New Delhi: India will introduce the e-migrate electronic emigration process from April to enhance transparency and make the movement of people across the border easier, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs Secretary Prem Narain has said.
"We are targeting to introduce the e-migrate project in April. It will make the emigration process much easier and enhance transparency," Narain told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the 12th annual diaspora convention - the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) - organised here by his ministry Jan 7-9.
According to the secretary, e-migrate process would provide a complete and comprehensive electronic platform linking all the stakeholders with minimum human intervention.
The e-migrate system will convert all routine processes like application submission, document verification and other approvals to the electronic mode. Information related to migrants and agents as well as data related to their country of travel and residence will be provided at one place.
Narain said the new process would significantly improve the quality of services being provided by the Indian emigration authorities.
The government has contracted Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for implementing the project.
The new process aims to establish interfaces among key stakeholders to help reduce corruption and irregular migration and help authorities easily check irregularities.
Under the new system integrated modules will be developed on key stakeholders like recruiting agents, emigration clearance, immigration control and complaint management.
Narain said the Indian government is working on several fronts to make movement of people across the borders easier.
He pointed out that the government has issued nearly 1.5 million Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards to the people of Indian origin across the world.
"These cards carry a lifetime visa. This is aimed at keeping people of Indian origin, wherever they are, connected to their motherland," he said.
"We are issuing nearly 1,000 OCI cards every day. Our target is to provide this to every eligible individual," the secretary added.
Nearly 25 million non-resident indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) live across the world. Total remittances from Indians abroad was over $70 billion last year, more than 20 percent of the country`s total exports.
Lauding the diaspora`s contribution, Narain said remittances play a very significant role in the Indian economy in terms of boosting growth and reducing the current account deficit, a major macro-economic challenge that caused upheaval in the country`s currency and stock markets last year.