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Direct Flight - a dream of 50,000+ immigrants

I was truly honoured to meet the Ambassador of India to Ireland, H.E., Sandeep Kumar at Embassy of India, Dublin on Monday, 4th Feb 2019.

Shashank Cakerwarti, Peace Commissioner with the Ambassador of India, Sandeep Kumar.
With Ambassador Kumar at Embassy of India, Dublin.

About Ambassador Kumar:

Mr. Kumar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1985 and has served in various missions abroad, viz Croatia, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Paris, Cape Town and Kabul. From September 2008 to January 2013, he was on deputation to UNDP in Kabul (Afghanistan) where he worked on police reforms. Mr. Kumar holds an educational degrees in M.Phil. in Environment and Development (University of Cambridge, UK), and has a passion for the arts, travel and sports. He has written a non-fictional account of his experiences in Afghanistan: “On Edge.”

Image Source: India Tribune

India has a new Emigration Policy.

The Ministry of External Affairs proposes to introduce the Emigration Bill, 2019 in Parliament that will replace the existing Emigration Act, 1983. Here are 5 main points:

  • According to the proposal made by the External Affairs Ministry, the Emigration Bill 2019 proposes to constitute an Emigration Management Authority (EMA) by the Centre to ensure the overall welfare and protection of emigrants. Two new bureaus - the Bureau of Emigration Policy and the Bureau of Emigration Administration will be set up in this connection.

  • The EMA will be led by a secretary-level officer from the External Affairs Ministry, the nodal Ministry for all emigration-related matters and will have representation from the Home Ministry and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It will also have representation from the states and the recruitment industry on a rotation basis.

  • The bureaus will take care of day-to-day operational matters. These will be responsible for all emigration-related issues as well as the welfare and protection of Indian nationals abroad and overarching authority to provide policy guidance, undertaking a comprehensive review and stocktaking on emigration management related matters.

  • The proposed Bill makes mandatory registration and intimation of all categories of Indian nationals proceeding for overseas employment as well as students pursuing higher studies abroad and has comprehensive provisions including insurance, pre-departure orientation, skill up gradation, legal assistance, migrant resource centres, help desks, migration and mobility partnerships, labour and manpower cooperation agreements aimed at strengthened the welfare and protection of the Indian work force abroad.

  • The proposed Bill also takes into account the increasing incidents of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, illicit trafficking of drugs, harbouring offenders under the garb of recruitment or those offering emigration services without due process. It proposes to provide for stringent punishment, in particular for categories classified as aggravated form of offences with regard to women and children.

MADAD file consular grievances online.

Launched by the External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, on February 21, 2015. She said that the grievance monitoring facility would enhance accessibility and reach for the people, meanwhile putting greater responsibility on officials. Madad aims to provide a platform for Indian citizens living abroad to file consular grievances online.

The primary objective of this portal is to completely transform the linear process adopted to post grievances from the originator of the grievance to the concerned official. This will also reduce the time required for grievances to be sent from Delhi to our citizens living abroad and vice-versa.

Direct Flight update:

I confirm that both governments have given a green light for the direct flight initiative, however it is a commercial decision that is solely taken by the airlines whether they wish to serve this route or not. I met the C.E.O. of Air Indian prior to coming to Dublin and look forward to meeting Aer Lingus counterpart - Ambassador Kumar

What role can the community play in making sure that Airlines see Delhi-Dublin as a profitable route?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Other key issues raised which Ambassador Kumar confirms that he is actively seeking solutions to resolve with the help of the Irish government:

  • Delayed visas at Irish Embassy in Delhi;

  • Delayed work permit applications;

  • Stamp 3, right to work for spouses of critical skill permit holders.



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