No issue has riled the Indian-American community in recent years as much as what has become the painful exercise of applying for an Indian visa and the con- sequent and almost inevitable runaround one is subjected to. Especially
since the government of India outsourced this process to an
outside service provider, beginning with Travisa, then BLS,
followed by Cox & Kings.
None of the agencies have been better than the other, but
in most cases been much worse.
India Abroad continues to receive an avalanche of letters,
e-mails, and calls, bitterly complaining about this unrelenting malaise, and to a lesser degree the hassle of obtaining an Overseas Citizen of India card. At Indian-American
events, community leaders and other individuals inevitably
buttonhole me and other India Abroad colleagues and
implore us to take up this issue with the powers that be at
the embassy and its consulates.
Last week, in an exclusive, no-holds barred and candid
interview, Indian Ambassador to the United States Dr
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar acknowledged that he is as agitated as the community over the current state of affairs,
and pledged that setting things right as soon as possible
was his priority.
This visa issue has really agitated the community — we
don’t have enough pages to carry the spate of angry letters
that we receive on this subject. People complain bitterly that
Cox & Kings is no better than BLS. What are you doing to
alleviate this? In fact, some Indian-American community
leaders have told me that they are even willing to put together a group to work with the Indian embassy to smoothen
this thing out.
First of all, let me tell you, I know the community is agitated about it, and to be very honest, I am agitated about it
because it doesn’t reflect well on us as an embassy if we are
not seen as rendering services well. But let me explain to
In an exclusive interview with Aziz Haniffa, Indian Ambassador to the United States Dr S Jaishankar says he is aware of the problems of delays in the visa process and the hardships and angst among the people over consular services. The ambassador says the riot act has been read out to the service provider — to be more responsive, courteous and fast — and urges Indian Americans to opt for the longer term visas to avoid the backlog delays in the short run. • European Medical Universities which are Public Institutions, established and well recognized for over a half century. English language curriculum comparable to major American medical schools. over the last 60 years, our affiliated universities have trained more than 40,000 Physicians. • Programs for both High School and College Graduates. • Smaller class sizes with traditional European style education. Excellent hands-on participation for extensive training and experience building. • Unmatched research opportunities available on campus to help students enhance potential choice of residency. • Clinical Rotations/Clerkship available at ACGME approved and accredited hospitals in USA or at hospitals in Europe. • Universities recognized by major State Medical Boards, including California & New York; two states with the most stringent rules for accredi- tation and the most residency positions in the USA. Graduates currently practicing across the USA, Canada, Europe and throughout the world.
ÂI know the community is agitatedÊ
4Page A7 PARESH GANDHI
Indian Ambassadot to the US S Jaishankar
A6COVER STORY India Abroad August 29, 2014