The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has initiated
various schemes for welfare of Overseas Indians:
I. Indian Community Welfare Fund
The ‘Indian Community Welfare Fund’ (ICWF) provides
contingency expenditure incurred by the Indian Missions for carrying out welfare activities for
Overseas Indian Citizens who are in distress.
The ICWF scheme
has the following objectives:
and lodging for distressed Overseas Indian workers in Household / domestic
sectors and unskilled labourers;
emergency medical care to the Overseas Indians in need;
Providing air passage to stranded
Overseas Indians in need;
Providing initial legal assistance to the
Overseas Indians in deserving cases;
on incidentals and for airlifting the mortal remains to India or local
cremation/burial of the deceased Overseas Indians in such cases where the
sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is
unable to meet the cost;
Providing the payment of
penalties in respect of Indian nationals for illegal stay in the host country
where prima facie the worker is not at fault;
Providing the payment of small fines/penalties for the release of
Indian nationals in jail/detention centre;
Providing support to local Overseas Indian Associations to establish
Overseas Indian Community Centres in countries that have population of Overseas Indians exceeding 1,00,000; and
(ix) Providing support to start and run
Overseas Indian Community-based student welfare centres in Countries that have
more than 20,000 Indian student’s presence.
June 2012, around 36 crores has
been spent to benefit over 27,000 Overseas Indians in distress.
II. Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi
Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY)
The Government has launched
Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha
Yojana (MGPSY) on 01.05.2012 on a pilot basis. The
objective of MGPSY is to encourage and enable overseas Indian workers having
Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports going to ECR countries, to (a) save
for their return and resettlement and (b) save for their pension. They are also
provided Life Insurance cover against natural death, during the period of
coverage, without any additional payment by them.
The Government also
contributes, for a period of five years, or till the return of workers to India,
whichever is earlier, as under:
Rs.1,000 per subscriber who saves between Rs.l,000 and Rs.12,000 per annum
in their National Pension Scheme(NPS)-Lite
An additional contribution of Rs.1,000 per annum for overseas Indian women
workers who save between Rs.1,000 and Rs.12,000 per annum in National Pension
An annual contribution of Rs.900 per annum per subscriber who saves at
least Rs.4000 per annum towards Return and Resettlement fund;
Rs.100/- for life insurance cover of Rs.30,000 per year against natural
death and Rs.75,000 against death by accident through the Janshree
Bima Yojana of Life
Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
There is an integrated
enrolment process for the subscribers who will be issued a unique MGPSY account
number upon enrolment. On their return to India, the subscriber can withdraw
the Return and Resettlement savings as a lump sum. However, the subscriber
would be able to continue savings for their old age in the NPS-Lite in line with the Swavalamban
scheme. Alternatively subscriber can withdraw pension corpus as per the
guidelines prescribed by the Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority
Bhartiya Bima Yojana (PBBY)
The Pravasi Bharatiya
Bima Yojana is a compulsory
insurance scheme for overseas Indian workers having Emigration Check Required
(ECR) passport going to ECR countries. The premium along with
other benefits effective from April 1, 2008 are detailed below:
Maximum sum for which insured under
Hospitalization (Medical Expenses)
covering injuries / sickness / ailment / diseases
Repatriation covers for medically
Actual one-way economy class air fare
Family Hospitalisation in India
Actual one way economy class air fare
Actual Premium to be charged (without
any hidden costs)
Rs.275 for 2 years policy period
Rs.375 for 3 years policy period (+
Citizen of India
(OCI) Card Scheme
The Scheme was introduced in 2006 by amending the Citizenship Act. A registered OCI is granted multiple entry,
multi-purpose, life long visa for visiting India and is exempted from registration with
FRRO for any length of stay in India.
OCI Fee- is $ 275 or equivalent in local currency. In case of PIO card holders,
it is $ 25 or equivalent in local currency.
PIOs have been registered as OCIs as on 09.11.2012.
V. Know India Programme (KIP)
Know India Programme (KIP) of the Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs (MOIA) is a three-week orientation programme for Diaspora youths
(between the age of 18-26 years) of Indian origin conducted in partnership with
one State Government with a view to introduce India to them and promote
awareness on different facets of Indian life and the progress made by the
country in various fields e.g. economic, industrial, education, science &
technology, communication & information technology and culture.
This programme provides a unique forum for students and
young professional of Indian origin to visit India,
share their views and to bond closely with contemporary India. After
end of KIP, Indian Diaspora Youths become Youth Ambassadors of art, culture,
heritage and positive image of India.
Twenty one editions of such programmes have been organized
having participations of 659 PIO youths from more than 36 countries.
VI. Study India Programme
First ‘Study India Programme’ (SIP) was launched for the
first time from 25.09.2012 to 23.10.2012 in Symbiosis University, Pune,
Maharashtra with participation of 9 youths of Indian origin from four countries
like Trinidad & Tobago, Malaysia, Fiji and South Africa. Like KIP, SIP has
immense potential of connecting youth Indian Diaspora with India through
the channel of educational institutions. SIP will be held twice a year for a
period of 4 weeks involving maximum 40 diaspora
youths in the age-group of 18-26 years.
enable overseas Indian youth to undergo
short term course in an Indian University to familiarize them with the history,
heritage, art, culture, socio-political, economic developments
etc. of India.
of the programme is on academic orientation and research. Cost of boarding,
lodging, local transportation & course fee during the programme to be borne
by GOI. 50% of the cost of air-ticket by economy class would be borne by GOI.
Gratis Visas by Indian Mission are granted to the participants. SIP will be
organized twice a year.
Diaspora Children (SPDC)
Scheme launched by
MOIA in 2006-07 to make higher education in India
accessible to the children of overseas Indians and promote India as a
centre for higher studies.
Under the scheme, 100 scholarships up to US $4000/- per
course per annum are offered to PIO and NRI students (50 each) for
undergraduate courses in Engineering, Science, Law, Management, etc. The scheme
is open to NRIs/PIOs from 40 countries with substantial Indian Diaspora
Under this scheme, over 468 PIO/NRI students have benefited
since inception & 100 students have been selected in the current
Indian Youth Club (OIYC)
MOIA has also launched a new scheme named ‘Overseas Indian
Youth Club’ through our Missions abroad. Purpose is to keep the overseas Indian youth in touch with the
developments in India
& create a sense of belongingness towards their Country of origin.
In order to continue
the momentum of affinity and networking of the Diaspora youth with their
ancestral motherland, MOIA has supported opening of Overseas Indian Youth Club
(OIYC) in CGI Durban, South Africa, HCI
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, HCI Colombo, Sri Lanka, HCI Port of Spain, Trinidad
& Tobago and HCI Port Louis, Mauritius. Similarly, opening of OIYC is
making headway in CGI Melbourne, Australia and HCI Singapore.
IX. Tracing the Roots
Tracing the Roots Scheme has been launched by MOIA in
October 2008. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) desirous of tracing their roots in India may fill up the prescribed
application form enclosing relevant information/documents available with them
and deposit it with the concerned Indian Mission located in that country along
with a fee of Rs.30,000/-. In case the attempt is not successful, the Indian Mission is authorized to refund Rs
20,000/- to the applicant.
Based on the details furnished by the applicant, MOIA
entrusts the job of tracing the roots to an agency empanelled with it who in
turn may take the help of the concerned State Govt./District
Admn. etc. to successfully
complete the job.
The traced details of roots in India, i.e. name of close surviving
relative(s); place of origin of their forefathers (paternal and maternal side);
and a possible family tree, are made available to the applicant.
for Legal/Financial Assistance to Indian Women Deserted / Divorced By Their NRI
scheme is for providing legal/financial assistance to the Indian woman who have
been deserted by their overseas Indian / foreigner husbands or are facing
divorce proceedings in a foreign country.
assistance will be limited to US$ 3000 per case for developed countries and US$
2000 per case for developing countries and will be released to the empanelled
legal counsel of the applicant or Indian Community Association / Women's
organization / NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in
documentation and preparatory work for filing the case.
will be provided to meet the legal and other costs, by the Heads of Indian
Missions/Posts overseas directly to the applicant's legal counsel empanelled
with the concerned Indian Mission/Post, or through the Indian Community Associations
/ Women's organizations / NGOs acting on
the woman's behalf in an overseas legal institution.
far, 27 NGOs have been empanelled by the Indian Missions/ Posts abroad and a
sum of nearly Rs. 50 lakhs has been disbursed by
Indian Missions to empanelled NGOs and 84 Indian women have been helped under
This information was given by the
Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar
Ravi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.