Kerala

Centre’s protocol to decide NoRKs’ airlifting

Foreign workers wearing protective masks queuing up to receive Iftar meals in Dubai.

Foreign workers wearing protective masks queuing up to receive Iftar meals in Dubai.   | Photo Credit: KARIM SAHIB

All those registered with NoRKA need not figure on Centre’s priority list

The proposal of the State government to airlift Non Resident Keralites (NoRKs), especially from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, will depend on the Centre’s guidelines to evacuate Indians from abroad in a phased manner from Thursday.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has drawn up a protocol based on the demand for repatriation from various countries.

Details sought

Already the GCC countries — United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain — have begun collecting details of Indians who want to come back.

As such, all those who have registered with the Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (NoRKA) will not be on the priority list being prepared by the MEA. Currently, 4.25 lakh persons have registered with NoRKA to return to Kerala. The Embassies or the Consulate Generals of India have been receiving applications from expatriates from last week.

All applicants have been asked to furnish the reason for repatriation such as facing deportation, expiry of visa, job loss, elderly, pregnant woman, and treatment for terminal illness.

Besides, the applicant should also state whether s/he had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The most deserving categories such as workers in acute distress and who lost their jobs, emergency medical cases, pregnant women, and the elderly would get first priority. The Indian missions abroad have clarified that registration does not guarantee a flight ticket to India. It is only to create a database to estimate the number of people who wish to return.

U.K.’s case

The High Commission of India in London has asked Indian citizens keen on returning to register with the High Commission on its website.

Kuwait has promised to evacuate workers and illegal migrants stranded in its territory while the UAE has agreed to assist India to airlift Indian nationals.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 8:48:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/centres-protocol-to-decide-norks-airlifting/article31505042.ece

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