‘We want to create a system
which is transparent’
percent have complaints, it is a sizeable number, I know.
Some of the rules for the OCI card are irrational and irrel-
evant. What is your take on this?
India established the PIO card and OCI card only in
recent years. So the rules for them are also evolving. I have
seen a large number of complaints. We had a town hall
meeting with Minister of Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi last
week and pointed out the complaints. He said he would
look into it. He also explained the concerns about national
security. Let us wait till we get
There is a feeling that India’s
home ministry takes decisions on
the NRI community even though
they have no direct interaction
with the community. Another
accusation is that home ministry
officials do not consult with min-
istry for external affairs officials
or ministry of overseas Indian
affairs officials who have direct
contact with the NRIs.
This is not correct. The home
ministry handles immigration.
They understand the problems
of NRIs very well. Decisions are
taken after inter-ministerial con-
sultations. Each ministry and its
officials are sensitive about the
people’s concerns. Ultimately,
why do we do that? We also
want more interaction with the
overseas community. Who wants
to create problems for them?
The L M Singhvi report is very
comprehensive on the Diaspora.
The government also wants to
create better relations with the
Diaspora. In the last 8, 10 years
very remarkable progress was
made in this regard. The PIO
card and OCI card recognize the
work done by the community.
The Indians in the US have
tremendous capacity for many
things. The government of India
is aware of it.
The government knows it can
realize many of its projects with
the Diaspora’s help. It is not
aimed at investment alone.
The rule for the reissue of an OCI card is irritating. We
have to produce all the documents we gave at the time of its
issuance as well as additional documents. Nobody is against
renewal, but we are upset at about making the process com-
I will point out the problems to the concerned ministries.
As Minister Ravi said, let us wait.
How do you plan to develop relations with the community?
I plan to send out our officers to people to explain the
rules for visas or passports. I will not concentrate only on
the Tri-state area, where a million Indians live, but on other
What are your priorities to improve trade and commerce
since New York is the capital of the economic world?
As a consulate we want more trade to happen between
the two countries. It need not be investment only. It can be
academic or intellectual partnerships. It can be tourism
centered — for creating tourism infrastructure. Tourists
coming to India is important, but that is not the only thing
we want. As regards tourism, we have everything to offer.
Snow clad mountains to jungles and beaches, temples and
cultural centers. No country has such diversity to offer.
Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay reads India In New York, a free weekly newspaper published by India Abroad for the
New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tristate area, which has been recently redesigned and relaunched.
islation was passed within weeks. That is how democracy
works. Sometime there is a tendency to sensationalize. But
such incidents have shown how India reacts and how people have woken up.
When visas are issued the consulate could issue an advi-
sory about possible situations that can create problems.
For instance, the American lady who complained of rape
in Manali traveled with strangers at 1 am.
It is a good suggestion; we can think about it.
What is your take on India-US relations?
The sky is the limit. Currently, we see only the tip of the
iceberg. The relationship will grow in sectors like education, tourism, scientific and intellectual cooperation.
When did you visit the US for the first time?
I first came here in 2005. But even before that I had
impressions of America and New York. There is no person who does not have an impression about America or