New Delhi: Union Coal, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal will be the minister-in-waiting for US President Barack Obama during his visit to India for this year's Republic Day celebrations.
Security has been stepped up along the international border between India and Pakistan and in the capital in view of the U.S. President's visit.
Obama will arrive in New Delhi on January 25 to take part in Republic Day celebrations on the invitation of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He will be the first US President to attend a Republic Day celebration, the White House said. Obama, who visited India in 2010, would also be the first US president to visit the country twice while in office.
Obama's participation at Republic Day celebrations as chief guest is a sign of steadily expanding ties between the two countries that share concerns about China's growing power in Asia.
India traditionally invites a head of state to participate as chief guest for Republic Day celebrations, which culminates in a military parade including its nuclear capable missiles.
Modi met Obama on a visit to the United States in September last year and they have spoken by telephone since. Their relationship is thought to have helped resolve a major trade spat in the World Trade Organization.