Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a State visit to the United States, at the invitation of US President Joe Biden, and kicked off the second much-anticipated day of his visit in New York, after which he visited Washington .
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, while fostering cultural ties.
Here are the top highlights from Day 2 of PM Modi's US visit:
Bidens Host PM Modi at White House: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden enjoyed a special musical tribute featuring youth dancers from Studio Dhoom, an Indian dance studio based in the DMV area.
As part of the visit, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden presented Prime Minister Modi with carefully selected gifts. The official gift was a handmade, antique American book galley from the early 20th century, symbolizing craftsmanship and literary heritage.
Yoga Event at UNHQ: Modi kicked off the second day of his US visit by leading the Yoga Day celebrations at the United Nations headquarters in New York. At the UN’s headquarters, Modi paid tributes to a Gandhi statue alongside dignitaries from around the world. The event made it to Guinness World Records for most nationalities present at any yoga event. He subsequently departed for Washington.
Touchdown in Washington: After landing in Washington, the Indian PM was received by expats and the Indian and US national anthems were played at the Joint Andrews Air Force Base in Washington
Trip with Jill Biden: First Lady Jill Biden organised a side trip for him to Virginia’s National Science Foundation HQ in Alexandria, Virginia. Both the first lady and Prime Minister Modi interacted with students from the United States and India.
Jill Biden said, "With this official visit, we are bringing together the world's oldest and largest democracies."
Speaking at the National Science Foundation in Virginia, alongside First Lady Jill Biden PM Modi said, "Under Skill India, we have skilled over 50 million people in the field of artificial intelligence, blockchain, drone and others."
Talks with CEOs: Modi met top business leaders including Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO Semiconductor giant Micron, General Electric CEO Lawrence Culp Jr and Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson.
US NSA Comments on Talks about Human Rights: As dozens of US lawmakers wrote to President Joe Biden and urged to raise human rights issues with Modi, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that while President Joe Biden is likely to bring up deterioration of democracy in India but he will not lecture Narendra Modi on the subject.
Bernie Sanders Hits Out: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders hit out at the visit and said:
"PM Modi's government has cracked down on the press and civil society, jailed political opponents, and pushed an aggressive Hindu nationalism that leaves little space for India's religious minorities."
"President Biden should raise these facts in his meeting with Modi," Sanders added.
Schedule for 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," Foreign Secretary Vinay 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.