India has the second largest Diaspora in the world. The overseas Indian community is estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world. Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India (Website: www.moia.gov.in) has been organizing the following programmes for the welfare of overseas Indians:
Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC)
Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) was introduced in the academic year 2006-2007 with the objective to make higher education in India accessible to the children of overseas Indians and promote India as a centre for higher studies. Under the scheme, 100 PIO/NRI students are awarded scholarship of up to US$ 5,000 per annum for undergraduate courses in Engineering, Technology, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and some other courses.
Study India Programme
The Study India Programme initiated by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is envisaged as a means of enhancing engagement with the Diaspora youth. The objective of the Scheme is to enable overseas Indian youth i.e. foreign citizens of Indian origin in the age group of 18-26 years to undergo short term courses in the nature of summer schools to familiarize them with the art & culture, heritage, history, economy and development of India.
Know India Programme (KIP)
Know India Programme of the Ministry is a three-week orientation programme for diaspora youth conducted with a view to promote awareness on different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields e.g. economic, industrial, education, Science & Technology, Communication & Information Technology, culture. These are conducted in partnership with one or two State Governments. The participants, PIOs in the age group of 18-26 years, are selected based on recommendations received from Heads of Indian Missions/Posts abroad. Selected participants are provided with full hospitality in India during the duration of the programme. 90% (ninety percent) of the total cost of air ticket (at lowest economy excursion fare) is refundable to the participants on successful completion of the programme by them.
Tracing the Roots
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs launched a scheme called “Tracing the Roots” in October 2008 to facilitate PIOs in tracing their roots in India. PIOs who intend to trace their roots in India need to apply in a prescribed Form, through the Indian Mission/Post in the country of their residence. Application Form for this purpose is available on this website. Persons of Indian origin desirous of tracing their roots in India would be required to fill up the prescribed application form and deposit it with the concerned Indian Mission/Post located in the country of their residence along with a fee of Rs.30,000 (Rupees Thirty Thousand only) in equivalent US $, Euro or any other foreign currency acceptable to the Indian Mission/Post.
Legal and Financial Assistance to Indian Women Deserted by their Overseas Indian Spouses
The objective of the scheme is to provide some financial assistance to needy women in distress who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses for obtaining counseling and legal services. The term “Overseas Indian” would include NRIs and foreign citizens of Indian origin. The counseling and legal services would be provided through credible Indian Women’s Organizations/Indian Community Associations/NGOs identified for providing such services and empaneled with the Indian Missions in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Gulf.
All Indian nationals who are holding ‘Z’ series passport booklets bearing numbers Z-003371 to Z-003636 issued by the High Commission of India, Accra, in 2007, valid up to 2017 are requested to contact the High Commission for obtaining replacement passports. The replacement passports would be issued free of charge. The High Commission of India, Accra urges all Indian nationals holding the above passports to immediately approach the following officer:
Mr. Rishi Pal
Failure to change the passport can result in serious inconvenience to the passport holder.