Eric Garcetti who was appointed as the 26th U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India embarked on his first official multi-state visit after taking office.
The Ambassador visited the state of Gujarat where he acknowledged that the ever-growing backlog of Indian students wishing to move to the U.S. to seek further education was a huge issue.
“It is a great problem they have because it reflects how many Indian students want to come to the United States. Every year we solve it and it gets even bigger. Last year more student visas were admitted for Indian students than from any country in the world in the United States.”
Garcetti told reporters, “So you will see in the next couple of weeks we are opening up the next batch of student visas and we are assigning our workers just to focus on student visas as much as they can.” Garcetti revealed that plans are to reduce the visa wait time not just for students but first-time visitors as well.
As part of his Gujarat tour, Garcetti also visited the famed Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati, interacted with IIM Ahmedabad students, and visited the GIFT-Tec city where two universities from Australia, the Deakin University and University of Wollongong will set up their offshore campuses that will be up and running by mid-2024.
Garcetti arrived in Mumbai, Maharashtra on May 16. On his first day, he met with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. “Had an insightful conversation on our shared strategic priorities of business, climate action, and women’s workplace inclusion. #USIndiaTogether” he tweeted. Later on, he stopped by at actor Shahrukh Khan's residence where they discussed the huge cultural impact of Hollywood and Bollywood across the globe.