US to issue one million visas to Indian citizens in 2023, says Consul General to Kolkata Melinda Pavek

US Consul General in Kolkata Melinda Pavek on Thursday said her country has set a target to issue one million visas to Indian citizens in 2023.

US Consul General Melinda Pavek attends the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce event in Kolkata. Photo Courtesy: IBNS File

Speaking at a session of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in the eastern Indian city, she said: "We set a goal to process at least a million visas in India in 2023 and we are on our way to do so."

She said at present more than 200,000 Indian students are studying in the USA.

Pavek said the United States and India would continue to bolster bilateral cooperation and build economic relationships, including strong trade ties.

"India-US partnership has chartered a rising trajectory over the decades," Pavek said.

"In June President (Joe) Biden welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the USA. The two leaders affirmed a vision of India and the United States as among the closest partners in the world. A partnership of democracies looking into the 21st century with hope, ambition and confidence," she said.

US-India friendship in every aspect

Pavek said India and the USA are witnessing the results of the 'friendship' in every aspect of relationships.

"Our countries' defence industries are increasingly connected," she said.

"We have made substantial progress in building an advanced and comprehensive defence partnership in which militaries coordinate closely in all domains," she said.

She said the governments of India and the USA are resolved to strengthen maritime security cooperation.

"Through the launch of dialogues and new defence domains like space and Artificial Intelligence, we will look forward to enhancing capacity building, knowledge and expertise," she said.

"To accelerate defence-industrial cooperation, our leaders have agreed to adopt a roadmap which will provide policy direction to defence industries," she said.

The Consul General said India and the USA will work together to ensure prosperity for all.

"To set the stage for miracles for tomorrow, India and USA are engaging in critical and emerging technologies," the US official said.

NASA-ISRO to develop strategic framework

Pavek said NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation are agreeing to develop a strategic framework for human-space-led cooperation by the end of the year.

"We will see NASA and ISRO astronauts and scientists working, exploring and training, side by side, deepening our understanding of space and the planet which we call home," she said.

She made the comment on a day when ISRO achieved a notable milestone in its Chandrayaan-3 mission by successfully detaching the spacecraft's propulsion module from the lander.

India-US to strengthen bond with cooperation in telecommunication, AI

Speaking on cooperation in the telecommunication sector between the two nations, Pavek said: "Our leaders have envisioned an ambitious vision for 6G networks, including standards for operations, access to chipsets for system development and joint research and development projects."

"We are also creating secure and trusted telecommunication supply chains for telecom through two joint taskforces on advanced telecommunications," Pavek said.

She highlighted the various sectors in which India and the USA are planning to cooperate, including space and Artificial Intelligence.

"The strategic-trade dialogue is a crucial part of our technology vision, laying a future secure foundation for us to collaborate, innovate on space, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and more," she said.

Pavek said the US government is trying to reduce bureaucratic legislative and administrative hurdles in the upcoming months.

"We imagine a future in which India and USA's economic relationship becomes one of the most frictionless in the world," she said.

"We face the threat to human existence in the form of climate change. The impacts of it can already be felt globally and it can only get worst," she said.

"A clean environment and healthier planet will enable people to understand prosperity and peace," she said.

Pavek said the USA would aim to bring more American nationals to India to study and work in this country.

"We would love to bring more Americans to India to work and study and visit the country," she said.