CG outlines impressive line of programs this year

Indian CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed addressing Pravasi Divas and Media Meet
Indian CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed addressing Pravasi Divas and Media Meet

CHICAGO: The Indian consulate headed by dynamic CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed and his team of Consuls has outlined an impressive line of programs and activities for the current year for boosting economic, cultural and political ties between India and Midwest regions of America besides assuring regular consular services to the people of Indian origin and the community at large for the region under its domain.

This was shared with members of the ethnic media as well as community leaders in Chicago land last week during a meet organized for “Pravasi Divas” and ‘Meet the Media’ at the Consulate office in downtown. It was attended by a cross section of Indian Americans and representatives of print ,radio and TV media.

While sharing the various activities proposed to be undertaken by the Consulate during the year 2016, the Consul General mentioned that the efforts of the Consulate would be directed towards strengthening the political, economic, cultural, educational and people-to-people relationships between India and the US Midwest.

He indicated that a number of delegations from Midwest region are scheduled to visit India in the current year. Sharing details he pointed out that

1) Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity trade delegation led by Mr. Jim Schultz, Director, will go to Bengaluru from 3rd-5th, February, 2016 to participate in the “Invest Karnataka-2016′.

2) A North Dakota Trade Mission led by Drew Wrigley, Lt. Governor will visit various cities in India at the end of February, 2016.

3) A Michigan Economic Development Corporation [MEDC]’s follow up Trade Mission led by Lt.

Governor Brian Calley will pay a visit to different cities in India in the first quarter of 2016.
4) A few business delegations are also expected to participate in the “Make in India Week” proposed to be organized in Mumbai from February 13-18.

Earlier Consul OP Meena welcomed the guests and briefed them with the main purpose of the meet. Following this, the Consul General of India Dr Ausaf Sayeed made two power point presentations – first recapping the major activities undertaken by the Consulate during 2015 and the second outlining the history of Indian immigration in the US Midwest and a short overview of Government of India (GOI)’s flagship programs.

The Consul General introduced two new Consuls – Desh Bandhu Bhati, Consul (Commercial, Political and Visa) and Mrs Rajeshwari Chandrasekaran, Consul (CG’s Office).He also took the opportunity to introduce one more Consul OP Meena describing him as Jinda Tilsmat

Dr Sayeed in his address lauded the Indian-American Diaspora (Pravasis) for making significant contribution for the socio-economic development of India. He also invited them to whole-heartedly participate in GOI’s Flagship Programs such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skills India’, ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Green India’.

He encouraged them to engage with the GOI using the portal
Quoting the US Population Census data (2010), the Consul General mentioned that the number of Indian Americans in the nine states of the US Midwest covered by this Consulate i.e. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota & Wisconsin, was put at 385,987.

The total trade between India and the US Midwest in 2014 was put at US$ 6.346 billion, which included India’s exports of US$ 4.320 billion and India’s imports of US$ 2.025 billion. The US Midwest two-way with India constitutes around 10% of the total trade between India and the USA. There are 80 Indian companies operating in the US Midwest, which have made cumulative investments of US $ 2.3 billion and have created 13,841 jobs in the US Midwest.

The Consulate would be organizing an Economic Seminar in collaboration with the Illinois Chambers of Commerce on 3rd February at the Chamber to promote “Make in India Week”.

” The Consulate would be organizing an Economic Seminar in collaboration with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce on “Growing US-India Strategic & Economic Partnership-Trends, Prospects & Opportunities for Business” at the Consulate premises in June, 2016.

” The Consulate would be collaborating with the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in their proposal to organize an ‘Emerging Markets Conference’ on 7th May, 2016.

” The Consulate would be collaborating with the India Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Minneapolis to organize the 2ndUS-India Healthcare Summit as a follow up of last year’s Summit in Minneapolis from June 1st-3rd, 2016.

” In addition, business events are planned in collaboration with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), the US-India Chamber of Commerce andTiE.

He also detailed the various Consular activities during 2015. The Consulate has rendered a total of 77,642 services, which includes issue of 36,267 visas, 15,898 passports, 13,896 OCI cards, 11,092 miscellaneous consular services, 211 Emergency Certificates and 278 PIO Cards.

CG pointed out that to facilitate easy access to the people all Consular Officers are available to meet the public without appointment every day between 10am and 11am. The Consulate continues to render Emergency visa services on weekends and closed holidays in the unfortunate event of death of immediate family members of the Indian-American Diaspora.

As part of the Consular outreach activities the Consulate will organize “Open House” at the Consulate premises at least once every quarter. Besides, Consular Camps are planned in Chicago suburbs, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and St. Louis.

For boosting cultural ties, the Consulate plans
” Screening of the film ‘India Awakes’ in collaboration with the International House, University of Chicago on 21st January.

” Republic Day Flag Hoisting ceremony in the Consulate Premise on 26th January at 1000 Hrs.

” Screening of the film “For Here Or To Go’ in collaboration with the International House, University of Chicago in April 2016.

” ICCR sponsored program – performance of 12-member Fusion Band and Stree Shakti Hindustani Instrumental group led by Ms Anuradha Pal during second quarter of 2016.

” 2nd International Yoga Day on 21st June
” The Independence Day Flag hoisting ceremony on August 15 at Daley Plaze in Chicago in co-operation with local organizations. This will be a public event and no invitations are required.

” Kala-Utsav 2016 will be held at the end of August to showcase the best among the local talents in different forms of Indian Music, Dance and Theater.

” The Consulate will collaborate with the Oakbrook Polo Club to organize 2nd India-US Friendly Polo Tournament in August/September.

” The Consulate will celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 at the Consulate premises. Besdies, it will also collaborate with other organizations which celebrate Gandhi Jayanti at different places
” The Consulate General of India, Chicago would continue to give patronage to different socio-cultural organizations in Chicagoland such as ‘Eye on India’, ‘Chicago South Asian Film Festival’, Hindi Lovers Club and others.

As part of the Parvasi Bhartiya Divas, three local organizations, ‘Pratham’, ‘Bharathi Theertha’ and ‘India Development Coalition of America’ shared their experiences of working on socio-economic and developmental projects in India.

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service

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