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Indian Government extends time limit for PIO cardholders

Indian diaspora

The Union home ministry has extended the time limit for Persons of Indian origin (PIO) cardholders to register as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) till June 30, after the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year on the union of PIO and OCI.

PIO can assure all research themselves under the new procedure of  Modi government to create a fresh database of all Indian diaspora around the world.

Government estimate confirms PIO records as around two lakhs. The MHA and MEA are waiting for all PIO to register themselves as OCI so that they can make a new database.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing thousands of Indian Americans at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2015, had promised to ease their travel to India and remove the inconsistency between India and foreign nationals for those who hold Persons of Indian Origin or PIO cards and those who have Overseas Citizenship of India or OCI cards.

The home ministry is eager to attain all PIOs on the panel by June 30. It asked all posts, foreign regional registration offices and bureau of immigration to hold the target as it continues the profit of change. The plan will provide all PIOs multiple-entry, multi-purpose life-long visa and faster immigration clearances as well.

According to earlier process, PIO cards holders was allowed visa-free travel to India for 15 years and if they stayed in the country for more than 180 days, they had to register with the police. The scheme had created uncertainty and demand for removing one scheme to get relief to the Overseas Indian Citizens.

But under the fresh rules and regulations, all the individuals holding PIO card status under OCI will be granted rights, benefits and guarantee of the OCI scheme. PIO card holders will be considered as OCI card holders, said officials adding that they have to register as OCI cardholders to complete the formalities. This will be helpful for people with Indian origin and foreigners married to Indians.(inputs from agencies)

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How advertisements in India are defying gender cliche

Ads playing an effective medium in moulding opinions of society

How Indian advertisement industry is breaking the gender stereotype

Feb 27, 2017: The most important part of advertisements is the story line and it gives a spur on the social media when the lessons from the story line are timeless. Needless to say, every time a free-spirited ad is released, it not only sparks conversations over the internet but also leaves a viral trail of debates. Just in the same way, some of the Indian advertisements did when they strove to change the mindset of people with regard to gender difference. We often tend to slur women not realizing the essence of being a woman, it takes strength and an indomitable spirit to be a woman. This article will talk about how advertisements in India are leading by example and discarding gender difference.

Let’s recall some of the advertisements that did away with gender difference.

Nike’s recent ‘Da Da Ding’ ad starring Deepika Padukone as one among other female athletes is a powerful ad which got the people talking about giving importance to female athletes as well. It showcased females of a real athletic figure which is not animated and has got nothing to do with ‘legs and butts’.

(A still from Nike’s Da Da Ding advertisement)

The ad portrayed women as fierce and passionate about sports. Once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners and then, a fitness craze emerged –and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew where to mark their next move, an applause for Nike for initiating a spellbinding effort.

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Whisper, Touch the pickle ad

(A still from Whisper Touch the pickle advertisement)

Whisper, Touch the pickle ad is another exemplary of breaking taboos surrounding women’s menstrual cycle. The whisper #Touchthepickle campaign makes an attempt to purge the baseless superstitions owing to Dos and Dont’s in menses. The ad showcases a young girl who dares to touch the pickle while she is on her periods. It conveys a sensible meaning to its viewers to break away these taboos. The ad was lauded internationally and awarded ‘Glass Lion Grand Prix’ award at Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Many advertisements over the years have sold the cosmetic product but fewer have tried to change the societal conception of beauty. Even fewer have tried to do both, Joy Cosmetic is the brand that did it in India.

(A still from Joy beauty advertisement)
The ad begins with showcasing a well renowned oversized comedian, Bharti Singh asking the viewers “What did you expect, 36-24-36?”, and shuts down body shamers who presumed it to be an ideal body size. The ad conveys effortlessly that an Ideal beauty has nothing to do with body and shape.The advertisement has a sensitive message and is meaningful to its consumers.

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While there is a lot of chaos regarding section 377 in India, Ebay India took an audacious stance through its ad titled “Things don’t judge”.

(A still from Ebay India advertisement)