To improve the Indo-US defense ties, a strong congressional committee has passed a legislative amendment seeking additional steps to implement the Major Defense Partner designation on India, including through appropriate technologies transfers. The revision, which was moved by Brad Sherman and supported by a powerful bipartisan group of lawmakers was “made to order” by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday.

As a part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Sherman Amendment seeks to increase the frequency and scope of exchanges between senior civilian officials and military officers of both countries to support the development and implementation of the major defense partnership.

In June, the US Senate passed the NDAA for fiscal 2020. The legislative provision provides for increased US-India defense cooperation in the Indian Ocean in areas of humanitarian assistance, maritime security, and counterterrorism. “Exploring additional steps to implement the major defense partner designation to better facilitate interoperability, information sharing, and appropriate technology transfers,” the Sherman amendment stated.

The bill urges the US government to pursue strategic initiatives to help develop defense capabilities of India and also urged to carry out additional combined exercises with India in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, and western Pacific regions.  

More than 680 amendments were submitted among which a very few talked of strengthening defense relation with another country that was made to order by the Rules Committee.

Currently, the bill is under passage on the House Floor and is being processed of being passed by a simple voice note. India was recognized by the US as a “Major Defence Partner” in 2016 which allows India to purchase more advanced and sensitive technologies from America.

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