High Commissioner of India Harsh Vardhan Shringla inaugurated a new Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) in Jessore on Wednesday afternoon. "Our efforts in 2017 will be to further ease access and simplify procedures," he said while inaugurating new Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) in Jessore in the afternoon. Shringla said their efforts for easing visa for Bangladesh nationals have yielded outstanding results. "We, in 2016, issued close to one million visas to Bangladesh nationals. This is a record. It's the highest number of visas issued in a year and represents a manifold increase over the previous years," said the Indian envoy.
In October, 2016, the Indian High Commission launched a special scheme for women and their family members with confirmed journey tickets to avail of walk-in visas without any appointment dates. Shringla said the scheme was so successful that they decided to extend it to all applicants from January 1 this year. "Anyone with a confirmed journey ticket can apply for a Tourist Visa under this scheme. We've plans of extending this scheme outside Dhaka so that people all over Bangladesh can take advantage of this." The envoy said the idea of an IVAC in Jessore came up when he last visited in August 2016.
This is the 12th Indian visa center in Bangladesh, said the high commission. "The highest number of Visa Centers, India has anywhere in the world is in Bangladesh. This is only a testimony to the strong bonds of friendship between India and Bangladesh," Shringla said. Chief General Manager of State Bank of India, Sujit Kumar Varma and Country Head of the State Bank of India Abhijit Chakraborty were, among others, present.
The High Commissioner also attended a ceremony at Ramakrishna Mission Ashram in Narail and unveiled a plaque marking the commencement of construction works on the premises. The High Commissioner visited Tularampur in Narail and presented laptops and computer equipment to Shuvra Mukherjee Pre-cadet School, established in the memory of late Shuvra Mukherjee, spouse of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
The High Commissioner also visited the Indo-Bangladesh Maitri Girls Hostel of the Government Victoria College in Narail. On Thursday, the High Commissioner will visit the construction works of the Khulna-Mongla railway which has been implemented under the Line of Credit extended by the Government of India to Bangladesh. He is scheduled to address members of the Khulna Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon.