Initiatives for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs): Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI) Scheme, Representation of Peoples Amendment Act

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New Delhi, Aug 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI) Scheme was formerly launched in January, 2006 by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 to facilitate life long visa free travel to India and certain economic education educational and cultural benefits to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs).  As on  on 30th June,  2011, a total number of 8,61,726  PIOs have been registered as OCIs.

Voting Rights To NRIs

The Representation of Peoples Amendment Act 2010 has been passed which gives voting rights to overseas Indian passport holders. Notification dated 3rd February 2011 has been issued allowing overseas electors for their names to be included in the roll pertaining to their locality in which his place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located. Overseas electors are required to apply in the requisite form alongwith copies of all the documents mentioned in the said form to the concerned registration officer directly or send the application to him by post.

The Rules allow self-attestation of documents by the applicants.

Overseas Workers Resource Centre

To educate the intending  emigrants about the risks involved in irregular migration and the precautions to be taken while seeking overseas employment and to provide need based information to overseas emigrants an Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) – a toll free 24x7 helpline has been set up.  The helpline provides information within India at 100 11 1900.  It is also accessible for information seekers from UAE at 8000911913.  The helpline can also be reached from anywhere in the world at 91-11-40503090.

Indian Council Of Overseas Employment

Indian Council of Overseas Employment is initiating a number of projects in collaboration with IOM.  One such mega project is skill development initiative for potential migrants from the North-East States of India.  The project will be implemented by the IOM under the existing agreement with the Government in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Indian Community Welfare Fund

Indian Community Welfare Fund which was originally for all ICE countries has been extended to 48 countries.  Since this scheme is found to be very useful by the Indian Missions in mitigating the suffering of Overseas Indian community, particularly workers and women, it has been decided to extend this fund to all the Missions around the world.

Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre

The OIFC, an institution established by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has compiled ‘Homeward Bound – a regulatory & investment handbook for Overseas Indians’, which was released by the  Prime Minister of India, during the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, held from 7th to 9th January, 2011 in New Delhi.  This document would further facilitate Overseas Indian’s economic engagements with India.

The Centre, in its endeavour to strengthen the Diaspora’s economic inter linkages with India, continues to seek to encourage the Overseas Indians to make use of its platform to connect with India.

Indian Development Foundation Of Overseas Indians

Indian Development Foundation of Overseas Indians is a not-for-profit trust registered to provide a credible window for Overseas Indian Philanthropy in India’s social development.  The foundation is managed by an eminent Board of Trustees.  The mandate of the foundation is to lead Overseas Indians philanthropic capital into Indian’s social sector by forging partnerships between donors and credible non-Government and non-profit voluntary organisations working in the social sector in India.

Global Indian Network Of Knowledge

The enlargement of the Global Indian Network of Knowledge called Global-INK.  This electronic platform will enable us to draw upon the reservoir of knowledge, expertise and skills that the Overseas Indian community possesses to catalyze the social development effort in India.

Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council Of Overseas Indians

The Ministry has constituted the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin to draw upon the experience and knowledge of eminent people of Indian origin in diverse fields from across the world. 

The meeting of PM’s Global Advisory Council of Overseas Indians was held on 7th January, 2011 at New Delhi.  14 eminent Overseas Indians, who are the member of the Council attended the meeting and made a wide range of suggestions in the area of education, health and development issues underlining the role of Overseas Indians.

E-Migrate Project

The Ministry has proposed implementing a comprehensive e-governance project on migration to make the migration process simple, transparent and humane.  The ultimate benefit of the project would be greater convenience, effective protection and better welfare of the emigrant. The subsidiary benefits would include greater levels of efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the offices of the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE) and the Protectors of Emigrants (POE), real-time updation and quick access to reliable emigrant data, management information system to support decision making, computerized management of recruiting agent system, performance rating of protectors of emigrants, recruiting agents and employers, effective monitoring of emigration offences, interlinking of stakeholders and online validation of information across stakeholders. The project is expected to mitigate individual discretion, harassment of emigrants and corruption. It would also provide useful tools and data for policy functions, periodical publications and grievance redressal.

- PIB Features, with inputs from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Govt. of India

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