India-US to sign two key pacts during Homeland Security Dialogue

Posted on:31 May 2016 14:34:06
India-US to sign two key pacts during Homeland Security Dialogue
31 May 2016 Current Affairs: 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 and Border 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 .

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 .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.

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. 

The other key pact which NEW DELHI may enter into is the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6), which will enable it to access 'unclassified biographic information of known and suspected terrorists' maintained by the US on a reciprocal basis. 

The HSPD-6 is a model text agreement proposed by the US to India for exchange of terrorist screening information between Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC) of the US and an Indian agency. 

TSC is a multi agency organisation administered by FBI which consolidates several terrorist watch lists maintained by different US government agencies into single terrorist database on terror suspects. The database includes the name of the terror suspect, nationality, date of birth, photos, finger prints (if any) and passport number. 

However, later, the security agencies came to the conclusion that there was no disadvantage in entering into the proposed pact with TSC. The Intelligence Bureau will be the nodal agency and designated as the Indian party to the agreement. It was agreed that while signing the pact, it must be ensured that privacy issues .

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