The number of visitors to Germany from Kolkata has increased, Mr. Guido Meyer, consular attaché at the German Consulate in Kolkata, informed the students of the Stateman Print Journalism School (SPJS) during their visit to the Consulate here on Friday. Between 2017 and 2019, the number of short-and long-term visas granted to Kolkata applicants jumped from 5,800 to 9,225 by 60 percent.
The applicants are mostly information and technology (IT) specialists, business and trade industries, researchers, and visitors. Applications to different universities in Germany have increased by 15%, an encouraging indication, although disciplines such as medicine, sociology, and philosophy are as successful as the most popular departments of science, technology and engineering, Mr. Meyers
During the consulate visit, Dr. Michael Feiner, Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany, spoke to SPJS students and said that Germany has been a member of the United Nations Security Council for the last two years and that Germany became Chairman of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the first time since 2012 in April 2019. Germany has also been seeking permanent membership in the UNSC, he said.
Germany was elected to the UN Human Rights Council, and from 2020 to 2022 it will remain a member. German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in 2019 an increase in foreign investment from € 2 billion to € 4 billion to reduce the adverse effects of climate change.
Dr. Feiner also clarified the German Embassy’s various obligations in Delhi and its Consulates across the country. While the Embassy handles bilateral diplomatic, economic and trade talks and negotiations, the Consulates deal with strengthening the socio-cultural ties between the two countries.
The Kolkata Consulate has responsibility for the states of Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, and the Northeast. The Consulate also maintains a Cultural Reservation Fund designed to preserve cultural heritage that includes libraries, musical instruments, and has recently improved the shola crafts sector through a series of projects.
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan is collaborating with schools and other educational centers to encourage young people to learn German. Germany has also extended support to the Smart City Mission in India, in particular in Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar, and Kochi.