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US President Obama's India Visit.


 

 

US President Barack Obama view ties with India as a 'defining partnership' of the 21st century, but he also banks on a lot on many Indian Americans to get things done. At over two dozen, the Obama administration has more Indian-Americans in high places than ever before.

Their numbers have been rising through the Clinton and Bush presidencies in keeping with their growth (2.5 million now) and success in public life.

By far the most high ranking desi, as South Asians are called colloquially, in any presidential administration is Rajiv Shah, who as the administrator of USAID holds the purse strings of a $2.6 billion kitty to provide foreign aid to from earthquake ravaged Haiti to flood-hit Pakistan.

Before he was picked up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the sub-cabinet level job, the whiz-kid born to immigrant parents from India, served as undersecretary for research, education and economics and chief scientist in the Agriculture Department.

Obama's two other most significant choices are Aneesh Chopra to be the first chief technology officer and Vivek Kundra as the federal chief information officer, appointments which endorsed the Indian presence in the technology sector.

Along with Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients, their job is to turn Obama's vision of data-driven and digital government into reality with websites that are more like an Apple app store than well a government site.

'In our personal lives, we live in a culture where 'there's an app for that', but for whatever reason we came into Washington, and it still looks like a culture where 'there's a form for that',' says Chopra.

But the man to watch as Obama packs his bags for what promises to be a Anish Goel, a senior staffer of the National Security Council and a rising star of the US foreign service.

Obama turned to yet another Indian American, Neal Katyal, when he chose Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace the retiring Associate US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

 

For this purpose most of the rooms at the top luxury hotels in Mumbai,  including the Taj and Trident which were targeted during the 26/11 terror attacks, have been booked for United States President Barack Obama's visit next month.
 
Nearly 560 rooms in Taj Mahal hotel, 120 rooms in Taj President and 90 rooms each in Oberoi and Grand Hyatt have been booked ahead of Obama's tour, a senior police official said on Friday.
 
At least 150 administration staff will accompany the President, the official said adding that they were also going to be accompanied by a special chef.
 
The First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to visit the city's red light area, Kamathipura, on a special request made by an NGO, the official added.
 
The Taj Hotel and the National Centre for Performing Arts have been completely booked for business meetings, the official added.
 
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