NRI Top Stories ( Page 1 of 26 )

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Telangana Rashtra Samithi Membership Drive for NRIs Extended August 08, 2019 06:53

Expressing happiness over a good deal of NRIs registering themselves to join TRS NRI wing, party’s working president KT Rama Rao agreed to extend the membership drive for Non-resident Indians (NRIs) seeking to join the NRI wing of Telangana Rashtra Samithi till August 10. The drive was set in motion across 40 countries in June by the respective TRS NRI branches. TRS NRI wing coordinator Mahesh Bigala was put in charge of coordinating the drive. “Branch presidents and members will take the welfare and developmental programs of the government to the public through different media and encourage NRIs to join the party,” TRS said in an official statement. Bigala told the media that the TRS working president had agreed to propose an NRI Policy to Telangana Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrashekhar Rao.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Americans Urge Trump Administration to ‘Fully Support’ India’s Decision on Kashmir August 07, 2019 05:18

The Indian diaspora in the United States has called on Trump administration to “fully support” India’s decision to revoke Article 370, the constitutional provision that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. They also urged to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support to cross-border terrorism.Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and allowed it to have its flag and constitution, among other rights, was revoked on Monday by Indian government. The government also moved a separate bill to split the state into two union territories of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. “We urge the U.S. to fully support India's internal sovereign decisions on Kashmir and to continue to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support of cross-border terrorism, so the Kashmir conflict can be resolved once and for all,” Samir Kalra, managing director of Hindu-American Foundation (HAF), said. Kalra said that the annulment of Articles 35A and 370, which were only intended as temporary provisions, is a crucial step in bringing about a solution to the Kashmir issue."It will help better integrate the residents of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh into the rest of India and apply one set of equal laws across the country,” Kalra said.“Moreover, it will help create conditions for the full rehabilitation and resettlement of the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley,” he added. The President of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Krishna Reddy, said that this is Narendra Modi government's best gift to the nation on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day of India.“It is a historic day as Modi government could deliver a long-awaited decision of scrapping article 370 and corrected the historic blunder made by the Nehru government,” Reddy said.Reddy announced that OFBJP and other Indian diaspora organizations are planning celebratory events in the coming next two weeks. The World Hindu Council of American hailed the decision of Indian government. It said that with the revoke of Article 370, the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will finally be fully unified with the rest of India, allowing sustainable and effective development in these regions.“We hope that people from all over India, will join the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in celebrating this momentous occasion,” it said. Ravi Batra, the New York-based attorney, said that this action must deliver enhanced peace and security to Jammu and Kashmir, as well as between India and Pakistan.“It's time for the Sub-Continent to celebrate freedom - not only from colonialism - but terror too. The United States, as a friend of the Sub-Continent, wants peace and prosperity to reign, not fear and terror,” Batra said.Indian American Puneet Ahluwalia said that it should not come as a surprise, as revocation of 35A and 370 has always been part of BJP's manifesto. “There are forces in Kashmir and neighbouring Pakistani establishment who would likely want this bold internal initiative to fail. This is a sensitive action which can either turn into a nightmare or paradise for the Kashmiri community,” he said.The Kashmiri Pandits community in the United States rejoiced the Indian government's move, saying that this paves the way for their return to the homeland soon. “The move by the Indian government will also improve the security situation with respect to cross border terrorism and bring peace, harmony and stability in Jammu-Kashmir, now a new Union Territory of India,” said Vijay Sazawal from the Indo-American Kashmir Forum.Indo-European Kashmir Forum (IEKF) based in London and Geneva, and the Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum (ICKF) based in Ottawa, supported the government's decision, saying that at last Kashmiri minorities, especially the Kashmiri Pandits, will get justice and be able to repossess their ancestral lands from where they were driven out in 1989-1990. Jeevan Zutshi from Kashmir Task Force said, "not only the Kashmir problem has been solved with this historic abrogation of article 370 but it also vindicates all Kashmiris, of all faiths, some of whom lost their lives due to turbulence and some, like Kashmiri Pandits, who had lost their roots completely."The community members anticipate that “these constitutional amendments will enable to get justice, reclaim ancestral homeland, and reverse ethnic cleansing.” the community members anticipate.By Sowmya Sangam

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272 Foreigners, NRIs, OCIs, PIOs Conferred Padma Awards Since 1954 July 24, 2019 08:41

On whole, about 272 foreigners, including Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), have been bestowed the Padma Awards since inception in 1954, MoS in Home Ministry Nityanand Rai said. "272 Foreigners, Non-resident Indians (NRIs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) have been conferred the Padma Awards since inception in 1954," Rai said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.Rai further added in the written reply, "The award is presented only to those who sacrifice and make efforts to do extraordinary works and establish themselves in the various streams to become an example for the society." He told the Lower House that any individual without distinction of occupation, race, position or sex is entitled for the Padma awards. Padmashree, the fourth highest civilian award, is conferred by the Centre every year on Republic Day.By Sowmya Sangam

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‘NRI Voting Is Very Much Focus for Us’: Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra July 24, 2019 06:02

Months after India had its general elections, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Tuesday called on all Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to register online to boost the numbers of such voters ahead of provisions being put in place for either proxy voting or voting through embassies and missions for them. Addressing a gathering of the Indian Professionals Forum (IPF) at the Indian High Commission on ‘Decoding Indian General Election 2019′, Chandra said the ease of NRI voting remains a focus for the Election Commission so that all Indians anywhere in the world can participate in its democracy. “I would call on NRIs to get themselves registered as a voter online. They are Indian and have a right to participate in the Indian democracy. It is very much a focus for us because their voice must be heard as it is their constitutional right to participate in the elections,” he said. Chandra, part of the three-member panel of election commissioners in India, said that only 1.15 lakh NRI voters had registered in time for the 2019 general election, which is not an entirely reflective figure for India’s NRI voter base. He indicated that besides proxy voting, the Election Commission is also looking at the option of using the electronic voting technique currently in use by diplomatic staff worldwide. “We are searching for options, the proxy voting bill had been cleared by the Lok Sabha but lapsed in the Rajya Sabha. But we want they should be able to vote. We want to be ahead of each and every country in the world,” said Chandra. As per present rules, registered NRI voters have to be physically present in their constituency in India to cast their ballots. The Election Commissioner also delved into the issue of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the success of the system of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPT) to ensure complete accuracy and transparency of the country’s seven-phase electoral process this year. “These elections were absolutely transparent with the use of technology. India has taken the lead through EVMs and VVPAT and every person could see what he or she had voted for. Not even a single error was found,” he said, adding that random checks conducted after some complaints had proved the reliability of the system. “Technology is always a big challenge and when someone loses, they want to blame the machines and not the people… It has been proved the most efficient and environmentally friendly system. Other countries have been sending queries about it,” the election official added. By Sowmya Sangam

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Better Career, Enhanced Salary, Sense of Fulfillment Attracting NRIs to India: Survey July 20, 2019 06:57

If you think a large number of Indians are showing keen to moving abroad, then you are to a little extent mistaken because a survey found that India emerging as a popular landing place for expats as working in the country improves their careers, provides enhanced salary and sense of fulfillment. The survey, 12th Annual League Table of Best Places to Live and Work, was commissioned by HSBC and conducted by YouGov on 18,059 expats and 163 markets through an online questionnaire in February and March 2019. About 48 percent of overseas experts became aware of the benefits of working in India, having achieved a whopping great sense of fulfillment after relocating, as compared to the global average of 42 percent.More than 29 percent of international professionals said they have been promoted more rapidly as a result of relocating to India. Around 58 percent also think India provides a good place to pick up new work-related skills.International professionals said their gross annual personal income rose by around 24 percent since relocating to India.Interestingly, 32 percent of those who moved to India said they are receiving a salary of USD 100,000 (around Rs 69.5 lakh) or more per year, far above the global average of 18 percent.Also, 49 percent of respondents said they have more disposable income in India than their home country, for the most part owing to the lower cost of living in India as compared to their home countries.The survey also revealed that more experienced Indian professionals are moving abroad, for career progression, chiefly in the fields of financial services (24 percent), health (11 percent), engineering/ design and architecture (11 percent).The United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and the United States remain popular destinations for Indian expats and foremost reasons for the move include improved quality of life, boost in career, and improved net income."Our study shows that more professionals are choosing to work abroad, helping them achieve their ambitions and long-term financial goals, from improving their job prospects and access to better education for their children to buying the property or saving more for retirement," HSBC India Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management Ramakrishnan S said.Ramakrishnan further said "this year's survey reveals that better career prospects and a higher sense of fulfillment are attracting expats to India. At the same time, there is a large NRI diaspora of about 30 million Indians living outside India".By Sowmya Sangam

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Telangana State Police Set up Safety Cell to Safeguard Rights of NRI Women July 18, 2019 09:59

Taking into account the safety of women from Telangana who are living abroad, the state police inaugurated a Women Safety Cell for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) on Wednesday.The NRI women safety cell aims to provide legal guidance to aggrieved women in NRI marriages with the support of NILA, an NGO."The cell will guide SHOs during the investigation of cases related to harassment of NRI spouses and relatives. Training in the investigation and various procedures will be given to the SHOs. Also, legal guidance to victims for further approaches and contacts, liaison with agencies like embassies, Ministry of external affairs, National Women Commission, NGOs will be given as and when required,"  Swati Lakra, IGP, Women safety, said in a press release.Speaking at the event, Telangana DGP Mahender Reddy said, "Sensitization of the women should be at grassroots level to encounter the problems from fake NRI marriages. The stakeholders should work for the long term goal of achieving and influencing lawmakers to provide justice for the victims."Sri Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, Regional Passport Officer, Hyderabad said that the Ministry of External affairs was sensitive to the cases of women, who complained of harassment by their NRI spouse."The MEA has established an Integrated Nodal Agency with all stakeholders to help such victims in fighting a legal battle. The prosecution is a challenging task, where the case details should be strong enough to get positive court orders. The embassies in the various countries have been allotted a budget to support the victims in emergencies and also has the support of 193 NGOs for counseling and legal advice," he said.Tripuraneni Venkataratnam, former chairperson, State Women’s Commission, said that Acts like Registration of NRI marriages should be brought into force.  The dignitaries also launched posters on precautions to be taken before marrying an NRI, like knowledge on citizenship status, caution on matrimonial agency and other important parameters for carrying out verifications on the NRI groom’s personal information.By Sowmya Sangam

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Bill Introduced to Allow Dual Citizenship for Indians July 17, 2019 07:49

A draft legislation has been brought before the Indian parliament seeking to allow dual citizenship for millions of foreign nationals of Indian origin who currently have to renounce Indian citizenship once they become citizens of another country.Indian National Congress Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor introduced a Bill last week to amend Article 9 of the Constitution of India that provides for automatic termination of the Indian citizenship upon acquiring citizenship of another country.“We have the largest diaspora in the world, many of whom have migrated abroad for better opportunities. Taking a foreign passport for convenience does not make them any less Indian,” said Tharoor. 1/2 Today I introduced a Bill to amend the Constitution of India to allow dual citizenship. We have the largest diaspora in the World, many of whom who have migrated abroad for better opportunities. Taking a foreign passport for convenience does not make them any less Indian. pic.twitter.com/sSyaRPIDUZ — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 12, 2019 According to the United Nations World Migration Report 2018, more than 15.6 million Indians are living in other countries, making it the largest diaspora in the world, followed by the Mexicans and the Russians.A large section of India’s global diaspora has been urging India to allow dual citizenship. The government of India, to cater to some of the demands of Indians living overseas, introduced the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. The OCI has been further streamlined and extensively promoted under the Bharatiya Janata Party government.By Sowmya Sangam

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4,698 Plaints from Indian Women Deserted by NRI Husbands Addressed Since 2016: MEA July 11, 2019 06:33

The cases regarding NRI husbands deserting Indian women are on the rise despite the Indian government taking stringent actions against swindlers. In the last three and a half years, as many as 4,698 complaints from distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI husbands were addressed, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday.Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the complaints were received between January 2016 and May 31, 2019.The government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to give respite to women who have been deserted by their Non-Resident Indian (NRI) husbands, he said.The ministry provides counseling and guidance, and information on legal procedures and mechanisms to serve judicial summons to accused NRI husbands, Muraleedharan said.Information on filing a judicial case in India, issuing Look Out Circulars (LOC), impounding and revocation of the Indian passport of the husbands are also provided by the ministry, he said.To provide online consular assistance expeditiously to Indian nationals who are in distress abroad, including marital dispute, the MADAD portal was launched in 2015, Muraleedharan said.The minister said a module marital disputes was added to the portal to provide a digital platform to distressed Indian nationals married to NRIs.Read: Marriage Registrations Now Mandatory in Telangana Towns, Villages in Bid to Tackle NRI Marriage MenaceTo provide financial and legal assistance to distressed women married to NRI men by all Missions and Posts, the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) Guidelines were revised in September 2017, he said."The amount of legal and financial assistance to distressed Indian women has also been increased to USD 4000 per case," the minister said."The assistance is released to the impanelled legal counsel of the applicant or Indian community association or women's organization or NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in documentation and preparatory work for filing the case," Muraleedharan said.He said an expert committee was set up to identify the legal and regulatory challenges faced by Indians married to overseas Indian nationals and suggest amendments in existing legislation or Acts, and new policies, laws, and regulations.Upon the recommendation of the expert committee, an Integrated Nodal Agency was constituted, the minister added."So far, the INA has had 15 sittings and has issued eight Look Out Circulars against the erring spouses," he said.It was felt that these measures are not sufficient and the existing laws need to be amended to provide a more effective solution to the problem, Muraleedhran said.Therefore, a bill titled The Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on February 11, 2019, he said, adding that the proposed legislation would offer greater protection to Indian citizens married to NRIs.It will also help as a deterrent to the Non-Resident Indians against harassment of their spouses, and force the accused NRI spouse to come back to India to face legal consequences of his overt and covert acts, the minister said.By Sowmya Sangam

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Marriage Registrations Now Mandatory in Telangana Towns, Villages in Bid to Tackle NRI Marriage Menace July 09, 2019 13:07

The Indian government is making every effort to cut down the rate of NRI marriage menace. In one such attempt, Department of Women Development and Child Welfare in Telangana has decentralized the marriage registration process to the level of village panchayat officers and municipal administration officers to enable people to register marriages compulsorily. Apart from this, the department, which will at present be the nodal agency for registering marriages, will also be disseminating the knowledge of compulsorily registering marriages via the intricate network of 35,700 anganwadis. This makes registration of marriage easier for married couples and ensures that documentary evidence exists to tackle the issue of wives being deserted. The new process is crucial as in 2018 alone, the Women’s Commission received 36 complaints of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) wives being deserted and several more complaints of bigamy which become hard to tackle without documentary evidence. “With no marriage certificate, the married women can’t take their husbands to a court or even ask the embassies to initiate the process of bringing back the husband. In some cases, women have not even been able to apply for a divorce as they have no proof to apply for a divorce and the husband is also not here,” a senior official said. In the meantime, the decision of registering marriages at the village and municipality level is being seen as a small yet steady step. “The State and Central governments need to bring in specific laws that make a declaration of marriage at the time of Visa or passport mandatory and have provisions for measures against the husband for abandoning his wife,” said a senior official at National Commission for Women. The move includes: 12000 registration units at panchayats, municipalities. Rs 45000 per district for awareness on the Marriage Registration Act. A fine of Rs 100 for all marriages registered after 30 days. By Sowmya Sangam

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India Budget 2019: Aadhar Card Under 180 Days for NRIs on Arrival July 05, 2019 07:33

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden Budget 2019 speech on Friday eased the waiting time for getting Aadhaar card for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Sitharaman proposed to issue Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians holding Indian passport on their arrival in the country. Under the present rule, NRIs with Indian passport are required to wait for 180 days to get the Aadhaar card."I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar to NRIs with Indian passports after their arrival in India without waiting for mandatory 180 days", Sitharaman said in her Budget speech. The UIDAI is mandated to issue an easily verifiable 12 digit random number as Unique Identity - Aadhaar to all Residents of India. Aadhar Card for NRIs According to details of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, every resident can apply for the 12 digits biometric ID. A resident is an individual who has been surviving in the country for 182 days or more in the year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment. Hence, if a Non-Resident Indian has lived in the country for 182 days or more in the last one year right before the date of application for enrolment, in that case, the NRI can apply for Aadhaar.If the NRI has not lived in the country for at least 182 days in the past 12 months, although being a citizen of India, the individual will not become eligible to avail Aadhaar. The NRI will have to wait to complete 182 days of stay in India to apply for Aadhaar.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRIs Expect Big Reforms in India Budget 2019 July 04, 2019 06:10

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to announce Indian budget 2019 on July 5 and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are expecting a host of reforms that would ease the rules for them to conduct business in India and increase their involvement in helping boost India’s economy.A massive show of support by NRIs was seen as to a certain extent responsible for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resounding victory in recent elections which got him a second five-year term in office.“I would expect that the outreach towards NRIs will continue,” Reshmi Khurana, Managing Director and Head of South East Asia at Kroll was quoted by Connected to India. Indians abroad have been demanding for relieving of norms governing their investments in gold, real estate, fixed income. They also urge the Modi government to be less stringent with taxes on their investments. Though their wishes may get fulfilled to some extent, with the economy still in recovery mode, Sitharaman may not adopt a stance that was too accommodative to Indians living abroad.One of the key points of the 2018 Budget that impacted NRIs was the introduction of a 10 percent long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax imposed on profit above INR 1 lakh which will, in all probability, continue this year.Whether through bank accounts, real estate investments, remittances or foreign portfolio investments, most Indians abroad have a portion of their assets and wealth in India. Moreover, India has been the world’s largest recipient of remittances from the diaspora for the last three years, reaching a whopping USD 79 billion last year.By Sowmya Sangam

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8,189 Indian Nationals Jailed Abroad: Government June 27, 2019 05:31

About 8,189 Indians were lodged in jail overseas, according to the government data released Wednesday tabulated until May 31, a rise of around 6 percent from last year’s figure of 7,737. Saudi Arabia is home to the largest number of Indian nationals lodged in foreign prisons, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Nepal. The data released is the part of a statement by external affairs minister S Jaishankar in the Lok Sabha in response to a question by a Member of Parliament (MP). Saudi Arabian jails have 1,811 Indian nationals, UAE 1,392, Nepal 1,160, United States 689, and Pakistan 48. In all, six Gulf countries are home to approximately half of all Indians lodged in jails abroad. Pakistani jails contained 471 Indians last year, meaning the number has dropped steeply in the past year. “Indian missions and posts abroad remain vigilant and closely monitor the incidents of Indian nationals being put in jail in foreign countries for violation of local laws or alleged violation of local laws,” said the statement. Many countries do not share information, or provide details of individual cases, because of strong privacy laws, added the statement. The minister’s statement also said that 3,087 Indians received amnesty or commutation of their sentences in the Gulf countries since 2016. After several incidents of harassment of Indians abroad, the government has asked Indian workers to register with local consular services, and started distributing information to intensify their awareness of local laws, customs and regulations. By Sowmya Sangam

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