NRIs, OCIs and PIOs: Ideas into India

The Indian Government should make it easier for NRIs, OCIs and PIOs, the Indian diaspora, to interact with India in terms of business and pleasure. They will bring ideas into India that will, in the long run, have a beneficial impact in the country. The Indian diaspora are already involved to some extent in driving India's booming e-commerce and m-commerce industry. The diaspora will bring in different ideas on governance in India which will hopefully, over time, change attitudes and practices in India which are not acceptable.

Times of India reports that the Indian government has quietly readied yet another ordinance — this one to merge the PIO and OCI cards — to make good a promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visits to the US and Australia when he vowed to make it easier for the Indian diaspora to connect with their homeland. The home ministry will soon bring an ordinance to amend the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 and a senior official said this was likely to be done before January 7 inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gandhinagar. This will mark a fresh test to accepted political conventions for passing legislations using the ordinance route and could expose the government to criticism that it was disregarding Parliament. The upcoming ordinance is expected to specify a date by which existing PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) cardholders will be deemed as having the rights and privileges enjoyed by Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). Modi had promised, most recently in his Sydney speech to the Indian diaspora on November 17, that the PIO and OCI cards would be merged within two months. The home ministry had introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in the Lok Sabha earlier this month but it could not be taken up due to frequent disruptions. 

SJP @DigitalAsian


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