India-US to sign 2 key pacts during Homeland Security dialogue

India and the US are likely to sign two key agreements in July that would exempt prominent Indian citizens from immigration checks in America and pave the way for exchange of information on terrorists on a real time basis.

The two pacts on Global Entry— a US Customs andBorder Protection programme that permits speedy clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival in America and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6), which allows access to information on terrorists— are expected to be signed during the Homeland Security Dialogue.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the Indian delegation at US-India Homeland Security Dialogue to be held in Washington in July, while the US team would be headed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson.

The US has been pressing for India’s inclusion in the Global Entry so that high dignitaries like former Presidents, former Prime Ministers, former Union Ministers, film stars, top industrialists and frequent flyers could visit America without any hassle, a senior government official said.

Initially, the names of around 2,000 prominent Indians could figure in the coveted list, which would be expanded gradually after proper background checks of each individual.

Individuals included in the list enter the US through automatic kiosks at select airports. At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveller a transaction receipt and directs the traveller to baggage claim and the exit.

Two important conditions for inclusion of an individual in the Global Entry programme are that he or she should not have any criminal record or be in anyway connected with a money laundering case.

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