Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Announcements

Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Announcements

  • facility of the Indian Community Welfare Fund has now been extended to all the Indian Missions.

  • The Government has also decided to establish new Indian cultural centres in the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, France and Australia.

  • Government has decided to merge the Overseas Citizen of India Card and the people of Indian Origin Card into a single facility.

  • NRIs right to participate in the country's electoral processes (The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2010)

  • The Government is in the process of setting up Indian Worker Resource Centres in countries with a large Indian emigrant worker population (already been established in 18 Indian Missions).

  • Ministry of overseas Indian affairs is launching a project in collaboration with UNIFEM for Empowering women workers from India going to the Gulf countries. Under the project, innovative institutional arrangements would be set up to enable delivery of a host of services for women emigrants.

  • Government has signed Social Security Agreements with twelve countries and has finalised Labour Mobility Partnerships with two others to improve the conditions of overseas Indian workers.

  • Similar generic arrangement is also being negotiated with the European Union.

Non-Resident Indian (NRI)

NRI: An Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport

PIO: A person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country s citizenship/nationality i.e.. He/she is holding foreign passport

PIO card: Persons of Indian Origin Card (PIO Card) is a form of identification issued to a Person of Indian Origin. It provides some benefits like no requirement of separate visa to visit India etc.

Eligibility PIO Card

  1. Any person who at any time held an Indian Passport; or

  2. he or either of his parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in or was permanently resident in India as defined in Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; or

  3. Who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as mentioned above:

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

  • This is a form of Indian nationality, the holders of which are known as Overseas Citizens of India.

  • The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005. The Scheme was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention 2006 at Hyderabad.

  • OCI is not to be misconstrued as dual citizenship. OCI does not confer political rights. The registered Overseas Citizens of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

Eligibility for OCI

  • was a citizen of India on 26 January 1950 or at any time thereafter; or

  • was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950; or

  • belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15 August 1947; or

  • is the child or grandchild of a person described above:

  • has never been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Some Benefits to OCI

  1. A multiple entry multi-purpose life long visa for visiting India.

  2. Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.

  3. Parity with Non resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties. No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.

  4. Any other benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

  5. For different purposes ordinarily residing outside India may be defined differently.

Provisions under the I. T. Act

The residential status for the Income Tax Act is determined in section 6 as under:

  1. An individual will be treated as a resident in India in any previous year if he fulfills any of the following two conditions:

    1. he/she is in India in that year for period or periods amounting in all to 182 days or more, or

    2. Having within the four years preceding that year been in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 365 days or more, and has been in India for 60 days or more in that year.

Foreign Exchange Regulation Act

The concept of Non-Resident under FERA is different as compared to that under Income Tax Act. Under Income Tax

Act, the residential status of a person is determined on the basis of number of days he stays in India whereas under

FERA, it is the intention of a person to be in India or outside India would be an important factor determining his residential status.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India