NCAIA hosts farewell reception for Datta Padsalgikar, Minister for Community Affairs, Indian Embassy

Helped hundreds of Indian students relocate after 2 universities closed down.

By The American Bazaar Staff

VIENNA, VA: The National Council of Asian Indian Associations (NCAIA) hosted a farewell reception for the outgoing Minister for Community Affairs at the Embassy of India, Datta Padsalgikar, here on Thursday.

Padsalgikar, a 1982 batch Indian Police Service officer, leaves Washington Saturday after completing his three-year term at the embassy.

A number of NCAIA leaders who spoke on the occasion, including its current president Dr. Suresh Gupta, former president Benoy Thomas and Har Swarup Singh, a former Indian diplomat, praised the tenure of Padsalgikar.

Thomas pointed out that Padsalgikar had done a great job “coordinating the India-US homeland security dialogue.” He also said the IPS officer had “played a major role” when two universities with a large share of Indian students, Tri Valley University in California and University of Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, were busted by the US immigration authorities for fraudulent practices. It was because of Padsalgikar’s efforts most of the students were able to either enroll in other universities to return to India safely, Thomas said.

In his address, Padsalgikar said he was proud of the accomplishments of the Indian American community. He thanked the community for closely working with him in the past three years.

At the event, which was held Bombay Tandoor restaurant, NCAIA also welcomed Padsalgikar’s successor N.K. Mishra. The 1988 batch IPS official, who was joint director at Intelligence Bureau till recently, described his predecessor as a “friend, philosopher and guide.” Mishra said he was looking forward to working with the community.

Among the attendees were Islam Siddiqui, a former Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative; Satish Korpe, who is running for Congress from Virginia’s 8th Congressional district; Aditi Padsalgikar, wife of the outgoing minister; and community leaders Dr. Partha Pillai, Sunny Wycliffe and Kaleem Kawaja.

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