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Plans on track for US Consulate in city

Staff Reporter

`Efforts on to cut down visa interview application time to just one week'



FORGING TIES: Consul for Public Affairs, US Consulate General, Chennai, Frederick K. Kaplan, and OU Vice-Chancellor M. Suleman Siddiqi at the inauguration of the American Studies Programme in Osmania University on Monday. — Photo: Satish H.

HYDERABAD: The American Consulate in India is on target to set up a new Consulate in Hyderabad by early 2008, said Consul for Public Affairs American Consulate General in Chennai, Frederick J. Kaplan.Inaugurating the American Studies Programme here at the Osmania University Centre for International Programmes (OUCIP) on Monday, Mr. Kaplan said they were making efforts to cut down the visa interview application time to just one week from the current five-week period in a bid to make it easy for the students, businessmen and visitors planning to visit the United States. He also said efforts were on to eliminate the entire backlog Visa interviews within three weeks.

Phenomenal rise

"India has sent more students to the US than any other country this year and we are working to set up the new Consulate in Hyderabad at the earliest to better serve the people of Andhra Pradesh," said Mr. Kaplan. The number of American students attending Indian universities heaped by 50 per cent this year and stands at around 1,800 students, according to the Institute of International Education, United States.

Helpful programme

Speaking on the American Studies Programme, he said Osmania University, especially OUCIP, is helping prepare India and Hyderabad for the 21st century and this programme would help scholars, students and researchers develop creative collaboration across national boundaries.

Osmania University Vice-Chancellor M.Suleman Siddiqi announced a grant of Rs.15 lakhs for OUCIP in the next financial year to enable the centre conduct more academic programmes.

Later, North Western University Department of English professor Brian Edwards delivered a lecture on `Global culture in local circulation'.

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