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MOIA merges into Ministry of External Affairs

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has been merged with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the administrative arrangements of the merger are currently underway, the Government said.

A decision was taken to merge the two Ministries to bring better synergy for realizing the objectives of bringing Indian Diaspora closer to India. Most policies, programs, schemes and initiatives of MOIA were being implemented through MEA and Indian Missions/Consulates abroad. Matters pertaining to Indian nationals abroad, their welfare and protection are also taken up by MEA and the Indian Missions abroad. MEA handling the Overseas Indian Affairs would bring in more efficiency in handling matters related to Indian Diaspora. The merger is also in accordance with the Government’s objective of maximum governance with minimum government.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs was entrusted all matters relating to overseas Indians, comprising Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), excluding matters specifically allotted to other Departments.

MOIA had been handling issues described in part (c) since 2004. However, the policies, programmes and initiatives, schemes of MOIA could not be implemented efficiently, due to MOIA’s dependence on MEA and Indian Missions abroad, and duplication in the functions of the two Ministries. MOIA was also a small Ministry which did not have the institutional mechanisms to attain the objectives that it was set up for.

One representation was received from the Government of Kerala about the decision to merge MOIA with MEA. Our response to the Kerala State Government stated that the decision to merge the two Ministries was taken to further deepen our engagement with our Diaspora, to synergize our resources and to enhance the efficiency with which we address issues pertaining to the Indian Community abroad.

The Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr VK Singh,  provided this information in reply to a question in Lok Sabha yesterday.

The report was originally published at http://bureaucracytoday.com

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean

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