Prime Minister announces Lifetime Visas for PIOs, Visa on Arrival for US visitors

In his speech addressing Indian-Americans at Madison Square Garden, PM Modi announced lifetime visas for PIOs (Persons of Indian origin). In additional reforms, he said that PIO card holders staying for a long term will not have to report at the local police station and that eventually, PIO and OCI schemes will be merged and the process streamlined in order to facilitate easy travel for the card holders.

As far as US citizens are concerned, he announced a visa on arrival scheme for them. He also mentioned that the government was looking into granting long term visas for US citizens visiting India as tourists.

Key Points: PM Modi’s address to UN General Assembly

PM Modi’s first speech before the UNGA has been commended by his supporters and critics alike. He touched upon various topics concerning India and the world in his address, which was delivered in Hindi. The speech which lasted a little more than thirty minutes was read from a prepared text, and some parts were extempore too. Some of the points he made in his speech are as follows:-

  • The PM asserted that India’s future was tied with that of its neighbors. Citing instances of his government’s attempts to reach out to different neighbors, he also made it clear that no stable relationship could be built under the shadow of terrorism
  • Condemning terrorism and rising extremism in various parts of the world, he insisted that all nations of the world would have to function in unison to deal with such a menace. He also called for genuine dialogue and engagement between countries
  • In a rebuke to Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s reference to Kashmir in his speech, the PM said that it was pointless to raise bilateral issues in international forums like the UN
  • He also stated that it was now up to Pakistan to establish an atmosphere that was conducive to resuming talks
  • Rejecting unilateralism, he said that countries would have to work together to resolve the issues before them. Drawing on India’s ancient history and wisdom, he stated that India viewed the world as one. Even though India is a developing nation it is ready to share its modest resources with the world, he stated. He also questioned the necessity of various grouping of nations like G8 etc when a multilateral body like the UN existed.
  • He also called for reforms to the UNSC
  • He highlighted issues faced by nations and it people due to globalization and climate chang
  • He said that democratic principles and unity were on an upsurge in various parts of the world, highlighting Afghanistan and Nepal as examples. He also mentioned that the world was experiencing increasing levels of prosperity and stability, especially in Latin America
  • The PM drew on India’s soft power across the globe by making references to yoga and calling for celebration of International Yoga Day