US to mull opening consulate office in K'taka

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Bangalore, Sep 23: United States Consul General in Chennai Andrew T Simkin has promised to consider the Karnataka Government's request to open a separate Consulate office for the State, Home Minister V S Acharya said here today.

Speaking after meeting Mr Simkin at Vidhana Soudha here, Dr Acharya said every year about 35,000 to 40,000 candidates from Karnataka applied for visa to the US. Over 7,000 US citizens lived in the State.

Responding positively to the State's request, Mr Simkin said the US Consulate in Chennai was serving the largest populated region in the world covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Lakshadweep Islands and Pondicherry.

''He has promised to forward the State's request for consideration of the higher ups,'' he said.

Dr Acharya said the State Government also appealed to Mr Simken to take up the issue with Google and Yahoo, the two internet service providers, to give access to requested data relating to cyber crimes. ''Being a Cyber State, cyber crimes are also on a rise in the State,'' he said.

He said Karnataka Law Minister Suresh Kumar had made a proposal to the US officials to employ teleconferencing facilities in disbursing visa applications from Bangalore.

''The suggestion was well taken by the US officials,'' he said and added Mr Simkin also promised to send an Attache Economic Affairs to the State to consider the request.


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