Its time this privilege was extended to Indians living outside the country… until now.. it was presumed that once a citizen had left the borders – he/she was as good as lost! Not a good assumption for the long term interests of the country!
Unveiling a string of initiatives for the benefit of NRIs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the government would soon grant voting rights to overseas Indian workers and professionals, launch a liberal insurance scheme for them and modernise the process of emigration.
Inaugurating the 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, an annual convention of Indian diaspora, the Prime Minister launched Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) scheme that confers a hassle-free, life-long multiple entry visa for overseas Indians. Amidst applause from a gathering of about 2,000 NRIs from across the world, Singh handed over the first set of OCI cards and related documents to two NRIs — Nibriti Rai (US) and Ifthekar Ahmad Sharif — fulfilling a long-cherished dream of overseas Indians. The OCI cards, considered the first step towards conferring full citizenship rights, will enable overseas Indians holding foreign passports a free access to the country, obliterating the need for police verification.
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