Schemes for Overseas Indians
1. Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)
The ‘Indian Community Welfare Fund’ (ICWF) provides contingency expenditure incurred by the Indian Missions for carrying out welfare activities for Overseas Indian Citizens who are in distress. The ICWF scheme has the following objectives:
• Boarding and lodging for distressed Overseas Indian workers in Household / domestic sectors and unskilled labourers;
• Extending emergency medical care to the Overseas Indians in need;
• Providing air passage to stranded Overseas Indians in need;
• Providing initial legal assistance to the Overseas Indians in deserving cases;
• Expenditure on incidentals and for airlifting the mortal remains to India or local cremation/burial of the deceased Overseas Indians in such cases where the sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is unable to meet the cost;
• Providing the payment of penalties in respect of Indian nationals for illegal stay in the host country where prima facie the worker is not at fault;
• Providing the payment of small fines/penalties for the release of Indian nationals in jail/detention centre;
• Providing support to local Overseas Indian Associations to establish Overseas Indian Community Centres in countries that have population of Overseas Indians exceeding 1,00,000; and
• Providing support to start and run Overseas Indian Community-based student welfare centres in Countries that have more than 20,000 Indian student’s presence.
2. Know India Programme (KIP)
Know India Programme (KIP) of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is a three-week orientation programme for Diaspora youths (between the age of 18-26 years) of Indian origin conducted in partnership with one State Government with a view to introduce India to them and promote awareness on different facets of Indian life and the progress made by the country in various fields e.g. economic, industrial, education, science & technology, communication & information technology and culture.
This programme provides a unique forum for students and young professional of Indian origin to visit India, share their views and to bond closely with contemporary India. After end of KIP, Indian Diaspora Youths become Youth Ambassadors of art, culture, heritage and positive image of India.
3. Study India Programme (SIP)
First ‘Study India Programme’ (SIP) was launched for the first time from 25.09.2012 to 23.10.2012 in Symbiosis University, Pune, Maharashtra with participation of 9 youths of Indian origin from four countries like Trinidad & Tobago, Malaysia, Fiji and South Africa. Like KIP, SIP has immense potential of connecting youth Indian Diaspora with Indiathrough the channel of educational institutions. SIP will be held twice a year for a period of 4 weeks involving maximum 40 diaspora youths in the age-group of 18-26 years.
It will enable overseas Indian youth to undergo short term course in an Indian University to familiarize them with the history, heritage, art, culture, socio-political, economic developments etc. of India.
The focus of the programme is on academic orientation and research. Cost of boarding, lodging, local transportation & course fee during the programme to be borne by GOI. 50% of the cost of air-ticket by economy class would be borne by GOI. Gratis Visas by Indian Mission are granted to the participants. SIP will be organized twice a year.
4. Scholarship Programme For Diaspora Children (SPDC)
Scheme launched by MOIA in 2006-07 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 scholarships up to US $4000/- per course per annum are offered to PIO and NRI students (50 each) for undergraduate courses in Engineering, Science, Law, Management, etc. The scheme is open to NRIs/PIOs from 40 countries with substantial Indian Diaspora population.
Under this scheme, over 468 PIO/NRI students have benefited since inception & 100 students have been selected in the current batch.
5. Overseas Indian Youth Club (OIYC)
MOIA has also launched a new scheme named ‘Overseas Indian Youth Club’ through our Missions abroad. Purpose is to keep the overseas Indian youth in touch with the developments in India & create a sense of belongingness towards their Country of origin.
In order to continue the momentum of affinity and networking of the Diaspora youth with their ancestral motherland, MOIA has supported opening of Overseas Indian Youth Club (OIYC) in CGI Durban, South Africa, HCI Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, HCI Colombo, Sri Lanka, HCI Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and HCI Port Louis, Mauritius. Similarly, opening of OIYC is making headway in CGI Melbourne, Australia and HCI Singapore.