THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Centre has assured Kerala that it will take necessary steps within a week on the state’s demand that the strict norms, relating to recruitment of nurses abroad, should be relaxed.
This was stated by Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka) Minister K C Joseph at a news conference here on Monday. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Joseph and the Norka Secretary had raised the issue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a meeting recently. “The Centre has assured us that necessary steps will be taken within a week,” Joseph said.
Prior to the introduction of the norm that emigration clearance was mandatory for 18 countries, the state used to get inquiries for up to 1,000 nursing vacancies. However, for the past seven months since the new emigration rule came into effect, the state had received only 873 nursing job inquiries in total, Joseph said.
He added that overseas recruiters were preferring countries such as Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh due to the strict norms put in place by the Central Government.
“We are losing a lot of (job) opportunities. In such a scenario, we (state government) have told the Centre that there should be a re-look into the existing emigration rules,” Joseph said.
The Norka Minister said that as per the new rules, overseas recruiters should route all job inquiries through the Indian embassies in their respective countries. Since the cumbersome process was turning away recruiters, the state government had asked the Centre to permit recruiters to directly contact Norka or the Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultant (ODEPC) - the two authorised agencies in the state.
Joseph said that the decision to make the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry a sub-division of the Ministry of External Affairs and the decision to do away with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was an insult to Non-Resident Indians.
Ghulam Ali Concert
The government would extend ‘all necessary co-operation’ to the scheduled concert of Pakistani musician Ghulam Ali in the capital, Joseph said. Asked about the protests planned by the Shiv Sena, Joseph said that the state government would not budge to threats from the party.
Pinarayi Statement Flayed
CPM politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement that the development of the state had gone backwards by 25 years was an ‘open confession,’ Joseph said, adding that it was good that the Marxist party finally woke up to reality.
“For all the gains and losses of the state, both the UDF and LDF which ruled the state are equally responsible,” he said. He accused the CPM, which once opposed the introduction of computers and tractors, of pursuing an “anti-development” stand.. The minister also added that the CPM tried to create roadblocks in projects such as Kannur airport and Kochi Metro.
Joseph alleged that the recommendations of the Fourth International Congress on Kerala Studies, organised by the AKG Centre for Study and Research, was a mere repetition of UDF’s Vision 2030 and also its election manifesto.