Three Indian Americans are among Padma Bhushan awardees announced to mark Republic Day

The Indian American diaspora has played an important role in strengthening the India-US relationship, forging closer and stronger ties between India and the U.S., Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu said on the occasion of India's 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday.

The Republic Day ceremony, organised at the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C., was attended by a number of Indians, diaspora members, and friends of India including through virtual mode in view of the pandemic.

“The diaspora has been an important pillar of the relationship, which continues to strengthen ties through its achievements in diverse sectors and contribute to India's development journey," said Sandhu from the lawns of India House, the official residence of India's Ambassador to the US.

Sandhu noted that this year, three of the distinguished diaspora members have been conferred the Padma Bhushan -- Madhu Jaffrey for popularising Indian cuisine, Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai for their leadership in the technology sector.

In his remarks, the Indian ambassador said the United States has been a key partner for India.

"As Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned in his remarks at the Bilateral Summit with President Joe Biden last year, we are witnessing a transformative period in the India-US strategic partnership driven by tradition, talent, technology, trade and trusteeship," he added.

Highlighting the initiatives of the Indian Government such as Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) and in clean energy as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year, the Ambassador reiterated that India will continue to be the country that cherishes her foundational values and ideals, and works for global good.

Observing that this year is special as the county celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Sandhu said India today is better placed to face the increasing challenges and complexities that the world encounters.

"We have a massive vaccination drive against COVID-19 ongoing, administering more than 160 crore doses so far and taking vaccines to the remotest corners of the country. The initiatives of the government aimed at boosting jobs, consumer demand, manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture and exports are accelerating economic recovery," he remarked.

Today, the India-U.S. bilateral cooperation is multi-sectoral and spans across trade and investment, defence and security, education, science and technology, cyber security, high-technology, civil nuclear energy, space technology and applications, clean energy, environment, agriculture and health.

Sandhu said that there is greater investor confidence in the resilience of the Indian economy. He added that India had emerged as one of the largest tech startup bases globally, reflecting the entrepreneurial and innovation spirit particularly among its youth.