further bolster US-India ties in strategic areas like defence and manufacturing.

“The Indian diaspora’s expertise in Healthcare and IT have strengthened the soft power between India and the US. I expect the two leaders to strengthen this bond further in more strategic areas like defence, manufacturing,” Dr Mahendra Bhandari, Director Robotic Research and Education, Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, told IANS in an email interview.

On the first day of his three-day historic state visit to the US, Modi met a group of American academics from diverse fields such as agriculture, marketing, engineering, technology and health.

He spoke of emerging trends in healthcare and discussed ways to augment healthcare capacities in India with experts working in the field.

Speaking of collaborations, Dr Bhandari said that the two biggest democracies can work to bring in best practices in the medicine and pharma sector.

“Highly accomplished Indian-origin doctors and surgeons can collaborate with the Indian healthcare system to bring in the best practices — from public health, robotic surgery to use of AI in delivering outcome-based medicine,” Bhandari told IANS.

“On the other hand, the highly-advanced Indian pharma industry can collaborate with the large US pharma companies to manufacture critical drugs and vaccines for the less privileged nations of the world,” he added.

Modi also discussed pandemic healthcare in his meeting with Nobel Laureate Peter Agre, Lawton Robert Burns, Stephen Klasko, Peter Hotez, Sunil A. David and Vivian S. Lee.

The use of digital technologies for quality healthcare, a greater focus on integrative medicine and better healthcare preparedness was also discussed.

India has established itself as a global tech giant, and the competence of the Indian doctors and researchers in the US is well established.

“I expect convergence of AI, healthcare and pharma will make way for India’s emergence as a leading healthcare destination. The vast population health database in India too can be leveraged for training the NLP engine,” Chocko Valliappa, Founder and CEO of Bengaluru and New York co-headquartered technology and IT services firm Vee Technologies, told IANS.

According to Valliappa, the diaspora expects a slew of significant initiatives to be rolled out during the Modi-Joe Biden summit.

“Since the US and India are both going into election mode next year, this is the ideal time to take bold steps to increase trade,” Valliappa told IANS.

India has to play the fact that several American tech giants like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Microsoft, as well as other niche tech firms owe a significant part of their market cap to a vast pool of consumers from India, while China has shut its doors to them.

“As this fact is not lost on the US government in the recent geopolitical dynamics India’s manufacturing industry is bound to gain from the state visit of PM Modi,” Valliappa told IANS.

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