21 January, 2021

Two-Way Street

The wooing of the diaspora could have unexpected fallouts

Two-Way Street

IT'S  India's answer to the American green card—a bold attempt, swathed in emotional terms, aimed at tapping the limitless resources and talent of an as-yet-vaguely-defined 'Indian' genepool. But leave the nitty gritty aside. The sugarcoating is such that, non-resident Indians (NRIs)—the intended target—have by and large applauded the government's decision to issue the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card, and to consider dual citizenship.

Essentially, in one fell stroke, potential cardholders have been granted all the rights in India that Indians have. The advantages, like visa-free visits to the estranged 'homeland', are clear but some ticklish issues remain: nobody is quite certain who will get the cards, or when this new seamless highway will help them get down to serious business.

"The card will mean selective dual nationality," says London-based immigration advisor Jayesh Patel. But most NRIs, elated at the possibility of erasing the 'guilt' factor, feel that the Indian government's move is a logical...



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