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Kuwait Government will not Imprison or Penalise 24,000 Illegal Indian Workers if they report to Interior Ministry for Deportation or Transfer of Job Visas

There are around one million Indian workers in Kuwait, who contribute immensely to the development of the country

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Kuwait, December 8, 2016: In a rare gesture, the Kuwait government has stated it would not imprison or penalise over 24,000 illegal Indian workers if they report to the Interior Ministry for deportation or transfer of job visas.

“We are lenient towards Indian workers but have asked them to strictly follow the rules and regulations. The Immigration Department is ready to help them in the deportation process,” Major General Talal Ibrahim Marafie, who heads the department, told a group of Indian journalists, adding this was being done “in view of good and strong ties with India.”

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A million of them there

There are around one million Indian workers in Kuwait, who contribute immensely to the development of the country.

Major General Marafie said there were multiple reasons for the overstays. In most cases, workers leave their sponsors and work for other companies for financial benefits. There are also cases where the sponsor is abroad and when visas expire there is no one to help the workers get their travel documents legalised. Some sponsors retain the passports of workers. Such workers leave their sponsors for monetary benefits and better jobs. He said the government was keen to help illegal workers if they report to “us.”

The Immigration Department will make necessary arrangements for their deportation. The workers have to pay a small amount as a penalty, but in most cases, this has been waived. However, Maj. Gen. Marafie made it clear that if any of the workers had indulged in malpractices, they would not be spared.

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He said that 2,018 illegal Indian workers had already been helped to leave the country without any penalty.

On non-payment of dues

As for the non-payment of dues to the workers, he said the government attached great importance to this critical issue.

Senior Interior Ministry official Mohammed Ajami stated that thousands of such cases had been resolved. The Ministry also offers legal assistance to workers to fight their cases in court. The verdict has to be given within one month’s time so that the workers don’t suffer any delay. The government has also formed a committee of lawyers to help foreign workers in settling their dues.

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Changes in labour laws

Mr. Ajami said the government had proposed certain changes in the labour laws under which workers would have the right to retain their passports and travel documents. Moreover, sponsors will be made responsible to pay dues within a one-month period or face legal action.

On the drop in oil revenue, Maj. Gen. Marafie said this had not impacted on recruitment. More than 50,000 Indians have been recruited this year, he noted. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?