NEW YORK – The Consulate General of India in New York held a meet-and-greet for press on Friday night to update the public on deadlines for converting PIO cards into OCI cards and highlight some of the upcoming events the Consulate is partnering with.
The Consul General of India in New York Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das talked at length about transferring to PIO cards to OCI cards.
According to the Consulate’s web site, “PIO card holders under the jurisdiction of this Consulate are requested to urgently convert their PIO cards into OCI cards before the expiry of the deadline for the conversion process which is June 30, 2017. Applications can be made to CKGS (www.indiacgny.org) at the link given below: https://www.in.ckgs.us “
After June 30th, the PIO cards will be invalid and OCI cards will be required by law.
Das pointed out that “As far as consulate passport/visa is concerned, the government has really liberalized the visa regime.”
The electronic visa regime is now for six months and there are new categories of visa including business, medical and tourist, as well as visas for interns, along with for those who are seeking asylum.
There is an open house at the Consulate for people who have questions/issues about their visas/passports, which is on the 1st Wednesday morning and 3rd Wednesday evening of each month.
The Consul General also detailed a number of organized functions her office will be participating in during the next month.
The premiere one forthcoming will be a public participation event on June 19th at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan to mark the 3rd International Day of Yoga (IDY).
Also known as Yoga Day, it was first initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is celebrated annually worldwide every June 21st (the summer solstice) as way of promoting discipline’s approach to inner peace and a healthy lifestyle.
This year, the IDY at “The Battery” is expected to have more of a mainstream feel and be held towards the evening hours to accommodate the higher summer temperatures. Space is available in the park for at least 700 participants and yoga-inspired music will also be performed by the band Butterthief (aka Makhanchor).
In addition to Battery Park, the Times Square Yoga celebration, held annually at “The Crossroads of the World” in Midtown Manhattan, will be on June 10th. Hugely successful in the past, last year’s Times Square Yoga drew more than 6,000 people.
Consul General Das was likewise looking forward to marking India’s Independence Day on August 15th, whereby 64th Street in front of the Consulate (between 5th and Madison Avenues) will be closed to traffic, to facilitate public to attend the ceremonies.
After the informational part of the Consulate function was over, the attending media were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner, catered by Michelin star chef Hemant Mathur, COO of six distinctive regional Indian restaurants in New York City including, Chola, Haldi and MalaiMarke.