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Indian diaspora Can Now Apply for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Card till Dec 31

The Home Ministry has decided to extend the date for submission of the application for registration as OCI card holder by the erstwhile PIO cardholders till December 31, 2017

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PIO and OCI cards
PIO and OCI cards. wikimedia
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  • The PIO card provided those foreign nationals who could establish at least a third generation tie to Indian origin with travel, work, and residential purposes in India for a 15 year period
  • Implemented in 2005, the OCI card carried more expansive benefits compared to the PIO card, and was valid for the lifetime of the holder
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in 2014 that the PIO and OCI cards would be merged and the Indian diaspora would be given maximum possible benefits

New Delhi, June 28, 2017: The last date has been extended for six months to apply for the conversion of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards to December 31 this year. The facility was available till June 30, 2017 earlier.

According to an official, “The Home Ministry has decided to extend the date for submission of the application for registration as OCI card holder by the erstwhile PIO cardholders till December 31, 2017.”

It should be mentioned that this was for the fourth time the centre has extended the date for conversion of PIO cards to OCI cards since March 31, 2016.

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In 2002, the PIO card was first implemented as a benefit to those foreign nationals who could establish at least a third generation tie to Indian origin and was valid for travel, work, and residential purposes in India for a 15 year period.

Implemented in 2005, the OCI card carried more expansive benefits compared to the PIO card, and was valid for the lifetime of the holder.

According to PTI reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in 2014 that the PIO and OCI cards would be merged and the Indian diaspora would be provided with maximum possible benefits.

Official reports have shown that the simultaneous existence of PIO and OCI cards have led to confusion among People of Indian Origin residing abroad.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)