Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Indian Parliament panel hits out at government for absence of ‘clear-cut’ policy on Indian diaspora

Ministry of External Affairs committee also took the government to task for not having an authentic database of the Indian diaspora, and said Indian missions abroad should play a more proactive role in developing closer contact with the community

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A parliamentary panel has criticised the government over the absence of a “clear-cut” policy on engaging with the Indian diaspora and recommended bringing out a document to serve as a guiding principle for a deeper and wider connection with the community, reported indianexpress.com.

The committee on Ministry of External Affairs also took the government to task for not having an authentic database of the Indian diaspora, and said Indian missions abroad should play a more proactive role in developing closer contact with the community.

In its 15th report that was tabled in Parliament on August 3, the panel noted that the Indian diaspora comprising over 18 million PIOs (persons of Indian origin) and 13 million NRIs was one of the largest overseas communities globally and the government must engage with it effectively.

Headed by P P Chaudhary, the panel said it was surprised that a “clear-cut policy” on India’s diaspora was yet to be drafted by the government despite having a huge diaspora playing a very important role in the socio-economic development of their home country. “The committee desires that the (External Affairs) Ministry should bring out a policy document on its diaspora to serve as a guiding principle for deeper and wider engagement with the diaspora community,” it said.

“Keeping in view the fact that China has nearly five lakhs foreign students from various countries, the committee have urged the MEA to get in touch with the embassies of other countries so that coordinated efforts are made to facilitate the return of such students to China for resumption of their in-person classes.”

The committee also noted that it was “deeply concerned” about the plight of thousands of Indian students pursuing medical and other courses in Ukraine and China as they were not able to return to these countries. “These students have been left in a quandary as they could not re-join their courses physically or complete their internship or training in India,” the report said.

“The committee has been informed that MEA had recommended to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to consider allowing Indian private medical institutions to enrol returnee students from Ukraine in their institutions on a one-time exemption basis,” it said. The committee asked the MEA to pursue the matter with the health ministry vigorously as this step may solve the current crisis being faced by the students enrolled in Ukrainian universities.

About Indian students in Chinese universities, the MEA has stated that the Indian Embassy in Beijing was preparing a list of such students to be shared with the Chinese side for consideration for their return to China.

“Keeping in view the fact that China has nearly five lakhs foreign students from various countries, the committee have urged the MEA to get in touch with the embassies of other countries so that coordinated efforts are made to facilitate the return of such students to China for resumption of their in-person classes,” the report said.

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Toshi Jyotsna
(Toshi Jyotsna is an IT professional who keeps a keen interest in writing on contemporary issues both in Hindi and English. She is a columnist, and an award-winning story writer.)

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