Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
06-December-2012 17:58 IST
Schemes for Welfare of Overseas Indians
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has initiated various schemes for welfare of Overseas Indians:


The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has initiated various schemes for welfare of Overseas Indians:

I. Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)

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:

(i)     Boarding and lodging for distressed Overseas Indian workers in Household / domestic sectors and unskilled labourers;

(ii)   Extending emergency medical care to the Overseas Indians in need;

(iii) Providing air passage to stranded Overseas Indians in need;

(iv) Providing initial legal assistance to the Overseas Indians in deserving cases;

(v)   Expenditure 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;

(vi) 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;

(vii)           Providing the payment of small fines/penalties for the release of Indian nationals in jail/detention centre;

(viii)         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.


Up to 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 account;

·         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 Scheme(NPS)-Lite account;

·         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 (PFRDA).


III. Pravasi 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:



PBBY 2008

Maximum sum for which insured under the PBBY

Rs.10 lakh


Hospitalization (Medical Expenses) covering injuries / sickness / ailment / diseases



Repatriation covers for medically unfit

Actual one-way economy class air fare

Family Hospitalisation in India





Actual one way economy class air fare

Legal expenses


Actual Premium to be charged (without any hidden costs)

Rs.275 for 2 years policy period

Rs.375 for 3 years policy period (+ taxes)


IV. Overseas 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.

11,02,570 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 (SIP)

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.

It will 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.

The focus 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.

VII. Scholarship Programme For 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 population.

Under this scheme, over 468 PIO/NRI students have benefited since inception & 100 students have been selected in the current batch.

VIII. Overseas 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. 

X. Scheme for Legal/Financial Assistance to Indian Women Deserted / Divorced By Their NRI Husbands

The 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.

This 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.

Assistance 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.

So 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 the scheme.

  This information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.