Consulate General of IndiaChicago
Serving the states of : Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Press Releases before 2020
Consulate General of India, Chicago
Jan 23, 2019
Consulate General of India, Chicago in association with Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago celebrated the 352nd Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh ji and 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji on Sunday 20th January 2019 at the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago. This Gurdwara was also celebrating its 25th Anniversary as well during this occasion. This Gurdwara is known to feeding the needy for free everyday from 7.00am to 9.00pm.
The program started with Shabad Kirtan followed by Keynote speech by Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India. She spoke on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji and his message of one God, communal harmony and its relevance in today’s world. She mentioned that Guru Nanak Dev ji visited many places to spread his message of tolerance and harmony. He denounced ritualism, superstition, ceremonialism and believed in simplicity and that God was present in each one of us. The lessons he taught are relevant to this day. About Guru Gobind Singh ji she mentioned that apart from being an extraordinary human being , he was an outstanding example of his love for his people and for helping the oppressed and protecting a person’s right to practice the religion of his choice. Every incident of his life revealed his love for humanity and courage to stand for what he believed was right. Guru Gobind Singh ji was born at Patna Sahib in Bihar which is now among the sacred shrines of not just members of Sikh religion but for people from all religion and walks of life.
The occasion was also graced by Hon. Congressman of 8th Congressional District Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who also spoke about the relevance of teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji. The Consul General thanked all the people who attended the program and Mr. Balvinder Singh in organizing this event at the Gurdwara.
The program was well attended and concluded with a Langar.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
Dec 4, 2018
The Passport Seva Program has brought in a huge transformation towards delivery of Passport Services in India. This has seen a sea change in last 4 ½ years.
In the year 2017, there was a 19% growth in passport related services. The monthly submission of applications has crossed one million marks for the first time. More than six crores passports have been issued through the Pasport Seva system. The Ministry took many significant steps to improve the service delivery experience for the citizens. Not only did the work of simplifying Passport rules has been achieved with the same vigour but passport services have also been taken closer to the doorsteps of the citizens. The Ministry with Department of Posts took the decision to start Passport Seva Kendars in Head Post Offices. As a result, 236 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) have been operationalised as on date and many more are in pipeline. This when added to 36 Passport Offices and 93 erstwhile Passport Seva Kendras makes a total of 365 Passport Offices for public.
The Ministry has initiated the integration of Passport Seva Program at all Indian Embassies and Consulates across the globe. As part of this initiative, the Ministry successfully initiated the Pilot at High Commission of India, London followed by Consulate General of India, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
In the United Sates of America, the Ministry has completed the implementation of this program at its Embassy in Washington, D.C., CGI New York, CGI San Francisco, CGI Atlanta and CGI Houston. It is a matter of great pleasure for the Ministry to launch the Global Passport Seva Program at Consulate General of India, Chicago for the Indian diaspora residing here, thus making all Indian Consulates and Embassy located in the US, live with the new system. The new system will help in easy and convenient application submission process, will usher-In standardization, digital overhauling, end-to-end status tracking and enhance security.
The Government of India planned to roll out the Global Passport Seva Program at all Indian Embassies/ Consulates within next 3-4 months.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
72nd Independence Day
Consulate General of India, Chicago celebrated the 72nd Independence Day of India on Wednesday August 15, 2018 with great enthusiasm. The morning official Flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Consulate premises with an overwhelming participation of the Indian-American Community and Friends of India. The atmosphere at the venue was charged with feelings of patriotism and pride.
The celebration started with Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan, hoisting the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India. Consul General read out the Address of the Hon’ble President of India. A cultural program was organized in which students of the Kalapriya Dance Academy, Dilshad Dance Academy, and Bharatam Academy of Dance Arts performed. Patriotic songs were sung by Mr. Ishan Ahmed, Ms. Nalini Parikh, and teacher of Indian culture at the Consulate Ms. Prerna Arya. The audience enjoyed the dance and musical program. Over 200 people participated in the flag hoisting ceremony. CG thanked each and everyone for their presence even on a working day.
The National Day Reception was hosted at the beautiful iconic building of Chicago Cultural Centre. The Chief Guest for the evening was Hon. Congressman Danny K. Davis, 7th Congressional District and other attendees included Hon. Judge Linda Davenport, Hon. Judge Rishi Agrawal, Mayor of Burr Ridge Mr. Mickey Straub, members of Diplomatic Corps, members of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office of Foreign Mission (OFM), University Professors, Indian-American community leaders, Indian Association/Religious leaders and prominent local dignitaries from Chicago and US Midwest.
Representatives from the office of Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, office of the Attorney General Ms. Lisa Madigan, office of Hon’ble Mayor of City of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, and many Consuls General also attended the event. On this occasion, Proclamations and Messages received from these offices were also read out.
The National Day Reception started with National anthems of India and the US, followed by address by Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan.
In her address, Ms. Neeta Bhushan welcomed and thanked the guests for being a part of the 72nd Independence Day of India celebrations. She referred to the speech of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi where he mentioned about the great strides made by India and that the people of India have travelled a long journey on the world stage. She said India has emerged today as a country with new hopes, energy and dynamism. With the growth rate of over 7%, India is now the fastest growing economy in the world. With the GDP of 2.6 trillion, we are now the 6th largest economy in the world. The IMF has recently described India as, “an Elephant that has started to run”. Brand India is based on strong foundation of talent, trade, tradition and technology. She also highlighted the scientific achievements of India and mentioned that India is one of the largest contributors to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and it was the first country to contribute a female formed Police Unit to the UN Mission in Liberia.
The ceremony was followed by a cultural program where students from Natya Dance Theatre, Kalapadma Dance Academy and I-Radha School of Dance presented scintillating dance performances.
The function concluded with a grand banquet attended by a full house of over 400 people in which sumptuous Indian delicacies were served.
Consulate General of India
Celebration of 5th Kala Utsav 2018 -- Sunday, July 29, 2018
The Consulate General of India organized the 5th edition of “Kala Utsav”, the annual cultural festival on July 29, 2018 at Harris Theatre, 205 East Randolph Street, Chicago to showcase the talent and rich heritage of Indian art and culture in various forms from the US Mid-West. The event provided a platform for renowned as well as new Indian artists from dance schools across the US Mid-West like St. Louis and Indiana to show their talents through various performances.
This year’s Kala Utsav theme called “Khul Ja Sim Sim” focused on values of humanity such as honesty, courage, truth, love/affection, forgiveness, power, peace, happiness, respect and justice, equality and freedom and each performance was based on one of these themes. The festival was inaugurated by Consul General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan. The event was graced by Ms. Smita Shah, Chairman of Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairman of Red Berri Foundation, Mr. Sunil Shah, Founder President of FIA, Mr. Rohit Joshi of United Senior Pariwar and Mr. Keerthi Ravoori, FIA and other prominent community members.
Sh. Jigar Shah, Director of Technology, Healthcare Consulting Firm and member of South Asian Film Festival was the Artistic and Cultural Director of the Kala Utsav 2018. He along with Dr. Prerna Arya, Teacher of Indian Culture were the Emcees of the event. Nearly 1000 people comprising of the Indian-American Diaspora hailing from different parts of US Midwest including many US nationals and different ethnic groups attended the event.
In her inaugural address, Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan underlined that India is a land of diverse cultures, ethnicity, languages, food and costumes. She added that Kala Utsav shows glimpses of India’s unique heritage which depicts how various traditions, art forms, music and dance have flourished over 1000s of years. She added that Kala Utsav was also celebrated as Illinois Bicentennial celebrations. She thanked Harris Theatre for cosponsoring the event.
The function started with a scintillating performance of “Chenda Melam” by the Chicago Kalakshetra which is the best known and most popular kshetram vadyam (temple percussion) game followed by a sequence of captivating dance performances representing the classical, fold, modern dance forms of India from different dance schools.
In all 19 dance schools participated with different forms of dance from classical to folk to Bollywood fusion and skit on different themes. (List attached).
All the performances were beautiful with excellent choreography and fantastic music. The following four groups were judged as winners of 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes.
1. First Prize - Trishakti Bharatnatyam by Natya Dance Theatre
2. Second Prize - Nirbhaya Kali by Kalapadma Dance Academy
3(i) Third Prize - Kathak Kamali Divine Love by I-Radha Group
3(ii) Third Prize - Raas Garba - Mother and Daughter Team from St. Louis
All the above dance groups were given gifts and certificates by the Consul General.
Overall the event was a huge success and well appreciated by all the participants and the attendees for the wonderful organization of the event.
Consulate General of India,
VISIT OF SMT. SWATI SINGH, HON’BLE MINISTER OF STATE (I/C), NRI DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF UTTAR PRADESH TO CHICAGO
(18 July 2018)
Hon'ble Smt. Swati Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C), NRI Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh was accompanied by Shri S.P. Goyal, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Joint Secretary (OIA-II), MEA, Shri Deepak Agarwal, Divisional Commissioner, Varanasi, and Shri Arun Kumar, Special Secretary, NRI Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh on a day long visit to Chicago on Jul 18th, 2018, to promote the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2019 being organized at Varanasi, Kumbh Snan in Allahabad, Republic Day Parade and Know India Programme.
The Consulate organized a “Meet and Greet” session at its premises during which the delegates interacted with community leaders, tour operators, diaspora members and Press.
Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan welcomed the delegation and all the community members. She invited all the guests to attend the PBD in Varanasi. She said that this was an opportunity also to be part of the Kumbh Snan and Republic Day Parade at the same time.
Special Secretary, Shri Arun Kumar was the first to address and invite the audience to the 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas being organized from January 21 to January 23, 2019 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He said that PBD will give a chance to participate in the biggest spiritual carnival of the world, the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. It also will provide an opportunity to witness the strengths and cultural diversity of New India at the 70th Republic Day Parade.
Shri Deepak Agarwal, Divisional Commissioner, Varanasi invited all the Chicagoans to visit India and participate in PBD 2019 by registering themselves online. He said infrastructure in Varanasi as been in the swing. The state has declared zero tolerance towards crime and criminals. The state will take care of all the Pravasis visiting during the period by organizing conducted tour of the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Ganga Aarti, tour of Somnath, sale of local specialty items, and food.
Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Joint Secretary (OIA-II), MEA spoke about the logistical arrangement during PBD and other social issues related to India in general. He said to ensure proper flow of traffic and connectivity between cities there will be increased number of flights to Varanasi and 10 special trains from Allahabad to New Delhi will also be run. Audience were informed about ‘Bharat Ko Janiye’ Quiz and different categories of the Know India Programme.
Shri S.P. Goyal, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh elaborated on the 20 investor friendly policies of Uttar Pradesh Government.
Hon’ble Minister Smt. Swati Singh addressed the audience and invited everyone to attend the 15th PBD. She assured 100% security to all delegates. She also notified about the One District One Product (ODOP) to facilitate easy exports. She invited all to visit India.
The informative speeches were followed by audience questions to the delegates. Post lunch the Minister and other delegates interacted with the media and answered specific questions related to security, transportation, health, emergency services, accommodation facilities during the PBD, Kumbh Mela and Republic Day Parade.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
July 9, 2018
Consulate General of India, Chicago
July 4, 2018
Consulate General of India, Chicago
June 18, 2018
Fourth International Yoga Day, organized by Consulate General of India in Chicago, attracted thousands of Indian-Americans and people belonging to other Nationalities Consulate General of India in Chicago, in collaboration with the City of Chicago and Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International rolled out the fourth edition of International Yoga Day, on June 16, 2018 at Millennium Park, Downtown Chicago. The high-profile event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp and singing of the National Anthems of Republic of India and United States of America. The purpose of the event was to create a broad-based awareness about the benefits of yoga for all sections of society, irrespective of their age group, and also to introduce the ancient mind-body practice to a generation of technology-loving kids and to reintroduce it to an older generation of high-strung adults. It was one of the mega events in Chicago in which about 100 community organizations and over 1000 Indian Americans and people belonging to other nationalities participated, along with their family and friends. The event started at 10.45 hrs. with the demonstration of breathing techniques by Sister Tina from Brahma Kumaris of Chicago and a dance item by the students of Soorya Dance School. After this, the event shifted to its main official opening ceremony which included lighting of the lamp which was followed by demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol and concluded with the recitation of Shanti Mantras. Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India in Chicago extended warm welcome and greetings to everyone present on the occasion. She said that yoga was a great way to connect to oneself and achieve a healthy balance between the mind and body. She also mentioned that Yoga helps people in maintaining balance among their thoughts, emotions, and feelings, and thereby improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. The Consul General expressed her gratitude to the office of the Mayor of Chicago for partnership with the Consulate and for allocating Millennium Park for the event. The eminent persons who participated in the event included Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman, Ms. Andrea Zopp, President & CEO, World Business Chicago and Former Deputy Mayor of Chicago, Ms. Smitha Shah, Chair, Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, Mr. Mickey Straub, Mayor of Burr Ridge, Mr. Hardik Bhatt, former Chief Information officer in the office of Governor of Illinois, Mr. Ram Villivalam, Illinois Senate 8th District and Mr. Joe Moore, Alderman. Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul & Head of Chancery anchored the event and delivered vote of thanks.
Precursor Event for Celebration of 4th International Day of Yoga organized
at Sant Nirankari Mission, Chicago
The Consulate General of India, Chicago will be celebrating 4th International Day of Yoga at a grand scale on June 16, 2018 at Millennium Park, Downtown Chicago. To promote the 4th IDY, the Consulate and Sant Nirankari Mission, Chicago organized an event on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at Sant Nirankari Bhavan and Community Center, West Chicago as a precursor to IDY. Around hundred community members of the Chicagoland area attended the event. The event commenced with the yoga exercises conducted by Mr. Yashpal Singh, Yoga Instructor. The yoga session conducted by Mr. Singh lasted for about 45 minutes. During the session, various types of yoga exercises were conducted followed by a message about the benefits of each exercise. The Yoga session was followed by a talk on Yoga by Ms. Prerna Arya, Teacher of Indian Culture at the Consulate and a spiritual discourse by Mr. Rana Singh, Spiritual devotee of the Nirankari Mission. The spiritual discourses were followed by bhajans and devotional songs. Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul & Head of Chancery represented the Consulate General of India, Chicago at the event. He shared the information about celebration of 4th International Day of Yoga with the participants. He said that this year International Day of Yoga will be celebrated in collaboration with the City of Chicago and Chicago-Delhi Sister-City Relations Committee on Saturday 16th June, 2018 at Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602. The event will be inaugurated at 11:00AM in the presence of dignitaries, government officials, community leaders and the yoga followers. This would be followed by practice of common yoga protocol and other yoga activities. He also informed the participants about the extra-ordinary efforts made by Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan for securing Millennium Park as the venue of 4th International Day of Yoga. He also made a vehement appeal to the community members to come and join the Consulate at Millennium Park on June 16, 2018 in order to make the event a mega success and urged all the Community organizations and media partners to extend whole-hearted support in celebrating the International Day of Yoga.
Consul General’s visit to Michigan
May 18, 2018 PRESS RELEASE
Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan visited Michigan on May 18, 2018. She was invited by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Asian Diversity Group at the Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s Asian Heritage Month Convention in Auburn Hills. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world enlisting Jeep, Chrysler, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Lancia, Fiat and RAM. The Asians Connected Together group is the largest group in FCA by the virtue of its size consisting of 1500 employees at the world HQ of FCA and by the extensive events and activities it conducts all around the year celebrating and promoting Diversity & Inclusion. The Consul General was the Chief Guest and key note speaker at the event which was attended by nearly 800 people. In her speech she mentioned that the Asian American Heritage Month celebrated the incredible diversity among the various communities in the US and recognized the contributions of a number of Asian Americans who have contributed to making US what it is today. She also said that India was similar in this regard as people of various religions, ethnic backgrounds, races and languages have lived together for centuries. She congratulated Asian Americans on their achievements and for having assimilated so well into the US society and to have yet retained their unique cultural identity. She mentioned the quote of Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” and encouraged everybody to participate in building stronger communities and stronger partnerships. CG also attended a round table on “Doing Business in India -- Opportunities and Challenges” organized by Automation Alley in partnership with Michigan Economic Development Corporation. She addressed a group of CEOs and high level executives from various companies based in Michigan as well as India and spoke on the immense trade and investment opportunities for US companies in India. she mentioned that as the fastest growing economy in the world India has become the destination of choice for many investors and businesses from around the world. She stated that the ease of doing business has improved considerably and that the Government of India of Prime Minister Modi was committed to making India one of the most as business friendly countries in the world. She informed the participants about “Invest India” under the Department of Commerce in India and how it was providing support to businesses in their investment plans. Automation Alley announced that they are taking a trade mission to India in fall this year. CG said that she was looking forward to working with all to make the visit of the trade mission successful. We look forward to working together for a successful visit.
Celebration of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti April 16th 2018
Celebration of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti and Launching of 4th International Yoga Day and Kala Utsav, 2018. The Consulate General of India, Chicago organized an event on Monday, April 16, 2018 to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar and to kick off launching of fourth international day of yoga and Kala Utsav, 2018 at the Consulate premises. The meeting was attended by different community organizations, established yoga and spiritual centers, Business community and members of the Media. Shri D.B.Bhati, Consul and Head of Chancery welcomed the guests and gave introductory remarks on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General discussed the life and vision of the great leader Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. As part of the celebration, a photo exhibition depicting different phases of Dr. Ambedkar’s life was also organized. The Consul General also shared information with the participants about celebration of 4th International Day of Yoga. She informed that this year International Day of Yoga will be celebrated in collaboration with the City of Chicago and Chicago-Delhi Sister-City Relations Committee on Saturday 16th June, 2018 at Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602. The event will be inaugurated at 11:00AM in the presence of dignitaries, government officials, community leaders and the yoga followers. This would be followed by practice of common yoga protocol and other yoga activities. The Consulate would also be organizing stand-alone activities for promoting International Yoga Day event at Sant Nirankari Mission, BAPS temple and HTGC. The Consul General also briefed the participants about Kala Utsav 2018, which will be held at Harris Theater on July 29, 2018. She said that this year Kala Utsav will be a theme-based event. She made a vehement appeal to the community to come and join the Consulate in order to make the events a mega success. A separate meeting for the dance groups participating in the upcoming Kala Utsav was arranged with the Consul General where the dance groups were briefed as to what type of performances are expected from them. They were also informed about the dates for registration of their groups with the Consulate and dress rehearsal etc.
The Consul General concluded the meeting and urged all the Community organizations and media partners to extend whole-hearted support in celebrating the fourth International Day of Yoga and Kala Utsav, 2018 in a befitting manner.
Make in India" Executive Seminar March 28,2018
Consulate General of India Chicago, in collaboration with Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Grant Thornton Chicago organized an Executive Seminar on “Make In India”, one of the flagship programme of the Government of India on March 28, 2018 from 05:00 PM – 09:00 PM at Grant Thornton premises in Downtown Chicago.
The event was opened by Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul (PCV), acknowledging presence of dignitaries in the event. Mr. Meena explained the purpose of Make In India initiative launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narender Modi in September, 2014. It is a powerful, galvanising call to action to India’s citizens and business leaders, and an invitation to potential partners and investors around the world.
The seminar began with Mr. Vince Tomkinson, Office Managing Partner, Grant Thornton stating in his opening remarks that the evening will focus on opportunities and challenges for doing business in India. He said that Grant Thornton has 50, 000 members around the world with 3000 employees & 14 offices in India. The organization has been for years assisting Indian companies’ invest in USA.
Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan delivered the Keynote. She first thanked everyone for joining the event. Consul General said that India’s current growth rate which is amongst highest in the world has provided strong impetus to the global economic growth. She quoted IMF data on India’s contribution to world GDP was 2.4% in 2013 which has reached 3.1% in 4 years. Not just this 21% of world economy is fueled by growth in the Indian economy. She mentioned that the Government has taken 7000 reform measures including repealing 1400 rules to make it easier to do business in India. Consul General highlighted from UNCTAD’s report that shows India among the top 3 prospective host economies and among top 2 FDI destinations. She also spoke about the Goods and Services Tax that merged more than 23 taxes into a single tax system. She emphasized how Make In India campaign has proven affective for all sectors especially for electronics goods sector. The total trade between India and US was 124 billion in 2017-18. She conveyed that around 100 Indian companies like Mahindra and Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, have created 113, 000 jobs in USA. She ended her speech saying that India ‘s growth presents a win win partnership for both India and USA.
The next speaker Mr. Mark Peterson, President & CEO, Intersect Illinois spoke on the strategic partnership between India and Illinois. He informed that there are 1800 foreign based companies in Illinois with $100 billion FDI. Highlighting Indian investment in Illinois he said there are 104 Indian owned firms in Illinois, that employ 6,275 people and contribute $1,087 million in global sales. These companies mostly are into whole sale trade, manufacturing, Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services, and Information. Vvf, ZenSar, Dabur, Wockhardt, Wipro, Suzlon are a few to mention. Moreover, there is immense potential to increase trade and investment.
Ms. Pallavi Verma, Senior Managing Director – US Midwest, Accenture the next speaker talked about three things, People and why they are most important asset (Talent), Why India is an innovation-led country (Economy), How Accenture supports the country’s priority Government initiatives (Corp. Citizenship). She reinforced that one of the many draws of India is its immense pool of talent: an English-speaking workforce at scale coming out of a very strong higher educational system. Currently, Accenture operates in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Delhi, Gurgaon & the National Capital Region. In India, Accenture launched a new Accenture Innovation Hub in Bangalore in July 2017. She said that in India Artificial Intelligence has the potential to add US$957 billion to India's economy by 2035. Accenture is also committed to supporting Government of India’s priority government initiatives. It has trained more than 380,000 since 2010 under as support to Skill India and tracks 1,500 startups in India. She closed by saying that India will continue to flourish, particularly in the areas of technology and innovation.
The next speaker was Ms. Ridhika Batra, Country head and Director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in USA spoke on Make In India success stories. The Key sectors include Automobile, Aviation, and Defense. Defense trade between the US and India increased from $1 billion to over $15 billion. Exports to India support over 260, 000 jobs across 50 states. She also mentioned few success stories of Make In India campaign like the Dhanush Artillery Gun System. Department of Procurement Procedure (DPP) for foreign companies is encouraging partnership with Indian companies. Large number of Media and Entertainment investments are also taking place with movies like having Indian producers ‘The Post’.
Mr. Rajesh Tripathi, National Leader India Business Group, Grant Thornton LLP, the next speaker spoke on the tax aspect of doing business in India. He informed that Grant Thornton has 60, 000 employees in 140 countries. There are 13 offices and 3000 employees in 13 states of India. He highlighted the Government introduced landmark reforms. The biggest of all being GST that impacted all the 29 states. Its easier to do business in India post the introduction of GST. He talked about the Jan Dhan Yojna and Key investment sectors under Make In India. The best way he said to enter Indian market is to liaison with local players and set up a liaison office in India. LLP or Private Limited Companies are good option to start. Taxes for a Private Limited company is 33% but for branches its 40% because branches are not legal entities. All business he informed have to be registered under GST. He also spoke about the transfer pricing for US company operating in India.
Dr. Ramesh Raman, Technology and Analytics Lead, Adani Group spoke about the role of Adani Group is playing in the Make in India campaign.
Last speaker for the evening Mr. John Kingsly, Resident Director Promotion Office, Marine Products Export Development Authority, Ministry of Commerce and Industry Government of India talked about the marine and agricultural opportunities in India. He resourced to inform that as per GLOBEFISH, India is the fourth largest exporter of seafood in 2017, largest supplier of frozen shrimp to USA. He covered Tea, Coffee, Spices etc.
Ms. Laura Ortega, from Illinois Chamber of Commerce made the closing remarks.
The event was attended by over 200 Entrepreneurs, Heads of Business organizations and Community leaders from Chicagoland and US-Midwest.
India’s new initiatives, Budget 2018
“An Event on India’s new initiatives, Budget 2018, Business opportunity in Indian States [Punjab, MP, AP & Telangana] and upcoming Consulate’s Cultural Initiatives” held on 7th March, 2018.
Consulate General of India Chicago, in collaboration with TiE Chicago organized a Seminar and Panel discussion on “India’s new initiatives, Budget 2018, Business opportunity in Indian States, Upcoming Business & Cultural Initiatives” on March 7, 2018 from 05:00 PM – 09:00 PM at Meadows Club. The speakers included Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General, Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul[PCV], Mr. Raju Chinthala, Founder & President, Indiana India Business Council, Mr. Bala Palamadai, President, TiE Midwest, Mr. Wilson A., Head International HR, L&T Technology Services Limited and Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul[HOC]. The panel comprised of Consul General, Prof. Sampath Ramesh, Adjunct Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Dr. Ajit Pant, President, US India Chamber of Commerce-Midwest, Ms. Malini Vaidhyanathan, Manager Midwest, Air India, and Mr. Srinivas Pulikam, US CEO, AxisCades.
At the beginning, Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan welcomed the guests and highlighted the contribution of State Governments of India playing significant role in India’s economic diplomacy and external engagements.
The program started with a presentation on States by Mr. O.P. Meena, Consul [PCV] who informed the audience about the creation of a separate States Division in 2014 in the Ministry of External Affairs to recognize the emerging trends of the State Governments of India. The Division was tasked with the mandate of coordination between State Governments of India and the Indian Missions/Posts abroad. He mentioned that the Primary role of the State Division of MEA is to facilitate the State Governments of India in the domain of trade, investment, tourism, culture, education, sub-regional cooperation and other external linkages.
In his presentation on the three States of India: Punjab, Madhya Pradesh & Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Meena spoke about the geographical locations, climatic conditions, economic growth, natural resources, infrastructure support, key sectors and industries, Industrial infrastructures and advantage of doing business and investments in these three States.
While giving power point presentation on Madhya Pradesh Mr. Meena highlighted the geographical location and availability of variety of soils and 11 agro climatic conditions that support cultivation of wide range of crops in the State. It is the 5th among Indian States in rankings based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation according to a study by the World Bank and KPMG. The State has excellent infrastructure with 19 industrial development parks, 129 industrial areas, 6 food parks, 8 integrated development centers, 3 dry parks, 1 stone park, 1 IT park, 1 SEZ and an apparel park at Indore. Under the smart city program of GOI, 7 cities (Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Ujjain, Jabalpur, Sagar, Satna) are being developed as smart cities.
While presenting on the State of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Meena highlighted that the states has a long coastline of 974km which provides numerous opportunities for the State to develop number of ports, marine products, and tourist destinations. Most of the coal-based power plants are located in the coastal regions due to their connectivity to the ports. The State has attracted FDI equity worth US$ 14.331 billion during 2000-2017. In order to fulfill the aim of Andhra Pradesh a most developed State by 2029 in the country, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched 7 Missions, 5 Campaigns and 5 Grids in the State. While presenting on Punjab, Mr. Meena mentioned that approximately 82% of the State’s land is under cultivation making it the ‘Bread basket of India’ and led to first Green revolution in the country. It is the 3rd most attractive destination for new investments in India. The state of Punjab offers right mix for business with robust infrastructure, abundant skilled talent, competitive costs, well established eco-system, and attractive package of fiscal incentives making it a gateway to new avenues.
Mr. Raju Chinthala, Founder & President, Indiana India Business Council, presented the State of Telengana. In his presentation, Mr. Raju Chinthala mentioned that Telangana is the youngest State in the Union of India. The major industries include IT, Pharma & Biotech, Textile, Aviation, Food Processing , Automotive , Plastic & Chemicals. While highlighting advantage of Telagana, Mr. Chintala mentioned that the Pioneer State is natural gateway to both North and South India with 24,245 kms road length and 16 National Highways covering 2,593 Kms, excellent airport connecting international and domestic key cities and abundant natural resources and minerals. While highlighting the growth of the State, Mr. Chintala said that the State was ranked 1st in Ease of doing Business Reforms in 2015-16, the economic growth of the State has been increased from 6.43% to 9.24% since formation and the State achieved 1st Rank in India in cashless transactions. The Major State Government Initiatives include Mission Bhagiratha (Tap water to one crore homes), Mission Kakatiya (46,631 water bodies with storage capacity of 265 TMC over four years) and Telanganaku Haritha Haram (forest area to go up to 33% from current 23%).
Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan delivered the keynote address wherein she highlighted major aspects of Indian economy, key initiatives undertaken by the Government during the recent Budget 2018-19, new economic initiatives taken by the Government, developments in the field of Science & Technology and India-US relationship especially in the fields of trade, economy, defense, science & technology. During her address, Consul General said that in the last three years India has achieved a growth rate of around 7 percent and it is estimated that India will continue to grow at around 7.5%. India is a 2.5 trillion dollar economy now, which makes it the 7th largest economy in the world. She mentioned the special efforts made by Government to uplift farmers and under privileged sections of the society through schemes like Ujjwala and Saubhagya. Consul General also underlined Hon’ble Prime Minister’s message for maximum governance and minimum government that has led to improvement in India’s ranking by 42 places in the last three years in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” with breaking into top 100 for the first time. She restated that iconic policy initiative since GST, would ease the business and would attract investors & FDI. Talking on India-US relationship, Consul General mentioned that India and USA are natural allies. The total trade has been enhanced to 124 billion dollar in 2017. A recent survey done by CII reveals that 100 Indian companies have invested 17 billion dollars in the US creating over 113,000 jobs. In the Midwest Infosys and Wipro have set up bases in Indiana and are generating thousands of jobs for US citizens.. Mr. Bala Palamdai, President, TiE Midwest, spoke on business environment for Entrepreneurs in India. He mentioned that Government of India’s new economic initiatives and tax reforms have made a huge change and the process had become much simpler leading to more digitization and the economy had become more attractive for business and investments. Mr. Wilson A., Head International HR, L&T Technology Services Limited, highlighted on business evolution from HR perspective in US for Indian companies. He spoke on changing landscape of Indian workforce in US, employment creation, re-skilling & talent pool development and employer branding. Consul General Neeta Bhushan, Prof. Sampath Ramesh, Adjunct Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Dr. Ajit Pant, President, US India Chamber of Commerce-Midwest, Ms. Malini Vaidhyanathan, Manager Midwest, Air India, and Mr. Srinivas Pulikam, US CEO, AxisCades held a Panel Discussion. The Panelists discussed regarding India’s role in global economy, India-US trade relations, growing tourism industry in India and the digitization process in India. The Panel was moderated by Prof. Sampath Ramesh.
Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul [HOC], gave PowerPoint presentation on Consulate’s cultural activities and briefed on Media upcoming events. Mr. Bhati said that the Consulate will celebrate “ 4th International Yoga Day “ on 16th June, 2018 at The Millennium Park , 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 and “ Kala-Utsav 2018” on Saturday July21ST 2018 at HARRIS THEATRE, 205 East Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois.
The event was attended by over 250 Entrepreneurs, Heads of Business organizations and Community leaders from Chicagoland and US-Midwest.
Consulate General of India, Chicago Celebrates 69th Republic Day with Gaiety and Fervour
Consulate General of India, Chicago celebrated the 69th Republic Day of India on Friday, January 26, 2018 with great enthusiasm and traditional zeal. The Flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Consulate premises in downtown Chicago with an overwhelming participation of the Indian-American Community and Friends of India under the umbrella of the Consulate General of India, Chicago. The atmosphere at the venue was charged with feelings of patriotism and pride.
The celebration kick started with the lighting of lamp by Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan and Ms. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Lieutenant Governor of the state of Illinois. The Consul General welcomed the Lieutenant Governor by presenting her a bouquet. The fervour of patriotism picked up with the singing of Vande Matram by Ms. Prerna Arya, Teacher of Indian Culture. Thereafter, Consul General hoisted the National Flag followed by singing of the National Anthem of India. Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan also read out the address of the Hon’ble President of India.
Lt. Governor Evelyn congratulated and conveyed her best wishes to the Consul General on behalf of the state of Illinois. The event concluded with a cultural program by the students from Team Ghunguru & Soorya Dance School who presented colourful Indian dances.
Check out the photos here https://photos.app.goo.gl/kqMI1aG7kLUbrWmd2
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas & Hindi Divas
Consulate General of India, Chicago celebrated Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas on January 09, 2018 at the Consulate premises located in downtown Chicago. The event was well attended by about 100 members of the community as well as friends of India.
Mr. D.B.Bhati, Consul & Head of Chancery welcomed the guests and participants of the event followed by screening of a documentary titled “Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas -2017”. The documentary depicted the direct engagement of Government of India leaders at the highest level with the Indian community all across the world. Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General delivered the keynote address. She highlighted the efforts being made by Government of India to reach out to the Indian community settled abroad. She also highlighted some of the ongoing flagship programs of the government aimed at strengthening engagement with the diaspora and as to how the Consulate General of India, Chicago is implementing them. Consul General also felicitated Dr. Bharat Barai and Dr. Niranjan Shah, recipients of Pravasi Bhartiya Samman from Chicago area. Dr, Bharat Barai also addressed the gathering and discussed as to how the Indian community can complement the efforts of the Government of India for the welfare of the community and for further strengthening our partnership with the US .
Mr. Mohammed Yusuf, father of Mr. Mohammed Akbar who became victim of gun violence in Chicago on 6th December, 2017, Mr. Ishak Vohra, father of Mr. Arshad Vohra, a 19 year Indian student who was shot dead in a robbery attempt on 28th December and Mr. Muzaffer Hussain, Son of Mr. Bakar Sayyed who was also shot in the same incident on 28th December were also present during the event. They spoke very highly of the quick efforts made by the Consulate in reaching out to the victims of the violence and their family members as also the help extended to them by the Consulate during the critical times.
The Consulate also celebrated the Vishava Hindi Diwas immediately after the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas. Some prominent Hindi poets of Chicago area such as Ms. Gurbachan Kaur “Neelam” and Ms. Sudaksha recited their poems on this occasion highlighting the sentiments of migrant Indians.
Aadhaar Enrolment to NRIs and PIOs
Aadhaar Card enrolment is presently available to residents in India. OCI Cardholders who stay in India for a long time (over 182 days in twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment) and have an Indian address can also enroll for Aadhaar Card in India. NRIs, although they are citizens of India, are not eligible for Aadhaar Card if they have not stayed for more than 182 days or more in the last 12 months. Upon completion of 182 days of their stay in India in the last 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment, NRIs can apply for Aadhaar Card.
"As per Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961, every person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number shall, on or after the 1st day of July, 2017, quote Aadhaar number— (i) in the application form for allotment of permanent account number; (ii) in the return of income. The above provisions apply to persons who are eligible to get Aadhaar. Under section 3 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, only a resident is entitled to get Aadhaar. Therefore, the provisions of Section 139AA quoted above regarding linking of Aadhaar to PAN or the requirement of quoting the Aadhaar number in the return shall not apply to a non-resident, who is not eligible to get Aadhaar.”
Celebrating 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh ji
Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with Sikh Temple of Wisconsin celebrated 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh ji on November 19, 2017. The event was organized at the Sikh Temple located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The program commenced with Shabad Kirtan by Bhai Gurmail Singh Ji followed by Katha by Bhai Harjinder Singh Ji, Kirtan by Bhai Surjit Singh Ji and Ardaas Prayers. The event concluded with the keynote address delivered by Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India followed by langar. In her address, the Consul General mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh ji was a great leader and sacrificed his whole family for the sake of his belief and convictions as well as for his community. He was a true nation builder and remains an exemplary example of courage in the face of crisis. Guru Gobind Singh molded the Sikh religion into its present shape, with the institution of the Khalsa fraternity, and completion of the sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, in the final form that we find today.
3 The event was attended by about 500 persons. The Consul General thanked the Gurudwara management Committee for the cooperation extended to the Consulate for organizing the event.
November 06, 2017
Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh led a high level delegation for the second time this year to Chicago and Des Moines, Iowa on October 18-20, 2017. The delegation comprised Mr. Y. Ramakrishnudu, Minister for Finance & Planning, Commercial tax & Legislative Affairs; Mr. S. Chandramohan Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture; Sericulture and Agri-processing; Dr. Parakala Prabhakar, Communication Advisor to Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh; Mr. Krishna Kishore, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board and other senior officials of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India and Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul (Political, Commerce & Visa) joined the delegation from the Consulate General of India, Chicago.
It may be recalled that the CM had visited Chicago/Iowa in May 2017 as well. An Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in the field of agriculture between Andhra Pradesh and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship was signed to further enhance cooperation in the fields of culture, education, economy, science, IT, agriculture, life sciences, infrastructure and sports between the two sides.
The present visit was to further expand collaboration between Andhra Pradesh and Iowa in the field of agriculture and seeds science. The Government of Andhra Pradesh is in the process of establishing a mega seed park in collaboration with the Seeds Science Center based in Iowa.
Chief Minister first visited the Virtual Reality Application Center of Iowa State University where he chaired a Roundtable Meeting with academicians and researchers of the Seed Science Center. Later in the evening, Chief Minister attended a reception hosted by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds which was an official side event of the Borlaug Dialogue and the World Food Prize.
CM also participated in the World Food Prize ceremony on 19th October and met Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of World Food Prize Foundation, Mr. Bill Northy, Secretary of Agriculture and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank who was awarded the World Food Prize this year. He also interacted with Congressmen David Young and Steve King of Iowa. In addition, he also addressed a gathering of CEOs and representatives of agri-based and food processing companies at a luncheon meeting organized by the USISPF (US India Strategic Partnership Forum). Chief Minister mentioned about the farm producers' organizations and water users association established in Andhra Pradesh. He stated that Andhra Pradesh is adopting a number of best practices from seeds to cultivation to storage and post-production processes. He highlighted investment opportunities available in developing the Mega Seed Park as well as the new capital Amravati. He invited the CEOs to invest in the State.
In Chicago, CM and the delegation interacted with CEOs of IT companies as well as members from other business communities from Andhra Pradesh
Consulate General of India under the leadership of Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan unveiled bronze sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi at World Headquarters of Lions International in Oak Brook, Illinois on October 30, 2017
The Gandhi Sculpture is 5.1” high. It is made of bronze and has been designed by world renowned artist Philip Jackson from Europe and installed on white marble pedestal with Inscription “Mahatma Gandhi”. The total height of the sculpture is 7.1” together with the pedestal while its total weight is about 2200 lbs. The Consulate in coordination with Redberri Earth Foundation and Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas family Foundation is planning for permanent installation of the sculpture at an appropriate location in Chicago to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi next year.
The event was keenly attended by about 150 persons including Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy. A team of Indian Members of Parliament that currently in Chicago also participated in the event besides the Mayor of Oakbrook Mr. Gopal Lalmalani, imminent persons of Indian community and the members of Consular Corps of Chicago.. Speaking on this occasion Consul General Mrs. Neeta Bhushan highlighted the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to world peace. She said that Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through the means of peace and non-violence and gave the weapon of non-violence to the world. He also inspired several world leaders including Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. His philosophy has been beacon of hope and peace around the world.
Gandhi Statue will be on display at Lions Clubs International World Headquarters. Lions Club is one of the largest service based organization in the world and is celebrating its centenary year in 2017 under the leadership of Mr Naresh Agarwal from India who is currently the President.
Consulate General of India, Chicago celebrated birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhsai Patel on October 31, 2017. The event was organized at the Consulate premises located in downtown Chicago.
Mr. D.B.Bhati, Consul & Head of Chancery welcomed the participants of the event which was followed by screening of a documentary on the life and time of Sardar Patel. The documentary depicted the crucial role by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during the freedom struggle of India and as to how he was instrumental in the integration of over 500 princely states into the Indian Union. Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General delivered keynote address. She highlighted the contribution of Sardar Patel in achieving the unification of India. She said that Sardar Patel was one of Gandhiji’s closest associates, and he organized and led several satyagrahas during India’s struggle for freedom from British rule. He also promoted women’s empowerment. His vision was for India to be strong and united.
As part of celebration of the birth anniversary, a book exhibition displaying various books written on Sardar Patel was also organized. The event was attended by about 100 persons.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
GLOBALSOFT 2018 ROADSHOW ORGANISED IN CHICAGO
Consulate General of India Chicago, in collaboration with Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) organized a presentation and discussion session on "Globalsoft" on October 25, 2017 from 11am to 1pm in the Consulate premises. Mr. Nalin Kohli, Chairman, Indiasoft – Globalsoft Committee and Past Chairman Electronics and Software Export Promotion Council, Mr. Prasad Garapati, Chairman, Electronics and Software Export Promotion Council and Mr. D.K. Sareen, Executive Director of ESC joined the session from India. Mr. O.P. Meena, Consul[Commerce] welcomed the guests and introduced the representatives of the Council. At the outset, the Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan delivered the keynote address wherein she highlighted major aspects of Indian economy and insights on Consulate's efforts towards promotion of trade and commerce between India and USA in general and US-Midwest in particular. The Consul General made a special mention of Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi's vision of "New India". She emphasized that FDI has set new records, and with the introduction of Goods and Services Tax, it has simplified the compliance issues and removed multiple taxes. She reiterated that demonetization has helped the Indian economy and provided an edge to the Digital landscape of India.
In their presentation Mr.Nalin Kohli and Mr. D.K. Sareen spoke about the IT opportunities in India and that India has the world's third largest start-up eco-system. Programs like Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India, Smart City launched by the Government of India offer enormous business opportunities for the Global Technology Companies.
GLOBALSOFT 2018 is being organised on January 24-25 in Bangalore, Silicon Valley of India as an Exhibitor to Explore and tap the limitless opportunities. It would give an opportunity to connect with Key Government Officials in several important Indian States for various Projects including e-Governance, Cyber Security, Smart Cities, Energy, Defense and Homeland Security etc. It would foster Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures, Marketing tie-ups, Re-sellers for the products and services.
The event was attended by over 100 IT professionals from Chicagoland and US-Midwest.
Consulate General of India
Consulate General of India under the leadership of Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan would be unveiling larger than life size bronze sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi at World Headquarters of Lions International in Oak Brook, Illinois on October 30, 2017.
Gandhi Sculpture is 5.1" high. It is made of bronze and has been designed by world renowned artist Philip Jackson from Europe and installed on white marble pedestal with Inscription "Mahatma Gandhi". The total height of the sculpture is 7.1" together with the pedestal while its total weight is about 2200 lbs. The Consulate in coordination with Redberri Earth Foundation and Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas family Foundation is planning for permanent installation of the sculpture at an appropriate location in Chicago to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi is fondly called "Father of the Nation" by India. He was a legendary figure who led India to independence through the means of peace and non-violence . Albert Einstein had once said about him "Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth." Mahatma Gandhi had inspired several world leaders including Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. His philosophy has been a beacon of hope and peace around the world.
Gandhi Statue will be on display at Lions Clubs International World Headquarters. Lions Club is one of the largest service based organization in the world and is celebrating its centenary year in 2017 under the leadership of Mr Naresh Agarwal from India who is currently the Presiden
Global Entry Program (GEP) For Indian nationals
Indian nationals are eligible to apply for GEP. They can submit applications via Global Online Enrollment Systems (GOES)
Step 1. GEP applicant should apply and complete the application submission process through GOES https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov of the US CBP (Customs and Border Patrol).
Step 2. After completion of Step ‘1’ as above, the applicant should submit the requisite information along with applicable fee of Rs.500/- in the Passport Seva Portal (www.passportindia.gov.in) for background verification in India. Applicant must also mandatorily visit the respective Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)/Passport Seva Laghu Kendra (PSLK) in India in person for completing formalities like capturing of biometrics (fingerprints), ICAO standard photograph, in-person interview etc. The visit to the PSK/PSLK should be made only after fixing prior appointment.
Step 3. If the applicant is currently not in India, he should apply for GEP membership at the US CBP site at a date close to his India visit, so that the India side of the application submission process is completed during his visit.
Celebration of Third Kala-Utsav 2017
August 28, 2017
The Consulate General of India organized 4th edition of “Kala-Utsav” the Annual Cultural Festival on August 26, 2017, at Yellow Box, Naperville with 19 different Indian Cultural Organizations to promote the rich heritage of Indian Art and Culture in the US Mid-west. The event provided a platform for over 200 renowned as well as new Indian artists, from across the US Midwest to showcase their talents through various performances.
Hon’ble Cogressman from 8th District of Illinois Raja Krishmoorthi was Chief Guest and Mr. Juan Ochoa, Special Advisor to Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emmanuel and Board of Director of MPEA [Metropolitan Exposition Authority] was the Special Guest on the occasion. The festival was inaugurated by Consul General of India, Ms. Neeta Bhushan, by lighting of the lamp as per the traditional Indian customs. The Chief Guest, Special Guest, prominent community leaders and volunteers participated in the lighting of the lamp. This was followed by the Indian and the US National Anthems.
Nearly 700 people comprising of the Indian-American Diaspora hailing from different parts of US Midwest, including many US nationals and different ethnic groups attended the event.
In her inaugural address, Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan underlined the ancient, rich and diverse culture of India. She added that the objective of the annual 'Kala-Utsav' festival, which was launched by the consulate in August 2014, is not only to encourage and showcase the extraordinary talents in the Indian-American community but also to reiterate and celebrate India's unity in diversity.
During his address, Hon’ble Congressmnan Raja Krishmoorthi also appreciated the efforts of Consulate in providing a platform for showcasing India’s various folks and classical dance forms as well rich musical tradition through the local talents.
The function started with a stunning performance of “ChendaMelam” by the Chicago Kalashetra which is the best –known and most popular kshetram vadyam (temple percussion) genre followed by a sequence of captivating dance performances representing the classical, folk and modern dance forms of India from different dance schools.
The classical dance segment included Kathak performances presented by Anila Sinha Foundation, Bharatnatyam performance presented by Natya Dance School, Kuchupudi by Nrityamala Dance Academy, Odissi dance presented by Utkalaa Dance Group, Adardhnareshwar by Rina Rockers, Jugalbani and Bharatnatyam by Yakshagana from Indiana.
The folk dance segment was quite large. There were 6 folk dance representing six States of India. The Bengali Folk Dance presented by Jhankaar Dance, Shingari Dance School presented Kerala Folk Dance, Rhythms & Grace Dance Studio presented Rajasthani folk dance, the Assam Association of Greater Chicago presented Assam’s Folk dance and high energy Punjabi folk dance “Gidda” by Bollywood Dance Academy. The performance of “Garba”, Gujrati folk dance, by MAFS Seniors Dance Group enthralled the audience.
The kids from Bolly Dance Fit and Fun creative kids also participated and performed in the festival.
There were four presentations under the Contemporary/Fusion dance category in which over twenty five artists participated. The presentation ‘Rain , Drought & Flood’ by Soorya Dance School captured the hearts of the audience. “Bollywood Dance ” was presented by Bollywood Rhythm and Rhythm of Kerala by Team Ghunguru. Mythilli Dance Academy attempted to keep the flame of vibrancy in the heart by presenting “ Parai Drum Dance”.
Mrs. Lakshmi Parmeswaran and Ms. Tanvi Bhatt ably anchored the event as emcee and kept the audience engaged. Mr OP Meena, Consul [HOC], proposed a vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India, Chicago Celebrates 71st Independence Day with Gaiety and Fervour
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s innovative schemes and initiatives have made India the most favourite destination for investments by global players. His visit to the United States has opened newer vistas of mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.”- Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General.
Consulate General of India, Chicago celebrated the 71st Independence Day of India on Tuesday August 15, 2017 with great enthusiasm and traditional zeal. The Flag hoisting ceremony was held at Richard J. Daley Centre with an overwhelming participation of the Indian-American Community and Friends of India under the umbrella of the Consulate General of India, Chicago. The atmosphere at the venue was charged with feelings of patriotism and pride.
The celebration kick started with Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan, hoisting the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India. Consul General read out the Address of the Hon’ble President of India. A cultural program was organized in which students of the Kalashree Dance Academy, Mythilli Dance Academy, Kalapriya Dance Academy, and Fun Creative Kids presented colourful Indian dances. The programme depicted different dance forms in India. The lively audience thoroughly enjoyed the dance and musical program and appreciated the hard work put in by the artistes, especially small children.
The National Day Reception was hosted at the beautiful iconic building of Chicago Cultural Centre. Prominent local dignitaries, Members of Diplomatic Corps, and Indian-American community participated in the event and friends of India. Several Congressmen and Mayors, including Mr Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman from 8th District of State of Illinois, Mayor of Skokie, Mr. George Van Dusen, Mayor of Burr of Ridge, Mr. Mickey Straub, and Mayor of Carmel [State of Indiana], Mr. James Brainard were among the prominent attendees. Representatives from the office of Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton, office of Senator of Illinois Tammy Duckworth, office of the Attorney General Ms. Lisa Madigan, office of Congressman Bobby Rush, office of Hon’ble Mayor of City of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, and many Consuls General also attended the event. The National Day Reception started with National anthems of India and the US, followed by address by Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan.
In her address, Ms. Neeta Bhushan welcomed the guests and mentioned that the celebration represents an important milestone in the historic city of Chicago, well known all over the world for its multi-culturalism as well as diversity, which in many ways is reminiscent of India. She stated that she was honoured to see so many dignitaries including Mayors, Congressmen and Consuls General as well as many members of Indian-Americans, business community, and friends of India participating in the event. She thanked the dignitaries and guests who travelled from various States and far off cities to join this Celebration.
She stated that India has been marching forward from strength to strength in the last seven decades. “India is not just the largest democracy in the world today but a very mature democracy where people from different communities, ethnicity, religious, and castes live together in harmony”, she stated with a sense of pride. Continuing her address, she said: “India is a country of 1.25 billion people with a large segment under the age of 35. India has one of the largest pools of professional and skilled personnel. At present, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a growth rate of over 7% as predicted by the IMF and other credit rating agencies”. She further stated that over the last few decades or so, India has gone through a series of transformations which are so unique not just because of the numbers but because of its implications and ramifications for doing business and interacting with the rest of the world. Consul General mentioned that India has recently been ranked No. 1 among 110 countries making it the world’s top most investment destinations. “In terms of scientific achievement, the Indian Space Research Organization has recently launched over 104 satellites in a single flight of the PSLV. In terms of humanitarian missions, India carried out one of the largest evacuations of its kind in Yemen, bringing home not just Indians but people from over 26 nationalities”, she stated.
She mentioned that India has emerged as a software solution provider for rest of the world and also become a manufacturing hub in the region. She mentioned that Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has launched a number of initiatives such as Skill India, Digital India, Make in India, Clean India etc. She also mentioned that PM’s visit to the US has further strengthened the partnership between the two countries.
On this occasion, Proclamations and Messages received from dignitaries were also read out which included messages from the Governor Bruce Rauner, State of Illinois, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City of Chicago, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, State of Illinois, and Congressman Bobby Rush. Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy read the Proclamation himself.
The ceremony was followed by a cultural program. Students from Team Ghunguru & Soorya Dance School presented colourful Indian dances.
The function concluded with a grand banquet attended by a full house of over 350 people in which sumptuous Indian delicacies were served.
Consulate General of India,
Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with US India Chamber of Commerce Midwest organized a discussion on “ Make in India initiative , PM Modi’s recent US visit and its outcomes and GST Reforms” on August 03, 2017 at Downers Grove, Illinois. At the event, the Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan delivered the keynote address wherein she highlighted major elements of “Make in India” program and the achievements under this initiative so far. The Consul General mentioned that “Make in India” is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India which is aimed at transforming the Indian economy towards making it a ‘global manufacturing hub’. She said that there are at least 30 key economic sectors which international companies can consider for setting up manufacturing bases in India, adding that the manufacturing sector in India offers US dollars one trillion of economic opportunity. In the context of the US Midwest, the Consul General mentioned that there is considerable synergy between states in India and those in the US Midwest and this could be effectively utilized to boost the manufacturing sectors in both countries. She highlighted about the benefits of GST and how it has subsumed 17 taxes and over 23 cesses. GST is aimed at integrating the tax structure throughout India. She said that government has taken a series of reforms to improve the ease of doing business. She also talked about other flagship programs of Government of India such as “Skill India” and “Digital India”. She also mentioned about the important achievements of the recent visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to USA. She said that both President Trump and Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence that, together, the United States and India will provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens in the decades to come. The leaders stressed that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens rooted out in every part of the world. India appreciated the United States designation of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist as evidence of the commitment of the United States to end terror in all its forms. The two leaders also pledged to deepen defense and security cooperation.
Mr. Ajit Pant, President, US India Chamber of Commerce Midwest discussed the “Make in India” initiative and the vast business opportunities that this program presents for the overseas investors. Ms. Lisa Victoria Waller, Vice President, BDG International discussed the GST reforms in details and informed the participants about the impact of GST reforms on the foreign companies functioning in India and as to how they can also benefit from the reforms in the long run. About 150 persons from business community of Chicago area participated in the event.
Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) guidelines on July 19,2017
Revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund Guidelines
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved revision of the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) guidelines.
ICWF, set up in 2009, is aimed at assisting Overseas Indian nationals in times of distress and emergency in the most deserving cases on a means tested basis. The revised guidelines being made broad-based seek to expand the scope of welfare measures that can be extended through the Fund. The guidelines would cover three key areas namely Assisting Overseas Indian nationals in distress situations, Community Welfare activities and Improvement in Consular services. They are expected to provide Indian Missions and Posts abroad greater flexibility in swiftly addressing to requests for assistance by Overseas Indian nationals.
Apart from assisting Indian nationals in distress abroad, ICWF has been a critical support in emergency evacuation of Indian nationals in conflict zones in Libya, Iraq , Yemen, South Sudan and other challenging situations like assistance extended to undocumented Indian workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Nitaqat drive in 2013 and the ongoing Amnesty drive in 2017.
The scale and speed of these evacuations and assistance rendered through the Fund has been universally appreciated. It has also created a sense of confidence among the migrant workers going overseas about the support they can expect from India during critical times.
ICWF stands extended to all Indian Missions and Posts abroad and is primarily funded by levying service charge on various consular services rendered by Indian Missions and Posts abroad.
“Spreading the Message of health, happiness and peace across the Globe through Yoga”- Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India in Chicago
Third International Yoga Day, organized by Consulate General of India in Chicago, attracted thousands of Indian-Americans and people belonging to other Nationalities
Chicago/Naperville: June 27th, 2017: Consulate General of India in Chicago, in collaboration with the City of Naperville, rolled out the third edition of International Yoga Day, on June 24th, 2017 at Naperville Yard, 1603 Legacy Circle, Naperville, IL 60563. The high-profile event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp and singing of the National Anthems of Republic of India and United States of America. The purpose of the event was to create a broad-based awareness about the benefits of yoga for all sections of society, irrespective of their age group, and also to introduce the ancient mind-body practice to a generation of technology-loving kids and to reintroduce it to an older generation of high-strung adults. Video messages of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj, and Ayush Health Minister Shri Shripad were played during the official opening ceremony.
City of Naperville issued a Proclamation and declared June 24th 2017 as International Yoga Day in the City of Naperville. It was one of the mega events in Chicago in which about 100 community organizations and over 3000 Indian Americans and people belonging to other nationalities participated, along with their family and friends.
The event started at 10 am with Yoga demonstration by volunteers from the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. After this, the event shifted to its main official opening ceremony which included lighting of the lamp which was followed by demonstration of common asanas (postures), breathing techniques and shanti mantra. There were breakout sessions of chair yoga for people who have mobility challenges, kids’ yoga, women's yoga, and age-based yoga for different generational groups.
Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India in Chicago extended warm welcome and greetings to everyone present on the occasion. In her remarks, she said; "June 21st was declared as day of International Yoga Day through UN resolution supported by a whopping 177 countries, a unique record in its own right". She conveyed that yoga was a great way to connect to oneself and achieve a healthy balance between the mind and body. “People are losing their health consciousness, but yoga is one way to get it back”, Ms. Neeta Bhushan said and added that yoga helps people in attaining harmony within themselves as well with other members of the community. She also mentioned that Yoga helps people in maintaining balance among their thoughts, emotions, and feelings, and thereby improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
Ms. Neeta Bhushan expressed her gratitude to the city of Naperville, its India-friendly Mayor Steve Chirico Mayor, the dignitaries, participating organizations, and community members for taking an active part in the celebration of the Third International Yoga Day. She thanked leaders of other communities such as the Muslim community who had come to participate in the Yoga day in large numbers despite Ramzan.
Mayor of Naperville Hon. Steve Chirico said that the contemporary world of work brings in its wake a highly stressful life for people. “Yoga is a great way to destress and relax, especially for those who are having tough jobs and juggle a lot of things”, said Mr. Steve Chirico and added that in the present-day busy life, everyone should take care of his health and well-being.
Congressman Mr. Peter Roskam and Mr. Gaur Gopal Das, and other eminent motivational speaker, also spoke on the occasion and underscored the multifarious health benefits of yoga. Other eminent persons who participated in the inaugural ceremony and other related events included Mayor of Oakbrook Hon. Gopal Lalmalani, Swami Vishwangji, Mr. William Sands, Dean of the College of Maharishi Vedic Science, etc.
Lectures on Yoga, Nutrition, and Weight Loss were delivered by Mr. Abhijit Joshi, Mr. Anu Malhotra, Ms. Kusum Patel, Mr. Hiral Vyas, Dr. Harpreet Singh, Mr. Prasad Palacharla, and experts representing such well-known organizations as Isha Foundation, Sri Venkateswara Swami Balaji Temple, Sewa International, Brahma Kumaris, Kriya Vedanta Gurukulam, Heartfulness, Science of Spirituality, Sahaja Yoga Meditation, etc.
Cultural Programs, Games, Family, and Kids’ Activities were presented by Ms. Prachi, Ms. Alokita Dhar, Ms Sabrina, Mr. Maddy Singh, and artists representing such eminent organizations as Desi Junction, Soorya Dance School, SR International, Jhankaar Dance Group, SNM & UPA Teams, etc.
"The yoga event, featuring about 50 food booths, music, dance, and cultural entertainment made the day a pleasant, enriching, and memorable experience of our lifetime", opined many a participant unanimously.
Mr. Jassi Parmar, Mr. Sanjeev Singh, and Mohan Rawat, who were the Emcees, conducted the program in a professional fashion and added great value to the event.
Consulate General of India
Wednesday, May 18, 2017
Kick off Ceremony of 3rd International Yoga Day
The third International Day of Yoga will be celebrated by the Consulate General of India in collaboration with the City of Naperville on Saturday 24th June, 2017 at Naperville Yard, 1603 Legacy Circle, Naperville, IL 60563. In this connection, the kick off ceremony of 3rd International of Day of Yoga was celebrated on 17th May, 2017 in the Consulate premises. The ceremony was attended by different community organizations, established yoga and spiritual centers, Business community and members of the Media. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests.
During kick off ceremony, Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General, addressed the gathering & shared information with participants on celebration of 3rd International Day of Yoga. Emphasizing the importance of the Yoga Day, Consul General termed it as the pet-project of Prime Minister Modi, and of Ambassador Navtej Sarna as well. Consul General shared the following important details of the Third International Day of Yoga Day celebration :
Day and Date: Saturday , June 24th , 2017
Venue: Naperville Yard, 1603 Legacy Circle, Naperville, IL 60563
Timings: The official programme will be 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM followed by the Community fest.
Events: This year’s Yoga Day activities extend over several days; and all across Chicagoland. On June 24th an array of activities will follow the official programme from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM followed by community fest and cultural activities till 05:00 PM. In the run up to the celebrations, various temples, community organizations, and Yoga Centers will be organizing the stand-alone activities which includes 2nd Kick off ceremony at Sri Venkateshwara Swami Balaji Temple on 4th June, 3rd Kick off ceremony at Sant Nirankari Mission on 11th June followed by 4th Kick off ceremony in Oak Brook. In addition, many satellite events have been arranged all across.
Participating Organisations : Participating organisations includes the Art of living Foundation, Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers, SEWA International, Science of Spirituality, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Sahaj Yoga Meditation, Sri Venkateshwara Swami Balaji Temple and American Association of Retired Asians (AARA) etc.
The Community organizations in Chicagoland have come forward to support the event which includes both Federation of Indian Associations, Naperville Indian Community outreach, Sant Nirankari Mission, Gujrati Samaj of Chicago, Gandhi Samaj of Chicago, iHope SEWA, Metropolitan Asian Family Services, Bhartiya Seniors of Chicago, Punjabi American Organization, Chicago Andhra Association, Chicago Indo-US Lions Club, GOPIO Chicago Chapter, Association of Rajasthanis in America Association, Eye on India, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, World Hindu Council etc.
Media Partner : Desi Junction, India Post , Hi India, Desitalk, Asian Media USA, TV Asia USA, Swades Media USA, Radio Panipoori, Hello NRI will be Media Partner for celebration of 3rd International Day of Yoga.
Sponsors : Air India, State Bank of India, SR International, Sahil, National Bankcard, Adbhut Entertainment will sponsor the Event.
Consul General made a vehement appeal to the community to come and join. In order to make the event a mega success, Consul General threw open all gates inviting people to participate. The euphoric attendees also reciprocated with an equal zeal.
The Consulate is expecting the participation of several local dignitaries and elected officials in the inaugural ceremony of the International Yoga Day. The City of Naperville has declared its support to the celebrations and would be issuing a special proclamation declaring the Day by the city as International Yoga Day.
The Consul General concluded the Meeting and urged all the Community organizations and Media partners to extend whole-hearted support in celebrating the third International Day of Yoga in a befitting manner.
Consulate General of India,
Chicago May 08, 2017
A high level delegation led by Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh visited Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday, May 07, 2017. The delegation comprised of Mr. Y. Ramakrishnudu, Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh and other senior officials of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India and Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul (Political, Commerce & Visa) joined the delegation from the Consulate General of India, Chicago.
The Chief Minister was welcomed at the Des Moines airport by Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General. During the visit, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of agriculture between the Andhra Pradesh government and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship was signed in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan and the accompanying delegation in Des Moines, capital of Iowa. The Chief Minister also visited the World Food Prize Foundation where he was welcomed by Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of World Food Foundation, Mr. Bill Northy, Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa and Mr. Craig Hill, Director of World Food Prize Foundation.
Signalling the importance the Chief Minister attaches to the agricultural sector in the state, the delegation also visited Seed Research Center at Iowa State University. The delegation also visited the horticulture farms to study the best practices followed there.
Referring to the signing of the MoC, Chief Minister Mr. Naidu said it would help in increasing the seed production and research, leading to increase in crop output. He informed the gathering about the farm producers' organizations and water users association established in Andhra Pradesh. He stated that Andhra Pradesh is adopting a number of best practices from seeds to cultivation practices to storage and post-production processes. Mr. Naidu stated that he was delighted to have this MoC in place. He also complimented the work being done by the World Food Prize Foundation.
Chief Minister Mr. Naidu also addressed a gathering of Telugu community at Des Moines. He appreciated the contribution being made by them towards development of the state of Andhra Pradesh and for promoting the values and culture of India in the United States as well.
Consulate General of India
CHICAGO, May 3, 2017 – Mr. Jagdish Prasad Meena, Special Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, begins an intensive two-day round of meetings today with high-level officials from several Chicagoland food services, logistics and restaurant companies, urging them to take advantage of India’s liberalized foreign investment rules, readymade infrastructure and improving ease-of-doing-business climate.
Given its size and location in the Midwest, Chicago has been the hub of the U.S. food and food processing industry and is home to many of the world’s leading food and agriculture companies. Special Secretary Meena will meet with Potbelly, headquartered in downtown Chicago, and Mondelez, which has a bakery in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. Meetings are also scheduled with Sensient, Griffith Foods, and Ingredion, etc.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has significantly liberalized foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations, and now allows 100 percent FDI in manufacturing of food products and 100 percent FDI in trading including e-commerce in food products manufactured and/or produced in India. India has undertaken several national and state-level programs to improve the nation’s standing in the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business Index.
India’s food processing industry is experiencing significant growth and boasts existing infrastructure in new Mega Food Parks around the country as well as state-of-the-art Cold Chain facilities.
From Nov. 3-5, 2017, New Delhi will host the World Food India 2017, a first-of-its-kind mega-scale event showcasing the large agricultural/horticultural produce base of India and its huge young population, providing a ready market providing immense investment opportunities for the entire food processing and food retail sector. Leading U.S. companies are invited to learn about India’s proactive policies and profitable opportunities available across the entire food processing and food retail value chain.
18th April, 2017
Celebration of 126th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
The Consulate General of India in Chicago in collaboration with Ambedkar Association of North America [AANA] celebrated 126th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on 14th April, 2017.
The opening remarks were delivered by Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General. Consul General addressed the gathering and recalled the mammoth work done by the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution of India. She emphasized that the Constitution of India does not discriminate anyone on the basis of religion, creed, sex or any other ground. It is the duty of every citizen of India, therefore, to uphold the Constitution both in its letter and spirit.
Speakers from Ambedkar Association of North America [AANA] spoke on role of Dr. Ambedkar in National Reconstruction, Ambedkar’s agriculture and economical policies and women empowerment. During cultural programme, the children sang classical Raga & performed the classical dance “Bharat Natyam”. Mr. Mahesh Wasnik introduced the AANA & its activities.
A Book and photo exhibition of photographs on the life and times of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was also organized as part of the celebration.
The celebration was attended by a cross-section of prominent Indian-Americans residing in Chicagoland. Mr OP Meena, Consul, proposed a vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India
Dated April 17, 2017
Ambassador of India to United States of America Shri Navtej Sarna visited Chicago, Illinois on an official visit from April 05- 06, 2017. The last visit to Chicago at the level of Ambassador was that of former Ambassador Shri Arun K.Singh in August, 2015. During his visitt, Ambassador Sarna had useful interactions with Governor of Illinois Mr. Bruce Rauner, Mayor of Chicago Mr. Rahm Emanuel and President and Director of Art Institute of Chicago Mr. James Rondeau. He also interacted with the business leaders, entrepreneurs and prominent Indian-American community members.
On April 06, 2017 Ambassador had a detailed interaction with Governor Bruce Rauner.Both sides discussed about the growing partnership between India and Illinois and acknowledge that there was immense potential for further growth. A large number of Indian companies are functioning in Illinois. The Government of India is developing over 100 smart cities spread all over India and the initiative offers huge investment opportunities for Illinois companies. Governor Rauner congratulated the Ambassador for celebrating 70th anniversary of India’s independence this year and informed that next year in 2018, the state of Illinois will also be celebrating its 200th birth anniversary and he looks forward for the participation of the Consulate General of India in the events to be held on this occasion.
Ambassador Sarna also met with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Mayor Emanuel mentioned that he considers India as a close friend and Indian American community in Chicago is very dynamic and vibrant. The issues related to infrastructure development and energy were also discussed in the meeting. Ambassador said that there is great collaboration for renewable energy with prominent US companies and by 2025 we are hopeful to achieve the targets set by the Government.
In his meeting with Mr. James Rondeau, President and Director of Art Institute of Chicago, the Ambassador was briefed about the activities of the Art Institute, the Vivekanand Memorial Program for Museum Excellence which was established by the Government of India and the Art Institute in 2012 and the historic connection of the Art Institute of Chicago with India, because it was here that the World Parliament of Religions took place in 1893 and Swami Vivekananda presented the "Sisters and Brothers of America" speech.
On April 05, the Punjabi Community of US Midwest hosted the Ambassador on lunch followed by a dinner-cum-reception hosted by the Consul General in the evening. During these events, a large number of eminent business leaders, entrepreneurs, prominent members of Indian-American community and associations based in US Midwest interacted with the Ambassador.
The Economic Club of Chicago also hosted a luncheon for the Ambassador on April 06, 2017. The CEOs of several prominent companies including some fortune 500 companies based in Chicago attended the luncheon. Ambassador addressed the CEOs attending the luncheon and informed about flagship initiatives of the Government of India and business friendly policies and environment currently prevailing in India.
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
New Delhi, 5th April, 2017.
Mandatory Quoting of Aadhaar For PAN Applications & Filing Return of Income
Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017 provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for filing of return of income and for making an application for allotment of Permanent Account Number with effect from 1st July, 2017.
It is clarified that such mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID shall apply only to a person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number. As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident individual is entitled to obtain Aadhaar. Resident as per the said Act means an individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment. Accordingly, the requirement to quote Aadhaar as per section 139AA of the Income-tax Act shall not apply to an individual who is not a resident as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
(Meenakshi J. Goswami)
Commissioner of Income Tax
(Media & Technical Policy)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT.
Consulate General of India
Wednesday March 31, 2017
First interaction with Media by Consul General, Mrs. Neeta Bhushan
The Consulate General of India, Chicago organized a briefing Meeting with Media in the Consulate premises on 29th March, 2017. It was attended by Deshi Media including Desi Talk, India Post, Hi India, TV Asia, Asian Media, Sikh TV, Chicago News Media etc.
Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests and introduced the new Consul General, Mrs. Neeta Bhushan. She joined the Consulate as Consul General in Chicago on 23rd January, 2017. During her address, Consul General reiterated her commitment for welfare of Indian community and diaspora residing in her Consul jurisdiction. She briefed the Media about her new initiatives which include operation of one dedicated phone line from 09:00 AM- 05:30 PM, immediate response of queries even received on social media, extension of community outreach programme to one or two every month and Consul General would herself be available to meet people during Open House.
She also briefed the media about her meetings with dignitaries which include meeting with Mr. Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, Mr. Dennis Daugaard, Governor of South Dakota, Mr. Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakota, Mr. Terry Branstad, Governor of IOWA, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ms. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois and Mr. Jesse White, Secretary of State of Illinois. She informed the media about her meeting with Mr. Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana at NGA meet hosted by Ambassador HE Mr. Navtej Sarna in Washington DC.
She also briefed the media about the incoming & outgoing Trade delegations to and from Chicago. Mr. Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management is leading a delegation to Chicago to participate in Road Show on 5th May, 2017 in connection with CPSE-ETF and disinvestment of HUDCO. Mr. Rajiv Singh, CEO, Prasar Bharati is coming to Chicago on 28th April, 2017 to meet with Media organization /public service provider. The proposed outgoing Trade delegations include high level Mission led by Governors of Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois as well as Mayor of Indianapolis to India.
On the sideline, Consul General also briefed the Media about forthcoming events to be organized by the Consulate during the year 017 which include Ambedkar Jayanti on 14th April, 350th Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh on 11th June, 3rd International Yoga Day on 24th June, India @ 70 Independence Day celebrations on 15th August, 2017, Kala Utsav on 26th August and Gandhi Jayanti celebrations on 2nd October, 2017.
Consul General answered the questions asked by the Media and thanked for their support in disseminating Consulate’s initiatives, activities & programme among Indian Diaspora.
Consulate General of India
Monday, March27, 2017
Celebration of 3nd International Yoga Day – Curtain raiser event
The first preparatory meeting for celebration of 3rd International Yoga Day in US Mid-West was chaired by Consul General, Mrs. Neeta Bhushan. The participating organizations which attended the curtain raiser event were Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, Gayatri Gyan Mandir, Isha Foundation, Sahaja yoga Meditation , Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, SEWA International, Science of Spirituality, Eye on India, Temple of Harmony, Balaji Temple, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir BAPS, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago and Indian Community Outreach Naperville. The 3rd IYD will be celebrated under the umbrella of the Consulate on 24th June, 2017 [Saturday] at Sports Complex, Naperville Yard, Naperville, IL.
Consulate General of India,
Consulate General of India, Chicago organized a special event at the Consulate premises on March 17, 2017 in order to establish an effective networking between the Chambers of Commerce functioning in the US Midwest and the Consulate as also to introduce the new Consul General of India Mrs. Neeta Bhushan to them. The event was attended by the representatives 09 Chambers of Commerce of US Midwest and about 70 business persons, entrepreneurs, representatives of schools of Business, Managers of different airlines and media persons. Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India, Chicago delivered the keynote address highlighting India's growth story and its emergence as the world's fastest growing major economy with GDP growth rate expected to remain on the upper side of 7% in the years to come. She said that the present government has made it a mission to bring a transformative shift in the way India is governed. Efforts have been made by the Government to move towards targeted delivery and to make a shift from informal economy to a formal economy. She further informed that India stands out as a bright spot in the world economic landscape and India’s macro-economic stability continues to be the foundation of economic success. Demonetization was part of the present Government’s resolve to eliminate corruption, black money counterfeit currency and funding for terror activities. She also informed the participants about the Flagship Schemes of GOI such as 'Make in India', 'Start-up India', 'Digital India', 'Skill Development' etc.
The event was also addressed by Ms. Laura Ortega, Executive Director, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Ridhika Batra, Director, FICCI-USA, Mr. Tel Ganeshan, President , TiE, Mr. Ramu Chinthala, Joint Secretary, Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee, Mr. Ajit Pant, President, US India Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Tanya Jain, Manager, US India Business Council, Chicago, Ms. Blanca Berthier, Director International Programs, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Ms. Nisha Vanvari, US American Chamber for US Midwest.
Ms. Laura Ortega briefed the participants about the important aspects of trade relations between India and the state of Illinois. Ms. Radhika Batra informed as to how India is developing its startup ecosystem. Maintaining the tempo, Mr. Tel Ganeshan informed the audience the possibilities of market opportunities being created by India startups. While Mr. Raju Chinthala narrated the collaborations and connections between India and the state of Indiana, Mr. Ajit Pant spoke about the emerging US India trade and business relations and the challenges and the opportunities ahead. Ms. Tanya Jain and Ms. Blanca Berthier highlighted the engagements of their respective organizations with the Consulate and the effective promotion of business opportunities in India by the Consulate.
Embassy of India
Press Release - India hosts National Governors Association 2017 Winter Meeting Inaugural Reception
February 24, 2017
Ambassador of India Navtej Sarna hosted a reception for the Governors of the States of the US at his residence today. This event, the first of its nature held in recent years, was attended by more than 25 Governors, including Governors of Virginia, Nevada, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Guam, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virgin Islands, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Senior representatives of Governors of California, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania were also in the audience.
Press Release - PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight
PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight
At 0928 hrs IST today morning, ISRO successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites on board ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C37, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
It is the highest number of satellites launched in one single mission anywhere. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space scientific community and the nation for this proud feat.
This is the thirty eighth consecutive successful mission of PSLV. All the 104 satellites were successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence. The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.
The imagery from the Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. The data sets could be used for urban planning of 500 cities under the Amrut Planning Scheme. ISRO Nano Satellites, INS-1 and INS-2, were also launched.
In addition, 101 foreign nano satellites from six countries were launched in a significant international dimension. Of these, 96 were from the United States, and 1 each from Israel, Kazakhstan, UAE, the Netherlands and Switzerland. With today’s successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s PSLV has reached 180.
This mission involved many technical challenges such as realising the launch of a large number of satellites during a single mission within stipulated time frame. Besides, ensuring adequate separation between all the 104 satellites during their orbital injection as well as during their subsequent orbital life was yet another complexity associated with this mission. With this launch, ISRO has further bolstered its impeccable scientific credentials as a reliable partner for space initiatives.
Consulate General of India
27th January, 2017
The Consulate General of India in Chicago organized the 68th Republic Day Celebration at its premises on Thursday 26th January, 2017, at 10:00 AM, with traditional enthusiasm and gaiety. The venue was decorated with Indian flags, flowers and Indian cultural symbols to reflect the festive atmosphere of this important occasion.
The Indian nationals, persons of Indian origin and friends of India attended the festivities in huge numbers. Their patriotic fervor was evident from the fact that they braved the freezing cold, especially on the working weekday, to participate in the celebrations.
Mr. D.B.Bhati, Consul (Political, Commerce & Visa) introduced the new Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan to the gathering. Ms. Neeta Bhushan in her introductory speech highlighted the steps taken by the Government of India for the welfare of the Persons of Indian Origin and the Non-resident Indians. She said that the government attaches very high importance to the Indian diaspora. She assured the gathering that the Consulate would keep rendering prompt consular, visa and passport services to the community. She also called upon the Indian-Americans to proactively participate in all the ambitious development-centric initiatives of the Government of India.
The Consul General, unfurled the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India by all. Thereafter, Consul General read out President’s Message, both in Hindi and English, addressed to the Nation on the eve of 68th Republic Day of India.
During the celebration, Consul General met with all members of Indian community to ascertain their welfare.
Consulate General of India,
Press Release of Tourism and Hospitality
Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce organized a seminar on “Incredible India- Tourism and Hospitality” at the Consulate premises on December 14, 2016. The event was attended by about 90 business persons, hoteliers, entrepreneurs, member of various chambers of commerce of US Midwest, officials of IIT School of Business, Managers of different airlines, travel agents and media persons. The event was addressed by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago, Mr. Bharat Patel, Chairman & CEO, Sun Companies, Mr. Guljit Singh, Chairman, SKP International and Mr. Nakul Chand, Manager Midwest, Air India.
In his key note address the Consul General mentioned about India's growth story and its emergence as the world's fastest growing major economy with GDP growth rate expected to remain on the upper side of 7% in the years to come. He also informed the participants about the Flagship Schemes of GOI such as 'Make in India', 'Start-up India', 'Digital India', 'Skills Development' etc. and the emphasis of the government on improving the physical infrastructure in the country through setting up of Industrial Corridors, 100 Smart Cities in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and the push for Greener and Sustainable solutions for our development. He said that one of the sectors of economy that offers tremendous potential in India is the 'Tourism & Hospitality Sector', which has largely remained unexplored and untapped. India as a land of considerable beauty and diversity across its length and breadth offers many exotic and unexplored tourist destinations. The tourism sector now open for 100 % FDI offers vast opportunities of doing business in India. He also informed the audience that the Government of India has recently introduced a 24x7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Help Line to facilitate visits of foreign tourist visiting India. The 24x7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Help Line has been launched in 12 International Languages namely, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Portuguese, Russian and Spanish including Hindi & English. This service is available on toll free number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 and operational 24X7 (365 days in a year) offering a "multi-lingual helpdesk". The objective of this multi-lingual helpline is to provide information relating to travel and tourism in India to the domestic and international tourists. The helpline also advises callers during the times of distress, if any, while travelling in India and alerts the concerned authorities, if required. The Consul General also invited the interested investors to attend India Tourism Summit organized by the Government each year.
Mr. Guljit Singh, Chairman, SKP International highlighted the opportunities available in the hotel and tourism industry in India. He said there is a huge market available in India in the hospitality sector as in the recently held Incredible India Tourism Summit 86 MoUs worth US$ 2.04 billion were signed while Ministry of Tourism approved projects worth US$ over 67 Million during 2016 itself. He also spoke about the taxation and legal aspects of doing business in these sectors.
Mr. Bharat Patel said that there is a huge potential for developing hotel industry in India and the recent demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupees notes done by the Government of India would go a long way in removing corruption from the system which in turn would boost the confidence of the investors. He said that it is the opportune time to invest in the hotel and tourism industry in India.
Mr. Nakul Chand informed that Air India now provides non-stop flights from Chicago, New York, Newark and San Francisco to Delhi and Mumbai. He also mentioned about various services and facilities being provided by Air India to its customers.
During the course of the event, the Speakers also answered the questions asked by the audience on the topic of the seminar.
Consulate General of India,
Press Release of Chhattisgargh
A high-level delegation from the State Government of Chhattisgarh (India) led by Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh visited Chicago from November 29 to December 01, 2016. The delegation comprised of senior officers of Government of Chhattisgarh including Mr. Vivek Dhand, Chief Secretary, Mr. Aman Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM & IT and Mr. Subodh K. Singh, Secretary, Commerce & Industries among others. The purpose of the visit was to encourage and promote US investments in Chhattisgarh, particularly in the areas of Food Processing, Engineering, Manufacturing, IT, renewable energy and infrastructure projects. The visit was coordinated by Consulate General of India, Chicago.
2. During their visit to Chicago, the members of the delegation undertook a field visit on November 30 to ‘1871’ - Chicago's renowned Centre for Technology & Entrepreneurship, which was created in 2012 to support Chicago’s digital startup community. The Chhattisgarh delegation found the model of support rendered to young entrepreneurs and start-ups in ‘1871’, especially through the medium of universities, inspiring and relevant for Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh state.
3. The Consulate also organized a Business Luncheon for the Chhattisgarh delegation the same day in collaboration with USIBC, TiE Midwest and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. CEOs of around 60 top-notch companies of Chicagoland area attended the event, besides delegates from Minneapolis, Indianapolis and St. Louis. Mr Hardik Bhatt, CIO of Illinois & Secretary Designate, Innovation & Technology, Mr Hovan Asdourian, Director, U.S. Commercial Service-Chicago, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr Ian Steff, Executive VP & Chief Innovation Officer of Indiana, Mr Dennis Pruitt, VP of International Business Recruitment, Missouri Partnership were among the prominent attendees representing the Government agencies.
4. The Chhattisgarh delegation made an impressive presentation titled 'Credible Chhattisgarh: An Incredible Launch Pad for Business' showcasing business and investment opportunities in the state. Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh also addressed the business leaders of the US Midwest in which he highlighted the investor-friendly policies adopted by the state. He also participated in the Q&A session and answered queries from potential investors.
5. The Chhattisgarh delegation also had one-to-one business meetings with several leading companies from Chicago including M/s VeriOwn - a subsidiary of M/s New Generation Power (NGP), M/s RLD Resources and Bloom Companies etc.
6. A delegation each from Indianapolis and Minnesota also called on the Chief Minister and his delegation to discuss business tie ups with the State of Chhattisgarh. The Indianapolis delegation comprised of Mr. Raju Chintala, President, Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee & Indiana India Business Council, Mrs. Sumeeta Bhatia, Vice Chairman, India Association of Indianapolis and Mr. Situ Mistry, Board Member, India Association of Indianapolis while Minnesota delegation comprised of Mr. Sudhir Singh, President , International India Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis (IICCO), Mr. Vineet Sinha, Vice President, IICCO , Ms.Elizabeth Fritz, Executive Director, IICCO and Mr. Tony S. Dassan, Member, IICCO .
7. Before concluding their visit to Chicago, on December 1st, the delegation also visited the Art Institute of Chicago, which was the venue from where Swami Vivekananda had addressed the Parliament of World Religions on September 11, 1893. The CM also visited the India Gallery which had dozens of rare exhibits from the Central India.
Consulate General of India
December 06, 2016
Consular Camp at Indianapolis, Indiana on December 4, 2016
As part of the Consular outreach activities, a Consular Camp was organized by the Consulate General of India, Chicago on 4th December, 2016 at Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Consular camp was led by Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul [Passport]. The Executive Board of the temple made available all facilitates under one roof to facilitate smooth functioning of services to the people. Mr. Om Narla, MS, CHMM worked closely with the Consulate for organizing this Camp in a better way. During the camp, more than 250 consular services were provided to the Community residing in Indiana in a single day with the help of dozens of temple volunteers.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, also came to meet the people during the Consular camp and answered their queries relating to different topics. The Board member of the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana felicitated the Consul General for his services to the community.
The Consulate will continue to strive to organize such Consular camps periodically in different cities of the US Mid-west to provide consular services to the Community at their doorsteps.
Consulate General of India
28th November, 2016
Celebration of the Second Constitution Day
The second Constitution Day or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’ was solemnly celebrated at the premises of the Consulate General of India in Chicago on 25th November, 2016. The day commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, considered as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, served as the Chairman of the 389-member Drafting Committee of the Constitution and played a pioneering role in the finalization of Constitution of India. Last year, a National Committee under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of India took a decision to celebrate the “Constitution Day” every year as part of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
While delivering his opening remarks on the occasion, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India outlined the significance of the ‘Constitution Day’ and recalled the pioneering work done by the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution of India.
The Consul General emphasized that the Constitution of India does not discriminate anyone on the basis of religion, creed, sex or any other ground. It is the duty of every citizen of India, therefore, to uphold the Constitution both in its letter and spirit. The Consul General also read out the Preamble of the Constitution of India.
During the programme, a film on the life and times of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar received from XP Division of MEA was screened to showcase the contribution of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution and upliftment of the downtrodden and oppressed section of the Society. A photo exhibition of photographs on Dr. Ambedkar was also organized as part of the celebration.
The event was attended by a cross-section of prominent Indian-Americans residing in Chicagoland. On this occasion, the Indian Diaspora was also briefed about the upcoming events of the Consulate as well as 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention to be held in Bengaluru from 7th-9th January, 2017. The PIOs/OCIs were encouraged to register and participate in the 14th PBD Convention in large numbers.
Mr OP Meena, Consul, proposed a vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India
4th November, 2016
Inappropriate use of titles such as ‘Dual Citizen of India/First Dual Citizen of India/First Overseas Citizen of India’ by some OCI Card holders
The Consulate General of India, Chicago had issued a public advisory dated October 20, 2016 as per which all OCI card holders were informed that currently there is no provision for "dual citizenship" as per the Indian Citizenship Act,1955 and the rules made there-under. Hence, the term “Dual Citizen of India” or similar derivatives used by some OCI Card holders in communications, on social media, websites, business cards, etc. is in violation of Indian Citizenship Act, 1955. All OCI Card holders were also advised to refrain from using the term “Dual Citizen of India”.
Members of the public are further informed that any use of phrases, titles or formulations such as “First Dual Citizen of India/First Overseas Citizen of India” by OCI Card holders in their oral or written communications, social media, websites, business cards, promotional flyers, etc. is highly irregular, inappropriate and misleading. It is clarified that the OCI is neither a title nor an honor conferred by the Government of India (GOI) and the GOI does not make any distinction between OCI card holders irrespective of the fact whether such cards were obtained immediately after the introduction of the scheme in 2006 or at a later date.
As is widely known, the GOI confers various Civilian Awards to Indians and non-Indians such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri for exceptional and distinguished services of a high order. Besides these and other awards, the GOI has constituted the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Honour/Award) specifically to recognize the exceptional and meritorious contribution made by NRIs/PIOs in their chosen field/profession. Other than these and other official Awards, the GOI does not bestow any titles or special status to any individuals.
Hence any use of titles or phrases by OCI card holders such as the “Highest Honor Received” or “First Dual Citizen of India”/“First Overseas Citizen of India” is highly irregular and in violation of the GOI instructions issued from time to time.
This is issued in public interest.
Consulate General of India,
31st October, 2016
The Consulate General of India in Chicago celebrated 141st Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31, 2016 with great fervor. A large cross section of Indian Community and Indian-Americans attended the event. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests. Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed delivered opening remarks. During his opening remarks, Consul General said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an extraordinary and visionary leader, social reformer and thinker, freedom fighter and a staunch Gandhian. He mentioned that Sardar Patel had participated in “No Tax campaign” against the British to protect the farmers of Kaira from undue taxation. Later in 1928 he led the Bardoli Satyagraha. Sardar Patel went on to become the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. He played a crucial role not only during the freedom Struggle of India but also in the post-Independent political consolidation of India as he was instrumental in the integration of over 500 princely states into the Indian Union. The Consul General also said that the Government of India has decided to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 31st October every year as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas [National Unity Day].
On the occasion, the Consul General briefed the participating India Diaspora about 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention which will be held in Bengaluru from 7th -9th January, 2017. He also appealed PIOs/OCIs for maximum registration and their participation in the 14th PBD Convention.
During the celebration, a 39 minutes documentary on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel “A Man of Silence – Sardar Vallabbhai Patel” was screened. A photo exhibition of photographs on the life and times of Sardar Patel was also organized as part of the celebration.
A power point presentation covering key features of the 14th Pravasi Bhariya Divas Convention was also given during the celebration encouraging Indian Diaspora for maximum participation in the Convention.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
3rd October 2016
The Consulate General of India in Chicago in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust celebrated Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti on October 02, 2016. On this occasion, the following events were organized:
[i] Celebration at the Consulate premise
The Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated in the Consulate premises with great fervor. Many distinguished Indian-Americans attended the event. The celebration started with peace & harmony music. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests. The opening remarks were delivered by Shri D.B. Bhati, Acting Consul General. During his opening remarks, the Acting Consul General said that Mahatma Gandhi had influenced the course of world history in the 20th century by his leadership of the Indian freedom movement. He devoted his life to the cause of Indian independence from the British Empire. Mahatma Gandhi was a great and outstanding personality of India who is still inspiring the people in the country as well as abroad through his legacy of non-violence and noble life. Word and deed must reflect each other. Gandhi had applied this principle in his life. Gandhi's "Experiments with Truth" were applied by him both to the political sphere and to very personal affairs. The personality of Mahatma Gandhi left a deep impact on the minds of all those who came in his contact. It was because of Gandhiji’s ideals that Albert Einstein mentioned about him that “Generations to come, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” The Acting Consul General also informed the participants about the inauguration of Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. He said that the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra is a tribute to the overseas Indian community; and commemorates their migration to various parts of the world, the challenges they faced abroad, their achievements and contributions. Over time, the Kendra is expected to develop into a hub of activities for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding economic, social and cultural engagements between India and its Diaspora. Mr. Bhati also appealed to the Indian diaspora to participate in Pravasi Bhartiya convention being organized at Bengaluru from 7th January to 9th January, 2017 and register themselves at the earliest on the PBD web site www.pbdindia.gov.in. The celebrations included a PowerPoint presentation on Mahatma Gandhi by Dr. Sri Ram Sonti and visuals drawn by Mr. Arvind Gunnapatel. The sketches of Mahatma Gandhi drawn by Mr. Arvind Gunnapatel were also displayed. He also presented a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi to Acting Consul General and distributed bookmarks of Gandhi’s quotes to Indian Diaspora. US Congress Women from Hawaii, Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, also attended the celebration and spoke about the relevance of principles of Mahatma Gandhi in her life. A 57 minutes video of inauguration of Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India was also screened. The Indian diaspora in Chicagoland appreciated the initiatives taken by the leadership of current government for Pravashi Bhartiya. They also expressed their excitement to visit the PBK and to avail various facilities available at the Kendra.
[ii] Celebration at Skokie
The Gandhi Memorial Trust in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in Chicago organized a peace prayer at the Gandhi Statue located at Heritage Park, McCormick Blvd, Skokie in the morning. Shri D.B. Bhati, Acting Consul General and Shri O.P. Meena, Consul paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by presenting a wreath on the Gandhi Statue on the occasion. US Congresswomen from Hawaii, Ms. Tulsi Gabbard and Mayor of Skokie, Mr. Van Dusen also paid tribute to Gandhi ji. The Mayor of Skokie marked this special day in Skokie as Peace Day with his proclamation.
Consulate General of India,
Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with TiE Midwest, Chicago chapter organized a seminar on “Promoting Entrepreneurship & Innovation in India” at the Consulate premises on September 15, 2016. The event was attended by about 70 business leaders, entrepreneurs, members of various chambers of commerce of US Midwest and media persons. The event was addressed was Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago, Mr. Bala Palamadai, CEO, Bizofit and President, TiE Midewest, Ms. Neelu Arora, Chief Information Officer and Chief Knowledge officer, Aon Corporation, Mr. Piyush Singh, CEO, Terrene Labs, Mr. N. Shridhar, Managing Director, Pegasus Fininvest Advisory & Director Hiranandani Group, Ms. Nin Desai, CEO, Nin Ventures and Mr. Narendra Kale, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Bhau Institute, Pune.
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Startup India programme aims to fill gaps in the economy for the growth and development of startups and to boost digital entrepreneurship at the grassroots. StartupIndia has brought lots of positivity among the entrepreneurs in India and as of now India has the third largest number of start-ups globally. Mr. Bala Palamadai spoke about the efforts of TiE Midwest in bringing the entrepreneurs together for better networking. Ms. Neeru Arora elaborated the role of Aon Corporation in promoting entrepreneurship as Aon is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 72,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon serves in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions. The other speakers too informed the audience about different approaches and aspects for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in India. Mr. Narendra Kale narrated his own journey of becoming a prominent business person from a layman by following a disciplined approach while taking risks while promoting entrepreneurship in his life. Mr. Kale has also contributed in formulation of policies pertaining to startups and innovation in India.
During the course of the event, the Speakers also answered the questions asked by the audience on the topic of the seminar.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
23rd August, 2016
The Consulate General of India, Chicago has been undertaking several measures towards providing efficient, expeditious and predictable Consular services to the public. Constant efforts are being made to increase Consulate’s outreach to the Indian-American Diaspora and provide easy ways for pubic to approach the Consulate both during emergencies as well as in normal times.
Under this backdrop, the Consulate has introduced a new dedicated Cell Phone Service [Cell no. +1 312 532 4793] on which any member of the public can reach out to the Consulate on any working day from 1400–1700 Hrs (Central Time) and speak to a Consular official. During the non-operational hours of this service, members of the public can either leave a voice mail or send a text message. All such calls and messages are meticulously recorded and efforts are made to answer Consular queries on the spot or resolve any outstanding issues/grievance within 24 hours. This service has become operational since 25th July, 2016.
In addition to the above, the Consulate has already put in place the following mechanisms since the past one-year to facilitate the members of the public seeking Visa/OCI/Consular services:
- The Consulate renders Emergency Visa Services on all weekends and closed holidays in case of unfortunate death in a family. The dedicated Cell Number for this service is +1 312 753 8530, which is operational on all weekends & holidays from 0900–1700 Hrs (Central Time).
- All Public-dealing officials of the Consulate (including Consuls) are available to meet the public without prior appointment from 1000-1100 Hrs on all working days and thereafter on availability basis.
- Most Miscellaneous services are rendered on-the-spot and the rest within half a day. This is a replacement of the earlier system in which applicants used to deposit applications in the forenoon and collect in the afternoon.
- All Tatkal Passports services & Tatkal Visas, including Business visas on working days are granted the same day.
- All complaints relating to Passports/Visas/OCI and other Consular services registered on MADAD or posted on Consulate’s Facebook or Twitter pages are answered with 24 hours.
- All emails are answered the same day. Public can reach out any member of the Consulate, including the Consul General, through Form Mails available on Consulate’s website www.indianconsulate.com.
- Suggestions/Feedback received through the Complaints/Suggestions box kept in the Consular Hall are monitored regularly and constructive suggestions are implemented expeditiously.
- As part of the Consulate’s outreach exercise and to provide consular services at the door steps of the Indian-American community members residing in far-off areas, Consular Camps are held periodically at different locations within the nine states of this Consulate’s jurisdiction. This year such camps were held at Detroit in Michigan and St.Louis in Missouri, besides Chicago. The Consulate also hosts Open Houses/Town Hall Meetings with regular periodicity at its premises during which all senior officers, including the Consul General are present to meet the public.
The Consulate believes that these measures would go a long way in strengthening Consulate’s outreach to members of the Indian-American Diaspora and facilitate them in obtaining various consular services from this Consulate.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
August 22, 2016
The Consulate General of India hosted the Annual Cultural Festival “Kala-Utsav-2016” on August 22, 2016, at McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn in collaboration with 23 different Indian Cultural Organizations to promote the rich heritage of Indian Art and Culture in the US Mid-west. The event provided a useful platform for over 250 renowned Indian artists, from across the US Midwest to showcase their inherent talents through top-class performances.
The function started with a stunning performance of “ChendaMelam” by the Chicago Kalashetra which is the best –known and most popular kshetram vadyam (temple percussion) genre.
The festival was inaugurated by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India by lighting of the lamp as per the traditional Indian customs. He was joined by Mrs Farha Sayeed, OP Meena, Head of Chancery at the Consulate, Harish Kolasani and members of participating organization of Kala-Utsav 2016. This was followed by the Indian and the US National Anthems.
Nearly 500 people comprising of the Indian-American Diaspora hailing from different parts of India, including many US nationals and diplomats attended the event.
In his inaugural address, Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed underlined the ancient, deep-rooted and diverse culture of India, dating back to five thousand years. He added that the objective of the annual 'Kala-Utsav' festival, which was launched by the consulate in August 2014, is not only to encourage and showcase the extraordinary talents in the Indian-American community but also to reiterate and celebrate the concept of India's diversity and oneness.
The cultural events began with Rhythmic Collaborations presented by Kala Eternal Rhythms, School of Indian Classical Music, Chicago followed by a sequence of captivating dance performances representing the classical, folk and modern dance forms of India from different dance schools.
The classical dance segment included two Bharatnatyam performances presented by the Nritya Geethanjali Dance Academy and Natya Dance Theatre, two Kathak performances presented by Anila Sinha Foundation & Tarana Kathak Dance Academy, two Kuchipudi performance presented by Samyoga School of Dance, Indiana and Eshanjali Dance Academy, IOWA. While the Utkala Center for Odissi Dance presented an Odissi composition, Ganesha Vandana, the Nritya Bharathi Institute of Dance, Indiana presented Fast paced Classic Dance.
The folk dance segment was quite large. There were 10 folk dance representing nine States of India. The Telangana Folk Dance Group presented the Telangana folk dance, Bathukamma, Shingari’s School of Rhythm presented Kerala Folk Dance, Oppana, Amitha Mushyam presented Andhra folk dance, Andhranatyam & Kolatam, Rhythms & Grace Dance Studio presented Rajasthani folk dance, Ghummar, the Assam Association of Greater Chicago presented Assam’s Folk dance “ Sattriya” the Balaji Vidhypeetham School of Balaji Temple presented North Indian Folk dance “ Bappa Morya”, I Radha Group presented high energy Punjabi folk dance “Bhangra”, Maharastra Mandal presented Marathi folk dance “Ghondhal” and Amrapali Dance group presented Bengali folk dance. The performance of Gidha, Punjabi folk dance, by Hari Om Mandir Dance Group enthralled the audience.
There were four presentations under the Contemporary/Fusion dance category in which over thirty artists participated. These presentations captured the hearts of the audience. The presentation ‘Colors of India’ by Team Ghungru attempted to keep the flame of vibrancy and patriotism alive in our hearts. Kalapriya Center for Indian performing arts presented “ Navarasa”, “Bollywood Dhamaka” was presented by Bollywood Rhythm and Rina Rockers presented a semi classical dance performance with remix version of Hanuman Chalisa.
Mr Tarun Mullick ably anchored the event as emcee and kept the audience engaged with his hilarious narration, Balle Balle. Mr OP Meena proposed a vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
Monday July 18, 2016
Visit of Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari , Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Government of India to St. Louis , Missouri, USA
Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Government of India had a short official visit to St. Louis (Missouri) on July 14, 2016. He was leading a high level delegation comprising Dr. Alok Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Mr. Rohit Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Highways) Mr. Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary (Transport) and others. From the Consulate General of India, Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago and Mr. D.B.Bhati, Consul (Political, Commerce & Visa) joined the high level delegation at St. Louis.
2. During the visit to St. Louis, Hon’ble Minister and the delegation had a very fruitful meeting with Mr. Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America’s Central Port (ACP), Mr. William K. Paape, Director, Office of Gateways, US Department of Transportation and senior officials of ACP. In order to give a new impetus to Indo-US cooperation in the vital infrastructure sector of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Hon’ble Minister discussed a wide range of projects of mutual interest with the US officials. The delegation particularly looked for widening and deepening the scope of Indo-US cooperation in innovative technologies for improving maritime sector in India. Hon’ble Minister also highlighted investment opportunities in the Indian maritime sector and in building ports etc. in India. The delegation also had a site visit to Melvin Price Lock & Dam where they were briefed about the working of the lock and dam facility.
3. The Minister also had a meeting with Mr. Jacob Williams, Vice President, M/S Peabody Energy which is a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
28th June, 2016
Celebrations of the Second International Day of Yoga at Sandwich City, Illinois & the US Mid-west
The Consulate General of India in Chicago in collaboration with City of Sandwich and Redberri Global Corporation celebrated the Second International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 25, 2016 at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois from 10:00 AM to 04:00PM. More than a dozen spiritual & yogic organizations actively participated in the celebration.
Swami Ishatmanandji, President of Vivekanand Vedanta Society, Senator Tim Bivins, State Representative Tom Demmer, Mayor of Sandwich Rick Olson, Mayor of Polano Robert Housler, Economic Development Director Jim Teckenbrock , Alderman David Fraser, Alderman Fran Moran, Alderman Cara Killey, Alderman Doug Scheidecker, Alderman Pete Dell, Alderman Rich Robinson, Alderman Bill McMahon, Alderman Les Redden and Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Office of Governor Bruce Rauner participated in the inaugural ceremony and other related events. The event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries in a traditional Indian manner. Dr. Samudrala Venugopal Chary, former union Minister of State (Power and Non-Conventional Energy) also graced the event.
The Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, extended warm welcome and greetings on the occasion of the Second International Yoga Day. In his remarks he mentioned that Yoga “is an immortal and precious natural technique that traces its origin to the Indus-Saraswati Valley Civilization dating back to 2700 B.C.”. He added that since the adoption of a Resolution by the United Nations last year declaring June 21 as the “International Day of Yoga”, a new “Yoga Era” has dawned in and Yoga has now become a people's mass movement. Over 300 million people practice Yoga worldwide, including around 100 million in India and 30 million in the United States. He urged the participants to join hands to spread the message of peace, harmony and understanding among communities. Consul General also expressed his gratitude to the city of Sandwich and Redberri Global Corporation to collaborate with the Consulate to celebrate second International day of Yoga. Consul General also thanked all the dignitaries, participating organizations, Community members & the people of Sandwich for celebrating the Second International Day of Yoga for peace & harmony.
Hon’ble Bruce Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois, proclaimed June 25, 2016 as INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY in Illinois, for the cultural significance of yoga and to raise awareness of the health benefits of yoga. Mr. Hardick Bhatt, Chief Information officer, office of Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner read the Proclamation. Mr. Bhatt also appreciated Consulate’s outreach to celebrate the Second International day of yoga at Sandwich city as the message and significance of yoga should not be restricted only to city of Chicago. While expressing his overwhelming support to the second International day of Yoga, Mayor of Sandwich Rick Olson issued a special proclamation to proclaim June 24-25, 2016 as International Yoga Day at Sandwich city. He also expressed his gratitude to the Consulate for collaborate with city of Sandwich for organizing the event. During inaugural ceremony, proclamation issued by Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel was also read out. Mayor Rahm Emanual urged all Chicagoans to take part in celebrations acknowledging the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Yoga. Special messages sent by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the President of Village of Oak Brook, Gopal G. Lalmalani were also read out.
A commemorative souvenir on the Yoga day was released on the occasion.
Besides Chicago, the Second International Day of Yoga was observed in Carmel & Indianapolis in Indiana, Minneapolis in Minnesota and Madison in Wisconsin.
The details of the event organized under the jurisdiction of the Consulate are as follows:
a. Main event: The main event in Sandwich city was held at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois from 10:00 AM to 04:00PM under the umbrella of the Consulate in collaboration with City of Sandwich & Redberri Global Corporation. The following participating organizations:
- Art of living Foundation
- Isha Foundation
- Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center
- SEWA International
- Science of Spirituality
- Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
- Yog Sadhan Ashram
- Temple of Harmony
- Soul, Love, Fest [Heartfulness]
- Sree Venkatesara Swami Balaji temple
- Sahaja Yoga Meditation
- Metropolitan Asian Family Services [MAFS]
- American Association of Retired Asians
Activities held: The programme started with a Guard of Honoring honouring the Indian National Flag and US Flag followed by National Anthems of both the countries. Special Messages of Hon’ble Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs & Overseas Affairs were screened. The following other activities were also organized:
- Common Yoga Protocol / demonstration of Common Asanas & Meditation by The Art of Living Foundation.
- Book Exhibition: A special book exhibition on Yoga by the Consulate.
- Photo exhibition: Selected photographs on Yoga by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga [MDNIY] and by Raja Choudhury by the Consulate
- Screening of the documentary films “History of Yoga: the path of my Ancestors” directed by Deepika and Ramji and “Yoga for the World” designed by XPD Division of Ministry of External Affairs.
- Introduction to Raj Yoga & Guided Meditation Workshop by the Brahm Kumaris Meditation Center
- Surya Namaskar Demonstration by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh
- Talk on benefits of Yoga & Hath Yoga posture & Cleansing demonstration by the Yog Sadhan Ashram
- Surat Shabd: ‘Yoga An Ageless Technique’ by The Science of Spirituality
- Self Management of Excessive Tension (Stop Diabetic Movement) by SEWA International.
- Meditation & Guided Self-Realization Exercise by Sahaj Yoga Meditation
- Yoga for Beginners by Isha Institute of Inner Sciences
- Talk on Science of Kriya Yoga and meditation by Temple of Harmony
- Guided Relaxation and meditation by Soul, Love , Fest [Heartfulness]
- Chair Yoga & Meditation by Sri Venkatesara Swami Balaji temple
- Chair Yoga demonstration for seniors by American Association of Retired Asians (AARA)
- Children’s Meditation, Yoga & Workshop for Children – by Sahaj Yoga, Art of Living Foundation & by Brahma Kumaris Meditation center
All the Leading participating organization set up their own booths especially, the Art of Living Foundation, Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers, SEWA International, the Science of Spirituality, Yog Sadhan Ashram and AARA and organized parallel activities. There were special rooms for carrying out yoga sessions for the seniors and workshops for the children.
Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul, delivered the Vote of Thanks. He thanked all the participants, participating organizations, City of Sandwich, Redberri Global Corporation, Media partners, Individuals for their tireless work to make IYD celebrations successful in Sandwich city. The main event at the Sandwich city concluded at 04:00 PM.
b. Parallel Events at other venues in US - Midwest:
- The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, IL also celebrated the Second International Day of Yoga which includes Power point presentation on Pranayama & different breathing techniques on June 19,2016. During the evening assembly on June 26, 2016, a lecture on the health benefits of Yoga was delivered by Dr. Naishad Shah, preceded by a two minute video of PM Modi’s speech on Yoga.
- Indian Association of Minnesota celebrated Second International Day of Yoga on 19th June,2016 at Hindu Milan Mandir, Minneapolis from 03:00 PM- 05:00 PM. Besides talks on Yoga, Pranayam, Surya Namaskar & some Assana were demonstrated.
- American Hindu Association along with Association of Indian American celebrated Second International day of Yoga on 26th June, 2016 at Lawrence Park , Madison. Besides demonstration of Pranayam & some common asanas, lectures on yoga were delivered.
- On 21st June, Namaste Caramel also celebrated Second International Day of Yoga in Caramel & organized talks on Yoga besides demonstration of some asanas. Manav Mental Yoga also celebrated Second International Day of Yoga in Indianapolis on 21st June, 2016 and yoga related activities & talks were organized.
Consulate General of India
Monday, June 13, 2016
Interactive Session and B2B event in connection with the visit of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) Delegation to Chicago
The Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Kolkata hosted an Interactive Session and B2B event on Monday June 13, 2016 at the premises of the Consulate. The event was attended by nearly fifty leading business persons and entrepreneurs working in different sectors of economy in the US-Midwest, besides officials of Illinois Chamber of Commerce, International Business Council and US-India Chamber of Commerce.
The main speakers in the event were Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Mr. Sunder Advani, Regional President, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Western India; Mr William Delany, Chairman, International Business Council & Founder of Delaney Law for legal entrepreneurship, Mr. Matt Gambs, Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce & Vice President, Wintrust Financial , Ms. Lisa Waller, Vice President, BDG International and Mr. Ajit Pant, President and Member, Board of Directors, US-India Chamber of Commerce,
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed in his speech said that the IACC delegation has come to United States at a very appropriate time just a week after the completion of a very successful 4th visit of India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He highlighted the robust health of Indian economy mentioning that as a result of bold reforms agenda and pro-growth policies followed by Government of India, the Indian economy is currently the world’s fastest growing economy. He said that in the first quarter of this calendar year, India’s GDP growth rate has been around 8% up from 7.6% for the fiscal 2015-16. In 2016-17, India’s economy is expected to accelerate to double digit growth rate on account of structural reforms and encouraging competitive federalism among the various states. He said that as the two largest democracies in the world the goal of our two countries is to strive for a sustainable and long term strategic partnership that could work for our common goals of peace and prosperity in the world. He concluded his speech stating that the catch mantra today is “ Invest in India, Innovate in India and Make in India.”
Mr. Sunder Advani , Regional President IACC thanked the Consulate for making Interactive Session and B2B event possible and for organizing the same at a very short notice. He said that IACC delegates are not only interested in finding partners in the United States but some of them are also interested in investing in United States. He said that the IACC delegation’s visit comes on the heels of the fourth successful visit of Prime Minister Mr. Naresndra Modi who has raised US-India relationship to a higher level.
Mr. William Delany, Chairman, International Business Council (IBC) , Illinois Chamber of Commerce mentioned that IBC helps Illinois companies expand their customer base into international markets by providing access, resources, business opportunities and connections to generate exports and economic growth. It would be IBC’s privilege to assist the visiting delegation to connect with Illinois based suppliers of goods and services.
Mr. Matt Gambs, Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce & Vice President, Wintrust Financial Services informed the visiting IACC delegates about the investment and financial assistance being provided by Wintrust to promote investment and business projects internationally.
Ms. Lisa Waller, Vice President, BDG International gave a very informative power point presentation highlighting freight forwarding and import/export logistics services being provided by BDG International. She also said that BDG International offers special expertise with India in movement of goods from there to US and vice versa. She also enlightened about custom house brokerage and international trade rules and regulations.
Mr. Ajit Pant, President and Member, Board of Directors, US-India Chamber of Commerce Midwest (UICC) welcomed the visit of IACC delegation’s visit to Chicago and assured the members the delegation that UICC would be happy to assist the delegates in business networking and they are free to contact him or UICC members in this regard.
At the conclusion of the event,B2B meetings between the IACC delegates and local business persons took place.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The second International Day of Yoga will be celebrated by the Consulate General of India in collaboration with the City of Sandwich on 25th June, 2016 at Timber creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois. In this connection, the kick off ceremony of 2nd International of Yoga Day was celebrated on 17th May, 2016 in the Consulate premises. The Hon’ble Mayor of city of Sandwich, Rick Olson, attended the ceremony with the representatives of City of Sandwich including Mr. Jim Teckenbrock, Executive Director, Sandwich Economic Development Corporation, Mr. Cort Carlson, Executive Director, Aurora Area Convention and visitor’s Bureau and Chief of Police of city of Sandwich, Jim Bianci. The ceremony was also attended by different community organizations, established yoga and spiritual centers and members of the Media. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests. The ceremony started with screening of extracts of Messages of Prime Minister of India, EAM & Minister [IC] derived from Common Yoga Protocol 2016.
During kick off ceremony, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, addressed the gathering & shared information with participants on celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day. The following are the important details of the Second International Yoga Day celebrations in US Mid-west:
Day and Date: Saturday , June 25th , 2016
Venue: Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Participating Organisations :
1. The Art of living Foundation
2. Isha Foundation
3. Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers
4. SEWA International
5. Science of Spirituality
6. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
7. Yog Sadhan Ashram
8. Sahaj Yoga Ashram
9. Temple of Harmony, Swami Sahajananda
10. Balaji Temple
11. BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir
12. American Association of Retired Asians (AARA)
13. Metropolitan American Federation of Seniors [MAFS]
Events: The following events would be organized as part of the Second International Yoga Day:
1. Book Exhibition: A special book exhibition on Yoga will be exhibited on the occasion.
2. Photo exhibition: Selected photographs on Yoga will be displayed
3. Screening of the documentary films
4. Common Yoga Protocol / demonstration of Common Asanas and Breathing Techniques by The Art of Living Foundation.
5. Guided Meditation Workshop & Children’s Activitities by the Brahm Kumaris Meditation Center
6. Surya Namaskar Demonstration by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh
7. Talk on the science of Kriya Yoga and meditation by Swami Sahajananda
8. Surat Shabd:’Yoga An Ageless Technique’ by The Science of Spirituality
9. Hath Yoga posture & Cleansing demonstration by Yog Sadhan Ashram
10. Cyclic Meditation Workshop (Stop Diabetic Movement) by SEWA International
11. Chair Yoga demonstration for seniors by American Association of Retired Asians (AARA)
Like last year, several organizations in different parts of the US-Midwest are also anticipated to organize series of activities to mark the International Yoga Day.
The Consulate is expecting the participation of several local dignitaries and elected officials in the inaugural ceremony of the International Yoga Day. The City of Sandwich has declared its support to the celebrations and would be issuing a special proclamation declaring the Day by the city as International Yoga Day.
Consul General appreciated willingness of the Mayor of City of Sandwich and thanked for taking initiative to collaborate with Consulate for celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day in the City of Sandwich. Consul General also appreciated Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairman & CEO, Redberry for offering the venue, Timber Creek Inn, for celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day event free of cost.
The Consul General concluded the Meeting and urged all the Community organizations and Media partners to extend whole-hearted support in celebrating the Second International Day of Yoga in a befitting manner not only in the City of Sandwich but in the entire US Midwest. Mr. O.P. Meena, Consul, slated the Vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India Chicago
April 27, 2016
As part of the Consular outreach activities, a Consular Camp in collaboration with Michigan Indian American Democratic Caucus [MIADC] was organized by the Consulate General of India, Chicago on 24th April, 2016 at Rochester High School, Rochester, Michigan. The Consular camp was led by Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul [Passport & Community Affairs]. The outsourcing agency, CKGS, also actively participated in the Camp. To avoid any inconvenience to the Community, the office bearers of MIADC, Mrs. Shama Kenkre, Mr. Arun Agarwal, Mr. Jaydeep Deolekar, Mr. Shyam Maheshwari , Mrs. Krishna Sharma and Mr. Jagdeep Monga made available all facilitates under one roof. Mr. Ramesh Verma also worked closely with the Consulate for organizing this Camp in a better way. During the full-fledged camp, more than 500 consular services including OCI, Visa, Renunciation, Attestation etc. were provided to the Community residing in Michigan on a single day with the help of dozens of volunteers. The Consulate will continue to strive to organize such Consular camps periodically in different cities of the US Mid-west to provide consular services to the Community at their doorsteps.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, April 15, 2016
The first meeting for celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day in US Mid-West was chaired by Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. The participating organizations which attended the curtain raiser event were Art of Living Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, Isha Foundation, Sahajayoga, Yog Sadhan Ashram, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, SEWA International, Science of Spirituality, Eye on India, Islamic Center Naperville and Arya Samaj. The 2nd IYD will be celebrated under the umbrella of the Consulate on 25th June, 2016 at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, IL. The City of Sandwich has declared its support to the celebrations and would be issuing a special proclamation declaring the Day by the city as International Yoga Day.
During the meeting, homage was also paid to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution of India, on the occasion of his 125th Birth Anniversary, which was on the 14th April, 2016.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with the US India Chamber of Commerce - Midwest, Chicago hosted a Panel Discussion on “Skill Development Program in India: Opportunities for American Organizations” on Monday, March 28, 2016 at Naperville, Illinois. The event was attended by nearly fifty leading business persons and entrepreneurs working in different sectors of economy in the US-Midwest, besides officials of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and members of the Chamber.
2. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, delivered a keynote address on Prime Minister’s Skill Development Mission, while presentations were made by Mr. Frank Avila, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and Mr. Shyam Pappu, Engineer (MWRD) and Dr. Shekhar Mishra, Deputy Project Manager and International Collaboration Coordinator, Fermilab, Chicago. Mr. Krishna Reddy, Managing Director and Mr. K. Naga Prasad, CEO of iDiya Labs, a software company based in Hyderabad, Telangana participated in the panel discussion through webinar. Mr Ajit Pant, President of the US India Chamber of Commerce – Midwest gave an overview of the Chamber and its activities and welcomed the gathering.
3. Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed stressed that skills and knowledge are the two driving forces for sustainable economic growth and social development for any country. He mentioned that by 2020 India would be the youngest nation in the world in terms of the average age of the population. He said currently India has 650 million youth who are below 25 years of age and this is India’s untapped potential and a ‘demographic dividend’, which could add a significant 2% growth to India’s GDP if the youth are given formal training in skills to make them job ready and become a key driving force of economic growth.
4. Consul General gave highlights of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and said that it is a flagship programme aimed at increasing the annual skilling capacity from the current level of around 7 million to 500 million by 2022. The Government of India (GOI) is determined to establish at least one skill development centre in each of the 688 districts of India. The target for skill training would be aligned to the demand generated from other GOI flagship programmes like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Digital India and others. Referring to the possibility of setting up of co-branded ‘Corporate Skill Excellence Centres’ using the public-private partnership mode, the Consul General invited the entrepreneurs, corporates, chambers of commerce and vocational and academic institutions in the US Midwest to whole-heartedly participate in the Skill India Development Mission.
5. Commissioner Frank Avila emphasized on the need for spreading awareness in India about the proper waste management techniques. He said that waste water can serve as the “next oil” as it has water, energy and fertilizer and can be put to optimum use. Commissioner Frank Avila shared details of his visit to India last month as head of MWRD delegation during which he conducted two workshops on “Innovative and Sustainable Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Plants” at Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, which were very successful. He offered to conclude MoUs between the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Department of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and counterpart Indian institutions for transferring knowledge, skill development and capacity building in the field of waste water management.
6. Dr. Shekhar Mishra made a presentation on “Make in India, with High Technology Skill developed in India” wherein he shared details about the ongoing collaboration between the Fermilab and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), which is focused on developing technologies and infrastructure in India that would enable utilization of alternative fuels for energy, besides having applications for water purification, Medical imaging and cancer therapy.
7. Mr. Krishna Reddy, Managing Director and Mr. K. Naga Prasad referred to the healthy startup environment in India and said that the recent initiatives taken by GOI have generated considerable excitement among the Indian entrepreneurs.
8. The Panel discussion concluded with an interactive “Question- Answer” session.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, February 5, 2016
The Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with International Business Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce hosted an Executive Seminar on “Make in India Week” on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 at the premises of the Chamber. The Seminar was attended by nearly hundred leading business persons and entrepreneurs working in different sectors of economy in the US-Midwest, besides senior officials of the State of Illinois, World Business Chicago, Sister City International, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, US-India Business Council (USIBC), US-India Chamber of Commerce and the Kellogg School of Management.
The main speakers in the event were Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India; Mr Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, State of Illinois; Ms. Amy Hariani, Director & Legal Policy Counsel, US-India Business Council, Mr Kishen Kavikondala, President, SK International, Mr Tom L.Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, Clark Hill PLC, Ms. Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, Founder of Iyka Enterprises and Mr Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing, Esayfe.
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed made a power presentation on “Make in India Week”, during which he highlighted the robust health of Indian economy mentioning that IMF in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) sees India as the world’s fastest growing economy in 2016-17 with GDP growth of 7.5%. India continues to be the Top Global Destination for FDI with 32% of investors ranking India as Most Attractive Market in 2015 while 60% placing it among the top 3 investment destinations. He said that at present India is considered as one of the most open economies in the world allowing 100% FDI in most of the sectors of its economy. He mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal is “Reform to Transform” in order to make India the easiest and simplest place to do business by eliminating paperwork and easing out cumbersome procedures.
The Consul General mentioned that “Make in India” is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India which is aimed at transforming the Indian economy from services-driven growth model to intensive manufacturing-driven growth not only to increase productivity but also to promote India as an international manufacturing hub. He said that there are at least 30 key economic sectors which international companies can consider for setting up manufacturing bases in India, adding that the Manufacturing sector in India offers US dollars one trillion of economic opportunity. In the context of the US Midwest, the Consul General mentioned that there is considerable synergy between states in India and those in the US Midwest and this could be effectively utilized to boost the manufacturing sectors in both countries. A promotional film on “Make in India” was also shown as part of the presentation.
Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer of the State of Illinois, said that Illinois is one of most important business partners of India. He said that as leader in the field education, global connections and innovation ecosystem, the State of Illinois is keen to collaborate with India in developing smart cities, citing his recent useful interactions with the visiting high-level trade missions from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Ms. Amy Hariani, Director and Legal Policy Counsel, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) said that Prime Minister Modi's government has made steady progress to deliver on its promise of economic reforms. Efforts such as lifting of FDI caps in several sectors, reducing red tape, implementing a transparent tax environment, improving the country's intellectual property regime have sent a crystal clear message to the global investment community that India is ready and open for serious business. The results of these efforts are also visible in India's rise in the World Bank's “Ease of Doing Business Index”. She added that the US enterprises have also displayed their commitment to the “Make in India” program in a number of areas such as defence, health, power generation, media and entertainment and technology and have the potential to do much more.
Mr. Tom Kelly, Director of Government Affairs in Clark Hill’s Washington D.C. office and Mr. Kishen Kavikondala, President S.K. International gave a joint presentation focused on introducing the American skilled training model to the Indian students. Ms. Poonam Gupta, Founder and CEO of Iyka Enterprises, Inc., gave a presentation on simplifying technology for the manufacturing industry and customizable data management solutions to a specific, targeted market. Mr. Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing of M/S Esayfe gave a presentation on software security applications to protect and secure sensitive data, while expressing their company’s interest to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The seminar concluded with an interactive “Question & Answer” session.
The Consulate General of India, Chicago has since mobilized four major business delegations -- one each from the States of Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri to participate in “Make in India Week”, scheduled in Mumbai from February 13-18, 2016.
Consulate General of India Chicago
27th January, 2016
The Consulate General of India in Chicago organized the 67th Republic Day Celebration at its premises on Tuesday 26th January, 2016, at 10:00 AM, with traditional enthusiasm and gaiety. The venue was decorated with Indian flags, flowers and Indian cultural symbols to reflect the festive atmosphere of this important occasion.
The Indian nationals, persons of Indian origin and friends of India attended the festivities in huge numbers. Their patriotic fervor was evident from the fact that they braved the freezing cold, especially on the working weekday, to participate in the celebrations.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, unfurled the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India by all. Thereafter, Consul General read out President’s Message, both in Hindi and English, addressed to the Nation on the eve of 67th Republic Day of India.
During his address on the occasion, Consul General said that such flagship programs as "Make in India", "Skills India", "Swatch Bharat Abhiyan", "Digital India", "Startup India", and "Green India" would give a big boost to the growth trajectory of India. He called upon the Indian-Americans to proactively participate in all the ambitious development-centric initiatives of the Government of India.
During the celebration, Consul General met with all members of Indian community to ascertain their welfare and assured them of their live interaction with them, as frequently as required.
O P Meena, Consul (Community Welfare), welcomed the gathering and also proposed a vote of thank.
Consulate General of India Chicago
January 8, 2016
The Consulate General of India Chicago organized the “Pravasi Divas” and ‘Meet the Media’ event on 8th January, 2016 at the Consulate premises in which a large cross-section of print and Audio-visual media organizations participated along with freelance journalists, besides community leaders and representatives of major Indian-American socio-cultural organizations in the Greater Chicago.
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 programmes.
In his address, Consul General Dr Sayeed 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 Programmes such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skills India’, ‘Swatch Bharat Abiyan’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Green India’. He encouraged them to engage with the GOI using the portal MyGov.in.
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 State-wise breakdown is as under: Illinois (188,328), Michigan (77,132), Minnesota (33,031), Indiana (27,598), Missouri (23,223), Wisconsin (22,899), Iowa (11,081), North Dakota (1,543) and South Dakota (1,152).
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. For the 11-month period January-November 2015, the total trade between India and the US Midwest was put at US$ 5.72 billion, which included India's exports of US$ 3.921 billion and India's imports of US$ 1.80 billion. Illinois is the largest trading partner of India in the US Midwest with a total trade of US$ 2.01 billion in 2014, which includes India's exports of US$ 1.364 billion, registering an increase of 14.4% in exports. 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.
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. As part of this process the Consul General and other senior officers of the Consulate have established a close working relationship with the offices of the Governors, Lt. Governors, elected representatives and Mayors, besides senior officials of the Economic Departments of various states and leading Chambers of Commerce
The Consul General briefed the media on the following initiatives targeted for the calendar year 2016:
1. Proposed Outgoing Trade Delegations to India :
The following trade delegations from the US Midwest are expected to visit India in the coming months:
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity trade delegation led by Mr. Jim Schultz, Director to Bengaluru from 3rd-5th, February, 2016 to participate in the “Invest Karnataka-2016’.
North Dakota Trade Mission led by Mr. Drew Wrigley, Lt. Governor various cities in India at the end of February, 2016.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation [MEDC]’s follow up Trade Mission led by Lt. Governor Brian Calley to different cities in India in the first quarter of 2016.
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, 2016.
2. Economic and commercial activities of the Consulate:
The Consulate would be organizing an Economic Seminar in collaboration with the Illinois Chambers of Commerce on 3rd February, 2016 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 2nd US-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 and TiE.
3. Consular Services:
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.
To facilitate easy access to the people all Consular Officers are available to meet the public without appointment every day between 10 am and 11am. Telephone lines are open for public queries every day for two hours from 2-4 pm. Consular queries received from email are answered within 48 hours. Besides, consular queries received through Social Media like Facebook and Twitter are also responded to promptly.
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 Diapora.
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.
Escalation of Consular and Visa matters can be done using the email: email@example.com. This email is monitored personally by the Consul General.
4. Cultural Activities :
Screening of the film ‘India Awakes’ in collaboration with the International House, University of Chicago on 21st January, 2016.
Republic Day Flag Hoisting ceremony in the Consulate Premise on 26th January, 2016 at 1000 Hrs. This is a public event and no invitations are required.
Screening of the film “For Here Or To Go’ in collaboration with the International House, University of Chicago in April 2016.
ICCR sponsored programme - 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, 2016.
Independence Day Flag Hoisting: Considering the enthusiastic response that the Consulate General of India received last year for the common flag hoisting ceremony that was done on 15th August, 2016 at the Daley Plaza Center, this year also the Consulate proposes to repeat the same. This is a public event and no invitations are required.
Kala-Utsav 2016 will be held at the end of August, 2016 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, 2016.
This year too the Consulate will celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on October 2nd 2016 at the Consulate premises. The Consulate will also collaborate with the Gandhi Foundation at Niles as well as responsible persons at Milwaukee to organize similar celebrations there. The Consulate will also participate/collaborate in the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations being organized annually by the Delhi Committee of the Chicago Sister City Committee.
The ‘Constitution Day’ would be celebrated on 26th November, 2016 in the Consulate premise.
The Consulate General of India, Chicago would continue to give patronage to different socio-cultural organizations in Chicagoland such ‘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.
To mark the Vishwa Hindi Divas (World Hindi Day), which falls on January 10th, a special message from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi was read out and efforts of the Consulate towards promotion of Hindi in Chicagoland was also highlighted.
The Consul General introduced two new Consuls – Mr Desh Bandhu Bhati, Consul (Commercial, Political and Visa) and Mrs. Rajeshwari Chandrasekaran, Consul (CG’s Office).
Mr O.P. Meena, Consul (Community Welfare) welcomed the gathering and proposed a vote of thanks.
November 03-05, 2015
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, accompanied by Mr D.B.Bhati, Consul (Commercial) paid an official visit to the State of North Dakota from November 03-05, 2015. During the visit, Consul General Dr. Sayeed had useful interactions with Hon’ble Drew Wrigley, Lt. Governor of the State of North Dakota; Mr. Al Anderson, Commissioner, North Dakota Department of Commerce; Mr. Tom Bodine, Deputy Agriculture Commissioner and Mr. Dean Gorder, Executive Director, North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), besides faculty members of North Dakota State University (NDSU) and several business leaders, agriculturists and members of professional bodies.
The Consul General began his tour of North Dakota on November 04 with a visit to a local soybean processing facility- Sinner Bros. & Bresnahan (SB&B) which produces a full line of non-GMO soybean varieties after extensive research in the field. Thereafter, he visited NDSU’s Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering department, where he was apprised of the research being done in precision agricultural technologies and Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS). The Consul General also witnessed a presentation given by BioPro Power organization on the production of renewable energy by using byproducts of agriculture crops as biomass fuels.
The Consul General also gave a presentation at NDTO office in Fargo on the topic 'India - Ushering in reforms' to a group of prominent business persons, legal professionals and members of NDTO.
On November 05, 2015 Consul General had detailed discussions with Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley, who is also the Chairman of North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), during which he gave a briefing on the positive economic climate in India and the series of initiatives that are being undertaken by the Government of India towards ease of doing business, simplification of procedures and investment regulations, all of which make India a land that offers extraordinary opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.
A high-level North Dakotan Trade Mission to India is being planned in February-March 2016, which would be probably led either by Governor of North Dakota Hon’ble Jack Dalrymple or Lt. Governor Hon’ble Drew Wrigley. The delegation, which would also include Agriculture Commissioner Hon’ble Doug Goehring and several leading business persons from North Dakota, is likely to visit cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar and possibly Bhopal and Hyderabad. The Consul General promised that the Consulate would extend all possible assistance to make the visit of the North Dakotan trade mission to India successful.
Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley said that there are vast opportunities for partnership between the Indian and US companies in the fields of agriculture, coal and energy. He mentioned that North Dakota has vast coal reserves and is the second largest oil producing state in the United States. Indian companies may take advantage of the research and innovations being made in North Dakota in these areas.
The Consul General expressed his hope that with the visit of upcoming high-level delegation from North Dakota to India, new partnerships between the US and Indian companies will emerge in different areas.
The two sides identified the fields of oil & gas, renewable energy, including wind energy & biomass, value-added agriculture, manufacturing, innovation and technology as potential areas for increasing economic collaboration and partnership between the Indian and US companies.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Saturday, 11th July 2015
A 3-member High-level Sikh Delegation from Government of Punjab comprising of Shri S.Balwinder Singh Bhunder Hon'ble Member of Parliament (RS), Shri Sohan Singh Thandal, Hon'ble Minister of Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Punjab and Shri Surjit Singh Rakra, Hon'ble Minister for Water Supply & Sanitation and Higher Education & Languages, Government of Punjab, who is also the younger brother of well-known entrepreneur and community leader from Milwaukee, Shri Darshan Singh Dhaliwal had a meeting with the Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed at his residence on July 11th , 2015.
The visiting delegation had discussions on community-related issues, steps to increase tourism in Punjab from the United States and ways and means of strengthening economic cooperation between the US Midwest and Punjab.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Wednesday, 1st July 2015
Hon'ble Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, accompanied by a high-level trade delegation, was on a day long official visit to Detroit, Michigan on June 30th 2015 to promote trade, investments, manufacturing and economic cooperation between Michigan and Maharashtra.
The Chief Minister had an interactive session with the US trade and industry representatives, besides officials of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and office of the Governor of Michigan. The Chief Minister also visited the General Motors and had discussions with their top executives.
While addressing the Business Meet at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra described Maharashtra as the most industrialized state in India which contributes around 15% to India's GDP. He said that just like Michigan, Maharashtra is the powerhouse for the automobile and auto sectors and there is immense synergy between the two states.
Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed also addressed the Business Meet and mooted the idea of forging an economic partnership between Maharashtra and Michigan as ‘Partner States’ and establishing a ‘Sister-City’ relationship between Detroit and Pune, as both these cities complement each other in the automobile and auto parts sector.
The Consul General added that Governor Rick Snyder is keen on strengthening Michigan’s economic partnership with India particularly in the fields of automobiles, auto parts, IT, Telecom, agriculture, food processing and hydrocarbons.
A high-level investment mission from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) visited India from March 2-8, 2015 and met with senior officials of MEA, MoCI, MoF, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, RBI and EXIM Bank. A follow-up trade and investment delegation would be visited India in October 2015.
India exports goods roughly worth US $ 1 billion dollars annually to Michigan. Indian companies Mahindra, TATA and HCL have set up manufacturing units in Michigan.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, 13th February 2015
Consul General at a meeting at the Department of Employment and Economic Development accompanied by members of IAM and ICC
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed visited Minneapolis, Minnesota from February 5th – 8th 2015. During his visit he had meetings with the Minnesota Secretary of State, Mr. Steve Simon, former Secretary of State Mr Mark Ritchie and senior officials of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the US Small Business Administration, the India Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Minnesota World's Fair Team and Business houses like CVRx, Life Science Alley and Innovations Inc.
The Consul General visited the University of Minnesota and met with several heads of departments and renowned professors and scholars, including Dr Kumar G. Belani, Assistant Vice President, India Affairs, to discuss avenues for expansion of educational and scientific cooperation between the University of Minnesota and their academic counterparts in India. The Consul General also visited the Masonic Cancer Center at the University and was given an extensive briefing by Prof (Dr) Ashok K.Saluja and his team, who is doing pioneering research to develop a drug called 'Minnelide' for treatment of pancreatic cancer.
The Consul General addressed a Town Hall meeting at the Hindu Temple in Minnesota and interacted with members of the Indian-American community on matters relating to Consular and Visa services, besides a host of other issues such as 'Swach Bharath Abhiyan' and opportunities for people's participation in governance through the Prime Minister's portal Mygov.in.
The Consul General delivered a keynote address at the 'Connect India 2015' event organized by the Indian Association in Minnesota (IAM) on February 7th, 2015 at Wilder Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Sayeed lauded the valuable contribution made by the Indian-American community towards the socio-economic, academic and scientific progress of Minnesota, highlighting the success stories of several members of the Indian Diaspora in the United States.
The Consul General also highlighted the huge economic potential that exists between India and the United States with particular reference to the nine states of the US Midwest covered by the Consulate.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon'ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, was on a brief visit to Chicago enroute to New Delhi.
A breakfast meeting was organised in honour of the dignitary which was attended by prominent members of the medical fraternity including members of the Indian American Medical Association of Illinois, the Indian Dental Association, the President, Blind Foundation of India, Founder and CEO, Arogya World, Heart Care Centre of South Chicago and others associated with the health sector in the Chicagoland area.
The Hon'ble Minister addressed the assembled guests. He stressed the importance of Chicago as the venue of the famous address by Swami Vivekananda and recalled his first visit to the Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. He briefed the guests on his five day tour of the United States and his meetings with the Secretary of Health, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, meetings with the special envoy of the U.N. Secretary General and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and other events. He informed of the inauguration of the Swasthya Bharat website and invited the assembled physicians to serve their motherland. He invited suggestions and promised to expedite clearances by the Medical Council of India and to remove bottlenecks in programs and schemes. He gave his email address to the guests and asked them to send him their proposals directly.
The Hon'ble Minister left for New Delhi in the afternoon on the same day.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, June 27, 2014
1. Dr. T.K. Chandrashekar, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Department of Science and Technology visited USA from June 24 to July 03, 2014. He was accompanied by Mr. Rajiv Sharma, Executive Director, Indo-US S&T Forum, Dr R K Tayal, Advisor, Department of Science & Technology, Mr. R Varadarajan, Controller, Indo-US S&T Forum and Dr. Nishritha Bopana, Indo-US S&T Forum.
2. The delegation held meetings at Northwestern University, Evanston on Indo-US Center for Research Excellence in Science and Engineering (CRESE) on Advanced Materials Research, on the S.N. Bose Scholars Program and on SERB outreach. The delegation called on Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, on June 26, 2014 and briefed him on the ongoing programs at the Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the SERB outreach program. The delegation travelled to Madison for meetings at University of Wisconsin at Madison, to Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and for interaction with S.N. Bose Scholars and thereafter to Purdue University, West Lafayette Indo-US Center for Research Excellence in Science and Engineering (CRESE), on Nano materials for energy, S.N. Bose Scholars Program SERB outreach.