A Visit to the German Consulate General in Bangalore

The IGTC Bangalore arranged an exciting field trip for the PGPBA batch of 2012-2014. A visit to the German Consulate General on May 8th 2013 was organised to understand the different tasks that the Consulate was involved in.

Hans-Günter Löffler, Deputy Consul General – German Consulate General in Bangalore graciously welcomed the students and explained to them the various tasks undertaken by the Consulate General.

  • Promoting economic ties between India and Germany and in turn looking for various opportunities in Bangalore. In this regard, working closely with the Indo – German Chamber of Commerce to promote bilateral ties – trade and investment in Bangalore. He said, the numbers of German companies are the highest in Pune followed by Bangalore.
  • Promoting co-operation in science by encouraging companies to undertake R&D activities, e.g. SAP Labs and Carl Zeiss. There are more than 50 co-operations between the German universities in India which help students to take up research projects in Germany.
  • The Consulate is also responsible to take care of the various delegations coming from Germany to India.
  • He continued to explain that the Visa section in Bangalore was started only in September 2011 and they are processing about 33000 visas every year and the number only keeps increasing year by year.
  • The German Consulate also supports the Germans in India in various activities like issuing passports.
  • The Consulate has to interact with the press in Bangalore on a regular basis and print out reports on Germany.
  • It also observes the political situation in Bangalore and India and has to report these in turn to Germany.

In addition to these Mr Hans-Günter Löffler also spoke about various other German organisations which promote the Indo German ties in India.

  • The German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD is the largest German support organisation in the field of international academic co-operation. It awards competitive, merit-based grants for use toward study and/or research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education.
  • Bosch Foundation promotes student exchange programme in schools, between India and Germany.
  • Max Mueller Bhavan helps in promoting links between German and Indian universities and also promotes cultural co-operation.

Finally, Mr Hans-Günter Löffler also explained the hierarchy of the representative offices of Germany in India. The hierarchy is as explained below.

EMBASSIES – Representation of the German Government in the capital of another country.

CONSULATES GENERAL–These are established when the country is so big that the Embassy would not be able to cover all the activities happening in the particular country.

COUNSULATES – These are established in countries or places with a lot of German tourists, e.g. Mallorca in Spain. These are specialised in taking care of German citizens.

HONORARY CONSULATES – These are very small representations by known professional diplomats. They are generally business people from the host country having special engagement with Germany. In India there is only one Honorary Consulate in Goa.

This information and Mr Löffler’s anecdotes of personal experiences in various countries made the session extremely interesting and also very informative. The students learnt about the various German establishments in Bangalore and the tasks of each one of them.

We thank Mr Löffler for giving us an insight into the activities of the Consulate General and for giving us the opportunity to visit their premises.