Jaishankar likely to raise with US issue of opening of consulate in Bengaluru

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visiting the food street in V.V. Puram in Bengaluru on Friday.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visiting the food street in V.V. Puram in Bengaluru on Friday. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

A long-time demand for an US consulate in Bengaluru could again be revived with the US administration during the visit of Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar to the US next month as he promised “to bear in mind” the demand during his visit.

“My wishes, my support and my enthusiasm is very much there for Bengaluru. I can encourage them and enable them (to set up consulate) and surely I will do. Next month I am going to the United States and I will bear this in my mind,” the External Affairs Minister said during an interaction here on Friday.

“If you ask me, it is good economics speaking. Off course, it does make sense to have a consulate in Bengaluru. It does not only make sense from a Bengalorean perspective, but also makes sense from the American perspective.”

With the burgeoning information technology companies and start-ups located in Bengaluru, employing about a million, a need for an US consulate has been felt for long. Currently, those seeking US visas either have to approach the consulate in Chennai or Hyderabad. In 2019, the BJP had raised the issue with Mr. Jaishankar, who had promised to take up the matter.

While the issue was raised during his interaction with representatives of Electronics City Industries Association, Mr. Jaishankar said that the last time the US set up a consulate in India was in 2006 when the then President George Bush was visiting India. “I was dealing with it in a different capacity. The two finalists were Hyderabad and Bengaluru. For whatever reasons the Americans made that decision. It is not something my ministry gets to decide but American foreign ministry gets to decide. Which foreign country sets up a consulate and where is ultimately their decision.”

The Minister said: “In my own experience, it takes time to set up an embassy involving budgeting an increase in the number of people. You have to go through a process.”

Mr. Jaishankar said Bengaluru Brand that began with IT and is much bigger than IT now. It involves digital, innovation, start-up, youth talent and mobility — all of it coming together. “Bengaluru is energetic and a truly global brand. It will be a big beneficiary of goodwill and respect of the world that is eager to partner with india.”

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 10:50:19 pm |