Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Current Affairs

External Affairs Minister inaugurates KIP for Young Overseas Indians

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has inaugurated Know India Programme (KIP) for NRI and PIO youth with a view to provide them with an exposure to the country of their origin so that they can understand India better and more closely. External Affairs Minister has also launched a portal for the Know India Programme (KIP).

The government has also announced the openings of 149 new post office passport seva kendras in the country (POPSK). The Ministry has announced that it is taking measures to open more passport seva kendras so that a person need not travel more than 50 kilometeres to get his/her passport. POPSKs is an initiative undertaken jointly by the MEA and the Department of Post.

Know India Programme (KIP)

Know India Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs for the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) between the age group of 18 to 30 years.

The Know India Programme is a three-week orientation programme which is aimed at promoting awareness on different facets of life in India as well as the progress made by the country in fields such as economic and education.

The KIP offers a platform for the young PIOs to visit India share their views, expectations and experiences and forge closer bonds with the India of present times.

The scheme was launched in 2004 and has so far had 40 editions in which some 1,293 PIO youths have participated.

In the year 2016, the scheme was revamped to extend the number of days from 21 to 25 days including a 10-day visit to one or two states. Also from 2016, six KIPs are being organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in a year.

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Union Government merges PIO and OCI cards

Union Government has merged Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card-holders with Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card-holders.

Union Home Ministry in this regard has issued notification mentioning that all PIO card-holders henceforth are deemed to be OCI card-holders with effect from 9th January 2015.

Thus, withdrawing PIO cards with immediate an effect. Now only OCI cards facility with enhanced benefits will exist to provide maximum possible benefits to Indian Diaspora.

This notification was announced on the concluding day of 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.

Background

Earlier on January 6, 2015 Government had promulgated Ordinance to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

This amendment changed the eligibility and provided additional benefits of PIO Card holders that have been incorporated in OCI Card and certain other relaxation to OCI Card holders.

Governments this decision comes in lines with Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously made announcement in USA and Australia visits.

During this visit he had announced that PIO and OCI cards will be merged and the Indian Diaspora will be given maximum possible benefits.

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