Indian diaspora professionals can work in India (Lead)

January 8th, 2009 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 8 (IANS) Qualified overseas Indian professionals, with Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards as well as others, can soon practise in India, it was announced here Thursday.The government will extend its new scheme permitting qualified professionals holding Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards to practise in India to other members of diaspora possessing similar qualification.

“The overseas Indian citizenship scheme, which we had announced in 2006, has elicited an overwhelming response,” the prime minister told delegates at the seventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas - India’s annual convention to connect with its diaspora.

“I am therefore happy to announce that henceforth OCI card holders who are qualified professionals - doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, architects and chartered accountants - will have the benefit of practising their professions in India,” he said.

“Further details to operationalise this benefit will be worked out soon,” the prime minister said.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi later told reporters: “We got representations from the Indian diaspora to extend this facility for them as well. We have conceded their demands.”

He said the bodies governing these professions will have to amend their regulations to allow OCI cardholders and other members of the Indian diaspora to practise here.

The Indian government has issued around 350,000 OCI cards.

The government plans to start issuing smart cards to migrating workers from June 1, Vayalar Ravi said.

Under an e-governance project on migration, every worker going abroad will be issued a smart card containing details of the worker, his work contract, his employer, his insurance and other details.

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