CSIR chief misses key meeting in US for want of visa

CSIR chief misses key meeting in US for want of visa

M O Garg, the head of India's top scientific body CSIR, failed to attend a meeting of the world's top research organisations in the US last week as he did not get visa in time, for which the American Embassy here expressed regret.

"I had applied for a US visa in a typical normal way," Garg, a scientist, told PTI here today.

He said he had filled in the required forms, done finger printing and appeared for an interview.

The Annual Global Research meeting, for which he was going to the US, was to take place on June 17, 18 and 19, he said.

"They knew when I was going to travel. They asked me when I was going to travel... It is June 24 today and we are yet to see the visa... I missed the meeting and they still have my passport," said the Acting DG of CSIR (Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research).

When asked to comment on the issue, US Embassy spokesman here said, "We regret any delay due to system outage."

He said, "The visa has not been refused. It is in process. We hope he will be able to travel next week."

The spokesman added, "We hope he will have many more opportunities in the future to further enhance scientific cooperation between India and the US."

Garg said, "I have visited the US some 14-15 times and attending the meeting was important. Now visa is of no use to me."

Global Research Alliance is an organisation of top eight reputed scientific and technological organisations, of which CSIR is a part. Former CSIR DG R A Mashelkar had earlier headed the international group.

Garg said the meeting was an official one and he had all necessary approvals.
"It was an official meeting and had an approval from the minister himself and received clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs. It was an important meeting, particularly to globalise the Indian science and technology and just because I did not get a US visa I could not attend it. We missed a great opportunity," Garg said.

At the meeting, CSIR was to bid for the frugal innovations project, which involves less resources compared to the magnitude of the innovation. CSIR has done "extensive" work in this area.

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