Former Indian Ambassador to the United States T.P. Sreenivasan has said that the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal has played an instrumental role in empowering India among other nations.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day conference on ‘Indo-U.S. Relations in the 21st Century' conducted at the St. Thomas College here on Wednesday.

Mr. Sreenivasan was of the view that the ties between the two countries could not be termed as an ‘alliance'. Instead, the relations should be viewed as mutual participation between the nations. He also noted that the relation between India and the United States had always progressed like a ‘rollercoaster,' having its fair shares of high as well as low points. However, the two biggest democracies of the world had vital roles to play in shaping its future.

In his inaugural address, Bishop Joseph Kallarangattu, head of the Pala Diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, said that both the countries had attained towering statures among the democracies of the world and had been responsible for upholding human values in the contexts of post-cold war and the new economic policies.

He reminded the delegates that the cooperation between the two nations was mutually complementary on the basis of nationalism, secularism, ethnic problems, development and environment.

Delivering the keynote address, Mahatma Gandhi University Vice-Chancellor Rajan Gurukkal emphasised the need for inter-disciplinarity in American Studies.

College manager Joseph Kollamparampil presided over the inaugural function. Others who spoke included G. Gopakumar, Dean of Social Sciences, University of Kerala; Corinna Yabarra Arnold, Cultural Affairs Officer, US Consulate General, Chennai; and K.P. Vijayalakshmi, Professor of American Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Later in the day, National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) Vice-Chancellor N.K. Jayakumar, and Shaji Varkey, Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Kerala, spoke.

The two-day event will conclude on Friday.

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