Free Online Course on IIR: India-U.S. Relations

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:: India-U.S. Relations ::


India-U.S. bilateral relations have developed into a global strategic partnership,based on increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues.Regular exchange of high level political visits coupled with wide ranging dialogue architecture has enabled sustained momentum to bilateral cooperation and helped establish a long-term framework for India-U.S. global strategic partnership. The bilateral cooperation is now broad-based and multi-sectoral, covering trade and investment, defence and security, education, science and technology, cyber security, hightechnology, civil nuclear energy, space technology and applications, clean energy,
environment, agriculture and health. People to people interaction provide further vitality and strength to bilateral relationship. Bilateral partnership enjoys bipartisan support in both our countries.

Strategic Dialogue:

India and the U.S. launched a Ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister and the U.S. Secretary of State in July 2009, which focuses on bilateral relations along five pillars of mutual interest, namely: Strategic Cooperation; Energy and Climate Change, Education and Development; Economy, Trade and Agriculture; Science and Technology; and Health and Innovation. The first round of the Strategic Dialogue was held in Washington D.C. in June 2010. The fourth meeting of the Strategic Dialogue was held in New Delhi in June 2013.

Foreign Office Consultations:

There have been regular contacts at political and official levels on bilateral, regional and global issues. Foreign Office Consultations are an important part of the dialogue structure. The last round of Foreign Office Consultations was held in Washington D.C., for which Indian Foreign Secretary paid a visit to U.S. on 9-11 December 2013.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation:

The bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement was finalized in July 2007 and signed in October 2008. During the visit of President Obama to India in November 2010, the two Governments announced completion of all steps to begin implementation of the Civil Nuclear Agreement. U.S. nuclear companies (Westinghouse and GE Hitachi) are in consultations with NPCIL to commence commercial cooperation in this area. NPCIL and Westinghouse signed a "preliminary contract" in September 2013 for the nuclear power project in Gujarat. The civil nuclear initiative has been strengthened by the regular meeting of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Working Group (CNWG). The last meeting of the joint CNWG was held in July 2013.

Defence Cooperation:

With the signing of ‘New Framework for India-U.S. Defense Relations’ in 2005, bilateral defense cooperation has intensified with growing defense trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counterpiracy, and exchanges between each of the three services. Defense trade has shown significant growth in recent years with aggregate worth of defense acquisition from U.S.
crossing over US$ 10 billion. The two sides are in consultation to upgrade the defense relationship by simplifying technology transfer policies and exploring possibilities of codevelopment and co-production of defense systems to invest the defense relationship with strategic value. A Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation highlighted the deepening of Indo-US relations was issued in 2013. Both countries also continue to engage under several bilateral institutional mechanisms, which include Defence Policy Group (DPG), Defence Joint Working Group (DJWG),Defence Procurement and Production Group (DPPG), Senior Technology Security Group (STSG), Joint Technical Group (JTG),Military Cooperation Group (MCG), and Service-to-Service Executive Steering Groups (ESGs). India and United States are making efforts to transform defence ties to pursue opportunities for technological collaboration in the field of joint research and co-production of major defence equipment.


Cooperation in counter-terrorism has seen considerable progress with intelligence sharing, information exchange, operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology and equipment. A new India-US Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Initiative was signed in 2010 to expand collaboration on counter-terrorism, information sharing and capacity building. Separately functional level cooperation on counter-terrorism is being pursued through a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism that was established in January 2000 and the Homeland Security Dialogue, which was announced during President Obama's visit to India in November 2010 to further deepen operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology transfers and capacity building. The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited India in May 2011 to hold the first round of this dialogue. The second meeting of this Dialogue was held in May 2013 in Washington D.C. The Dialogue reviewed engagement in each of the Homeland Security Dialogue Sub-Groups, namely: (a) Megacities Policing; (b) Combating Illicit Finance, Bulk Cash Smuggling, and Counterfeiting; (c) Cyber-security and Critical Infrastructure Protection; (d) Port, Border, Maritime, Transportation and Supply Chain Security; (e) Science and Technology Cooperation; and (f) Capacity Building. In December 2013, India-U.S Police Chief Conference on homeland security was organized in New Delhi.

Strategic Consultations:

India and U.S. have intensified and expanded their strategic consultations in recent years with dialogues covering East Asia, Central Asia and West Asia. The two sides have agreed on strategic consultations covering Latin America, Africa and the Indian Ocean Region. India and the U.S. have a trilateral with Japan (fifth meeting took place in Tokyo in November 2013) and a trilateral with Afghanistan (last meeting held in 2013).

Strategic security related issues:

Matters relating to international security and disarmament, multilateral export control regimes are reviewed under the Strategic Security Dialogue, which last met in December 2013. Issues relating to high-technology trade are discussed in the India- U.S. High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG).

Trade and Economic:

Total bilateral trade in goods touched USD 63.7 billion in 2013, registering growth of about 1.7% over the last year. Indian exports accounted for USD 41.8 billion; whereas, US exports stood at USD 21.9 billion. The merchandise trade in first three months (January to March) of 2014 was USD 15.26 billion, growing at 2.94% over the same period last year. Total trade in services in 2011 (the last year for which the complete data is available) was USD 54.42 billion, registering a growth rate of 16.12%. In 2011, India's exports to the United States reached USD 26.80 billion, and US exports to India accounted for USD 27.62 billion. There are several dialogue mechanisms to strengthen bilateral engagement on economic and trade issues, including a Ministerial Trade Policy Forum (TPF) and a Ministerial level Economic and Financial Partnership. The last Meeting of India- U.S. Financial and Economic Partnership was held in Washington in October 2013. India and U.S. are negotiating a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).

As part of the Economic Dialogue, a Commercial Dialogue has been set up to cover (a) Trade Defence Measures (b) Small and Medium Enterprises and (c) capacity building on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). In April 2014, both sides have extended the India-US Commercial Dialogue for another two years, until March 2016. For greater involvement of private sector in discussion on issues involving trade and investment the
bilateral India-US CEO's Forum was reconstituted in 2009. The last round of the reconstituted CEOs' Forum was held in July 2013 in Washington D.C. Separately a Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) has been created consisting of prominent Indian and international trade experts to provide strategic recommendations and insights to the US-India Trade Policy Forum. AnMoU on agricultural cooperation and food security was initialed in 2009, which replaced the India-US Agriculture Knowledge Initiative.

Mutual Investments:

U.S. is the fifth largest source of foreign direct investments into India. As per the official statistics of March, 2014, the cumulative FDI inflows from the US from April 2000 to March 2014 amounted to about $ 11.92 billion constituting nearly 5.48 % of the total FDI into India. During the financial year 2013-14 (from April 2013 to March 2014), the FDI inflows from US into India were $ 806 million contributing 6% of the total FDI inflow during this period. In recent years, growing Indian investments into the US, has been a novel feature of bilateral ties. A recent study of 68 Indian companies which have invested in the US, conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has found that these companies invested nearly US $ 17 billion in the US; and, about one-third of the companies actively engage in Research and Development (R&D), having spent over US $ 340 million in R&D activities, thus contributing to innovation in this country.


The U.S.-India Energy Dialogue was launched on May 31, 2005 to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector. Five working groups have been set up under the initiative in areas, e.g., oil & gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies & renewable energy and civil nuclear co-operation. Another working group on 'sustainable development' has been added recently. The last meeting of the working groups and of the Dialogue took place in March,2014 in New Delhi. In a positive development, the US Department of Energy (DoE) has so far given its approval for export of LNG from seven liquefaction terminals, set up by various companies in the US, to countries with which the US does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) - with two of these five terminals, the Indian public sector entity, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has off-take agreements, totaling nearly 6 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA). These terminals are expected to be complete and in a position to export cargoes by late 2016/early 2017.

Clean Energy:

As a priority initiative under the PACE, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Government of India signed an agreement to establish the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC) in November, 2010. The JCERDC is a bilateral initiative designed specifically to promote clean energy innovations initiative by teams of scientists from India and the United States, with a total joint committed funding from both Governments of US $ 50 million. The Center has funded three research projects, in the areas of solar energy, second generation bio-fuels and energy efficiency of buildings.


Under the Singh-Obama Knowledge Initiative launched in 2009, cooperation in education sector has been made an integral part of the strategic partnership between the two countries. The India-U.S. Higher Education Summit that was held in October 2011 in Washington, followed by the Higher Education Dialogues in June, 2012 and June 2013, have laid out the road map for promoting strategic institutional partnerships, deepening collaboration in research and development, fostering partnerships in vocational education and focusing on junior faculty development. As part of this vision, eight joint India U.S. research projects were awarded in 2012, and additional eight in 2013. Moreover, 126 junior faculty have been selected for being deputed to the United States (under the Raman fellowship program of the University Grants Commission [UGC]) for placement in post-doctoral research programs. The Fulbright program was renewed in 2008 as the Nehru-Fulbright Program, with enhanced mandate and joint funding, to provide more student and scholar exchange grants. P As per the Open Doors 2013 study of the International Institute of Education (IIE), there are 96,754 students of Indian origin studying in the United States presently, which is the second largest international group comprising 12% of the total in that category. Regulations have been liberalized to allow twinning arrangements for faculty exchange and other collaborations between universities on both sides. An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in June, 2013, for co-operation between the two sides in setting up community colleges in India. Finally, given India's population and geographic spread, India proposes to forge collaborations with U.S. Institutions in the area of Technology Enabled Learning and Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) to extend the reach of education. AnMoU was signed in June 2013, between IIT Bombay and edX for collaboration in spreading the use of MOOCs in India.


The two sides have had long history of cooperation in Civil Space arena. A bilateral Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation has been established as a forum for discussions on joint activities in space. The Group had its fourth meeting in Washington DC from 21-22 March 2013. Both the sides have agreed to continue and expand their joint activities in the area of civil space cooperation. Major areas include: (i) exchange of scientists; (ii) OCM2, INSAT3D collaboration; (iii) Cooperation on Mars mission; (iv) nano-satellites; (v) carbon /ecosystem monitoring and modeling; (vi) feasibility of collaboration in radio occultation: (vii) Earth Science Cooperation: (viii) international space station; (ix) global navigation satellite systems; (x) L&S band SAR; (xi) space exploration cooperation; (xii) space debris mediation. NASA and ISRO signed an agreement for activities related to India's Mars Orbiter Mission.

Science & Technology (S&T):

The India-U.S. S&T multi-faceted cooperation has been steadily growing under the framework of U.S.-India Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement signed in October 2005. Subsequently, it was decided to setup an Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Joint Commission, co-chaired by the Science Advisor to U.S. President & Minister of S&T, India. The Joint Commission has developed an action plan for 2012- 2014 that includes joint projects, joint workshops, exchange visits of scientists, and establishment of virtual networking in various disciplines such as basic and applied sciences; atmospheric, environmental and earth sciences; health and medical sciences; data sharing; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education; innovation; and women in science. U.S.A will be the partner country at forthcoming Technology Summit 2014 at New Delhi.

In 2000, both the governments endowed the India-U.S. Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF) to facilitate mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in science, engineering, and health. Over the past decade, the IUSSTF has facilitated more than 12,000 interactions between Indian and U.S. scientists, supported over 250 bilateral workshops and established over 30 joint research centers. The U.S.-India Science &Technology Endowment Fund, established in 2009, under the Science and Technology Endowment Board (STEB) promote commercialization of jointly developed innovative technologies with the potential for positive societal impact.

Millennium Alliance (MA), a joint initiative between USAID and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), is working to identify, support, and scale innovative, game-changing, and cost-effective solutions to developmental challenges in India. Collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been strengthened under the 2008 MOU on Earth Observations and Earth Sciences. Under the 2010 U.S.-India Agricultural Dialogue, a "monsoon desk" at the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has been established. Under NSF and MoES collaboration, the "JOIDES Resolution Program" will conduct deep ocean seabed core sample drilling in the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean and research to shed light on global climate change and variations in the Indian region. India's contribution of $250 million towards Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) Project and Indian Initiative in Gravitational Observations (IndiGO) with U.S. LIGO Laboratory are examples of joint collaboration to create a world-class research facilities.

Health Sector:

Under the U.S.-India Health Initiative signed in 2010, four working groups have been organized in the areas of Non-Communicable Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Strengthening Health Systems and Services, and Maternal and Child Health. In order to build up the disease surveillance and epidemiological capacity in India, Global Disease Detection-India Centre has been established in 2010, which is now fully operational with an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program launched in Oct 2012. U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Indian Council of Medical Research, and India's Department of Biotechnology have developed a robust relationship in the biomedical and behavioral health sciences, research related to HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, eye disease, hearing disorders, mental health, and low-cost medical technologies. In June, 2012, the United States, India, and Ethiopia, in collaboration with UNICEF, hosted the Child Survival Call to Action event in Washington, D.C. to mobilize the world to achieve the ambitious yet achievable goal of reducing all preventable child deaths by 2035. Subsequent to the meeting in Jun 2012 between Secretary US Department of Health & Human Services and Minister Health Govt. of India, various programs on Low Cost Diagnostics and to deal with scourge of Diabetics were initiated.

People to people ties:

The Indian American community is an important ethnic group in the United States of America, having a population of more than 3 million, which consists approximately 1% of the total US population. Indian American community includes a large number of professionals, business entrepreneurs and educationalists with increasing sphere of influence in the society. With two Indian Americans occupying high level posts of Governor and several representatives of the people, the Indian Diaspora has assimilated into their adopted country and is acting as a catalyst to forge closer and stronger ties between India and USA.

Cultural cooperation:

Cultural cooperation between India and the U.S. has rich and varied channels. Apart from the India-focused educational programs at the Universities and educational institutions, there are hundreds of private schools, which teach Indian cultural arts. Apart from the website ‘’ and social media channels, the Embassy provides updated information on various aspects of India that are relevant to the United States, through its various publications, including “India: Partner in Growth”, a weekly newsletter focusing on business and strategic matters, “India Media Digest”, a fortnightly newsletter providing overall developments in India, and “India Review”, a monthly magazine focusing on initiatives of the Embassy and the Consulates, major developments in India, and culture and tourism.

The Embassy, in collaboration with the Indian American Community and cultural organizations caters to the demand to the extent possible. These activities are grouped in to Reading India Series (featuring events related to Indian authors and writings, Performing Indian Series (featuring music, dance and theatre), Beholding India Series (film screening, art and photo exhibitions), Understanding India Series (featuring lectures on comprehensive and cross-sectional views of India), and Young India Series (cultural events catering specifically to younger audience).


Indian media is based in the U.S. in a marked way, including PTI, IANS, Times of India, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, Outlook, Telegraph, Pioneer and other Indian media organizations, which have correspondents based in Washington D.C. and other major cities. The TV channels represented in the U.S. include NDTV, Times Now, CNNIBN and Asia TV. Reflecting the growing relevance of Internet based information dissemination, correspondents from websites like, based here also cover the India-U.S. relations.

2013 Dispute over Diplomatic Immunity and Privileges

In December 2013, the arrest, strip-search and temporary detention of an Indian diplomat in New York following a domestic labour dispute caused uproar in India.Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade was arrested by US State Department Police on allegations of visa-fraud and handed over to US Marshals for detention. The incident occurred a week after US Ambassador Nancy Powell categorically stated that "an Indo-US strategic treaty will never be signed" and clarified that the US preferred a flexible approach to the critical issue of strategic collaboration.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the treatment of the female consular official which included repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, DNA swabbing, and placement in a hold-up alongside common criminals and drug offenders as "deplorable". The Government of India took steps to ensure that diplomatic and consular privileges accorded unilaterally to US Government personnel posted to New Delhi are henceforth based on reciprocity. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said : “We’re not hostile, this is an arrangement based on reciprocity,”.Shashi Tharoor, India's minister of human resource development commented : "The cardinal principle of diplomatic relations is reciprocity, and India realized that it had been naive in extending courtesies to the U.S. that it was not receiving in return,"

The American Community Support Association (ACSA) club and American Embassy Club in New Delhi were ordered to cease all commercial activities benefiting non-diplomatic personnel by 16 January 2014. The ACSA club operates a bar, bowling alley, swimming pool, restaurant, video-rentals club, indoor gym and a beauty parlour within the embassy premises.Tax-free import clearances given to US diplomats and consular officials for importing food, alcohol and other domestic items were revoked with immediate effect. US embassy vehicles and staff are no longer immune from penalties for traffic violations Indian income tax and immigration authorities are investigating allegations of work-permit, visa and income tax fraud at the American Embassy School.

Wayne May and his wife Alicia Muller May, from Corinth, New York, US Diplomats in India were effectively deported on 7 January by India. But their outrageous comments on social media, including one in which they call India a 'zoo,' have only just come to light. In one shocking musing, Mrs May wrote that Indian vegetarians were responsible for a wave of sexual assaults. 'It's the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat eaters. This place is just so bizarre,' she wrote. Then she added: 'Applies only to Indians, not westerners!' [RT]

'My pet dog Pago looks bigger and in better health' than the Mays' gardener, Wayne May wrote.He added that the dog got 'more protein in his diet than the gardener did.' In another, Mrs May exclaims 'what a zoo!' describing the country. After The Times of India blasted the remarks as 'astonishingly offensive' the Obama administration distanced itself from the postings Analysts predict that the incident has caused long-term damage to the relationship. Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington said, “The Indians have taken an extremely tough line on this. They are bracing for a full-fledged fight” if the case against the diplomat goes forward. Former diplomat and foreign-policy commentator K.C.Singh opined : “If they are going to throw their rule book at us, then we are saying we, too, have a rule book in India, (...) “Of late, there has been a growing feeling here that the U.S. has lost interest in India,that it is no longer the special friendship (...) The relationship is still fragile and is resting on a crag. Till we put it on flat ground, episodes like this can cause major damage to the ties.” Reacting to the rapidly deteriorating relations between the two countries, which had been seen as cordial and improving in the recent past, John Bellinger, a former State Department legal adviser said : "Whether it was wise policy to actually arrest and detain someone for a non-violent crime like this, even if technically permissible under the Vienna Convention, is questionable to me. It's really quite surprising,". Robert D. Blackwill, the former US ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003 and currently a Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for US foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) opined that the treatment meted out to Devyani Khobragade and the subsequent impact of the incident on US-India relations as giving a "new meaning to the word stupid".

Speaking at Harvard Law School during its 2014 Class Day ceremony, US attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara, the Indian-born prosecutor in the Devyani Khobragade case revealed that it was the US Department of State who initiated and investigated proceedings against the Indian official : “(It was) not the crime of the century but a serious crime nonetheless, that is why the State Department opened the case, that is why the State Department investigated it. That is why career agents in the State Department asked career prosecutors in my office to approve criminal charges,”.

US Government and Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat between 2001 and 2014, became the Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014 after the Bharatiya Janata Party decisively won the 2014 Indian General Elections. The US Government completely failed to anticipate the political rise of Narendra Modi to the office of Prime Minister of India.

Sectarian violence during the 2002 Gujarat riots damaged relations between the US Government and Narendra Modi, the then incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat. Human rights activists accused Modi of fostering anti-Muslim violence. New-York based NGO Human Rights Watch, in their 2002 report directly implicated Gujarat state officials in the violence against Muslims.

In 2012, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Indian Supreme Court found no “prosecutable evidence” against Modi. The Supreme Court of India absolved Narendra Modi of any criminal wrongdoing during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Prior to Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister of India, the US Government had made it known that Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat would not be permitted to travel to the US. Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center opined that although technically speaking there was no US 'visa ban' from 2005 to 2014, the US government policy of considering Modi as persona non grata had resulted in a defacto travel-ban.After the US revoked his existing B1/B2 visa in 2005 and refused to accept his application for an A2 visa, the US State Department affirmed that the visa policy remained unchanged : "(Mr Modi) is welcome to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant".

Exploring opportunities on how to move the relationship out of a state of morose, Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation, says that "the U.S. must first signal its willingness and commitment to collaborating with the new government—and that it will not dwell on the controversy of the 2002 Gujarat riots, which led the U.S. to revoke Modi’s visa in 2005."

On 11 June 2014, Robert Blackwill, the former Coordinator for Strategic Planning and Deputy US National Security Advisor during the presidency of George W. Bush, spoke at length about India-US relations and said : "Mr Modi is a determined leader. He is candid and frank. I also worked with him during the Gujarat earthquake when I was posted as (the US) ambassador to India. (...) It was mistake by the current Obama administration to delay engagement with Mr Modi. I do not know why they did so but definitely, this did not help in building relationship. (...) The old formula and stereotypes will not work if the US administration wants to engage with Mr Modi. The Indian prime minister is candid, direct and smart. He speaks his mind. The US administration also has to engage in candid conversation when Mr Modi meets President Obama later this year. They have to do something innovative to engage with him."

2005 Denial of Visa Application and Revocation of Visa

In 2005, the US Department of State used a 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) provision to revoke Modi’s tourist/business visa citing section 212 (a) (2) (g) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act.The IRFA provision “makes any foreign government official who ‘was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom’ ineligible for a visa to the United States.”
David C. Mulford, the US Ambassador to India from 2003 to 2009, justified the rejection of a diplomatic visa to Modi in a statement released on 21 March 2005 stating that the US State Department re-affirmed the original decision to revoke Modi's tourist/business visa :

This decision applies to Mr. Narendra Modi only. It is based on the fact that, as head of the State government in Gujarat between February 2002 and May 2002, he was responsible for the performance of state institutions at that time. The State Department's detailed views on this matter are included in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious Freedom Report. Both reports document the violence in Gujarat from February 2002 to May 2002 and cite the Indian National Human Rights Commission report, which states there was "a comprehensive failure on the part of the state government to control the persistent violation of rights of life, liberty, equality, and dignity of the people of the state."

Modi remains the only person ever to be banned to travel to the United States of America under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) provision of US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Robert Blackwill, former US ambassador to India opined : "I think it was a serious mistake on the part of the last (Bush) administration to do that (deny Modi a visa) and the current (Obama) administration to keep it in place... all the way till the 2014 Indian elections,". Blackwill highlighted the decision to deny Modi a visa as “absolutely unique” saying that the people who made the decision “thought, it’s pretty safe, because, he’s never going to be Prime Minister”.

2009 USCIRF visa black-list

In 2009, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report alleged that there was "significant evidence" linking Narendra Modi to communal riots in the state in 2002 and asked the Obama administration to continue the policy of preventing him from travelling to the United States of America.

The Obama administration maintained the 2005 decision taken by the George W. Bush administration to deny Narendra Modi entry into the United States of America.The US Government says that Modi can circumvent the USCIRF sanctions regime by visiting Washington on a Heads of government A1-visa as long as he is the Prime Minister of India.According to US State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki : "US law exempts foreign government officials, including heads of state and heads of government from certain potential inadmissibility grounds,".US Government officials have refused clarify if Modi can travel to the USA when he ceases to be the Prime Minister of India.

The visa refusal came after some Indian-American groups and human rights organizations campaigned against Modi, including the Coalition Against Genocide.

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