ICA approval: Indian Embassy in talks with UAE to resolve issue, says minister

V Muraleedharan with Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, in Abu Dhabi.
V Muraleedharan with Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, in Abu Dhabi.

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 7:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 7:18 PM

The Indian Embassy is in talks with the local authorities to resolve the issue on approvals from the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), , an Indian minister has said.

Abu Dhabi residents need the approval to return from abroad.

During an interaction with community leaders, V. Muraleedharan, the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, acknowledged the problems faced by the Indian expatriates with regards to ICA approvals.

“I am aware that some of your friends in India want to return to the UAE but the approvals are awaited. The embassy has been regularly taking up this issue with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Muraleedharan told heads of associations, who raised their concerns on the issue, during his three-day visit to the UAE.

The minister noted that the embassy is constantly following up on the issue of equalisation and recognition of degrees from India in the UAE.

“Let me assure you once again that we will continue to take up such issues with the UAE authorities.”

Muraleedharan thanked the UAE leadership for their benevolence towards the Indian community during the pandemic.

“The UAE took exceptional care of the 3.5 million Indians living in this country. The UAE leadership ensured that during the period of lockdown in India, the Indian community here was looked after.

"Later, they ensured orderly travel of Indians who wished to go back to India during the Covid-19. An air-bubble arrangement was swiftly agreed between both our countries so that people were able to start travelling back for their jobs or for their family needs.

"On our part, we ensured that there were no disruptions in supply chains of food and medicine from India to UAE even during the lockdown in India. Medical professionals from India to UAE were also facilitated to come back to join their duties.”

Muraleedharan commended the role played by the Indian missions, community groups and volunteers.

“I have heard several instances of people extending help without getting scared of Covid-19 while taking due precautions in doing so.”

Coming closely after Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit in November, Muraleedharan pointed out such visits are in line with the ministry’s decision to cover every country and get an update on the issues faced by the expatriates amid the pandemic.

“I will be giving more attention to the issues related to the community and the Minister for External Affairs will be dealing with all issues in a comprehensive manner,” Muraleedharan said and added this is a formal visit and not an official one.

“One of the main purposes of my visit is to meet the Indian community.”

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