India and the US are likely to ink two key agreements in July that would exempt prominent citizens from immigration checks and enable sharing of terror-related information, a senior Home Ministry source said Monday.
Agreements on the Global Entry programme and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6) are expected to be signed during the US-India Homeland Security Dialogue in July.
While the Global Entry programme is a US Customs and Border Protection programme that permits speedy clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival in America, HSPD-6 is a model text agreement mooted by the US for exchange of information between the US Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC) and the Intelligence Bureau.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the Indian delegation to Washington for the dialogue and the US team will be headed by their Secretary of Homeland Security.
India hopes that if it signs the HSPD-6 agreement, it will also be provided ready access to information on Internet content hosted on US-based servers that could give leads in counter-terror operations. Initially, the IB had expressed reservations about entering such an agreement as it was believed that it primarily protected US interests.
Under the Global Entry programme, India’s inclusion would mean that important dignitaries like former Presidents, former PMs, former Union ministers, film stars, top industrialists and prominent frequent flyers could visit America without immigration hassles, a senior government official said.
To begin with, around 2,000 prominent Indians could be included in the list, which would be gradually expanded after thorough background checks.