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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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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)