The government is considering giving Aadhaar cards to Non-Resident Indians and a decision on it will be taken soon, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday while inviting the diaspora community to actively participate in India’s growth story.
Asking the diaspora to participate in government’s various flagship programmes including Skill India, Digital India and Clean Ganga initiatives, she said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the Aadhaar card scheme to be extended to NRIs.
“So far Aadhar card has been given to those Indians who live in India. It is not for non-resident Indians. But you will be happy to know that the Prime Minister wants the card to be given to the NRIs the way it is issued to people living in India,” she said.
“He even wants it for OCI (Overseas Citizens of India card) holders. The matter is under our consideration. No decision has been taken as discussions on it are underway. I hope soon you will hear about it,” Swaraj said during her address to the first limited edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.
The government has so far issued Aadhaar cards to over 92 crore citizens. Under the programme, every citizen is to be provided with a 12-digit unique identification number for which biometric information is collected.
NRIs can participate in Government Pension Scheme
Indian workers in West Asia, including those residing there for several years at a stretch, can now open a pension account in India under the Atal Pension Yojana, the External Affairs minister said.
Under the government scheme, account holders deposit a tiny monthly amount for 20 years after which they are eligible for regular pensions.
Domestic helps can be recruited through government agents only
On restricting women from going to Gulf countries through the recruiting agencies, she said the decision has been taken to stop them from getting duped.
Women seeking to work abroad as household help will, under a new policy, only be able to travel through government agents – even registered private agents will not be allowed to recruit them, Sushma said.
“We had initially thought of banning women from working as household help abroad, as some countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal have done,” the foreign minister said. “But I called a meeting of the Parliament consultative committee on external affairs and there was no consensus on such a ban.”
The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas , webcast by almost all Indian Missions and Posts, was organized for the first time by ministry of external affairs (MEA) after the government’s decision to merge ministry of overseas Indian affairs (MOIA) with it.