By allowing overseas Indian Citizens to appear for UPSC exams, government could broaden the pool for recruitment
A recent government decision has the potential to blur the difference between public and private recruitment. All public recruitment agencies UPSC, Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), RBI, armed forces, paramilitary, public sector banks, public sector enterprises] will use the Ministry of Labor and Employment’s NCS (National Career Service) portal to disclose scores/rankings of candidates in the final stages of recruitment processes. Courtesy NIC, there will thus be an integrated information system for public recruitment agencies. This will have all the details about a candidate.
As a candidate, when I fill out an application form, I have the option of opting out of the disclosure scheme. If not, my data are there on the portal for other private and public sector agencies to use. As an applicant, I may have got through to final stages, but may not have been able to clear the last hurdle for whatever post I applied for. In that event, my data can be used by other recruiters. Take the railways. Not long ago, there was an announcement about a little more than 18,000 non-technical posts and more than nine million applied and were tested. (Sure, all 9 million don’t qualify for final stages, but that’s not relevant.) Subsequently, railways advertised for 2,54,587 non-technical posts. Within the public segment, there is a wealth of application and testing information and the private sector routinely complains about the lack of people with requisite skills. If an initiative matches excess demand in one with excess supply in the other, it can only improve the efficiency of the inter-mediating function.
Who is entitled to sit for the UPSC examination? I don’t mean academic eligibility, age, or number of attempts, but nationality. For the Indian Administrative Service (IAS ), Indian Police Service(IPS) or Indian Foreign Service (IFS), the candidate must be an Indian citizen. For other services, the candidate can be a citizen of Nepal, Bhutan, a Tibetan refugee (who migrated before January 1, 1962), or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia) or Vietnam with “the intention of permanently settling in India”.For non-Indians, the Government of India has to issue an eligibility certificate. This doesn’t necessarily have to be produced at the time of taking an examination, but must be produced before the appointment letter is issued. For public office and public appointments, all countries, India included, have a requirement that the person must be a citizen. There are several different ways to become an Indian citizen before the commencement of the Constitution, by birth, by descent, by registration (Section 5 of the Citizenship Act), by naturalization. “Intention of permanently settling in India” and the consequent “eligibility certificate” sound vague and discretionary and are often reflective of historical legacies. Public office and public appointments should have the requirement of being an Indian citizen, not only for IAS, IPS or IFS, but all services. When? At the time of taking the examination or time of is- suing the appointment letter? Since the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2006 (and preceding amendment to Citizenship Act in 2005), there is a category known as overseas Citizen of India (OCI). The former PIO (person of Indian origin) system has gone.
OCIs have several privileges multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visas, exemption from foreigner registration requirements, parity with NRIs (except in the purchase of agricultural land and plantations). Progressively, there has been more liberalization parity in inter country adoption, domestic air fares, entry fees for wildlife sanctuaries (2007), employment, parity in entry fees to national monuments and museums (2009), easier proof of residence (2012). However, OCI doesn’t mean dual citizenship, at least not from an Indian perspective (the UK has a different view).
Therefore, there are three rights OCIs don’t possess today the right to vote, right to public office and right to public appointments. But given the distinction between taking an examination and the issue of an appointment letter, why shouldn’t OCIs be allowed to take UPSC exams? Logically, it is an appealing idea. If a person is selected, an appointment letter will be issued only after the existing citizenship has been renounced in favor of Indian citizenship. This is the kind of announcement that can be made at the Pravasi Bharati ya Divas in 2018.
Note that security clearances are necessary before any public appointment is made. So security concerns are non sequitur. If PoK or CoPoK (China occupied Pakistan occupied Kashmir) residents wish to take the UPSC examination, so be it. In the process, they will learn something about India. More seriously, Pakistan is outside the ambit of OCI. on occasion, there has been lateral entry into public service at senior levels by people who were PIOs, not NRIs. They renounced their existing citizenship and became Indian citizens. But these were isolated instances, on adhoc basis.
Lateral entry increases competition and the broader the catchment area, the better. It is unlikely that a large number of OCIs will wish to take UPSC exams. Given the nature of the exam, it is unlikely that many will qualify, even if they wish to. Even then, from the competition point of view, why not broaden the base? From the appointment point of view, becoming an Indian citizen and imbibing things Indian are easier at an age of 25 than they are at an age of 55. We have done it on adhoc basis at age 55. Let’s do it more systematically at an age of 25.
– Bibek Debroy (The writer is member, Niti Aayog. Views expressed are personal)
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International), in collaboration with GOPIO Chapters of Metro DC and Virginia, held a very successful launch of its GOPIO GADAR Centennial Commemoration in the USA on Saturday, November 3, 2012 starting at 2:00 pm at the Embassy of India in Washington, DC.
Hon. Nirupama Rao, India’s Ambassador to the USA, was the Chief Guest. Three (3) other Indian Diaspora ambassadors to the United States also participated in the launch program: Hon. Ambassador Bayney Karran of Guyana; Hon. Ambassador Dr Neil Parsan of Trinidad & Tobago; and Hon. Ambassador Subash Mungra of Suriname.
The GOPIO GADAR Centennial Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Gadar Movement which began in 1913, is planned as a series of commemoration events throughout 2013 in collaboration with several NRI/PIO organizations, government and international agencies, individuals and institutions. It is a fitting tribute to patriots and heroes of the Gadar Movement and deserving of their sacrifices to free India.
The history of the Gadar movement is a testimony of the deep love that the Indian immigrants had for their mother- land, India. The Gadarites wanted India freed from the British and did not hesitate to make any sacrifices for the cause of freedom, dignity and prosperity of their motherland. Over 8,000 went back to India to fight for their cause; several Gadarites were imprisoned, many for life, and some were hanged to death. They are our heroes, deserving highest of admiration and deepest respect. The determination, courage and sacrifices of the Gadarites inspired many freedom fighters to continue their mission for India’s independence. The Gadar Movement is an integral part of the rich heritage in the United States for the Indian Americans and of Indian history. The Gadarites left an extraordinary legacy for the future generations and a global centennial commemoration is a fitting and well deserved tribute.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) on 15th October, 2012 announced details of the annual con- vention for overseas Indians, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD 2013) program which includes GADAR Centennial events at PBD2013 based on GOPIO’s initiatives to the Prime Minister’s Office and MOIA. These events include: An Oration at the plenary session, a Gadar Exhibit and Hon. Prime Minister’s speech on 8th January to make favor- able mention of Gadar.
MOIA Press Release on 15th October, 2012 stated that, “Since we are celebrating the centenary of the Gadar Movement in 2013, the PBD Oration this time will be on the Gadar Movement. We will also have an exhibition on the Gadar Movement”.
As GOPIO has done for the Kolkata Memorial unveiled on January 11, 2011 in recognition and remembrance of Indian indentured laborers who left India from 1834-1920, the Centennial Commemoration of Gadar Movement is another GOPIO initiative in our continuing efforts to preserve and promote Indian history, heritage and culture.
The launch event on November 3, 2012 included a lecture/discussion on “The Role of Gadar Movement for India’s Independence” by prominent Gadar researchers and historians, a release of the GOPIO publication on “Global Indian Diaspora”, distribution of a GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration Press VIP information kit and GOPIO Gadar Centennial lapel pin as well as showing of the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration documentary.
The launch program included a welcome by Dr Renuka Mishra (GOPIO National Coordinator USA) followed by remarks by Dr. Zafar Iqbal (President, GOPIO Metro DC) and Mr Jay Bhandari (President, GOPIO Virginia). GOPIO chairman Inder Singh delivered a compelling presentation on Role of Gadar Movement for India’s Independence; prominent Indian community advocate Dr Rajen Anand spoke on The Importance of the Gadar Movement; and Kewal Kanda of California dis- cussed The Gadar Memorial Hall.
Hon. Ambassador Nirupama Rao spoke glowingly about the launch and positively supportive of GOPIO’s initia- tive and GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration, highlighting GOPIO’s initiatives on matters of interest and concern in the Indian Diaspora. She said that “it is a privilege to cooperate with GOPIO in this auspicious venture.” Ambassador Bayney Karran, Ambassador Dr Neil Parsan and Ambassador Subash Mungra reiterated the long and lasting bonds of heritage and history between their respective countries and India, with lots of inspiration and encouragement derived from the Gadar Movement for the struggle for independence in their respective countries. Their attendance and particpation certainly enhanced the program and made it more global in outreach and appeal.
Remarked program coordinator Dr. Piyush Agrawal, “We are grateful for the overwhelming support of Hon. Ambassador Nirupama Rao as well as the close collaboration of Hon Dr. Virender K Paul, Minister of Press, Information and Culture at the Indian Embassy, to make this a highly successful program. In addition, I want to thank our organizing team for their individual and collective effort, commitment, enthusiasm and determination. We are also grateful for chapter members, friends, associates and community members who attended in large numbers. We look forward to a very successful the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration in the USA and Canada, as well as worldwide”.
GOPIO COFFEE TABLE BOOK ON GLOBAL INDIAN DIASPORA RELEASED
A Coffee Table Book “Global Indian Diaspora” was released by Hon. Ambassador Nirupama Rao and also presented to Ambassadors Karran, Parsan and Mungra. That was followed by discussion of GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration worldwide and in particular the USA by respectively Mr. Ashook Ramsaran (President of GOPIO International) and Dr Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice President of GOPIO International). Dr Renuka Mishra concluded the program with thanks and appreciation to all who contributed to its huge success. Then followed the showing of the GOPIO’s Gadar Centennial Commemoration documentary and refreshments catered by Woodlands.
MOIA AND KERALA GOVT. GETTING READY TO HOST PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and the Kerala Govt. is getting ready to host the 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) from January 7- 9, 2013 in Kochi, Kerala, India. It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on January 8. The President of India will deliver the valedictory address on January 9 and also confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards. The preconference seminars will also be organized on January 7 fol- lowed by plenary and panels sessions beginning on January 8. Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag will be the chief guest.
PBD has become a significant forum to connect the overseas Indians from all over the world and the PBD-2013 will be focusing on more connectivity with overseas Indians. Kerala will be the Partner State of the 11th PBD, which would provide the Diaspora an opportunity to understand the vibrant culture and potential of the State. More than 2000 delegates are expected to participate in PBD-2013 from all over the world.
GOPIO PREPARES FOR ANNUAL CONVENTION 2013
GOPIO International plans to hold its annual executive and general council meetings, followed by its conference starting on January 5 afternoon and concluding on January 6 immediately preceding, and in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 events of January 7-9, 2013 in Kochi, Kerala, India.
GOPIO-KOCHI GEARS UP FOR GOPIO CONVENTION
GOPIO-Kochi met on December 12 at the Presidency Hotel on the GOPIO- 2013 Convention coordination. The meeting was chaired by Chapter Mr.P.C. Cyriac who was former Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu and was attended by GOPIO 2013 Convention Chairman and GOPIO Executive VP Sunny Kulathakal, GOPIO Convention 2013 Convener T.P. Ibrahim Khan and other officers including Secretary Jose Thomas and Vice president Kurian Abraham. A special guest was former Tourism Minister and Chief Secretary of Karnataka Mr.J. Alexander. Others present at the meeting were Advocate C.V. Prakash, Jose Puthukadan ans other committee members.
The arrangements for GOPIO Kochi Convention 2013 were discussed at the meeting. GOPIO Convention Chairman Sunny Kulathakal and Convention Convener Ibrahim Khan briefed the progress of the arrangements to receive nearly 400 delegates from 60 countries for the Kochi Convention 2013.
– OE News Bureau
Kapil Dudakia was born in a fantastic part of the world – Mombasa, Kenya. During 1968 difficulties arose in East Africa that led to many Asians having to flee the country. His parents being British Citizens came to the UK in the exodus that followed and the children (three brothers and one sister) came with them to face the challenges of this new country. In fact as it turns out, on the front page of the ‘National Daily’ a leading newspaper of the time in Kenya there was a photo- graph of a family with bewildered young children with the story line – ‘what will be the future of these children?’ The photograph was of none other than Kapil and his family and in this article you will see what happened to this young man.
Kapil attended primary and secondary education in Bolton, Lancashire and thereafter went to Cardiff University (part of the Russell Group of premier universities in the UK) to study BSc Hons in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Having secured his first degree he went on to complete a PGCE and later became a school teacher. His teaching career was exceptionally successful and at the young age of only 31 years, he was appointed as a schools inspector. In 1993 he became an OFSTED inspector (renowned elite group of inspectors in the UK appointed by HM the Queen) for both primary and secondary education.
Kapil is a man who likes challenges and soon inspection and being an inspector had become monotonous. It was at this time he made a remarkable decision – to retire from that profession and embark on a new challenge. He elected to become a consultant advising businesses both in the UK as well as in India on JV’s, market penetration, strategic development and so on.
In the UK Kapil is much better known for his social service both within the Hindu (Indian) community as well as within society generally. In the past his list of achievements include: Vice President and Trustee of Milton Keynes Hindu Association, Independent Member on the Milton Keynes Standards Board, founding member and Chair of the Milton Keynes Council of Faiths, member of the Local Strategic Partnership, member of the Thames Valley Police Independent Advisory Group and member of the Equality Council. With such expertise his time was in great demand by a host of government and voluntary organisations.
He became a trustee to the Fremantle Trust (care provider with t/o of £35m). He was also one of the founding members (and their first Head of Public and Media Relations) of the Hindu Forum of Britain (a national organisation representing in excess of 400 Hindu organisations in the UK). Kapil has, by his very experience, become an adviser to many national and regional organisations in the UK. In fact recently when the RSPCA killed a cow on the grounds of a Temple (ISKCON Temple in Watford Bhakti Vedanta Manor) he led a task force to get justice from both the RSPCA (who made a public apology) and also specific guidance from the British Government on Animal Welfare Law.
As you can see, Kapil and his family might have been outside of India for generations, yet it is clear that his heart is that of an Indian. They say you can take a Gujarati out of Gujarat, but never Gujarat out of a Gujarati. People like Kapil lead the way on the international arena. Their work and dedication not only promotes the country of their residence, but it also gives great value to the country of their origin, their faith and their cultural heritage.
Kapil likes to work in the back- ground, but obviously with such a high profile that is not always possible. His wealth of experience of people, society, politics and governance meant that he is well placed to make comment and observations on most things in life. No doubt it must have been this talent that was spotted by C B Patel (owner of the leading ethnic newspaper in the UK – Asian Voice) who gave him his own column. Typical of a Gujarati his column is called, ‘Kapil’s Khichadi’ and over the past several years it has tackled, head on, some of the most controversial issues arising out of society and politics. He has a canny sixth sense and if politicians had been wise to this, they would have already adopted him as their personal adviser.
I caught up with Kapil in his recent visit to India and asked him a few questions:
OE: What brings you to India this time Kapil?
KD: I am involved with a major project to launch and promote an Indian made ‘Tablet’ (from Pantel products) with partners such as BSNL, Orange Telecom, Mauritius Telecom, Kanha Tech and Sahara Next. The consortia plans to enter the African sub-continent utilising the ‘Penta Tablet’ as a vehicle to promote value added services directly to the consumers.
OE: What type of services will this platform be offering?
KD: We are concentrating on eHealth, eEducation and eGovernance. Already some major companies with leading edge products are lining up to become partners in this massive initiative. We can work with private companies, with telecom operators and of course with local and national Governments. On my initiative, world renowned Oxford University has consented in principle to disseminate skill development courses in Asia and Africa riding on vast telecom net- works by leveraging cheap Penta tablets hence reaching out the entire population at large.
OE: They tell me that when companies come to you needing to secure orders or break into certain markets – that you have the ability to assist them with great success, can you tell me a bit more about this side of your work?
KD: Confidentiality means that I cannot of course share any specifics. However when a client approaches me with a proposition I am able to ascertain if I (and our network of partners around the world) are able to assist or not. If the answer is affirmative that means we would be able to advise and structure their proposition such that what might have taken them years to achieve can be shortened to months.
OE: How do you see developments in India?
KD: A rather tricky question. However, India with all its faults and built in difficulties still has the capacity to rise to the challenge of becoming one of the key world power houses in the coming decade. In my view states such as Gujarat have shown a way forward and if this can be replicated at the national level, can you imagine the difference it could potentially make to the lives of millions of Indians? The fate of India rests with good education, good governance, good health care and excellent infra- structure – on all of these it still has much to do.
OE: What are your plans for 2013?
KD: We have established various partnerships with leading edge technology companies and will shortly be launching an ePlatform that will take VAS offers to the masses at an afford- able price. In 2013 we aim to attract high quality service providers to come onto our ePlatform, take this not just to India, but via Mauritius to some 21 countries in Africa and even beyond. It’s going to be challenging, interesting but with great scope to work with so many wonderful people around the world.
– Kapil Dudakia
GOPIO has inducted several political leaders, academics and intellectuals from around the world in its Honor Roll for their exemplary service to India and/or for their support of NRI/PIO causes. They include former President late K.R. Narayanan, former Prime Minsiter Inder K. Gujral, the late Dr. L.M. Singhvi, former Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minsiter Basdeo Panday, Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Lord Navnit Dholakia. This year, GOPIO is pleased to induct India's top bureaucrat Mr. T.K.A. Nair.
Serving as Principal Secretary, Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Mr. Nair has the distinction of serving three Prime Ministers, Mr. I.K. Gujral, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and currently Dr. Manmohan singh. Before joining as Principal Secretary at the PMO, Mr. Nair served as Chairman of Public Enterprise Selection Board. An Indian Administrative Service officer who retired in 1997, Nair was Secretary to the then prime minister I K Gujral. Later he served as Secretary to Prime Minister Vajpayee. Mr. Nair has been providing support for many new initiatives from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs from the PMO. He has been interacting with GOPIO officials as well as other NRI/PIO groups on a regular basis.
GOPIO COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS 2011
RECOGNITION FOR SERVICES TO THE DIASPORA
Mr. Gambhir Watts (Australia)
Gambhir Watts is Executive Chairman since July 2003 for Australia Chapters of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; Commissioner, Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW and Chairman of Northern Regional Advisory Council 2006-2009; Founder patron of Priyadarshni Academy Bombay India honouring high achievers in various social, cultural and art related fields all over the world; a Director of Advocacy for Inclusion Australia (an NGO for Disability). Since its launch on 30 August 2003 Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia has undertaken a large number of activi- ties related to Indian culture and promoting multiculturalism in Australia; publish the prestigious monthly magazine Bhavan Australia since 2004 and Bhavan’s Weekly eNews since August 2008 and have established alliances with a host of NGOs and Community Organisations.
Prof. M.C. Madhavan (USA)
Professor M.C. Madhavan's contribution to civic society or- ganizations is significant. He may perhaps be remembered for a long time for founding the San Diego Indian American Society to establish Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture program with the support of his friends in 1984. Over 400 outstanding students have received this award and a very distinguished people in the world, including Dr. Jonas Salk, Pundit Ravi Shankar, Indian Ambassadors to the United States, United States Congressmen and Women, leading industrialist and Ganhiji's grandsons Raj Mohan Gandhi and Arun Gandhi, have delivered the Mahatma Gandhi memorial lecture.
The society has also funded over 20 projects in India benefiting the states of Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and various organizations in the San Diego.
Prof. Prabhat Jha, MD, D.Phil. (Canada)
Professor Prabhat Jha is a world-renowned scientist and au- thor who has worked tirelessly to improve the health and quality of life of resident Indians. He recognized that since almost all deaths in India did not have medical documentation or assigned causes of deaths, governments and individuals did not have the necessary information to plan effective healthcare initiatives in the country or for individuals to know their own risk of premature disease. He understood that millions of Indians would continue to die needlessly unless there was a revolu- tion in the way health information was col- lected. Thus, in collaboration with the
Registrar General of India, Professor Jha started the Million Death Study in 2001. Partly funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this ongoing study will quantify the causes of deaths in over 1 million homes in India from 1997-2014. Results from the study have already demonstrated that India has over 1 million deaths each year from smoking (10% of all deaths; New England Journal of Medicine, 2008), and few- er deaths from HIV than expected (British Med Journal, 2009), but many more malaria deaths than expected (about 0.2 million; Lancet 2010).
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