Diaspora India News Lite Blogs

Indian Diaspora: A Growing Trend of Return Migration to India

India’s vibrant culture, rich heritage, and diverse society also play a significant role in attracting these individuals back to their roots. Many view the prospect of reconnecting with their homeland and contributing to its development as deeply fulfilling and rewarding…writes Dr Tausif Malik

In recent years, there has been a noticeable trend of naturalized Indian Americans and Indian Canadians choosing to move back to their home country of India. This phenomenon, driven by various factors, is reshaping migration patterns and bringing about significant socio-economic implications.

According to recent data from immigration agencies and research institutes, the number of Indian-origin individuals who have obtained citizenship in the United States and Canada but are now relocating to India has been steadily increasing. While exact figures vary, estimates suggest a substantial rise in the migration of these individuals over the past decade.

For instance, data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reveals that the number of Indian Americans renouncing their US citizenship reached a record high of 7,009 in 2023, marking a 26% increase from the previous year. Similarly, Statistics Canada reports a growing trend of Indian Canadians relinquishing their citizenship, with a notable uptick in the number of individuals moving to India for employment and business opportunities.

Furthermore, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that among Indian Americans, 33% expressed a desire to move back to India at some point in the future. This sentiment reflects a shift in attitudes towards India’s economic prospects and lifestyle advantages.

One of the primary reasons behind this migration trend is the allure of India’s rapidly growing economy and expanding job market. With India emerging as a global economic powerhouse, many naturalized Indian Americans and Indian Canadians see lucrative career opportunities and entrepreneurial prospects in sectors such as technology, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Moreover, India’s vibrant culture, rich heritage, and diverse society also play a significant role in attracting these individuals back to their roots. Many view the prospect of reconnecting with their homeland and contributing to its development as deeply fulfilling and rewarding.

Additionally, factors such as family ties, social networks, and a desire for a better quality of life also influence the decision of naturalized Indian Americans and Indian Canadians to move back to India. For some, the allure of affordable housing, quality healthcare, and a lower cost of living in India outweighs the challenges of resettling in a new country.

Furthermore, favorable Government of India policies, such as the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme, make it easier for naturalized citizens to return to India and establish themselves. These initiatives provide various benefits, including visa-free travel, residency rights, and the ability to invest in India’s booming real estate market.

The impact of this migration trend extends beyond individual decisions, shaping broader demographic and economic trends in both sending and receiving countries. While the departure of skilled professionals may pose challenges for countries like the United States and Canada, India stands to benefit from the influx of talent, expertise, and investment.

Advantages of this trend include the infusion of diverse perspectives and skills into India’s workforce, fostering innovation and economic growth. Additionally, the return of naturalized citizens strengthens people-to-people ties and cultural exchange between India and countries like the United States and Canada.

In conclusion, the growing number of naturalized Indian Americans and Indian Canadians moving back to India reflects a dynamic shift in global migration patterns. As India continues to rise as a global powerhouse, it presents compelling opportunities for individuals seeking to contribute to its growth story and reconnect with their cultural roots.

Before returning to India, Indian Americans and Indian Canadians should consider several factors and take certain steps to ensure a smooth transition:

1.            Research and Planning: Conduct thorough research about the region you plan to move to in India. Consider factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, healthcare, education, and lifestyle. Make a detailed plan outlining your goals and objectives for the move.

2.            Legal and Documentation: Ensure that all your legal documents, including passports, visas, and residency permits, are up to date and in order. Contact the relevant authorities in both countries to understand the procedures for relinquishing citizenship or obtaining residency status.

3.            Financial Preparation: Assess your financial situation and make necessary arrangements for banking, taxes, investments, and pensions. Consider currency exchange rates, banking regulations, and tax implications of moving funds between countries.

4.            Healthcare: Research healthcare facilities and insurance options in India. Ensure that you have access to quality healthcare services, especially if you or your family members have specific medical needs. Consider obtaining health insurance coverage that is valid in both countries during the transition period.

5.            Housing and Accommodation: Explore housing options in India, whether renting or purchasing property. Consider factors such as location, amenities, security, and proximity to essential services. It may be beneficial to secure temporary accommodation upon arrival while you search for a more permanent residence.

6.            Employment and Education: Evaluate job prospects and career opportunities in India, including networking with potential employers and professional contacts. If you have school-aged children, research educational institutions and enrollment procedures to ensure a smooth transition for their education.

7.            Cultural Adjustment: Prepare yourself and your family for cultural differences and potential challenges of adjusting to life in India. Learn about local customs, traditions, languages, and social norms to facilitate integration into the community.

8.            Network and Support System: Build a support network of friends, family, and contacts in India who can provide assistance and guidance during your transition. Join expatriate communities, social groups, or professional associations to connect with like-minded individuals and access resources.

9.            Travel Logistics: Plan your travel arrangements, including booking flights, shipping belongings, and arranging transportation from the airport to your destination in India. Consider any quarantine or health protocols that may be in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

10.         Emotional Preparation: Moving to a new country can be emotionally challenging, so prepare yourself and your family for the ups and downs of the transition. Maintain open communication, manage expectations, and stay flexible and resilient in the face of unexpected circumstances.

By taking these steps and adequately preparing for the move, Indian Americans and Indian Canadians can increase their chances of a successful relocation to India and make the most of their new chapter in the country.

ALSO READ-Russian ‘Disinformation’ Targets US Immigration Debate

-Top News Diaspora India News

Stalin Addresses World Tamil Diaspora Day

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin further highlighted how his government is reaching out to Tamils stranded abroad.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin addressed World Tamils Diaspora Day 2024 held at Chennai Trade Centre on Friday.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin expressed pleasure over welcoming the Tamil diaspora.

“It was published in a newspaper that I am unwell, and my health condition was bad, but nothing is wrong with me when the people of Tamil Nadu are happy. I am someone who puts aside all such news and works beyond my strength”, said MK Stalin.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin assures that he would facilitate all those Tamils who want to come back.

“Steps are being taken to bring back Tamils who want to return home due to medical conditions and various other reasons”, said MK Stalin.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin further highlighted how his government is reaching out to Tamils stranded abroad.

“A separate department has been set up in the DGP office to receive complaints from Tamils stranded in foreign countries. They have been assured of protection from the extraordinary situations that have occurred in various countries including Ukraine, Cambodia, and Sudan”, said MK Stalin.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin emphasised investment coming from Tamils abroad and said that memorandums of understanding have been made for overseas Tamils to invest in the homeland.

In his attempt to unify the Tamil Diaspora, MK Stalin said, “Even if we are separated by water, land and continents, we are all brothers. It doesn’t matter where we live.”

To make this event more special, Tamils who excelled in 8 categories namely Tamil literature, Education, Social Development, Women, Business, Science and Technology, Sports and Medicine were honoured by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister at the occasion of World Tamil Diaspora Day.

Tamils from about 58 countries participated in the two-day World Tamil Diaspora Day celebrations, inaugurated by Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development Udhayanidhi Stalin on Thursday. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Tamil Nadu inks deals worth Rs 6.64L cr as investors’ meet concludes

-Top News Diaspora India News

Modi to address Indian diaspora in UAE on Feb 13

In 2015, Modi became the first Indian PM to visit UAE after a gap of 34 years. Since then, his February 2024 visit will be his seventh…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his upcoming visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month, will address the Indian diaspora at a community reception titled ‘Ahlan Modi’ on February 13.

The event, whose title roughly translates to ‘Hello Modi’ will be held at Sheikh Zayed Sports stadium in Abu Dhabi.

According to the release, the organisers expect to fill the stadium to its fullest capacity. Various volunteer committees have been set up for the detailed planning and smooth execution of this historic event.

More than 350 Indian community leaders representing different regions and communities who came together at the India club, Dubai on 3rd January at the pre-event briefing in Abu Dhabi – ‘Ahlan Modi’ (“Hello Modi”) welcomed the news with great enthusiasm.

Notably, in 2015, Prime Minister Modi became the first Indian PM to visit UAE after a gap of 34 years. Since then, his February 2024 visit will be his seventh.

As a result of each visit, the Indo-UAE relations have improved and have now reached great heights of mutual understanding and friendship to the benefit of both nations, the release stated.

According to the release, an “unprecedented euphoria” has been witnessed for the event in UAE with almost 12, 000 registrations received within 24 hours of announcement.

Notably, PM Modi will also inaugurate BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on February 14. He accepted the invitation by Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas, along with the board of directors, according to the statement by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

Swami Ishwarcharandas honoured PM Modi at his official residence, by adorning him with a garland and draping a saffron shawl over his shoulders. He acknowledged his significant contributions to the nation and the world. He also commended Prime Minister Modi for the remarkable renovation and development of pilgrimage sites across India, a feat unparalleled in recent centuries.

During the meeting, the discussions revolved around Abu Dhabi temple’s significance for global harmony and Modi’s vision for India’s spiritual leadership on the global stage.

As per the press statement, Swami Brahmaviharidas showcased the latest update of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, emphasizing its intricate carvings and all-inclusive grandeur, saying that “the inauguration ceremony will be a great event, a millennial moment of celebration for time to come.”

On this, PM Modi said, that it will reflect the ideal of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – “an ideal spiritual space, not merely rooted in beliefs and traditions, but a confluence of diverse cultures and civilizations. The essence of spiritual harmony, symbolizing the path forward”, the release added. (ANI)

PM wishes diaspora on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his wishes to the Indian diaspora on the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas and said their dedication towards preserving our rich heritage and strengthening global ties is commendable.

He also appreciated them for embodying the spirit of India across the globe, fostering a sense of unity and diversity.

Taking to X, PM Modi wrote: “Greetings on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. This is a day to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the Indian diaspora worldwide. Their dedication towards preserving our rich heritage and strengthening global ties is commendable. They embody the spirit of India across the globe, fostering a sense of unity and diversity.”

Extending his greetings on the occasion, Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar posted on his official social media account, “On Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, greetings to the Indian Diaspora across the world. We take immense pride in your achievements. Your outstanding contributions play a crucial role in enhancing India’s global standing.”

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also gave his wishes on the occasion “Happy Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas to the expatriate brothers and sisters who are strengthening the Indian culture of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” all over the world. Despite living away from the country, India resides in his heart. It is our wish that they continue to play an important role in the all-round development of India.”

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Hasina Highlights India Ties in Post-Election Plansndia Ties in Post-Election Plans

-Top News Diaspora UK News

VFS Global to deliver UK visa and passport services across 142 countries

With the UK being a sought-after destination for travelers globally, India, China, Nigeria, and Turkey emerge as the top four application locations…reports Asian Lite News

In a significant development, VFS Global has been appointed as the exclusive service provider for all UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres across 142 countries, solidifying its position as a leading visa, passport, and citizen services provider on a global scale.

The renowned company, which has been a trusted partner for the UK Government since 2003, is set to manage a staggering 3.8 million applicants annually. As part of its expansion plans, VFS Global is slated to open UK application centres in 84 new countries throughout the year 2024.

The comprehensive contract not only marks VFS Global’s sixth global win in 2023 but also promises substantial investments in technology to enhance customer experience, accessibility, and security. The deployment of 240 Visa and Citizenship Application Service (VCAS) Centres is set to cover regions including Africa & the Middle East, Americas, Australasia & Europe, China & Taiwan, and Asia & the Asia Pacific.

These globally dispersed centres will cater to all categories of visa applications, and in select locations, facilitate UK passport applications as well. Anticipating a colossal processing capacity, the new centres are estimated to handle 3.8 million applicants annually.

Beyond the sheer scale of deployment, VFS Global aims to revolutionize the customer journey. The company is committed to increasing accessibility through revamped customer websites and upgraded in-person experiences. Moreover, the deployment of cutting-edge technologies will reinforce identity checks, ensuring the integrity of the visa and passport application process.

Zubin Karkaria, Founder and CEO of VFS Global, expressed his delight at winning the contract, emphasizing the company’s dedication to providing best-in-class services to governments worldwide. Karkaria stated, “We are excited to begin operations in new locations and take the next step towards providing customers with a seamless, simple, and secure visa and passport application experience.”

With the UK being a sought-after destination for travelers globally, India, China, Nigeria, and Turkey emerge as the top four application locations.

In addition to the VCAS Centres, VFS Global plans to expand its network of paid application centres, forging partnerships with popular hotels and resorts. The move aims to bring the visa application process closer to home for customers, mirroring successful initiatives in India, the UAE, and the USA.

This latest triumph follows closely on the heels of VFS Global securing the global biometric collection service mandate with Australia and renewing the global visa service contract with Sweden, underscoring the company’s continuous commitment to excellence in its field.

ALSO READ-UK to increase family visa salary requirement in stages

Diaspora Health Lite Blogs

Little Angel IVF Launches Comprehensive IVF Services for NRIs in India

Little Angel IVF offers a range of advanced fertility services, characterized by state-of-the-art techniques and personalized patient care…reports Asian Lite News

The demand for IVF treatments in India has surged among Non-Resident Indian (NRI) patients, driven by a combination of high success rates and affordability. India’s advanced assisted reproductive technology yields impressive outcomes, with over 45,000 IVF cycles completed annually, showcasing a notable success rate . The cost-effectiveness of IVF in India is a significant factor-while a single IVF cycle in the USA averages around USD 12,500, in India, the cost ranges from approximately USD 1,500 to USD 4,50), excluding additional procedures . Additionally, the country’s advancements in assisted reproductive technology (ART) ensure that patients have access to the latest fertility treatments. This stark contrast in pricing, coupled with high-quality medical care have positioned India as a favourable destination for fertility treatments among NRIs.
Little Angel IVF Launches IVF Treatment for NRI’s
Little Angel IVF has now Launched high-quality fertility treatments leveraging a blend of expert medical knowledge and advanced reproductive technologies for NRI Patients. Little Angel IVF offers a range of advanced fertility services, characterized by state-of-the-art techniques and personalized patient care:

  1. Personalized Fertility Consultation: Each patient receives individualized care and a tailored fertility treatment plan.
  2. Comprehensive Diagnostic Services: Including fertility assessments and testing to determine the most effective treatment approach.
  3. Advanced IVF Treatments: Utilizing the latest technologies and methods in assisted reproductive technology (ART).
  4. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): Specialized procedure to assist with male infertility issues by injecting a single sperm directly into an egg.
  5. Egg and Semen Cryopreservation: Offering the option to freeze and store eggs and sperm for future use, providing flexibility for patients’ fertility plans.
  6. Embryo Transfer: Careful implantation of embryos into the uterus to facilitate pregnancy.
  7. Fertility Preservation Services: For NRI patients who wish to delay parenthood, including those undergoing medical treatments that might affect fertility.
  8. Counselling and Support Services: Emotional and psychological support throughout the fertility journey.
  9. Post-Treatment Care: Follow-up care and support after the IVF procedure.
  10. International Patient Services: Specialized services for NRI and international patients, including travel and accommodation assistance, translation services, and coordination of medical and legal paperwork.
    These services highlight Little Angel IVF’s commitment to offering comprehensive, customized, and compassionate fertility care to its patients.
    Here is a table comparing the costs of IVF treatment in India and the USA:
    The above table highlights the affordability of IVF treatments in India compared to the USA, with significant cost savings in both the average cycle cost and medication expenses.
    Support for VISA and Documentation
    Little Angel IVF provides specialized assistance to NRI patients in various aspects of their IVF treatment journey, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience:
  11. Medical Visa Assistance: A dedicated department helps NRIs in obtaining medical visas, streamlining the legal and bureaucratic processes.
  12. Letter for Paid Medical Leave: The clinic provides official letters to NRI patients, which can be used to request paid leave under medical policies in their respective countries.
  13. Insurance Documentation Support: Assistance in preparing and obtaining necessary documentation for insurance coverage under medical policies, if applicable.
  14. Coordination with Overseas Doctors: The clinic collaborates with doctors abroad, especially in cases involving past treatments or specific medical histories, ensuring continuity of care.
  15. Online Consultations: Before traveling to India, NRI patients can avail themselves of online consultations for assistance with paperwork, medical advice, and guidance regarding medications.
    These services demonstrate Little Angel IVF’s commitment to providing comprehensive support to NRI patients, making their IVF treatment journey as seamless as possible.
    Maya, a 33-year-old NRI from the UK, struggled with low Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels, a significant challenge in achieving pregnancy. Maya came to India in August 2023, where she received a personalized treatment plan. Despite her low AMH, Little Angel IVF’s advanced techniques and Maya’s perseverance led to a successful egg retrieval process. After a single IVF cycle, Maya conceived. She credits our clinic’s expertise and the supportive environment for her success, bringing joy and hope to her family.
    Sunita, a 42-year-old NRI based in Canada, faced the challenge of late motherhood. Aware of the reduced fertility that comes with age, Sunita sought IVF treatment in India. Our clinic provided a customized approach, focusing on optimizing her ovarian response. The treatment was successful, and Sunita became pregnant. She expresses immense gratitude for Little Angel IVF empathetic care and cutting-edge technology that made her dream of motherhood a reality.
    Raj, a 38-year-old NRI from the USA, was diagnosed with cancer, necessitating urgent treatment that could impact his fertility. Before undergoing cancer therapy, Raj visited our IVF Centre in Noida to preserve his fertility. He underwent sperm cryopreservation, a procedure that allowed him to store his sperm safely before his treatment. Post-recovery, Raj and his wife utilized the preserved sperm for IVF and his wife conceived successfully. Raj is thankful for the opportunity to become a father despite his medical challenges.
    India offers NRIs substantial advantages for IVF treatment, including cost-effectiveness, advanced medical technology, and high success rates. Little Angel IVF centre in Noida epitomizes this excellence, committing to high-quality, affordable, and patient-focused fertility solutions. Their dedicated approach ensures personalized care, making them a preferred choice for NRIs seeking fertility treatments.

ALSO READ-AI can help in improving success rate of IVF treatment

-Top News Asia News Diaspora

Tibetan Diaspora in Vienna Stages Protest Against China

China’s Third Periodic Review by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in March 2023 brought out these violations very clearly…reports Asian Lite News

Members of the Tibetan Diaspora in Vienna staged a symbolic protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Austria, condemning China for ongoing human rights abuses against Tibetans in Tibet.

The demonstration held by the Tibetan community in Vienna on the eve of Human Rights Day, which is observed globally on December 10, sought to draw attention to the deliberate violations of their fellow Tibetans by the Chinese government.

“Four representatives from the local Tibetan Diaspora organisation took a stand, raising slogans condemning China for its ongoing human rights abuses against Tibetans in Tibet,” an official statement said.

“The protest staged by the Tibetan community in Vienna aims to shed light on these deliberate violations perpetrated by the Chinese government against their brethren in Tibet,” according to the statement.

The systematic disregard by the Chinese government for the fundamental rights of Tibetans shows a blatant violation of international human rights law.

China is obligated to respect and adhere to mechanisms safeguarding people’s rights and has been accused of widespread human rights violations in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong.

China’s Third Periodic Review by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in March 2023 brought out these violations very clearly.

The country has been facing criticism for its cruel acts, including the forced resettling of Tibetans and engaging in forced labour.

“China faced scrutiny on multiple fronts, including allegations of persecuting human rights defenders, forcibly resettling Tibetans, engaging in forced labour, fostering workplace discrimination, curtailing religious freedom and language rights, assimilating Tibetan children in boarding schools, and perpetrating cultural genocide,” the statement said.

Moreover, the protestors called upon the international community to unite and openly support the “Tibetan Government-in-exile in their ongoing struggle to protect the human rights of Tibetans in Tibet.” (ANI)

ALSO READ-US House Committee Approves ‘Resolve Tibet Act’

-Top News Diaspora India News

Jaishankar Hails Indian Diaspora’s Role in Shaping Global Perceptions

Dr S. Jaishankar shared valuable insights into the dynamic changes taking place in India and their impact on the lives of Indians both domestically and abroad, reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, provided a comprehensive overview of the ongoing transformations in India and underscored the critical role of the Indian diaspora in shaping global perceptions.

From technological advancements to social campaigns, Jaishankar painted a vivid picture of a progressing India, urging the diaspora to convey this narrative to the world.

In a captivating address to the Indian diaspora in Dubai, Jaishankar engaged with Indian students and young professionals in Dubai, sharing valuable insights into the dynamic changes taking place in India and their impact on the lives of Indians both domestically and abroad.

“Happy to interact with Indian students and young professionals in Dubai today. They will work at the forefront of building a Viksit Bharat in the Amritkaal. Shared perspectives on transformations in India and the impact it is having on everyday lives of Indians at home and abroad,” posted Jaishankar on X.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Jaishankar stated, “Happy to interact with Indian students and young professionals in Dubai today. They will work at the forefront of building a Viksit Bharat in the Amritkaal.” He emphasised the diaspora’s pivotal role in shaping global perceptions of India and influencing others, extending beyond their immediate circles.

“While you look at the CoWIN portal, Covaxin, 5G, and Chandrayaan, these are all components of Viksit Bharat,” Jaishankar remarked, highlighting India’s remarkable achievements in technology and space exploration. He stressed the importance of effectively communicating India’s progress to the world, especially for those studying abroad.

Discussing a significant event in India, Jaishankar shared, “If I was not here but in India, I would actually today be participating in a very important event which the prime minister would be addressing, called the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.” This initiative aims to showcase the progress made in the last decade through various schemes and campaigns.

Jaishankar enumerated campaigns such as Swatch Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Digital India, Skill India, and Awas Yojana, illustrating how each contributes to a comprehensive picture of India’s progress. “When you connect each one of these, you get a very different picture. That is today the progress in India. And that progress today is actually the basis for greatness tomorrow,” he added.

He urged the diaspora to understand the importance of their influence, saying, “Your influence is not just limited to your immediate group or family. You shape the thinking of India. When they hear from you in a very natural way, what is happening in India, it gives them a sense of how India is progressing.”

Touching upon India’s global role, Jaishankar discussed the recently concluded G20 presidency, highlighting India’s ability to bring nations together despite geopolitical challenges. “We have shown that India is capable of getting the world at a very difficult, very divisive moment, around a table, agree on common goals,” he stated, emphasizing India’s positive impact on the international stage. (ANI)

ALSO READ: India’s Strong Pitch for Adaptation Goals in Dubai

-Top News Diaspora UK News

Britain Makes it Tougher for Indians to Work in UK

Tougher rules were announced for students bringing dependents to the UK. Undergraduate students are no longer allowed to bring their partners or children…reports Asian Lite News

An estimated 300,000 non-Britons – many of them Indians – will be affected by the British government on Monday raising the bar for people eligible to apply for skilled worker visas for the United Kingdom. The minimum salary that an applicant must now command is 38,700 pounds, up from 26,000 pounds.

“Enough is enough,” said Home Secretary James Cleverly in the House of Commons. The policy is designed, he added, to reduce net migration to the UK. Net migration – the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and the people leaving – was 745,000 in 2022 and has become deeply unpopular with Britons across the board.

One of the main arguments for exiting the European Union (EU) was to control immigration – which compulsory free movement of people in the EU could not prevent. This has been defeated by people swamping the UK from other parts of the world, including significantly from India.

Those coming on health and social care visas, mostly nurses, will, however, be exempt from the higher salary threshold. They will not, though, be permitted to bring dependents, namely their partners and children, with them. Cleverly stated this will “end the abuse of the Health and Care Visa”. Nurses in the UK also come from India as well as from other parts of Asia, Africa. and the West Indies.

Cleverly asserted: “Approximately 120,000 dependents accompanied 100,000 care workers and senior care workers in the year ending September 2023. Only 25 per cent of dependents are estimated to be in work, meaning a significant number are drawing on public services and not helping to grow the economy.”

Earlier this year, tougher rules were announced for students bringing dependents to the UK. Undergraduate students are no longer allowed to bring their partners or children.

Cleverly also indicated that the health surcharge payable by foreign job seekers will rise by 66 per cent – from 624 pounds to 1,035 pounds.

Without criticising the move, the opposition Labour party’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper maintained the new proposals are “an admission of years of total failure by this Conservative government”.

She slammed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak by saying he is “clearly veering” without “steering” and is being “pushed around all over the place”.

The Scottish National Party spokesperson said Cleverly’s pronouncement will be judged on whether it’s “pandering to the right wing of his party”.

The chair of the Independent Care Group warned: “I think we are going to find more businesses fail, care homes closing.”

It appears post-study work (PSW) visas available after finishing a masters degree in the UK will not as yet come under the new guidelines. This will come as a relief to Indian students, who numbered 120,000 in 2021-22.

ALSO READ-Sindh Freedom Movement Protests Immigration, Disappearances

Diaspora India News

MEA Initiates Law Commission Inquiry into NRI Marriages

According to the MEA, it has received a large number of complaints pertaining to marital issues from Indian women married to overseas Indians…reports Asian Lite News

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sought the Law Commission of India to examine the issue of Non-Resident of India (NRI) marriages and strengthen its framework in regard to international public law and also private laws.

According to the sources, the MEA has recently sent references in this regard to the Law Commission to examine the lacunae in present concerned laws which lead to problems like abandoning partners especially brides in NRI marriages.

The Law Commission is at the initial stage and is examining a structural framework to deal with the issue, according to sources.
As per the Law Commission, it will also look at international public law and private laws. What is required is to ensure that the prevention of lacunas that are benefiting the violators should be properly addressed. Also how the various procedural requirements of the court can be done.
The Commission would also be looking into the 2019 bill on the registration of marriages of NRI and the Foreign Marriage Act.

According to the MEA, it has received a large number of complaints pertaining to marital issues from Indian women married to overseas Indians. Such cases include abandonment of wife in India, delays in sponsoring of visa by spouse, cases of spouse stopping all communications, harassment of women by husband and in-laws, ex-parte divorce by spouse etc. These cases often also include issues related to child custody.

According to the Ministry and the Missions/Posts provide appropriate counselling, guidance and information to the aggrieved Indian women about legal procedures & mechanisms in such cases. The Indian Missions and Posts also conduct walk-in sessions and open house meetings for the distressed Indians including women to address their grievances. Grievances are also addressed through MADAD and CPGRAM portals.

Further, Missions and Posts also maintain a 24×7 Helpline for emergency situations and assistance is also provided through social media platforms. Financial and legal assistance is provided under the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) to distressed NRI women, wherever applicable, said MEA. (ANI)

ALSO READ-MEA clears stand on Palestine

Asia News Diaspora World News

SPECIAL: Recall the Kashmir massacres of 22 October 1947

The Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta held an international seminar on the theme ‘Remembering Kashmir Carnage of October 1947’ at the Kasman Singodimedjo Hall. On October 22, 1947, Kashmir witnessed a horrific turning point when the Pashtun tribal militia, accompanied by the Pakistan Army, launched “Operation Gulmarg” to occupy a large portion of Jammu and Kashmir. A special report

October 22, 2023, marks the 77th anniversary of the tribal (lashkar) invasion of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. On 22 October 1947, Pakistan-backed and aided tribal lashkars invaded the J&K princely state headed by Maharaja Hari Singh. The invasion prompted Sir Hari Singh to accede to India.

The Pakistani plan was that they would launch Operation Gulmarg to force the Maharaja to accede to Pakistan. The rape, pillage and looting carried out by the invaders remain etched in the memories of the people of the state and even today those who witnessed and experienced that situation, recall the horrors. While the conduct of a seminar in Kashmir is important and significant, equally notable is the hosting of an international seminar by an Indonesian University on the theme “Remembering the Kashmir Carnage of October 1947”.

The need to internationalise the Kashmir issue in the context of Pakistan’s perfidy in 1947 is a necessary requirement to ensure that future generations do not forget the horrific events of that era. The Jakarta seminar was held at Kasman Singodimedjo Hall at the Muhammadiyah University of Jakarta.

On 22 October 1947, Jammu & Kashmir witnessed a horrific event when the Pashtun tribal militia, accompanied by the Pakistan Army, launched “Operation Gulmarg” to occupy J&K.

Djoni Gunanto, Deputy Dean 2, while officially opening the international seminar, said the students of the Political Science Study Program, especially those concentrating on International Relations, need to know and understand global phenomena like those that happened in Kashmir.

A speaker at the seminar said that more than 35,000 people had died in the Gulmarg operation. During this period, not only murders occurred people (mostly women) were taken hostage, who were later sold in Pakistan. The terrorists not only massacred Hindus and Sikhs but also killed those Kashmiri Muslims who refused to join Pakistan. Pakistanis call such Muslims traitors.

Normal life in Srinagar on the 4th anniversary of the Abrogation of Article 370 & 35A – Umar Ganie

Similarly, a well-known and dynamic NGO named Jammu and Kashmir Voice for Peace and Justice organized a one-day seminar at the Sher Kashmir Convocation Center in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The NGO observed a ‘black day’ on 22 October at Srinagar to mark the 77th anniversary of the tribal invasion of the Kashmir Valley by Pakistan army-backed Tribal on 22 October 1947. It was this tribal raid that led to the first India-Pakistan war in 1947-48.

Pakistan lost the war against Jammu and Kashmir because it did not want the Muslim-majority state to become part of India while the people of the princely state wanted accession to a secular India. Pakistan also wanted to disrupt secular harmony so that the two-nation theory became successful.

Pakistani Army prepared for “Operation Gulmarg” which was accidentally revealed to an Indian Army officer, Major O. S. Kalkat then serving with the Bannu Brigade.

According to the plan, 20 lashkars (tribal militias), each consisting of 1,000 Pashtun tribesmen, were to be recruited from among various Pashtun tribes, and armed at the Brigade Headquarters at Bannu, Wanna, Peshawar, Kohat, Thall and Nowshera by the first week of September 1947. They were expected to reach the launching points of Abbottabad on 18 October and cross into Jammu and Kashmir on 22 October. Ten lashkars were expected to attack the Kashmir Valley through Muzaffarabad and another ten lashkars were expected to join the rebels in Poonch, Bhimber and Rawalakot with a view to advance to Jammu.

Maj Gen Akbar Khan’s book ‘Raiders in Kashmir’ leaves no doubt about how Pakistan planned and was directly involved in the tribal invasion. Akbar Khan attended a meeting chaired by Prime Minister former Liaquat Ali. Others who attended were Finance Minister Ghulam Mohd., Mian Iftikharuddin, a Muslim League leader, Zaman Kiani, Khurshid Anwar, and Shaukat Hayat. According to his book, several army and air force officers as well the Commissioner Rawalpindi were involved. Once the raiders entered Kashmir, their first stop was Muzaffarabad. After wreaking havoc in Muzaffarabad, the Pashtuns marched towards Baramulla, even though the road to Srinagar was clear. Here the Pashtuns killed innumerable men and women, looted houses and then set them on fire. Out of the 14,000 population, less than two thousand remained. Most of the populace was either killed or fled to safer places.

The invading tribal groups had no regard for anyone. They ran riot, leaving chaos, destruction and killings in their wake. They even raped nuns, who were performing their duties at St. Joseph Hospital and schools in Baramulla. Even doctors, paramedics, and nurses tending to the sick and incapacitated were not spared. They were, too, subjected to a brutal assault by the invading tribesmen.

Amongst the participants at the seminar in Srinagar was Farooq Ganderbali, President of Voice for Peace and Justice who said, “On 22 October 1947, Pakistanis sent Invaders to Jammu and Kashmir. They looted the dignity of our mothers and sisters and took away everything. People were killed. My non-Muslim brothers were killed.

Today the youth of Kashmir have come here. Today we all are together celebrating Black Day on 22 October. Its’ purpose is that we want to tell the world that Pakistan has always shed blood in Kashmir for its own purposes.”

Veeramalla Anjaiah said that Jammu and Kashmir is being rebuilt. Humanitarian assistance, crisis management, social infrastructure, development projects and economic infrastructure are being developed. The international community needs to hold Pakistan responsible for what happened in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947.

Farooq Ganderbali further said “Today the scenario has changed. Today anyone can come to visit Kashmir. People are also going to the cinema here. The youth do not have to go to other cities, they study here. All health care facilities are here.” Minhaj, a participant at the event “This is our neighbouring country which has always been making us fight in the name of religion. The effects of that attack can be seen in Kashmir till today. This is an infamous stain on the history of Kashmir. That is why we are calling it Black Day. We try to tell the coming generations what happened at that time.”

Among the dignitaries who attended the seminar were Veeramalla Anjaiah, journalist, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Sanjay Kulkarni, former Director General of Infantry, Indian Army, Utpal Kaul, International Coordinator of the Global Kashmir Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), New Delhi, Ashwani Kumar Chrangoo, writer and activist from Jammu and Kashmir, Lia Nathalia, journalist, Ali Noer Zaman, MA. Political Science lecturer at FISIP UMJ, and Debbie Affianty, M.Sc. Director of LIGS.

The tales of horror recalled from the dark days of October 1947 are a grim reminder that Pakistan continues to sponsor terrorism in J&K. India has marched ahead in J&K, while Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir has remained neglected. The people of Gilgit Baltistan are tired of the perfidy of Pakistan and want to reunite with India. Illegal occupation by Pakistan must be vacated. That is the historical and current demand.

A timeline of the tribal invasion

3 June 1947: The June Plan, also called the Mountbatten Plan, is approved in a meeting. It culminated in the Independence of India Act of 1947 which partitioned British India into independent states of India and Pakistan. The Act received royal assent in July.

15 June: Agitation in the form of a No-Tax campaign starts in Poonch, an internal principality of Kashmir state.

15 August: Killings are reported from Bagh in Poonch principality when pro-Pakistan groups try to hoist a Pakistani flag to mark independence and clash with the state police.

12 September: Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan holds a meeting with military and civilian officials where a go-ahead is reportedly given to two plans: raise a tribal force to attack Kashmir from the north and arm the rebels in Poonch.

4 October: Rebels clash with state forces at a place called Thorar, and go on to besiege state forces in Poonch.

22 October: Tribal bands attack Muzaffarabad, then move eastwards to capture Baramulla. Some of the fighters reach the outskirts of Srinagar.

24 October: Sardar Ibrahim, a pro-Pakistan landlord from Poonch principality, announces the founding of the government of Azad (free) Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) at a place called Palandri, and appoints himself as its head.

The Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta held an international seminar on the theme ‘Remembering Kashmir Carnage of October 1947’