`Need to streamline visa procedures to boost Indo-US S&T ties`

The need to streamline visa procedures was underlined by a senior American official at a top US-India meeting here today.

Updated: Jun 24, 2010, 22:52 PM IST

Washington: The need to streamline visa
procedures was underlined by a senior American official at a
top US-India meeting here today, saying it was an "appallingly
pervasive problem" in science and technology cooperation
between the two countries.

"Visas have been an appallingly pervasive problem in
science and technology cooperation," said Dr John P Holdren,
Advisor to the US President on Science and Technology, at the
inauguration of first US-India Joint Commission on Science and
Technology Cooperation.

"We need to streamline visa procedures and we have
made considerable achievements already in the Obama
administration," Holdren told Indian and American scientists
and officials, who over the next two days would be
brainstorming to find out areas of collaboration between the
two countries and how to address the major challenges.

Prithviraj Chavan, the Minister of State for Science
and Technology who is attending the meet, said the launch of
the long overdue joint commission is a historic moment that
augurs well for both the countries.

The US is a very large economy and India is poised to
become one, the two countries would together have great
bearing on the future, he observed.

"The commitment of our two leaders in building
knowledge society, without a doubt, is at a level never seen
before," the Indian minister said in his opening remarks.

He said the challenges, water, food security, food,
climate change or threat to national security, being faced can
only be addressed through science and technology and through
cooperation between willing partners.

"For the relationship to be meaningful, it has to be a
mutually beneficial arrangement, with a win win situation," he

Holdren listed out the challenges being faced in this
sector of co-operation between the two countries.

Though this is the first meeting of the Indo-US Joint
Commission on Science and Technology, he said the two
countries have already accomplished together in this field.

Science and Technology plays a key role in addressing
the challenges being faced by both India and the US, the top
US official underlined.

Meera Shankar, the Indian Ambassador to the US,
highlighted the key role of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s
visit to the US last year for laying the ground work to
strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations.
She underlined that deepening of cooperation in
science and technology will help India leapfrog some of the
problems it faces.