India’s new move of ‘eMigrate’ to keep track of every emigrant

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is in the process of creating an ‘eMigrate’ system as a mission-mode e-governance project to streamline the emigration process and eliminate the loopholes in the current unorganized system.

“At present, it is not possible to keep track of every emigrant. With the formation of a separate ministry in 2005, the involvement of touts has been reduced but not completely eliminated. The eMigrate system will begin in a couple of months and will be implemented in phases over three years,” said KN Shrivastava, additional secretary and financial advisor, Ministry of External Affairs.

There are 25 million Indians working in 50 countries, and over 5 million unskilled and semi-skilled people in the six Gulf countries besides a sizable number in Malaysia, followed by Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

Close to 50 employers from the above countries are participating in a two-day conference beginning here today, organized jointly by the MOIA, AP government and the Overseas Manpower Corporation of Andhra Pradesh.

Shrivastava said the recruitment of labor was mainly through recruiting agents at present, which was exploitative for workers and cumbersome for employers. The MOIA was formed to address the labor problems, and a new legislative and regulatory framework would be introduced soon.

A new Immigration Management Bill has been drafted to replace the existing Immigration Regulation Act 1983. It has also taken up skill upgradation programmes for unskilled or semi-skilled labor. The ministry is mulling bilateral understanding with all Gulf countries and Malaysia.

The passports division of the External Affairs ministry would create seven ICT-enabled passport seva kendras in the state by August, three of which are to be in Hyderabad, to curb malpractices. The MOIA has set up an Indian Workers Resource Center with a toll-free 24-hour helpline in Dubai, a similar helpline in Delhi and regional migration resource centers. A Rs 25-lakh Indian Community Welfare Fund has also been created to provide support services to emigrant labour.