President Obama’s India Visit – A Move For Better India-US Ties

A Move For Better India-US Ties

President Obama during his last visit to India in 2010. | Image Source: | AFP

US President Barack Obama will be India’s chief guest in the Republic Day Celebrations on 26th January, on an invitation extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Air Force One, also known as the Flying White House, carrying the US President, the First Lady, and other delegates will start from Andrew Air Force Base on Saturday and will land at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10am on 25th January, a day before the Republic Day.

The arrangements of his visit have long started in Delhi : 400 Kms of no-fly zone, shutting of high-rise buildings, and 10 different layers of security are in place to ensure security to the leader of world’s oldest democracy.

President Obama’s India visit is seen as a strategic step towards improvement of ties between India and the United States. Key subjects like Nuclear Power Plants, Energy, Defense, and Investment are likely to be discussed during the visit.

On day one, there will be a Rashtrapathi Bhavan Ceremonial with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at 12 pm, followed by separate meetings with Indian PM and President. He will also pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

On day two, President Obama will be at the Republic Day function. During the day, a round table with top CEOs is also scheduled in which the who’s who of Indian business will meet the President and discuss opportunities, visa for IT industry professionals, and other important matters.

The Indian IT sector is expected to bring the L1 visa issue to get more clarity on its visa and totalisation pact. Though US Government recently proposed hike of H1B quote from 65,000 to 115,000 for skilled workers, there’s little clarity on L-1 Visa category that allows Indian companies to post their employees in the US on a temporary basis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama will be on air on radio for this month’s Mann Ki Baat program.

Day three schedule included a visit to Taj Mahal in Agra and back to Delhi before heading home to the US. However, as per the latest news on The Hindu the District Magistrate has confirmed changes in President Obama’s Itinerary. The 3 day trip is cut-short and a visit to Taj Mahal is cancelled in view of the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz .

Mr. President and the First Lady will head to Saudi Arabia to pay condolences to the royal family and people of Saudi on King Abdullah’s death. And are expected to meet the new Saudi King  Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

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