NEW YORK(TIP): On September 26, 2019, the Cornell India Law Center hosted Ambassador Richard Verma for the center’s inaugural distinguished lecture. Ambassador Verma, who previously served as the US Ambassador to India (2014-2017), gave a lecture titled “India and the United States: Overcoming the Hesitations of History.” As reported in the Cornell Daily Sun,the talk covered “India’s increasing relevance in international affairs, the evolution of U.S.-India ties and the importance of learning from the history between the two nations.”
According to Verma, by 2030 “India will lead the world in almost every category.” But while India’s strategic location and its position as a democracy “in a tough part of the world” make it an important ally, the country still faces many “risk factors” such as significant climate risks, governance issues across the country, and for many of its citizens, a lack of access to clean water and electricity.
“When you go to India, you can feel the excitement, you can feel the energy. People know that this is an exciting time.” Verma said. “We don’t spend enough time thinking about India.”
Verma also spoke on the historical connection between India and the U.S., and the critical importance of developing personal relationships between the major political figures of the two countries, which he said it’s important to avoid progressing into a solely transactional relationship.