Recognising the cultural emphasis on education in both countries, Prime Minister Singh and President Obama emphasised that education holds the key to the advancement of their societies, and to a more prosperous and stable world.

They agreed that access to and development of technology was a cross-cutting requirement to meet the challenges that their two countries face. They acknowledged the fruitful collaboration between the two countries in the fields of education, research and science and technology, which has contributed to their emergence as knowledge societies.

Taking advantage of that strength, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh launched the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative with funding from both sides to increase university linkages and junior faculty development exchanges between the US and Indian universities, including greater emphasis on community colleges.

They agreed to substantially expand the Fulbright-Nehru programme to provide more student and scholar exchange grants in priority fields such as science, technology and agriculture. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of expanding cooperation in higher education and research, and according priority to cooperation in the area of skill development.

They also expressed their support for the India-US Binational Science and Technology Commission and the Endowment, which is expected to give a fresh impetus to collaboration in the cutting edge areas of scientific research, technology and development.

The leaders affirmed the importance of women’s empowerment to advancing global prosperity and stability, and welcomed the establishment of a Women’s Empowerment Dialogue to promote women’s participation and equality in all spheres. They emphasised that women’s empowerment is a cross-cutting goal that should be pursued across the full scope of US-India Strategic Dialogue initiatives.