A long-standing request for a US consulate in Bangalore may again be revived with the US administration during External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to the US next month, as he has promised to “keep ‘spirit’ asks during his visit.
“My wishes, my support and my enthusiasm are definitely there for Bengaluru. I can encourage and enable them (to set up a consulate) and I will surely do that. Next month I am going to the United States and I will keep that in mind. ‘spirit,’ the foreign minister said during an interaction here on Friday.
“If you ask me, that’s good economics talking. Of course, it makes sense to have a consulate in Bangalore. This does not only make sense from the Bengali perspective, but also from the American perspective.
With booming information technology companies and start-ups located in Bengaluru, employing around one million people, the need for a US Consulate has long been felt. Currently, those applying for US visas must apply to the consulate in Chennai or Hyderabad. In 2019, the BJP raised the issue with Mr. Jaishankar, who promised to take up the matter.
Although the issue was raised during his interaction with representatives of the Electronics City Industries Association, Mr. Jaishankar said the last time the United States opened a consulate in India was in 2006, when then President George Bush was visiting India. “I took care of it in another capacity. The two finalists were Hyderabad and Bangalore. For some reason, the Americans made this decision. It is not for my department to decide, but for the US Department of State. Which foreign country establishes a consulate and where is its decision in the end.
The minister said: “In my own experience, it takes time to set up an embassy that involves budgeting for an increase in the number of people. You have to go through a process.
Mr Jaishankar said the Bengaluru brand started with IT and is now much bigger than IT. It involves digital, innovation, start-ups, youth talent and mobility – all of this put together. “Bengaluru is energetic and a truly global brand. It will be a great beneficiary of the goodwill and respect of the world willing to associate itself with India.