Page 77 - IACC Newsletter January 2013 Issue no. 8 HD

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With offices in New Delhi and Mumbai staffed by technical experts and experienced investigators in food and medical
products, FDA keeps close contact with the Indian government, industries, trade associations, and scientific and
academic communities. Consequently, Indian officials are better informed about FDA's import requirements and the
agency is able to share best practices involving the production of FDA-regulated products, it said.
Such contacts have been especially helpful when unexpected issues arise. "We know who the decision makers are and
who to contact to mobilize a response when problems arise that could affect people at home," Bruce Ross, FDA's
country director based in New Delhi, was quoted as saying. Ross describes FDA's India office as a portal through which
safety information on food and drugs flows back and forth among FDA, the Indian government and industry. "Either we
provide answers to their questions or we link them to the right people who can," he said.
FDA's India office also shares information gleaned from facility inspections with Indian officials so they can take action to
improve product safety and quality. FDA responds to requests from the Indian government to train representatives from
industry, agriculture and commerce in agricultural and manufacturing standards and practices used in the US.
"It's a very pro-active way for us to ensure products imported to the states are safe and meet our standards for quality,"
Ross said. For example, FDA - working with India's drug regulators - engaged in training that focused on good clinical
practices. This training facilitated and supported the development of an Indian-specific programme for the inspection
and monitoring of clinical research sites, FDA said.
US embassy in India starts new URL for checking visa status
The US Mission to India has stated that the US Department of State's new system, CEAC Status Check, can now be
accessed at
- "Check My Visa Application Status."
According to a statement from the US Consulate General Kolkata, this tool, which allows all visa applicants to verify 24/7
the status of their case online, offers better customer service to visa applicants and continued transparency in our
processing.
This initiative follows other recent enhancements, including offsite fingerprinting and photography services and the
expanded Interview Waiver Program. All these initiatives are aimed at building capacity to accept more visa applications
over the coming years, improving customer service, and facilitating legitimate travel between India and the United
States. Bolstering people-to-people ties through travel is a cornerstone of the US-India partnership, thee consulate
statement said.
The CEAC Status Check site is a global website that allows visa applicants worldwide to access up-to-date and accurate
information about their cases. Applicants simply enter the CEAC barcode or case number and the location where the
interview occurred to check the status of their visa. This new CEAC Status Check replaces any previous status tracking
websites.
Applicants with questions about the site or its status information should contact