US risks losing out to India, China: Obama

Obama made three references to India in his annual State of the Union address to the US Congress.

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2011, 08:41 AM IST

Washington: President Barack Obama today warned that the US risked losing out to countries such as India and China in areas like in education, technology and
research, noting they were undertaking investments in these areas.

Delivering his annual State of the Union address to the US Congress, Obama made three references to India in his hour-long speech during which he said his administration has built a "new partnership" with the south Asian country as part
of his efforts to shape a world that favours peace and prosperity.

Obama, who visited India in November last, also referred to the recent business agreements with India and China that would create jobs in the US.

"We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations like India," Obama said in the address in which
terrorism and war took a backseat with the President`s focus being on education and economy.

Building new relationship with countries like India, Obama said is part of his efforts to shape a world that favours peace and prosperity.

Obama also unveiled his blueprint to maintain American
leadership in an increasingly competitive world marked by the
surge of nations like India and China.

The blueprint has four key pillars--innovate, educate,
build, reform and responsibility.

Obama put forward a plan to help the US win the future
by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the global
competition.

"Nations like China and India realised that with some
changes of their own, they could compete in this new world,"
he said, adding, "So they started educating their children
earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science.
They are investing in research and new technologies."

On the other hand, Obama said, the quality of the US’
math and science education lagged behind that of many other
nations and the country had fallen to ninth rank in terms of
the proportion of young people with a college degree.

Obama also highlighted the importance of emerging
markets like India and China in creating more jobs in the US.

"Recently, we signed agreements with India and China
that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United
States," Obama said.

While calling for new investments in American
innovation, the US President also underscored the need to
reform the way the government conducted business--by investing
in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t.

The President’s Budget will help increase the nation’s
R and D investments, as a share of GDP, to its highest levels
since President John F Kennedy.

Obama also pledged to prepare an additional 100,000
science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by the end
of the decade.

PTI