Diaspora Outreach, Bilateral with Biden: Here Is Modi's 3-Day US Itinerary

The visit does not only hope to improve bilateral ties, but aims to cement PM Modi's bond with the diaspora.

4 min read

As the world continues to navigate geopolitical conflicts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States in order to strengthen ties with President Joe Biden is expected to be a watershed moment for the two nations.

Indian officials have said that both sides are preparing for a "robust outcome document" which will set the tone for forging future ties.

Since coming to power in 2014, PM Modi has visited the US on six occasions, engaging with three presidents: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden. This upcoming visit holds special significance as it will be his first State visit.

However, Modi's visit is not solely meant to improve bilateral relations, but it is being seen as one which further cements his bond with the Indian diaspora and also one where he interacts with top business executives across sectors.

After Modi lands in the United States on 20 June, he is expected to be welcomed by a large group of Indian Americans at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

Here's a look at PM Modi's jam-packed schedule during his visit to the US and the agenda of the visit that could signify stronger ties between the two countries.

Click the expandable tab below to know all the details of the visit.

  1. Day 1: Yoga in New York, Talks With Biden & Washington Departure

    On 21 June, Prime Minister Modi will lead celebrations on International Day of Yoga at the UN Headquarters in New York. The PM will also pay respects to a bust of Mahatma Gandhi that is present on the North Lawns of the UN Headquarters.

    "While in New York, the PM will also meet a cross-section of prominent personalities and leaders. From there, he departs for Washington on the 21st itself, where his programme for the Washington leg commences," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said during a special briefing on the PM's visits to the US and Egypt.

    The PM's first key engagement in Washington DC would be focused on "skilling for future, which will try to bring out the key complementarities and objectives that both systems aim to seek and achieve in the field of skilling and capacity building."

    It is expected that on 21 June itself, Modi and Biden will hold talks during a private engagement.

    Sources told The Quint that President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are to host an intimate private dinner, but officials have not confirmed the same.

  1. Day 2: Formal Bilateral, US Congress Address & Official State Dinner

    "The second day of the program in Washington is the day of formal bilateral meetings with four to five components," Kwatra said.

    The first component is a ceremonial welcome to the White House, an event expected to see close to a thousand members in attendance, including members of the Indian diaspora.

    Subsequently, PM Modi and President Biden will engage in a high-level bilateral dialogue, alongside their respective delegations. The discussions are expected to focus on economic, defence, and technology partnerships between the two countries and climate change.

    A press statement is expected following talks.

    The third component of Modi's visit is his address to a joint sitting of the US Congress, at the invitation of Congressional leaders, which include House of Representatives speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer.

    He will become the seventh Indian Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of the US Congress, making him the third world leader and only Indian leader to do so twice. His earlier address occurred during his US visit in June 2016.

    The address will be followed by a Congressional reception, before Modi is whisked away to the official State dinner hosted by the president and first lady. The event, which will be attended by hundreds, has a guest list that comprises members of Congress, diplomats, celebrities and prominent Indian Americans.

  1. Day 3: Discussion with CEOs, State Luncheon & Diaspora Outreach

    The third and final day of Modi's US visit will see him hold one-on-one interactions with select CEOs, professionals and other stakeholders. He would give a speech at an event organised by the Washington DC-based independent non-profit organisation called the 'US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.'

    Modi will meet the CEOs of top American companies, including FedEx, MasterCard, and Adobe, Reuters reported and said that the CEO reception would have more than 1,200 participants and will be held at the John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

    Subsequently, Modi will be hosted at the Foggy Bottom Headquarters of the State Department by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for an official state luncheon.

    Modi's diaspora outreach will peak at an event organised at the Ronald Raegan Centre in Washington DC, with attendance from Indian-origin doctors, lawyers, hoteliers and businessmen, news agency ANI reported.

    The two-hour-long event will see award-winning international singer Mary Millben perform for Modi and other guests at a reception hosted by the United States Indian Community Foundation (USICF).

    While his diaspora address will reportedly be relatively modest compared to previous visits, with a select gathering of nearly 1,000 people, an organiser told news agency PTI that Modi pushed his departure from Washington DC by a few hours to make time for the event.


What's on the Agenda? 

Many are calling PM Modi's visit to the US a turning point in bilateral relations between the two countries, the agenda of discussions will culminate in stepping up defence cooperation and will also focus on improving trade and investment relations.

The trip also aims to promote more seamless collaboration and cooperation in various sectors, including semiconductors, cyberspace, aerospace, strategic infrastructure and communication, commercial space projects, quantum computing, as well as the utilisation of artificial intelligence in industrial and defence applications

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that the Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap is expected to be one of the key outcomes of the visit and said: "It essentially focuses on all aspects of defense co-production and co-development. It also talks about how defense industrial ecosystems of the two countries could cooperate much better, how the supply lines in the field of defense industry could also interface with each other much better."

Kwatra described defence cooperation as one of the "key pillars" of the India-US relationship.

"If you look at the complete matrix of the India-US defense partnership, it is very robust, very dynamic, it has all the significant elements that make it so important."
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra

During Prime Minister Modi's visit, several significant announcements are expected. One of them involves the approval granted by the United States to General Electric for manufacturing engines in India, specifically for domestically produced fighter jets, a boost to enhancing India's indigenous defence capabilities.

Another notable announcement is India's procurement of 31 armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones, manufactured by General Atomics, with a total value of $3 billion.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More