Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with American President Barack Obama next week may see two countries moving towards a special arrangement, which would make Indian citizens frequenting United States eligible for faster immigration and custom clearance at airports on arrival.
India’s membership in the US “Global Entry” Trusted Traveler Network programme will ensure that Indian citizens arriving in America will be able to get speedier immigration and custom clearance using automated kiosks placed at major airports if they are pre-approved for availing the benefit of the special arrangement.
Modi-Obama meet may witness significant headway in bilateral discussion over India’s entry into US Global Entry programme, sources told Deccan Herald.
The US at present provides the speedier clearance under the Global Entry programme only to citizens of Mexico, South Korea, Netherlands and Canada. The prime minister is currently in New York to attend the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He will later travel to Washington DC for the bilateral talks. Obama will host a private dinner for Modi shortly after his arrival in Washington DC on Monday and they will have a formal dialogue on Tuesday.
The US Department of Homeland Security and Ministry of Home Affairs of the Indian government have been discussing the special arrangement to grant Indians speedier clearances on arrival at certain airports in America, sources said in New Delhi. The Global Entry programme is intended for frequent international travellers. A traveller, however, does not need to undertake a minimum number of travels to qualify for the programme.
Over 8.5 lakh Indians visited US in 2013, which also saw over one million Americans visiting India. Once New Delhi and Washington put in place the special arrangement, Indian citizens arriving in the US will not have to wait in the long queues to get immigration and custom clearance.
PM meets Nobel laureate
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met Nobel laureate and famous cancer specialist Professor Harold Varmus and invited him to visit India to assist in health and public care research, PTI reports from New York.
Interestingly, 74-year-old Varmus, currently the director of the US National Cancer Institute, had done his apprenticeship in a mission hospital in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh in 1960s. He received 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes.