Year End Review-2005
End - 2005 marks a lot of excitement and activity in the Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs as the Ministry positions itself to play an active role as a
facilitator for all the proposals and problems of the Overseas Indian community
comprising the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non-Resident Indians (NRI).
the important initiatives and decisions taken by the Ministry, are as under:
GRANT OF OVERSEAS INDIAN CITIZENSHIP (OIC)
promulgation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance, 2005 on 28th
June this year was a significant step.
Later, the Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which
replaced this Ordinance. It has now
been duly notified and is being implemented.
According to this Act, all the people of Indian origin in various
countries, except Pakistan and Bangladesh, whose parents/grandparents migrated
from India after 26th January 1950 or were eligible to become Indian
citizen on 26th January 1950, or belonged to a territory that became
part of India after 15th August 1947, will become eligible to be
registered as the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). Now, all legal steps in this direction have been completed. All Indian Missions in the foreign countries
have been notified about the Act and its various provisions. The facility is all set to formally roll out
in January, 2006.
PRAVASI BHARTIYA DIWAS-2006
The Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas-2006 will reflect a fresh
business oriented agenda. With positive
signals from the economy and rapidly growing global investments in different
sectors in the country, the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas is designed to focus on
business, investments and implementation of ideas that overseas Indians will
bring to the table besides strengthening traditional bonds.
The PBD-2006 may come out with certain important
decisions including the creation of special purpose vehicles that facilitate
Overseas Indians’ investments in India; a collaborative research institution;
and an e-based Indian Diaspora knowledge network which will serve as a platform
to facilitate global information exchange and networking between Overseas
Indians and India. Around 3000
delegates including 2000 from Overseas are expected to come to Hyderabad for
website for the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas – 2006 www.pbd2006.org,
together with the event brochures and its logo has been launched. Besides
information on the event, the website allows delegates to register online, book
hotel rooms and stay arrangements and even book airline tickets and local
sight-seeing tours at a click in one go.
PROTECTION AND WELFARE OF MIGRANT INDIAN WORKERS ABROAD
Ministry is currently in the process of initiating action on issues like
streamlining the procedures for migration, better control and supervision of
the Recruiting Agents, expanding the scope of the Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana,
providing legal assistance to migrant workers, introducing pre-departure
Indian Workers (OIW) often face exploitation and abuse at worst and ‘benign
neglect’ at best. Although precise data is not available for the Overseas
Indian Workers, it is estimated at 4-5 million with annual gross flow of one
million workers excluding returnees. These workers are mostly
semi-and-unskilled and appreciated for their sincerity, hard work and
non-interference abroad. The OIW
remittances into India is $ 21 Billion annually.
While the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the top
destination countries for Overseas Indian Workers; Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh
and Kerala are the top sending States. The vast manpower that India has, makes
this is a key of opportunity area. As the competition is eating into low wage
jobs and localization is reducing the number of un-skilled jobs. Therefore, there is urgent need for a proactive
policy that enables the following key interventions:
Positioning of potential Overseas Indian Workers as “consumers”
of employment services provided by the private recruitment industry.
Organizing pre-employment orientation and pre-departure training
programmes for them through professionals, NGOs & the private sectors.
Adapting training material developed by ILO/IOM for specific
State/country and gender.
CODIFICATION & PUBLICATION OF
BENEFITS/FACILITIES FOR OVERSEAS INDIANS
Ministry has had intra-Ministerial meetings with Ministries like Finance,
Commerce, Industry, Health etc. to codify the facilities available to Overseas
Indians and notify them for implementation by the concerned agencies in the
form of a Compendium.
BY OVERSEAS INDIAN PARENTS
Ministry has been actively pursuing the concerns of NRIs/PIOs with the Central
Adoption Resources Agency (CARA) of the Ministry of Social Justice &
Empowerment regarding inter-country adoptions.
CARA is presently revising guidelines on inter-country adoptions and
proposing NRI/PIOs to be deemed on parity with resident Indians in all cases
concerning adoption. Once the
guidelines are revised and finalized, MOIA will arrange to give this wide
publicity in India and Overseas.
BHARTIYA BIMA YOJANA
Ministry reviewed the implementation of the Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana, which
was introduced on 25th December, 2003 for the migrant workers
obtaining emigration clearance from the Protectors of Emigrants (POE). The Ministry is looking into the
streamlining of the claim settlement procedures and provision of additional
benefits to the emigrant workers. The
possibility of providing legal assistance to migrant workers in distress as a
part of the insurance package is also being examined.
SMART CARDS TO WORKERS & COMPUTERISATION OF POE OFFICE
Ministry has taken an initiative to computerize the offices of the Protectors
of Emigrants and issuing of Employment Smart Cards to workers going
abroad. These measures are expected to
bring about greater transparency and ensuring protection to the vulnerable
categories of workers from exploitation by foreign employers and unscrupulous
SAFEGUARDING THE INTERESTS OF INDIAN WOMEN MARRIED TO NRIs
Ministry is working on a two-pronged strategy – preventive and curative - to
safeguard the interests of Indian women proposing to marry or already married
to NRIs. As a preventive measure it is planned to undertake a widely
publicized awareness campaign about the need to verify the antecedents of
prospective NRI bridegrooms and their parents, their employment/marital status,
earlier marriage/divorce and financial position etc. The curative measures would include legal assistance, counseling
through our Missions/NGOs etc. An information booklet is also proposed to be
published, in consultation with NGOs working in this field.
PIOs IN TRACING THEIR ROOTS
keen interest in tracing their roots has been evinced by a large section of
Indian Diaspora, particularly those whose forefathers had migrated as
indentured labour to the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. Keeping this in view, the Ministry is
planning to undertake a pilot project on Tracing the Roots in two districts –
Balia in UP and Bhojpur in Bihar. The
basic document used in the project will be the Immigration Pass issued to the
immigrants. The operational details in
implementing the scheme will be worked out by the concerned States. Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will
oversee the project in cooperation with the Indian Missions and Posts as well
as with the concerned authorities in India.
UP OF PRAVASI BHARTIYA KENDRA
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has revived the proposal to set up a
Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra at New Delhi to serve as a focal point for interaction
with overseas Indians and, in course of time, to be the hub of various
activities aimed at creating pride in the achievements of India and its
Diaspora. The Ministry of Urban
Development and Poverty Alleviation have allocated land at Chankyapuri, New
Delhi in favour of M/o Overseas Indian
Affairs. But the land is considered
inadequate and the M/o Urban Development have been requested to allot
THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME FOR DIASPORA YOUTH (IPDY)
Internship Programme for Diaspora Youth (IPDY) of the Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs aims at associating closely the younger generation of the Indian
Diaspora with India. It provides a
unique forum for students and young professional of Indian origin to share
their views, expectations and experience.
Its Objectives are: to create awareness about the phenomenal
transformation taking place in India and the country’s progress from just a
destination for culture, heritage and art to an emerging force in the Global
economic system; to build linkages to bridge the information gap; and to
prepare a blueprint for creating a sustained mechanism for engaging among the
Diaspora youth with India.
A group of
25 Diaspora youths from different countries was in India from 22nd August to
11th Sept., 2005 on a 3-week internship.
The programme has now been made an on-going activity of the M/o Overseas
A group of
29 Diaspora youths from 10 countries is currently visiting India for a
three-week internship programme from 19th December, 2005 to 9th
January, 2006. The interns will be
interacting with delegates participating in the 4th Pravasi Bhartiya
Diwas - 2006.
(Release ID :14634)