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India collecting data of citizens returning from overseas: Minister

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 15, 2020 | Last updated on June 15, 2020 at 01.37 pm
Vande Bharat mission, S. Jaishankar, coronavirus, covid-19

(PTI)

S. Jaishankar said the government has accorded priority to Indians working in the Gulf region and south east Asia.

India is collecting data on its skilled migrants who are returning home through the Vande Bharat mission and looking at ways to use their skills for national development, the country's minister of external affairs has said.

"Many migrants who have lived abroad for many years are returning with advanced skills and they can contribute to India's development. In fact, we are engaged in such data capture and mapping as an accompanying element of the Vande Bharat mission currently under progress," said S. Jaishankar on Monday at the annual conference of protectors of emigrants held virtually by his ministry.

"It is imperative that we recover our market share as quickly as possible. The coming months will see dedicated efforts in that direction. The contribution that protector of emigrants (POEs) can make to facilitate this national objective is significant," said the minister. He also said that "MEA has facilitated data flows to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to develop the Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support (Swades), a database for skilled workers. Together with e-migrate, these can become basic tools for skill job matching for migrant workers," said Jaishankar.

Underlying the importance of mitigating the negative economic consequences of the pandemic on India's talent and skill abroad, the minister said that is influenced "not only by the quality of our bilateral relationships but the helpful approach that we've displayed with regard to health and economic requirements of our partners".

In his keynote address, the minister of external affairs said his government has accorded as particular priority to Indians working in the Gulf region and south east Asia. "We have been taking all possible efforts to reduce their vulnerabilities, exploitation by foreign employers as well as by unscrupulous recruitment agents." "There has been significant changes in the structure and role of recruiting agents registered by the ministry.

Nevertheless, there are still cases of cheating and illegal agents and attempts to go for work in an irregular manner," said Jaishankar. He said the role of POEs in combating these challenges are critical.

"You have to spread awareness and address the grievances of the workers in your respective area of jurisdiction. We have all put in great efforts to secure the interests of the most vulnerable migrants especially blue collar workers, seamen and women migrants."

The minister said the integration of eMigrate system with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries and Malaysia will greatly facilitate the efforts in skill mapping so that Indian workers can move up the value chian and earn better remuneration. The minister said the conference will review policies and practices of all aspects of migration to ensure safe, orderly and humane migration process.

Over 7,000 registrations

The online form available on www.nsdcindia.org/swades has been created to gather required details of the returning citizens. The form contains the details related to the work sector, job title, employment, and years of experience. A toll free call centre facility has also been set up to support the citizens for any queries related to filling the form.

The Swades skill form was made live online on May 30 and garnered around 7,000 registrations till 2pm of June 3. Amongst the data gathered so far, the top countries from where the citizens are returning are UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. As per the skill mapping, these citizens had been primarily employed in sectors such as oil and gas, construction, tourism and hospitality, automotive and aviation. The data also suggests that the states which have shown highest returning labour are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.


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