Indiana's Gov. Holcomb signs sister-state agreement with Karnataka, India

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, right, and Priyank Kharge, Karnataka minister for information technology, biotechnology and tourism, pose for photos Monday after signing a sister-state agreement promoting economic cooperation between Indiana and Karnataka.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. photo

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb inked an agreement Monday to promote friendship and economic cooperation between the state of Indiana and the Indian state of Karnataka.

"As the first Indiana governor to travel to India, I was thrilled to work with the Karnataka government to establish a sister-state relationship with one of the most dynamic and technologically advanced states in India," Holcomb said in statement issued from India.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the Republican and Priyank Kharge, Karnataka's minister of information technology, biotechnology and tourism, commits the states to work together, where feasible, on issues such as workforce development, academics, information and communications technologies, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, agriculture, automotive and aviation.

"Today, we laid the groundwork for closer cooperation, and I look forward to our future collaboration as we work to advance business and educational opportunities to serve Hoosiers and the people of Karnataka," Holcomb said.

Karnataka is located on the southwestern coast of the subcontinent. It borders the Arabian Sea.

Its land area is about twice the size of Indiana. But Karnataka is home to 61.1 million people, or approximately 10 times Indiana's population.

Karnataka's capital, Bangalore, is the headquarters for Infosys and Appirio, two major technology companies that recently announced plans to locate large segments of their U.S. operations in Indianapolis.

Bangalore's 8.5 million residents make it the third-most populous city in a country that boasts more than 1.2 billion inhabitants.

Indiana also has sister-state relationships in Asia with Japan's Tochigi Prefecture, which Holcomb visited in September, and China's Zhejiang Province.

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.