India has begun streamlining visa procedures for Chinese visitors and reduced the processing time to two days from five earlier, with the aim of boosting traffic in coming months as both countries prepare to mark “a year of friendly exchanges.”

Indian officials said here on Thursday the move to expedite visa processing to two working days was aimed at “promoting and facilitating greater people-to-people linkages between India and China.”

On Thursday, Ambassador to China Ashok Kantha outlined plans for a 12-city “Glimpses of India” festival to be held in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities.

“The ‘Glimpses of India Festival’ will showcase Indian performing arts, an exhibition of modern Indian art, an exhibition of Buddhist artefacts and heritage and their linkages with China, food festivals and film festivals, as well as events involving eminent Indian and Chinese scholars and writers,” he said.

Next month, a troupe from Kalakshetra in Chennai will perform in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu to launch the festival.

Mr. Kantha told reporters he did not expect any major change in India's policy of “seeking close engagement” with China following the elections.

Whichever government came to power, he said, would attach “a great degree of importance” to building friendly relations.