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Overseas citizens body to challenge India govt's new order

Web Report/Mumbai
Filed on May 14, 2021
PTI file

The ministry had in March directed that professional OCIs including journalists, engineers and researchers have to notify it of their activities


The Association of Resident OCI and Families (Arocif) plans to challenge the Indian home ministry’s order that requires professional Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) to notify it about their activities while in the country.

The ministry had in March directed that professional OCIs including journalists, engineers and researchers have to notify it of their activities. Dr Rajanna Sreedhara, president of the association was quoted in the Hindu newspaper as saying this was discriminatory.

“The notification does not mention IT professionals; a large number of OCIs are engineers,” said Sreedhara. “So, will they have to apply for employment visa? It says permission required to conduct research ... this will place undue burden on scientific, pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology and other research fields.”

However, the government’s revised plans have got delayed because of the Covid crisis, and a new portal that was to have come up is still not operational. The paper quoted a ministry official say saying that many of its personnel had tested positive for Covid-19 over the past few weeks and could not push ahead with the revised scheme.

An Indian external affairs ministry note had mentioned that some very specific employment opportunities would be impacted by the new rules. They include employment in university/establishment/organisation engaging OCI cardholders as research scholars, in journalistic activities, as interns or employees in foreign diplomatic missions/foreign government organisations in India.

In such cases, the cardholders would need to have the necessary permit in place prior to their engagement date.





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