Consulate General of IndiaChicago
Serving the states of: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Consulate General of India,
Press Release of Tourism and Hospitality
Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce organized a seminar on “Incredible India- Tourism and Hospitality” at the Consulate premises on December 14, 2016. The event was attended by about 90 business persons, hoteliers, entrepreneurs, member of various chambers of commerce of US Midwest, officials of IIT School of Business, Managers of different airlines, travel agents and media persons. The event was addressed by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago, Mr. Bharat Patel, Chairman & CEO, Sun Companies, Mr. Guljit Singh, Chairman, SKP International and Mr. Nakul Chand, Manager Midwest, Air India.
In his key note address the Consul General mentioned about India's growth story and its emergence as the world's fastest growing major economy with GDP growth rate expected to remain on the upper side of 7% in the years to come. He also informed the participants about the Flagship Schemes of GOI such as 'Make in India', 'Start-up India', 'Digital India', 'Skills Development' etc. and the emphasis of the government on improving the physical infrastructure in the country through setting up of Industrial Corridors, 100 Smart Cities in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and the push for Greener and Sustainable solutions for our development. He said that one of the sectors of economy that offers tremendous potential in India is the 'Tourism & Hospitality Sector', which has largely remained unexplored and untapped. India as a land of considerable beauty and diversity across its length and breadth offers many exotic and unexplored tourist destinations. The tourism sector now open for 100 % FDI offers vast opportunities of doing business in India. He also informed the audience that the Government of India has recently introduced a 24x7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Help Line to facilitate visits of foreign tourist visiting India. The 24x7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Help Line has been launched in 12 International Languages namely, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Portuguese, Russian and Spanish including Hindi & English. This service is available on toll free number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 and operational 24X7 (365 days in a year) offering a "multi-lingual helpdesk". The objective of this multi-lingual helpline is to provide information relating to travel and tourism in India to the domestic and international tourists. The helpline also advises callers during the times of distress, if any, while travelling in India and alerts the concerned authorities, if required. The Consul General also invited the interested investors to attend India Tourism Summit organized by the Government each year.
Mr. Guljit Singh, Chairman, SKP International highlighted the opportunities available in the hotel and tourism industry in India. He said there is a huge market available in India in the hospitality sector as in the recently held Incredible India Tourism Summit 86 MoUs worth US$ 2.04 billion were signed while Ministry of Tourism approved projects worth US$ over 67 Million during 2016 itself. He also spoke about the taxation and legal aspects of doing business in these sectors.
Mr. Bharat Patel said that there is a huge potential for developing hotel industry in India and the recent demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupees notes done by the Government of India would go a long way in removing corruption from the system which in turn would boost the confidence of the investors. He said that it is the opportune time to invest in the hotel and tourism industry in India.
Mr. Nakul Chand informed that Air India now provides non-stop flights from Chicago, New York, Newark and San Francisco to Delhi and Mumbai. He also mentioned about various services and facilities being provided by Air India to its customers.
During the course of the event, the Speakers also answered the questions asked by the audience on the topic of the seminar.
Consulate General of India,
Press Release of Chhattisgargh
A high-level delegation from the State Government of Chhattisgarh (India) led by Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh visited Chicago from November 29 to December 01, 2016. The delegation comprised of senior officers of Government of Chhattisgarh including Mr. Vivek Dhand, Chief Secretary, Mr. Aman Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM & IT and Mr. Subodh K. Singh, Secretary, Commerce & Industries among others. The purpose of the visit was to encourage and promote US investments in Chhattisgarh, particularly in the areas of Food Processing, Engineering, Manufacturing, IT, renewable energy and infrastructure projects. The visit was coordinated by Consulate General of India, Chicago.
2. During their visit to Chicago, the members of the delegation undertook a field visit on November 30 to ‘1871’ - Chicago's renowned Centre for Technology & Entrepreneurship, which was created in 2012 to support Chicago’s digital startup community. The Chhattisgarh delegation found the model of support rendered to young entrepreneurs and start-ups in ‘1871’, especially through the medium of universities, inspiring and relevant for Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh state.
3. The Consulate also organized a Business Luncheon for the Chhattisgarh delegation the same day in collaboration with USIBC, TiE Midwest and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. CEOs of around 60 top-notch companies of Chicagoland area attended the event, besides delegates from Minneapolis, Indianapolis and St. Louis. Mr Hardik Bhatt, CIO of Illinois & Secretary Designate, Innovation & Technology, Mr Hovan Asdourian, Director, U.S. Commercial Service-Chicago, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr Ian Steff, Executive VP & Chief Innovation Officer of Indiana, Mr Dennis Pruitt, VP of International Business Recruitment, Missouri Partnership were among the prominent attendees representing the Government agencies.
4. The Chhattisgarh delegation made an impressive presentation titled 'Credible Chhattisgarh: An Incredible Launch Pad for Business' showcasing business and investment opportunities in the state. Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh also addressed the business leaders of the US Midwest in which he highlighted the investor-friendly policies adopted by the state. He also participated in the Q&A session and answered queries from potential investors.
5. The Chhattisgarh delegation also had one-to-one business meetings with several leading companies from Chicago including M/s VeriOwn - a subsidiary of M/s New Generation Power (NGP), M/s RLD Resources and Bloom Companies etc.
6. A delegation each from Indianapolis and Minnesota also called on the Chief Minister and his delegation to discuss business tie ups with the State of Chhattisgarh. The Indianapolis delegation comprised of Mr. Raju Chintala, President, Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee & Indiana India Business Council, Mrs. Sumeeta Bhatia, Vice Chairman, India Association of Indianapolis and Mr. Situ Mistry, Board Member, India Association of Indianapolis while Minnesota delegation comprised of Mr. Sudhir Singh, President , International India Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis (IICCO), Mr. Vineet Sinha, Vice President, IICCO , Ms.Elizabeth Fritz, Executive Director, IICCO and Mr. Tony S. Dassan, Member, IICCO .
7. Before concluding their visit to Chicago, on December 1st, the delegation also visited the Art Institute of Chicago, which was the venue from where Swami Vivekananda had addressed the Parliament of World Religions on September 11, 1893. The CM also visited the India Gallery which had dozens of rare exhibits from the Central India.
Consulate General of India
December 06, 2016
Consular Camp at Indianapolis, Indiana on December 4, 2016
As part of the Consular outreach activities, a Consular Camp was organized by the Consulate General of India, Chicago on 4th December, 2016 at Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Consular camp was led by Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul [Passport]. The Executive Board of the temple made available all facilitates under one roof to facilitate smooth functioning of services to the people. Mr. Om Narla, MS, CHMM worked closely with the Consulate for organizing this Camp in a better way. During the camp, more than 250 consular services were provided to the Community residing in Indiana in a single day with the help of dozens of temple volunteers.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, also came to meet the people during the Consular camp and answered their queries relating to different topics. The Board member of the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana felicitated the Consul General for his services to the community.
The Consulate will continue to strive to organize such Consular camps periodically in different cities of the US Mid-west to provide consular services to the Community at their doorsteps.
Consulate General of India
28th November, 2016
Celebration of the Second Constitution Day
The second Constitution Day or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’ was solemnly celebrated at the premises of the Consulate General of India in Chicago on 25th November, 2016. The day commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, considered as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, served as the Chairman of the 389-member Drafting Committee of the Constitution and played a pioneering role in the finalization of Constitution of India. Last year, a National Committee under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of India took a decision to celebrate the “Constitution Day” every year as part of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
While delivering his opening remarks on the occasion, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India outlined the significance of the ‘Constitution Day’ and recalled the pioneering work done by the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution of India.
The Consul General emphasized that the Constitution of India does not discriminate anyone on the basis of religion, creed, sex or any other ground. It is the duty of every citizen of India, therefore, to uphold the Constitution both in its letter and spirit. The Consul General also read out the Preamble of the Constitution of India.
During the programme, a film on the life and times of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar received from XP Division of MEA was screened to showcase the contribution of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution and upliftment of the downtrodden and oppressed section of the Society. A photo exhibition of photographs on Dr. Ambedkar was also organized as part of the celebration.
The event was attended by a cross-section of prominent Indian-Americans residing in Chicagoland. On this occasion, the Indian Diaspora was also briefed about the upcoming events of the Consulate as well as 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention to be held in Bengaluru from 7th-9th January, 2017. The PIOs/OCIs were encouraged to register and participate in the 14th PBD Convention in large numbers.
Mr OP Meena, Consul, proposed a vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India
4th November, 2016
Inappropriate use of titles such as ‘Dual Citizen of India/First Dual Citizen of India/First Overseas Citizen of India’ by some OCI Card holders
The Consulate General of India, Chicago had issued a public advisory dated October 20, 2016 as per which all OCI card holders were informed that currently there is no provision for "dual citizenship" as per the Indian Citizenship Act,1955 and the rules made there-under. Hence, the term “Dual Citizen of India” or similar derivatives used by some OCI Card holders in communications, on social media, websites, business cards, etc. is in violation of Indian Citizenship Act, 1955. All OCI Card holders were also advised to refrain from using the term “Dual Citizen of India”.
Members of the public are further informed that any use of phrases, titles or formulations such as “First Dual Citizen of India/First Overseas Citizen of India” by OCI Card holders in their oral or written communications, social media, websites, business cards, promotional flyers, etc. is highly irregular, inappropriate and misleading. It is clarified that the OCI is neither a title nor an honor conferred by the Government of India (GOI) and the GOI does not make any distinction between OCI card holders irrespective of the fact whether such cards were obtained immediately after the introduction of the scheme in 2006 or at a later date.
As is widely known, the GOI confers various Civilian Awards to Indians and non-Indians such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri for exceptional and distinguished services of a high order. Besides these and other awards, the GOI has constituted the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Honour/Award) specifically to recognize the exceptional and meritorious contribution made by NRIs/PIOs in their chosen field/profession. Other than these and other official Awards, the GOI does not bestow any titles or special status to any individuals.
Hence any use of titles or phrases by OCI card holders such as the “Highest Honor Received” or “First Dual Citizen of India”/“First Overseas Citizen of India” is highly irregular and in violation of the GOI instructions issued from time to time.
This is issued in public interest.
Consulate General of India,
31st October, 2016
The Consulate General of India in Chicago celebrated 141st Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31, 2016 with great fervor. A large cross section of Indian Community and Indian-Americans attended the event. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests. Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed delivered opening remarks. During his opening remarks, Consul General said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an extraordinary and visionary leader, social reformer and thinker, freedom fighter and a staunch Gandhian. He mentioned that Sardar Patel had participated in “No Tax campaign” against the British to protect the farmers of Kaira from undue taxation. Later in 1928 he led the Bardoli Satyagraha. Sardar Patel went on to become the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. He played a crucial role not only during the freedom Struggle of India but also in the post-Independent political consolidation of India as he was instrumental in the integration of over 500 princely states into the Indian Union. The Consul General also said that the Government of India has decided to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 31st October every year as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas [National Unity Day].
On the occasion, the Consul General briefed the participating India Diaspora about 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention which will be held in Bengaluru from 7th -9th January, 2017. He also appealed PIOs/OCIs for maximum registration and their participation in the 14th PBD Convention.
During the celebration, a 39 minutes documentary on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel “A Man of Silence – Sardar Vallabbhai Patel” was screened. A photo exhibition of photographs on the life and times of Sardar Patel was also organized as part of the celebration.
A power point presentation covering key features of the 14th Pravasi Bhariya Divas Convention was also given during the celebration encouraging Indian Diaspora for maximum participation in the Convention.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
3rd October 2016
The Consulate General of India in Chicago in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust celebrated Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti on October 02, 2016. On this occasion, the following events were organized:
[i] Celebration at the Consulate premise
The Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated in the Consulate premises with great fervor. Many distinguished Indian-Americans attended the event. The celebration started with peace & harmony music. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests. The opening remarks were delivered by Shri D.B. Bhati, Acting Consul General. During his opening remarks, the Acting Consul General said that Mahatma Gandhi had influenced the course of world history in the 20th century by his leadership of the Indian freedom movement. He devoted his life to the cause of Indian independence from the British Empire. Mahatma Gandhi was a great and outstanding personality of India who is still inspiring the people in the country as well as abroad through his legacy of non-violence and noble life. Word and deed must reflect each other. Gandhi had applied this principle in his life. Gandhi's "Experiments with Truth" were applied by him both to the political sphere and to very personal affairs. The personality of Mahatma Gandhi left a deep impact on the minds of all those who came in his contact. It was because of Gandhiji’s ideals that Albert Einstein mentioned about him that “Generations to come, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” The Acting Consul General also informed the participants about the inauguration of Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. He said that the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra is a tribute to the overseas Indian community; and commemorates their migration to various parts of the world, the challenges they faced abroad, their achievements and contributions. Over time, the Kendra is expected to develop into a hub of activities for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding economic, social and cultural engagements between India and its Diaspora. Mr. Bhati also appealed to the Indian diaspora to participate in Pravasi Bhartiya convention being organized at Bengaluru from 7th January to 9th January, 2017 and register themselves at the earliest on the PBD web site www.pbdindia.gov.in. The celebrations included a PowerPoint presentation on Mahatma Gandhi by Dr. Sri Ram Sonti and visuals drawn by Mr. Arvind Gunnapatel. The sketches of Mahatma Gandhi drawn by Mr. Arvind Gunnapatel were also displayed. He also presented a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi to Acting Consul General and distributed bookmarks of Gandhi’s quotes to Indian Diaspora. US Congress Women from Hawaii, Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, also attended the celebration and spoke about the relevance of principles of Mahatma Gandhi in her life. A 57 minutes video of inauguration of Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India was also screened. The Indian diaspora in Chicagoland appreciated the initiatives taken by the leadership of current government for Pravashi Bhartiya. They also expressed their excitement to visit the PBK and to avail various facilities available at the Kendra.
[ii] Celebration at Skokie
The Gandhi Memorial Trust in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in Chicago organized a peace prayer at the Gandhi Statue located at Heritage Park, McCormick Blvd, Skokie in the morning. Shri D.B. Bhati, Acting Consul General and Shri O.P. Meena, Consul paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by presenting a wreath on the Gandhi Statue on the occasion. US Congresswomen from Hawaii, Ms. Tulsi Gabbard and Mayor of Skokie, Mr. Van Dusen also paid tribute to Gandhi ji. The Mayor of Skokie marked this special day in Skokie as Peace Day with his proclamation.
Consulate General of India,
Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with TiE Midwest, Chicago chapter organized a seminar on “Promoting Entrepreneurship & Innovation in India” at the Consulate premises on September 15, 2016. The event was attended by about 70 business leaders, entrepreneurs, members of various chambers of commerce of US Midwest and media persons. The event was addressed was Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago, Mr. Bala Palamadai, CEO, Bizofit and President, TiE Midewest, Ms. Neelu Arora, Chief Information Officer and Chief Knowledge officer, Aon Corporation, Mr. Piyush Singh, CEO, Terrene Labs, Mr. N. Shridhar, Managing Director, Pegasus Fininvest Advisory & Director Hiranandani Group, Ms. Nin Desai, CEO, Nin Ventures and Mr. Narendra Kale, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Bhau Institute, Pune.
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Startup India programme aims to fill gaps in the economy for the growth and development of startups and to boost digital entrepreneurship at the grassroots. StartupIndia has brought lots of positivity among the entrepreneurs in India and as of now India has the third largest number of start-ups globally. Mr. Bala Palamadai spoke about the efforts of TiE Midwest in bringing the entrepreneurs together for better networking. Ms. Neeru Arora elaborated the role of Aon Corporation in promoting entrepreneurship as Aon is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 72,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon serves in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions. The other speakers too informed the audience about different approaches and aspects for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in India. Mr. Narendra Kale narrated his own journey of becoming a prominent business person from a layman by following a disciplined approach while taking risks while promoting entrepreneurship in his life. Mr. Kale has also contributed in formulation of policies pertaining to startups and innovation in India.
During the course of the event, the Speakers also answered the questions asked by the audience on the topic of the seminar.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
23rd August, 2016
The Consulate General of India, Chicago has been undertaking several measures towards providing efficient, expeditious and predictable Consular services to the public. Constant efforts are being made to increase Consulate’s outreach to the Indian-American Diaspora and provide easy ways for pubic to approach the Consulate both during emergencies as well as in normal times.
Under this backdrop, the Consulate has introduced a new dedicated Cell Phone Service [Cell no. +1 312 532 4793] on which any member of the public can reach out to the Consulate on any working day from 1400–1700 Hrs (Central Time) and speak to a Consular official. During the non-operational hours of this service, members of the public can either leave a voice mail or send a text message. All such calls and messages are meticulously recorded and efforts are made to answer Consular queries on the spot or resolve any outstanding issues/grievance within 24 hours. This service has become operational since 25th July, 2016.
In addition to the above, the Consulate has already put in place the following mechanisms since the past one-year to facilitate the members of the public seeking Visa/OCI/Consular services:
- The Consulate renders Emergency Visa Services on all weekends and closed holidays in case of unfortunate death in a family. The dedicated Cell Number for this service is +1 312 753 8530, which is operational on all weekends & holidays from 0900–1700 Hrs (Central Time).
- All Public-dealing officials of the Consulate (including Consuls) are available to meet the public without prior appointment from 1000-1100 Hrs on all working days and thereafter on availability basis.
- Most Miscellaneous services are rendered on-the-spot and the rest within half a day. This is a replacement of the earlier system in which applicants used to deposit applications in the forenoon and collect in the afternoon.
- All Tatkal Passports services & Tatkal Visas, including Business visas on working days are granted the same day.
- All complaints relating to Passports/Visas/OCI and other Consular services registered on MADAD or posted on Consulate’s Facebook or Twitter pages are answered with 24 hours.
- All emails are answered the same day. Public can reach out any member of the Consulate, including the Consul General, through Form Mails available on Consulate’s website www.indianconsulate.com.
- Suggestions/Feedback received through the Complaints/Suggestions box kept in the Consular Hall are monitored regularly and constructive suggestions are implemented expeditiously.
- As part of the Consulate’s outreach exercise and to provide consular services at the door steps of the Indian-American community members residing in far-off areas, Consular Camps are held periodically at different locations within the nine states of this Consulate’s jurisdiction. This year such camps were held at Detroit in Michigan and St.Louis in Missouri, besides Chicago. The Consulate also hosts Open Houses/Town Hall Meetings with regular periodicity at its premises during which all senior officers, including the Consul General are present to meet the public.
The Consulate believes that these measures would go a long way in strengthening Consulate’s outreach to members of the Indian-American Diaspora and facilitate them in obtaining various consular services from this Consulate.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
August 22, 2016
The Consulate General of India hosted the Annual Cultural Festival “Kala-Utsav-2016” on August 22, 2016, at McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn in collaboration with 23 different Indian Cultural Organizations to promote the rich heritage of Indian Art and Culture in the US Mid-west. The event provided a useful platform for over 250 renowned Indian artists, from across the US Midwest to showcase their inherent talents through top-class performances.
The function started with a stunning performance of “ChendaMelam” by the Chicago Kalashetra which is the best –known and most popular kshetram vadyam (temple percussion) genre.
The festival was inaugurated by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India by lighting of the lamp as per the traditional Indian customs. He was joined by Mrs Farha Sayeed, OP Meena, Head of Chancery at the Consulate, Harish Kolasani and members of participating organization of Kala-Utsav 2016. This was followed by the Indian and the US National Anthems.
Nearly 500 people comprising of the Indian-American Diaspora hailing from different parts of India, including many US nationals and diplomats attended the event.
In his inaugural address, Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed underlined the ancient, deep-rooted and diverse culture of India, dating back to five thousand years. He added that the objective of the annual 'Kala-Utsav' festival, which was launched by the consulate in August 2014, is not only to encourage and showcase the extraordinary talents in the Indian-American community but also to reiterate and celebrate the concept of India's diversity and oneness.
The cultural events began with Rhythmic Collaborations presented by Kala Eternal Rhythms, School of Indian Classical Music, Chicago followed by a sequence of captivating dance performances representing the classical, folk and modern dance forms of India from different dance schools.
The classical dance segment included two Bharatnatyam performances presented by the Nritya Geethanjali Dance Academy and Natya Dance Theatre, two Kathak performances presented by Anila Sinha Foundation & Tarana Kathak Dance Academy, two Kuchipudi performance presented by Samyoga School of Dance, Indiana and Eshanjali Dance Academy, IOWA. While the Utkala Center for Odissi Dance presented an Odissi composition, Ganesha Vandana, the Nritya Bharathi Institute of Dance, Indiana presented Fast paced Classic Dance.
The folk dance segment was quite large. There were 10 folk dance representing nine States of India. The Telangana Folk Dance Group presented the Telangana folk dance, Bathukamma, Shingari’s School of Rhythm presented Kerala Folk Dance, Oppana, Amitha Mushyam presented Andhra folk dance, Andhranatyam & Kolatam, Rhythms & Grace Dance Studio presented Rajasthani folk dance, Ghummar, the Assam Association of Greater Chicago presented Assam’s Folk dance “ Sattriya” the Balaji Vidhypeetham School of Balaji Temple presented North Indian Folk dance “ Bappa Morya”, I Radha Group presented high energy Punjabi folk dance “Bhangra”, Maharastra Mandal presented Marathi folk dance “Ghondhal” and Amrapali Dance group presented Bengali folk dance. The performance of Gidha, Punjabi folk dance, by Hari Om Mandir Dance Group enthralled the audience.
There were four presentations under the Contemporary/Fusion dance category in which over thirty artists participated. These presentations captured the hearts of the audience. The presentation ‘Colors of India’ by Team Ghungru attempted to keep the flame of vibrancy and patriotism alive in our hearts. Kalapriya Center for Indian performing arts presented “ Navarasa”, “Bollywood Dhamaka” was presented by Bollywood Rhythm and Rina Rockers presented a semi classical dance performance with remix version of Hanuman Chalisa.
Mr Tarun Mullick ably anchored the event as emcee and kept the audience engaged with his hilarious narration, Balle Balle. Mr OP Meena proposed a vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
Monday July 18, 2016
Visit of Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari , Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Government of India to St. Louis , Missouri, USA
Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Government of India had a short official visit to St. Louis (Missouri) on July 14, 2016. He was leading a high level delegation comprising Dr. Alok Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Mr. Rohit Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Highways) Mr. Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary (Transport) and others. From the Consulate General of India, Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago and Mr. D.B.Bhati, Consul (Political, Commerce & Visa) joined the high level delegation at St. Louis.
2. During the visit to St. Louis, Hon’ble Minister and the delegation had a very fruitful meeting with Mr. Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America’s Central Port (ACP), Mr. William K. Paape, Director, Office of Gateways, US Department of Transportation and senior officials of ACP. In order to give a new impetus to Indo-US cooperation in the vital infrastructure sector of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Hon’ble Minister discussed a wide range of projects of mutual interest with the US officials. The delegation particularly looked for widening and deepening the scope of Indo-US cooperation in innovative technologies for improving maritime sector in India. Hon’ble Minister also highlighted investment opportunities in the Indian maritime sector and in building ports etc. in India. The delegation also had a site visit to Melvin Price Lock & Dam where they were briefed about the working of the lock and dam facility.
3. The Minister also had a meeting with Mr. Jacob Williams, Vice President, M/S Peabody Energy which is a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions.
Consulate General of India, Chicago
28th June, 2016
Celebrations of the Second International Day of Yoga at Sandwich City, Illinois & the US Mid-west
The Consulate General of India in Chicago in collaboration with City of Sandwich and Redberri Global Corporation celebrated the Second International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 25, 2016 at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois from 10:00 AM to 04:00PM. More than a dozen spiritual & yogic organizations actively participated in the celebration.
Swami Ishatmanandji, President of Vivekanand Vedanta Society, Senator Tim Bivins, State Representative Tom Demmer, Mayor of Sandwich Rick Olson, Mayor of Polano Robert Housler, Economic Development Director Jim Teckenbrock , Alderman David Fraser, Alderman Fran Moran, Alderman Cara Killey, Alderman Doug Scheidecker, Alderman Pete Dell, Alderman Rich Robinson, Alderman Bill McMahon, Alderman Les Redden and Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Office of Governor Bruce Rauner participated in the inaugural ceremony and other related events. The event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries in a traditional Indian manner. Dr. Samudrala Venugopal Chary, former union Minister of State (Power and Non-Conventional Energy) also graced the event.
The Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, extended warm welcome and greetings on the occasion of the Second International Yoga Day. In his remarks he mentioned that Yoga “is an immortal and precious natural technique that traces its origin to the Indus-Saraswati Valley Civilization dating back to 2700 B.C.”. He added that since the adoption of a Resolution by the United Nations last year declaring June 21 as the “International Day of Yoga”, a new “Yoga Era” has dawned in and Yoga has now become a people's mass movement. Over 300 million people practice Yoga worldwide, including around 100 million in India and 30 million in the United States. He urged the participants to join hands to spread the message of peace, harmony and understanding among communities. Consul General also expressed his gratitude to the city of Sandwich and Redberri Global Corporation to collaborate with the Consulate to celebrate second International day of Yoga. Consul General also thanked all the dignitaries, participating organizations, Community members & the people of Sandwich for celebrating the Second International Day of Yoga for peace & harmony.
Hon’ble Bruce Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois, proclaimed June 25, 2016 as INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY in Illinois, for the cultural significance of yoga and to raise awareness of the health benefits of yoga. Mr. Hardick Bhatt, Chief Information officer, office of Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner read the Proclamation. Mr. Bhatt also appreciated Consulate’s outreach to celebrate the Second International day of yoga at Sandwich city as the message and significance of yoga should not be restricted only to city of Chicago. While expressing his overwhelming support to the second International day of Yoga, Mayor of Sandwich Rick Olson issued a special proclamation to proclaim June 24-25, 2016 as International Yoga Day at Sandwich city. He also expressed his gratitude to the Consulate for collaborate with city of Sandwich for organizing the event. During inaugural ceremony, proclamation issued by Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel was also read out. Mayor Rahm Emanual urged all Chicagoans to take part in celebrations acknowledging the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Yoga. Special messages sent by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the President of Village of Oak Brook, Gopal G. Lalmalani were also read out.
A commemorative souvenir on the Yoga day was released on the occasion.
Besides Chicago, the Second International Day of Yoga was observed in Carmel & Indianapolis in Indiana, Minneapolis in Minnesota and Madison in Wisconsin.
The details of the event organized under the jurisdiction of the Consulate are as follows:
a. Main event: The main event in Sandwich city was held at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois from 10:00 AM to 04:00PM under the umbrella of the Consulate in collaboration with City of Sandwich & Redberri Global Corporation. The following participating organizations:
- Art of living Foundation
- Isha Foundation
- Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center
- SEWA International
- Science of Spirituality
- Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
- Yog Sadhan Ashram
- Temple of Harmony
- Soul, Love, Fest [Heartfulness]
- Sree Venkatesara Swami Balaji temple
- Sahaja Yoga Meditation
- Metropolitan Asian Family Services [MAFS]
- American Association of Retired Asians
Activities held: The programme started with a Guard of Honoring honouring the Indian National Flag and US Flag followed by National Anthems of both the countries. Special Messages of Hon’ble Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs & Overseas Affairs were screened. The following other activities were also organized:
- Common Yoga Protocol / demonstration of Common Asanas & Meditation by The Art of Living Foundation.
- Book Exhibition: A special book exhibition on Yoga by the Consulate.
- Photo exhibition: Selected photographs on Yoga by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga [MDNIY] and by Raja Choudhury by the Consulate
- Screening of the documentary films “History of Yoga: the path of my Ancestors” directed by Deepika and Ramji and “Yoga for the World” designed by XPD Division of Ministry of External Affairs.
- Introduction to Raj Yoga & Guided Meditation Workshop by the Brahm Kumaris Meditation Center
- Surya Namaskar Demonstration by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh
- Talk on benefits of Yoga & Hath Yoga posture & Cleansing demonstration by the Yog Sadhan Ashram
- Surat Shabd: ‘Yoga An Ageless Technique’ by The Science of Spirituality
- Self Management of Excessive Tension (Stop Diabetic Movement) by SEWA International.
- Meditation & Guided Self-Realization Exercise by Sahaj Yoga Meditation
- Yoga for Beginners by Isha Institute of Inner Sciences
- Talk on Science of Kriya Yoga and meditation by Temple of Harmony
- Guided Relaxation and meditation by Soul, Love , Fest [Heartfulness]
- Chair Yoga & Meditation by Sri Venkatesara Swami Balaji temple
- Chair Yoga demonstration for seniors by American Association of Retired Asians (AARA)
- Children’s Meditation, Yoga & Workshop for Children – by Sahaj Yoga, Art of Living Foundation & by Brahma Kumaris Meditation center
All the Leading participating organization set up their own booths especially, the Art of Living Foundation, Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers, SEWA International, the Science of Spirituality, Yog Sadhan Ashram and AARA and organized parallel activities. There were special rooms for carrying out yoga sessions for the seniors and workshops for the children.
Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul, delivered the Vote of Thanks. He thanked all the participants, participating organizations, City of Sandwich, Redberri Global Corporation, Media partners, Individuals for their tireless work to make IYD celebrations successful in Sandwich city. The main event at the Sandwich city concluded at 04:00 PM.
b. Parallel Events at other venues in US - Midwest:
- The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, IL also celebrated the Second International Day of Yoga which includes Power point presentation on Pranayama & different breathing techniques on June 19,2016. During the evening assembly on June 26, 2016, a lecture on the health benefits of Yoga was delivered by Dr. Naishad Shah, preceded by a two minute video of PM Modi’s speech on Yoga.
- Indian Association of Minnesota celebrated Second International Day of Yoga on 19th June,2016 at Hindu Milan Mandir, Minneapolis from 03:00 PM- 05:00 PM. Besides talks on Yoga, Pranayam, Surya Namaskar & some Assana were demonstrated.
- American Hindu Association along with Association of Indian American celebrated Second International day of Yoga on 26th June, 2016 at Lawrence Park , Madison. Besides demonstration of Pranayam & some common asanas, lectures on yoga were delivered.
- On 21st June, Namaste Caramel also celebrated Second International Day of Yoga in Caramel & organized talks on Yoga besides demonstration of some asanas. Manav Mental Yoga also celebrated Second International Day of Yoga in Indianapolis on 21st June, 2016 and yoga related activities & talks were organized.
Consulate General of India
Monday, June 13, 2016
Interactive Session and B2B event in connection with the visit of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) Delegation to Chicago
The Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Kolkata hosted an Interactive Session and B2B event on Monday June 13, 2016 at the premises of the Consulate. The event was attended by nearly fifty leading business persons and entrepreneurs working in different sectors of economy in the US-Midwest, besides officials of Illinois Chamber of Commerce, International Business Council and US-India Chamber of Commerce.
The main speakers in the event were Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Mr. Sunder Advani, Regional President, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Western India; Mr William Delany, Chairman, International Business Council & Founder of Delaney Law for legal entrepreneurship, Mr. Matt Gambs, Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce & Vice President, Wintrust Financial , Ms. Lisa Waller, Vice President, BDG International and Mr. Ajit Pant, President and Member, Board of Directors, US-India Chamber of Commerce,
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed in his speech said that the IACC delegation has come to United States at a very appropriate time just a week after the completion of a very successful 4th visit of India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He highlighted the robust health of Indian economy mentioning that as a result of bold reforms agenda and pro-growth policies followed by Government of India, the Indian economy is currently the world’s fastest growing economy. He said that in the first quarter of this calendar year, India’s GDP growth rate has been around 8% up from 7.6% for the fiscal 2015-16. In 2016-17, India’s economy is expected to accelerate to double digit growth rate on account of structural reforms and encouraging competitive federalism among the various states. He said that as the two largest democracies in the world the goal of our two countries is to strive for a sustainable and long term strategic partnership that could work for our common goals of peace and prosperity in the world. He concluded his speech stating that the catch mantra today is “ Invest in India, Innovate in India and Make in India.”
Mr. Sunder Advani , Regional President IACC thanked the Consulate for making Interactive Session and B2B event possible and for organizing the same at a very short notice. He said that IACC delegates are not only interested in finding partners in the United States but some of them are also interested in investing in United States. He said that the IACC delegation’s visit comes on the heels of the fourth successful visit of Prime Minister Mr. Naresndra Modi who has raised US-India relationship to a higher level.
Mr. William Delany, Chairman, International Business Council (IBC) , Illinois Chamber of Commerce mentioned that IBC helps Illinois companies expand their customer base into international markets by providing access, resources, business opportunities and connections to generate exports and economic growth. It would be IBC’s privilege to assist the visiting delegation to connect with Illinois based suppliers of goods and services.
Mr. Matt Gambs, Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce & Vice President, Wintrust Financial Services informed the visiting IACC delegates about the investment and financial assistance being provided by Wintrust to promote investment and business projects internationally.
Ms. Lisa Waller, Vice President, BDG International gave a very informative power point presentation highlighting freight forwarding and import/export logistics services being provided by BDG International. She also said that BDG International offers special expertise with India in movement of goods from there to US and vice versa. She also enlightened about custom house brokerage and international trade rules and regulations.
Mr. Ajit Pant, President and Member, Board of Directors, US-India Chamber of Commerce Midwest (UICC) welcomed the visit of IACC delegation’s visit to Chicago and assured the members the delegation that UICC would be happy to assist the delegates in business networking and they are free to contact him or UICC members in this regard.
At the conclusion of the event,B2B meetings between the IACC delegates and local business persons took place.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The second International Day of Yoga will be celebrated by the Consulate General of India in collaboration with the City of Sandwich on 25th June, 2016 at Timber creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois. In this connection, the kick off ceremony of 2nd International of Yoga Day was celebrated on 17th May, 2016 in the Consulate premises. The Hon’ble Mayor of city of Sandwich, Rick Olson, attended the ceremony with the representatives of City of Sandwich including Mr. Jim Teckenbrock, Executive Director, Sandwich Economic Development Corporation, Mr. Cort Carlson, Executive Director, Aurora Area Convention and visitor’s Bureau and Chief of Police of city of Sandwich, Jim Bianci. The ceremony was also attended by different community organizations, established yoga and spiritual centers and members of the Media. Shri O.P.Meena, Consul, welcomed the guests. The ceremony started with screening of extracts of Messages of Prime Minister of India, EAM & Minister [IC] derived from Common Yoga Protocol 2016.
During kick off ceremony, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, addressed the gathering & shared information with participants on celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day. The following are the important details of the Second International Yoga Day celebrations in US Mid-west:
Day and Date: Saturday , June 25th , 2016
Venue: Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Participating Organisations :
1. The Art of living Foundation
2. Isha Foundation
3. Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers
4. SEWA International
5. Science of Spirituality
6. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
7. Yog Sadhan Ashram
8. Sahaj Yoga Ashram
9. Temple of Harmony, Swami Sahajananda
10. Balaji Temple
11. BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir
12. American Association of Retired Asians (AARA)
13. Metropolitan American Federation of Seniors [MAFS]
Events: The following events would be organized as part of the Second International Yoga Day:
1. Book Exhibition: A special book exhibition on Yoga will be exhibited on the occasion.
2. Photo exhibition: Selected photographs on Yoga will be displayed
3. Screening of the documentary films
4. Common Yoga Protocol / demonstration of Common Asanas and Breathing Techniques by The Art of Living Foundation.
5. Guided Meditation Workshop & Children’s Activitities by the Brahm Kumaris Meditation Center
6. Surya Namaskar Demonstration by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh
7. Talk on the science of Kriya Yoga and meditation by Swami Sahajananda
8. Surat Shabd:’Yoga An Ageless Technique’ by The Science of Spirituality
9. Hath Yoga posture & Cleansing demonstration by Yog Sadhan Ashram
10. Cyclic Meditation Workshop (Stop Diabetic Movement) by SEWA International
11. Chair Yoga demonstration for seniors by American Association of Retired Asians (AARA)
Like last year, several organizations in different parts of the US-Midwest are also anticipated to organize series of activities to mark the International Yoga Day.
The Consulate is expecting the participation of several local dignitaries and elected officials in the inaugural ceremony of the International Yoga Day. The City of Sandwich has declared its support to the celebrations and would be issuing a special proclamation declaring the Day by the city as International Yoga Day.
Consul General appreciated willingness of the Mayor of City of Sandwich and thanked for taking initiative to collaborate with Consulate for celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day in the City of Sandwich. Consul General also appreciated Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairman & CEO, Redberry for offering the venue, Timber Creek Inn, for celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day event free of cost.
The Consul General concluded the Meeting and urged all the Community organizations and Media partners to extend whole-hearted support in celebrating the Second International Day of Yoga in a befitting manner not only in the City of Sandwich but in the entire US Midwest. Mr. O.P. Meena, Consul, slated the Vote of thanks.
Consulate General of India Chicago
April 27, 2016
As part of the Consular outreach activities, a Consular Camp in collaboration with Michigan Indian American Democratic Caucus [MIADC] was organized by the Consulate General of India, Chicago on 24th April, 2016 at Rochester High School, Rochester, Michigan. The Consular camp was led by Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul [Passport & Community Affairs]. The outsourcing agency, CKGS, also actively participated in the Camp. To avoid any inconvenience to the Community, the office bearers of MIADC, Mrs. Shama Kenkre, Mr. Arun Agarwal, Mr. Jaydeep Deolekar, Mr. Shyam Maheshwari , Mrs. Krishna Sharma and Mr. Jagdeep Monga made available all facilitates under one roof. Mr. Ramesh Verma also worked closely with the Consulate for organizing this Camp in a better way. During the full-fledged camp, more than 500 consular services including OCI, Visa, Renunciation, Attestation etc. were provided to the Community residing in Michigan on a single day with the help of dozens of volunteers. The Consulate will continue to strive to organize such Consular camps periodically in different cities of the US Mid-west to provide consular services to the Community at their doorsteps.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, April 15, 2016
The first meeting for celebration of 2nd International Yoga Day in US Mid-West was chaired by Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. The participating organizations which attended the curtain raiser event were Art of Living Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, Isha Foundation, Sahajayoga, Yog Sadhan Ashram, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, SEWA International, Science of Spirituality, Eye on India, Islamic Center Naperville and Arya Samaj. The 2nd IYD will be celebrated under the umbrella of the Consulate on 25th June, 2016 at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, IL. The City of Sandwich has declared its support to the celebrations and would be issuing a special proclamation declaring the Day by the city as International Yoga Day.
During the meeting, homage was also paid to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution of India, on the occasion of his 125th Birth Anniversary, which was on the 14th April, 2016.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with the US India Chamber of Commerce - Midwest, Chicago hosted a Panel Discussion on “Skill Development Program in India: Opportunities for American Organizations” on Monday, March 28, 2016 at Naperville, Illinois. The event was attended by nearly fifty leading business persons and entrepreneurs working in different sectors of economy in the US-Midwest, besides officials of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and members of the Chamber.
2. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, delivered a keynote address on Prime Minister’s Skill Development Mission, while presentations were made by Mr. Frank Avila, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and Mr. Shyam Pappu, Engineer (MWRD) and Dr. Shekhar Mishra, Deputy Project Manager and International Collaboration Coordinator, Fermilab, Chicago. Mr. Krishna Reddy, Managing Director and Mr. K. Naga Prasad, CEO of iDiya Labs, a software company based in Hyderabad, Telangana participated in the panel discussion through webinar. Mr Ajit Pant, President of the US India Chamber of Commerce – Midwest gave an overview of the Chamber and its activities and welcomed the gathering.
3. Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed stressed that skills and knowledge are the two driving forces for sustainable economic growth and social development for any country. He mentioned that by 2020 India would be the youngest nation in the world in terms of the average age of the population. He said currently India has 650 million youth who are below 25 years of age and this is India’s untapped potential and a ‘demographic dividend’, which could add a significant 2% growth to India’s GDP if the youth are given formal training in skills to make them job ready and become a key driving force of economic growth.
4. Consul General gave highlights of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and said that it is a flagship programme aimed at increasing the annual skilling capacity from the current level of around 7 million to 500 million by 2022. The Government of India (GOI) is determined to establish at least one skill development centre in each of the 688 districts of India. The target for skill training would be aligned to the demand generated from other GOI flagship programmes like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Digital India and others. Referring to the possibility of setting up of co-branded ‘Corporate Skill Excellence Centres’ using the public-private partnership mode, the Consul General invited the entrepreneurs, corporates, chambers of commerce and vocational and academic institutions in the US Midwest to whole-heartedly participate in the Skill India Development Mission.
5. Commissioner Frank Avila emphasized on the need for spreading awareness in India about the proper waste management techniques. He said that waste water can serve as the “next oil” as it has water, energy and fertilizer and can be put to optimum use. Commissioner Frank Avila shared details of his visit to India last month as head of MWRD delegation during which he conducted two workshops on “Innovative and Sustainable Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Plants” at Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, which were very successful. He offered to conclude MoUs between the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Department of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and counterpart Indian institutions for transferring knowledge, skill development and capacity building in the field of waste water management.
6. Dr. Shekhar Mishra made a presentation on “Make in India, with High Technology Skill developed in India” wherein he shared details about the ongoing collaboration between the Fermilab and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), which is focused on developing technologies and infrastructure in India that would enable utilization of alternative fuels for energy, besides having applications for water purification, Medical imaging and cancer therapy.
7. Mr. Krishna Reddy, Managing Director and Mr. K. Naga Prasad referred to the healthy startup environment in India and said that the recent initiatives taken by GOI have generated considerable excitement among the Indian entrepreneurs.
8. The Panel discussion concluded with an interactive “Question- Answer” session.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, February 5, 2016
The Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with International Business Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce hosted an Executive Seminar on “Make in India Week” on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 at the premises of the Chamber. The Seminar was attended by nearly hundred leading business persons and entrepreneurs working in different sectors of economy in the US-Midwest, besides senior officials of the State of Illinois, World Business Chicago, Sister City International, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, US-India Business Council (USIBC), US-India Chamber of Commerce and the Kellogg School of Management.
The main speakers in the event were Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India; Mr Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, State of Illinois; Ms. Amy Hariani, Director & Legal Policy Counsel, US-India Business Council, Mr Kishen Kavikondala, President, SK International, Mr Tom L.Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, Clark Hill PLC, Ms. Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, Founder of Iyka Enterprises and Mr Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing, Esayfe.
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed made a power presentation on “Make in India Week”, during which he highlighted the robust health of Indian economy mentioning that IMF in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) sees India as the world’s fastest growing economy in 2016-17 with GDP growth of 7.5%. India continues to be the Top Global Destination for FDI with 32% of investors ranking India as Most Attractive Market in 2015 while 60% placing it among the top 3 investment destinations. He said that at present India is considered as one of the most open economies in the world allowing 100% FDI in most of the sectors of its economy. He mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal is “Reform to Transform” in order to make India the easiest and simplest place to do business by eliminating paperwork and easing out cumbersome procedures.
The Consul General mentioned that “Make in India” is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India which is aimed at transforming the Indian economy from services-driven growth model to intensive manufacturing-driven growth not only to increase productivity but also to promote India as an international manufacturing hub. He said that there are at least 30 key economic sectors which international companies can consider for setting up manufacturing bases in India, adding that the Manufacturing sector in India offers US dollars one trillion of economic opportunity. In the context of the US Midwest, the Consul General mentioned that there is considerable synergy between states in India and those in the US Midwest and this could be effectively utilized to boost the manufacturing sectors in both countries. A promotional film on “Make in India” was also shown as part of the presentation.
Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer of the State of Illinois, said that Illinois is one of most important business partners of India. He said that as leader in the field education, global connections and innovation ecosystem, the State of Illinois is keen to collaborate with India in developing smart cities, citing his recent useful interactions with the visiting high-level trade missions from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Ms. Amy Hariani, Director and Legal Policy Counsel, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) said that Prime Minister Modi's government has made steady progress to deliver on its promise of economic reforms. Efforts such as lifting of FDI caps in several sectors, reducing red tape, implementing a transparent tax environment, improving the country's intellectual property regime have sent a crystal clear message to the global investment community that India is ready and open for serious business. The results of these efforts are also visible in India's rise in the World Bank's “Ease of Doing Business Index”. She added that the US enterprises have also displayed their commitment to the “Make in India” program in a number of areas such as defence, health, power generation, media and entertainment and technology and have the potential to do much more.
Mr. Tom Kelly, Director of Government Affairs in Clark Hill’s Washington D.C. office and Mr. Kishen Kavikondala, President S.K. International gave a joint presentation focused on introducing the American skilled training model to the Indian students. Ms. Poonam Gupta, Founder and CEO of Iyka Enterprises, Inc., gave a presentation on simplifying technology for the manufacturing industry and customizable data management solutions to a specific, targeted market. Mr. Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing of M/S Esayfe gave a presentation on software security applications to protect and secure sensitive data, while expressing their company’s interest to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The seminar concluded with an interactive “Question & Answer” session.
The Consulate General of India, Chicago has since mobilized four major business delegations -- one each from the States of Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri to participate in “Make in India Week”, scheduled in Mumbai from February 13-18, 2016.
Consulate General of India Chicago
27th January, 2016
The Consulate General of India in Chicago organized the 67th Republic Day Celebration at its premises on Tuesday 26th January, 2016, at 10:00 AM, with traditional enthusiasm and gaiety. The venue was decorated with Indian flags, flowers and Indian cultural symbols to reflect the festive atmosphere of this important occasion.
The Indian nationals, persons of Indian origin and friends of India attended the festivities in huge numbers. Their patriotic fervor was evident from the fact that they braved the freezing cold, especially on the working weekday, to participate in the celebrations.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, unfurled the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India by all. Thereafter, Consul General read out President’s Message, both in Hindi and English, addressed to the Nation on the eve of 67th Republic Day of India.
During his address on the occasion, Consul General said that such flagship programs as "Make in India", "Skills India", "Swatch Bharat Abhiyan", "Digital India", "Startup India", and "Green India" would give a big boost to the growth trajectory of India. He called upon the Indian-Americans to proactively participate in all the ambitious development-centric initiatives of the Government of India.
During the celebration, Consul General met with all members of Indian community to ascertain their welfare and assured them of their live interaction with them, as frequently as required.
O P Meena, Consul (Community Welfare), welcomed the gathering and also proposed a vote of thank.
Consulate General of India Chicago
January 8, 2016
The Consulate General of India Chicago organized the “Pravasi Divas” and ‘Meet the Media’ event on 8th January, 2016 at the Consulate premises in which a large cross-section of print and Audio-visual media organizations participated along with freelance journalists, besides community leaders and representatives of major Indian-American socio-cultural organizations in the Greater Chicago.
Consul General of India Dr Ausaf Sayeed made two power point presentations – first recapping the major activities undertaken by the Consulate during 2015 and the second outlining the history of Indian immigration in the US Midwest and a short overview of Government of India (GOI)’s flagship programmes.
In his address, Consul General Dr Sayeed lauded the Indian-American Diaspora (Pravasis) for making significant contribution for the socio-economic development of India. He also invited them to whole-heartedly participate in GOI’s Flagship Programmes such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skills India’, ‘Swatch Bharat Abiyan’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Green India’. He encouraged them to engage with the GOI using the portal MyGov.in.
Quoting the US Population Census data (2010), the Consul General mentioned that:
The number of Indian Americans in the nine states of the US Midwest covered by this Consulate i.e. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota & Wisconsin was put at 385,987. The State-wise breakdown is as under: Illinois (188,328), Michigan (77,132), Minnesota (33,031), Indiana (27,598), Missouri (23,223), Wisconsin (22,899), Iowa (11,081), North Dakota (1,543) and South Dakota (1,152).
The total trade between India and the US Midwest in 2014 was put at US$ 6.346 billion, which included India's exports of US$ 4.320 billion and India's imports of US$ 2.025 billion. The US Midwest two-way with India constitutes around 10% of the total trade between India and the USA. For the 11-month period January-November 2015, the total trade between India and the US Midwest was put at US$ 5.72 billion, which included India's exports of US$ 3.921 billion and India's imports of US$ 1.80 billion. Illinois is the largest trading partner of India in the US Midwest with a total trade of US$ 2.01 billion in 2014, which includes India's exports of US$ 1.364 billion, registering an increase of 14.4% in exports. There are 80 Indian Companies operating in the US Midwest, which have made cumulative investments of US $ 2.3 billion and have created 13,841 jobs in the US Midwest.
While sharing the various activities proposed to be undertaken by the Consulate during the year 2016, the Consul General mentioned that the efforts of the Consulate would be directed towards strengthening the political, economic, cultural, educational and people-to-people relationships between India and the US Midwest. As part of this process the Consul General and other senior officers of the Consulate have established a close working relationship with the offices of the Governors, Lt. Governors, elected representatives and Mayors, besides senior officials of the Economic Departments of various states and leading Chambers of Commerce
The Consul General briefed the media on the following initiatives targeted for the calendar year 2016:
1. Proposed Outgoing Trade Delegations to India :
The following trade delegations from the US Midwest are expected to visit India in the coming months:
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity trade delegation led by Mr. Jim Schultz, Director to Bengaluru from 3rd-5th, February, 2016 to participate in the “Invest Karnataka-2016’.
North Dakota Trade Mission led by Mr. Drew Wrigley, Lt. Governor various cities in India at the end of February, 2016.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation [MEDC]’s follow up Trade Mission led by Lt. Governor Brian Calley to different cities in India in the first quarter of 2016.
A few business delegations are also expected to participate in the “Make in India Week” proposed to be organized in Mumbai from February 13-18, 2016.
2. Economic and commercial activities of the Consulate:
The Consulate would be organizing an Economic Seminar in collaboration with the Illinois Chambers of Commerce on 3rd February, 2016 at the Chamber to promote “Make in India Week”.
The Consulate would be organizing an Economic Seminar in collaboration with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce on “Growing US-India Strategic & Economic Partnership-Trends, Prospects & Opportunities for Business” at the Consulate premises in June, 2016.
The Consulate would be collaborating with the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in their proposal to organize an ‘Emerging Markets Conference’ on 7th May, 2016.
The Consulate would be collaborating with the India Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Minneapolis to organize the 2nd US-India Healthcare Summit as a follow up of last year‘s Summit in Minneapolis from June 1st-3rd, 2016.
In addition, business events are planned in collaboration with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), the US-India Chamber of Commerce and TiE.
3. Consular Services:
During 2015, the Consulate has rendered a total of 77,642 services, which includes issue of 36,267 visas, 15,898 passports, 13,896 OCI cards, 11,092 miscellaneous consular services, 211 Emergency Certificates and 278 PIO Cards.
To facilitate easy access to the people all Consular Officers are available to meet the public without appointment every day between 10 am and 11am. Telephone lines are open for public queries every day for two hours from 2-4 pm. Consular queries received from email are answered within 48 hours. Besides, consular queries received through Social Media like Facebook and Twitter are also responded to promptly.
The Consulate continues to render Emergency visa services on weekends and closed holidays in the unfortunate event of death of immediate family members of the Indian-American Diapora.
As part of the Consular outreach activities the Consulate will organize “Open House” at the Consulate premises at least once every quarter. Besides, Consular Camps are planned in Chicago Suburbs, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and St. Louis.
Escalation of Consular and Visa matters can be done using the email: email@example.com. This email is monitored personally by the Consul General.
4. Cultural Activities :
Screening of the film ‘India Awakes’ in collaboration with the International House, University of Chicago on 21st January, 2016.
Republic Day Flag Hoisting ceremony in the Consulate Premise on 26th January, 2016 at 1000 Hrs. This is a public event and no invitations are required.
Screening of the film “For Here Or To Go’ in collaboration with the International House, University of Chicago in April 2016.
ICCR sponsored programme - performance of 12-member Fusion Band and Stree Shakti Hindustani Instrumental group led by Ms. Anuradha Pal during second quarter of 2016.
2nd International Yoga Day on 21st June, 2016.
Independence Day Flag Hoisting: Considering the enthusiastic response that the Consulate General of India received last year for the common flag hoisting ceremony that was done on 15th August, 2016 at the Daley Plaza Center, this year also the Consulate proposes to repeat the same. This is a public event and no invitations are required.
Kala-Utsav 2016 will be held at the end of August, 2016 to showcase the best among the local talents in different forms of Indian Music, Dance and Theater.
The Consulate will collaborate with the Oakbrook Polo Club to organize 2nd India-US Friendly Polo Tournament in August/September, 2016.
This year too the Consulate will celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on October 2nd 2016 at the Consulate premises. The Consulate will also collaborate with the Gandhi Foundation at Niles as well as responsible persons at Milwaukee to organize similar celebrations there. The Consulate will also participate/collaborate in the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations being organized annually by the Delhi Committee of the Chicago Sister City Committee.
The ‘Constitution Day’ would be celebrated on 26th November, 2016 in the Consulate premise.
The Consulate General of India, Chicago would continue to give patronage to different socio-cultural organizations in Chicagoland such ‘Eye on India’, ‘Chicago South Asian Film Festival’, Hindi Lovers Club and others.
As part of the Parvasi Bhartiya Divas, three local organizations, ‘Pratham’, ‘Bharathi Theertha’ and ‘India Development Coalition of America’ shared their experiences of working on socio-economic and developmental projects in India.
To mark the Vishwa Hindi Divas (World Hindi Day), which falls on January 10th, a special message from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi was read out and efforts of the Consulate towards promotion of Hindi in Chicagoland was also highlighted.
The Consul General introduced two new Consuls – Mr Desh Bandhu Bhati, Consul (Commercial, Political and Visa) and Mrs. Rajeshwari Chandrasekaran, Consul (CG’s Office).
Mr O.P. Meena, Consul (Community Welfare) welcomed the gathering and proposed a vote of thanks.
November 03-05, 2015
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, accompanied by Mr D.B.Bhati, Consul (Commercial) paid an official visit to the State of North Dakota from November 03-05, 2015. During the visit, Consul General Dr. Sayeed had useful interactions with Hon’ble Drew Wrigley, Lt. Governor of the State of North Dakota; Mr. Al Anderson, Commissioner, North Dakota Department of Commerce; Mr. Tom Bodine, Deputy Agriculture Commissioner and Mr. Dean Gorder, Executive Director, North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), besides faculty members of North Dakota State University (NDSU) and several business leaders, agriculturists and members of professional bodies.
The Consul General began his tour of North Dakota on November 04 with a visit to a local soybean processing facility- Sinner Bros. & Bresnahan (SB&B) which produces a full line of non-GMO soybean varieties after extensive research in the field. Thereafter, he visited NDSU’s Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering department, where he was apprised of the research being done in precision agricultural technologies and Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS). The Consul General also witnessed a presentation given by BioPro Power organization on the production of renewable energy by using byproducts of agriculture crops as biomass fuels.
The Consul General also gave a presentation at NDTO office in Fargo on the topic 'India - Ushering in reforms' to a group of prominent business persons, legal professionals and members of NDTO.
On November 05, 2015 Consul General had detailed discussions with Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley, who is also the Chairman of North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), during which he gave a briefing on the positive economic climate in India and the series of initiatives that are being undertaken by the Government of India towards ease of doing business, simplification of procedures and investment regulations, all of which make India a land that offers extraordinary opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.
A high-level North Dakotan Trade Mission to India is being planned in February-March 2016, which would be probably led either by Governor of North Dakota Hon’ble Jack Dalrymple or Lt. Governor Hon’ble Drew Wrigley. The delegation, which would also include Agriculture Commissioner Hon’ble Doug Goehring and several leading business persons from North Dakota, is likely to visit cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar and possibly Bhopal and Hyderabad. The Consul General promised that the Consulate would extend all possible assistance to make the visit of the North Dakotan trade mission to India successful.
Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley said that there are vast opportunities for partnership between the Indian and US companies in the fields of agriculture, coal and energy. He mentioned that North Dakota has vast coal reserves and is the second largest oil producing state in the United States. Indian companies may take advantage of the research and innovations being made in North Dakota in these areas.
The Consul General expressed his hope that with the visit of upcoming high-level delegation from North Dakota to India, new partnerships between the US and Indian companies will emerge in different areas.
The two sides identified the fields of oil & gas, renewable energy, including wind energy & biomass, value-added agriculture, manufacturing, innovation and technology as potential areas for increasing economic collaboration and partnership between the Indian and US companies.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Saturday, 11th July 2015
A 3-member High-level Sikh Delegation from Government of Punjab comprising of Shri S.Balwinder Singh Bhunder Hon'ble Member of Parliament (RS), Shri Sohan Singh Thandal, Hon'ble Minister of Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Punjab and Shri Surjit Singh Rakra, Hon'ble Minister for Water Supply & Sanitation and Higher Education & Languages, Government of Punjab, who is also the younger brother of well-known entrepreneur and community leader from Milwaukee, Shri Darshan Singh Dhaliwal had a meeting with the Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed at his residence on July 11th , 2015.
The visiting delegation had discussions on community-related issues, steps to increase tourism in Punjab from the United States and ways and means of strengthening economic cooperation between the US Midwest and Punjab.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Wednesday, 1st July 2015
Hon'ble Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, accompanied by a high-level trade delegation, was on a day long official visit to Detroit, Michigan on June 30th 2015 to promote trade, investments, manufacturing and economic cooperation between Michigan and Maharashtra.
The Chief Minister had an interactive session with the US trade and industry representatives, besides officials of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and office of the Governor of Michigan. The Chief Minister also visited the General Motors and had discussions with their top executives.
While addressing the Business Meet at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra described Maharashtra as the most industrialized state in India which contributes around 15% to India's GDP. He said that just like Michigan, Maharashtra is the powerhouse for the automobile and auto sectors and there is immense synergy between the two states.
Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed also addressed the Business Meet and mooted the idea of forging an economic partnership between Maharashtra and Michigan as ‘Partner States’ and establishing a ‘Sister-City’ relationship between Detroit and Pune, as both these cities complement each other in the automobile and auto parts sector.
The Consul General added that Governor Rick Snyder is keen on strengthening Michigan’s economic partnership with India particularly in the fields of automobiles, auto parts, IT, Telecom, agriculture, food processing and hydrocarbons.
A high-level investment mission from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) visited India from March 2-8, 2015 and met with senior officials of MEA, MoCI, MoF, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, RBI and EXIM Bank. A follow-up trade and investment delegation would be visited India in October 2015.
India exports goods roughly worth US $ 1 billion dollars annually to Michigan. Indian companies Mahindra, TATA and HCL have set up manufacturing units in Michigan.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, 13th February 2015
Consul General at a meeting at the Department of Employment and Economic Development accompanied by members of IAM and ICC
Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed visited Minneapolis, Minnesota from February 5th – 8th 2015. During his visit he had meetings with the Minnesota Secretary of State, Mr. Steve Simon, former Secretary of State Mr Mark Ritchie and senior officials of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the US Small Business Administration, the India Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Minnesota World's Fair Team and Business houses like CVRx, Life Science Alley and Innovations Inc.
The Consul General visited the University of Minnesota and met with several heads of departments and renowned professors and scholars, including Dr Kumar G. Belani, Assistant Vice President, India Affairs, to discuss avenues for expansion of educational and scientific cooperation between the University of Minnesota and their academic counterparts in India. The Consul General also visited the Masonic Cancer Center at the University and was given an extensive briefing by Prof (Dr) Ashok K.Saluja and his team, who is doing pioneering research to develop a drug called 'Minnelide' for treatment of pancreatic cancer.
The Consul General addressed a Town Hall meeting at the Hindu Temple in Minnesota and interacted with members of the Indian-American community on matters relating to Consular and Visa services, besides a host of other issues such as 'Swach Bharath Abhiyan' and opportunities for people's participation in governance through the Prime Minister's portal Mygov.in.
The Consul General delivered a keynote address at the 'Connect India 2015' event organized by the Indian Association in Minnesota (IAM) on February 7th, 2015 at Wilder Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Sayeed lauded the valuable contribution made by the Indian-American community towards the socio-economic, academic and scientific progress of Minnesota, highlighting the success stories of several members of the Indian Diaspora in the United States.
The Consul General also highlighted the huge economic potential that exists between India and the United States with particular reference to the nine states of the US Midwest covered by the Consulate.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon'ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, was on a brief visit to Chicago enroute to New Delhi.
A breakfast meeting was organised in honour of the dignitary which was attended by prominent members of the medical fraternity including members of the Indian American Medical Association of Illinois, the Indian Dental Association, the President, Blind Foundation of India, Founder and CEO, Arogya World, Heart Care Centre of South Chicago and others associated with the health sector in the Chicagoland area.
The Hon'ble Minister addressed the assembled guests. He stressed the importance of Chicago as the venue of the famous address by Swami Vivekananda and recalled his first visit to the Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. He briefed the guests on his five day tour of the United States and his meetings with the Secretary of Health, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, meetings with the special envoy of the U.N. Secretary General and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and other events. He informed of the inauguration of the Swasthya Bharat website and invited the assembled physicians to serve their motherland. He invited suggestions and promised to expedite clearances by the Medical Council of India and to remove bottlenecks in programs and schemes. He gave his email address to the guests and asked them to send him their proposals directly.
The Hon'ble Minister left for New Delhi in the afternoon on the same day.
Consulate General of India Chicago
Friday, June 27, 2014
1. Dr. T.K. Chandrashekar, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Department of Science and Technology visited USA from June 24 to July 03, 2014. He was accompanied by Mr. Rajiv Sharma, Executive Director, Indo-US S&T Forum, Dr R K Tayal, Advisor, Department of Science & Technology, Mr. R Varadarajan, Controller, Indo-US S&T Forum and Dr. Nishritha Bopana, Indo-US S&T Forum.
2. The delegation held meetings at Northwestern University, Evanston on Indo-US Center for Research Excellence in Science and Engineering (CRESE) on Advanced Materials Research, on the S.N. Bose Scholars Program and on SERB outreach. The delegation called on Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, on June 26, 2014 and briefed him on the ongoing programs at the Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the SERB outreach program. The delegation travelled to Madison for meetings at University of Wisconsin at Madison, to Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and for interaction with S.N. Bose Scholars and thereafter to Purdue University, West Lafayette Indo-US Center for Research Excellence in Science and Engineering (CRESE), on Nano materials for energy, S.N. Bose Scholars Program SERB outreach.