San Jose: Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed late Sunday from the Makkah of global technology, the Silicon Valley, leaving it rather impressed with his digital initiatives over a 36-hour whirlwind tour — back to the citadel of global diplomacy and geopolitics in New York.
In the final engagement at the SAP Center here, reminiscent of the grand reception he was accorded exactly a year ago at Madison Square Garden in Big Apple, Modi left after announcing a “physical” connect between US’s tech capital San Francisco and the Indian national capital New Delhi.
He announced a direct flight, twice a week, between the two cities from December 2 to be operated by India’s flag carrier Air India. Modi, in fact, returned to the stage to make the announcement after he had ended his hour-long speech.
The prime minister had already impressed the top chief executives of some of the world’s best-known technology companies with a quip that he was already in virtual touch with them and others in this tech hub through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Goodbye California! PM @narendramodi departs San Jose for New York, after a very productive weekend,” tweeted foreign office spokesperson Vikas Swarup, soon after Modi concluded his visit — the first by an Indian prime minister to the West coast since Indira Gandhi’s Los Angeles visit in 1982.
A packed schedule awaits the prime minister once again in New York on Monday.
There is a bilateral with President Francois Hollande of France, a call-on by World Bank President Jim Young Kim, a lunch to be hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a one-on-one with the charismatic, young Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and a leaders’ summit on peacekeeping.
The most-watched engagement, however, will be a meeting with US Barack Obama.