New Delhi: Under-graduates going for jobs abroad may not require the emigration checks if a proposal of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs goes through.
The Ministry has mooted the proposal as part of its new Emigration Bill with an aim of saving lakhs of people from hassles they face while getting clearance if they have Emigration Check Required (ECR) stamp on their passports.
As per the Emigration Act 1983, Emigration Check Required (ECR) categories of Indian passport holders need to obtain "Emigration Clearance" from the office of Protector of
Emigrants (POE) for going to 18 countries.
"Why should there be two categories of people? We want to do away with the ECR norms," Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told a news agency in an interview.
As per the rules, ECR clearance is mandatory for undergraduates seeking overseas employment in these 18 countries.
Asked whether his Ministry has sought opinion of the Ministry of External Affairs on the issue, Ravi said it has also agreed with the proposal.
The countries where ECR is mandatory include United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Brunei, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon and Thailand.
Ravi said the draft of the new bill has been sent to various ministries including Law Ministry and Home Ministry for comment and once the process is completed, it will be presented to the cabinet.
Admitting that the current system of getting the ECR clearance often causes harassment to the people and at times encourages corruption, Ravi said his Ministry is also considering disbanding the office of the Protector of Emigrants (POE).
"POE office may also go," he said.
Officials in the Ministry said the draft of the new bill was prepared after a need was felt to have a progressive immigration regulation in the wake of changing global circumstances and growing incidents of Indians being exploited in absence of a more regulative legislation having strict penal provisions.
The draft bill also provides for more power to the state police to deal with unscrupulous recruiting agents who dupe those wanting to migrating to other countries.