Nation Current Affairs 13 Jun 2017 Modi visit to US: H1 ...

Modi visit to US: H1B visa likely to be top agenda

Published Jun 13, 2017, 6:54 am IST
Updated Jun 13, 2017, 6:54 am IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump

New Delhi: Within hours of the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with US President Donald Trump on June 26 in Washington DC in what will be his first visit to the U.S. since the Trump administration took charge, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Monday met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss the IT industry's rising concerns over Mr Trump's review of the H1B visa programme under which thousands of skilled Indian workers go to the U.S., that have resulted in tighter visa norms in the US and layoffs in the sector.

The issues raised by Sikka in the 45-minute meeting, between Jaitley and the IT czar are expected to  top the agenda when Prime Minister Modi meets the mercurial US leader. The visit takes place in the shadow of his biting comments on India while announcing U.S' withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal. India, he said, had made its participation "contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid."

Amid the awkwardness, the US State Department last week confirmed that PM Modi would travel to Washington later this month.

On Monday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement: "This will be the first meeting between the two leaders. Their discussions will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement on issues of mutual interest and consolidation of multi-dimensional strategic partnership between India and the U.S."

The two leaders have spoken on the phone at least three times. Apart from the H1B visa issue and the Paris climate deal, the menace of Pak-sponsored terrorism to which the U.S has turned a blind eye apart from Indo-US strategic cooperation including defence ties, India's NSG membership bid, increased Chinese assertiveness in Asia are the issues on the table when PM Modi meets US President Donald Trump on June 26. India-US ties blossomed under the Obama administration, which saw India as a partner to balance China's growing weight in Asia. Trump has focused on wooing China, seeing it as key to tackling regional problems.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi


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