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Increased Cooperation: Ambassador Meera Shankar at ICC

Bilateral ties, politics, technology, energy and education were among the key issues, Ambassador Meera Shankar talked about as she interacted with the expatriate community at India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif. A Siliconeer report.

(Above): Ambassador Meera Shankar (l) with ICC Chairperson Emeritus and trustee Talat Hasan at the India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif., during a visit last month. [Siliconeer photo]

The Indian Ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar, was in California recently to foster bilateral trade as well as economic and cultural cooperation. During the three-day visit she met with Governor Jerry Brown, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgineau and the Deans of the South Asia and South East Asia faculties.

Ambassador Shankar visited the India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif. for a special talk and interaction with the Indian American community. The event was well attended and the ambassador spoke on subjects related to U.S.-India ties in various sectors. She also took questions from the audience.

Speaking on the U.S.-India ties, Shanker stressed the need for a broader collaborative approach between U.S. and India in areas like education, energy and trade. On the political scenario in neighboring countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan and she explained how India was working to improve the humanitarian situation for the residents of these countries.

The Ambassador also spoke about the developments in India and the initiative to build more IITs and IIMs to address the needs of the growing youth of India.

Ambassador Shankar talked about energy independence and the exploration of the reserves of shale gas in India. She also talked about developments in the wake of the recent disaster in Japan, and India’s plan to proceed with the nuclear energy plants, saying that “India doesn’t have the luxury of ruling out any source of energy, which will enable us to meet our energy needs in a way that is responsible, and which also contributes to our energy independence.” She mentioned that all concerns will be considered as safety audits are being conducted at various sites of these plants.

When asked about the corruption problems in India, the ambassador said that the government shared the concern and was working on the rampant problem as a priority initiative.

While the talk was mostly about how India was emerging as a global economic power and how U.S. and India could foster ties, local Bay Area residents who attended the event asked the ambassador to address their concerns as well.

Jairam Komati representing the Telugu Association of North America asked for the embassy’s involvement in expediting the processing of immigration status-related issues for the students of Tri-Valley College.

Another prominent Bay Area resident, Naren Bakshi, discussed philanthropy and wanted to learn about the government’s education initiative for underprivileged kids in India and how he could contribute to it.

While we thank the Ambassador for bringing the community up to speed on key issues, and ICC for organizing this event, we request that media outlets be allowed to ask questions in the interest of the community when they are invited to cover a public forum event at a community center


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