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A summary of changes to rules and what it means to NRIs:
NRIs will no longer be permitted invest in small savings schemes like NSC and PPF. In the past they were allowed to retain their PPF account if they had opened it before becoming an NRI.
PPF and NSC currently fetch an interest rate higher than bank savings rates. Some of it is subsidized by the Government of India. (Current rate of PPF is 7.8 per cent while Post Office savings account get 4 %)
PPF accounts would be deemed to be closed prior to maturity in case the holder becomes a non-resident Indian (NRI). The investor will be then paid interest at the rate applicable to Post Office savings accounts till the date the PPF account is closed.
The Indian government notification on PPF dated October 3 states,
“Provided that if a resident who opened an account under this scheme, subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident and interest with effect from that date shall be paid at the rate applicable to the Post Office Saving Account up to the last day of the month preceding the month in which the account is actually closed.”
The finance ministry notification adds:
“Provided that if a resident Indian having purchased a certificate, subsequently becomes Non-Resident during the currency of the maturity period, the certificate shall be encashed or deemed to be encashed on the day he becomes a non-Resident, and interest shall be paid at the rate applicable to the Post Office Savings Account, from time to time, from such day and up to the last day of the month preceding the month in which it is actually encashed.”
India -native and Founder of Worldwide Education Fund (WEF), Kamal N. Daya, CLU, ChFC, of Dallas, Texas secured a USD $5,000 grant from the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation on behalf of The Worldwide Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation. This grant comes through MDRT’s Worldwide Grant Program. Through its global grants, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award nearly $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide.
Daya, a 38-year MDRT member and the 2011 recipient of the Top Quality of Life Award from the MDRT, is the co-founder of WEF along with his wife, Connie. Previously, India Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation, the organization has expanded over the last year into supporting projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and here in Dallas. The organization’s sole purpose remains to help improve the quality and scope of education for underprivileged and marginalized children in some of the poorest areas of the world. To achieve this goal, WEF focuses on five key initiatives: quality English language skills training, technology skills training, coaching and mentoring programs, empowering students to reach their maximum potential and educational and vocational scholarships. With the grant, WEF will expand its programmatic scope into three new programs, impacting over 500 kids and an additional 2000 kids in the years to come. For more information about WEF and its work, visit wef.world.
About the MDRT Foundation: The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $30 million in more than 70 countries throughout the world and in all 50 U.S. states. These funds were raised by MDRT members and industry partners. For more information, visitmdrtfoundation.org.
About The Dallas Foundation: The Dallas Foundation is the oldest community foundation in the state of Texas, and serves donors and nonprofit agencies through North Texas. The Foundation serves as a keystone – a link between donors and the community issues that the donors care about. For more information, please visit www.dallasfoundation.org.
Cutting corners while applying for naturalization is risky and the penalty for doing so is harsh and the US government is very unforgiving as Balbir Singh alias Ranjit Singh discovered.
US citizenship is a privilege that many legal immigrants aspire to. It takes a lot of persistence and effort to be granted this right by the US government. Of-course the benefits of a US citizenship are many and well documented (link USCIS). Cutting corners while applying for naturalization is risky and the penalty for doing so is harsh and the US government is very unforgiving as Balbir Singh alias Ranjit Singh discovered.
A person of Indian origin, Balbir Singh was recently convicted by US government for using fake identity to get US citizenship. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a maximum USD 250,000 possible fine, revocation of his citizenship and enforcement of his outstanding deportation order.
Here is the sequence of events as appearing in the media.
A few years ago, Mr. Singh was ordered deported but lied about it to seek citizenship.
Acting US Attorney Abe Martinez said Mr. Singh had previously attempted to obtain asylum under false pretenses.
When that asylum attempt failed, an immigration judge ordered his deportation from the United States, thus making him ineligible to ever become a naturalized US citizen.
Instead of leaving the country, Mr Singh changed his name, date of birth, the manner in which he entered the United States and his family history so that he could obtain lawful immigration status.
He later applied for Naturalization based on a marriage to a United States citizen. In his Naturalization application, Singh denied ever being ordered deported, seeking asylum or using a different identity.
After obtaining the citizenship, a fingerprint comparison established the man previously ordered deported from the United States (Balbir Singh) and the man who later became a naturalized citizen (Ranjit Singh) were one and the same.
US District Judge Ewing Werlein is scheduled to set sentencing for October 13.
“Although, the Indian Diaspora is a very heterogeneous group, there is a common factor which binds them- their desire to maintain their connection with their homeland and to contribute to the social and development efforts in India. We are seeking to strengthen and deepen our relationship through IDF-OI.” Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs & Chairperson, IDF-OI
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) under the leadership of Sushma Swaraj has set up an expert committee on Non-Resident Indian (NRI) marriages and disputes arising therein.
The Committee includes Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Jaihind along with representatives from the MEA, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Women and Child Development (WCD) and other experts.
The Committee has been mandated to identify legal and regulatory challenges faced by Indian nationals on this pertinent issue and suggest amendments in existing legislations as well as new laws and policies to better resolve the disputes concerning NRI marriages.
The Committee is slated to submit its report by August.
DCW on its part has given certain recommendations and suggestions to the Committee to combat the issues relating to NRI marriages. Further, in order to propose effective and actionable recommendations to the Committee, the Delhi Commission for Women has requested the Committee to seek certain information from MEA and MHA.
The Commission has also decided to seek suggestions from public and experts in the matter, so as to expand its knowledge base as well as learn from field experiences. The Delhi Commission for Women is contacting certain NGOs to seek their opinion in the matter.
The DCW chief has also written to NRI Commission of Punjab, Kerala and Goa to seek data about number of cases arising in their states as well as their views on the matter. Similarly, she has written to chairpersons of women commissions across the country seeking their views on the matter.
The Commission has released a special email ID email@example.com for people (especially NRIs, experts, NGOs) to share their suggestions on the issue.
The last date for submission is 23 July 2017 till 11 a.m.
Recent questions by Indian lawmakers on the topic include:
QUESTION NO.1609 INDIAN WOMEN DEFRAUDED BY NRI SPOUSES (link) – The Ministry has been receiving petitions from Indian women stating that their overseas Indian spouse has hidden the fact that he is already married or has a partner. Their petitions pertain to abandonment of the Indian woman by overseas Indian spouse either in India or in the foreign country after marriage. When the overseas Indian husband is summoned to attend court proceedings in India, Indian Missions/Posts have no means for enforcing the order abroad, except when the foreign country accepts the request for mutual legal assistance.
SoPs for NRI matrimonial disputes – The Hindu – There have been complaints of frauds, abandonment, domestic violence, extra-marital relationships, ex-parte divorce, being duped of money after promising marriage, forceful/illegal retention of children’s custody, non-maintenance of maintenance etc., from the aggrieved women, Ms.Venkataratnam who left for Delhi said. sThe Ministry of Women and Child Development realising the need, decided to frame Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) providing details of legal recourse available for such women. It would also make available details of legal recourse for such women along with the procedure for accessing the same in consultation with the Ministries of Home, External Affairs, Law and Justice and National Commission for Women.
Travel portal, TripAdvisor, polled more than 44,000 people across 25 countries during the survey conducted between January 16 and February 2. Of these, just over 32,158 were its own customers interviewed online. The others who participated in the survey were a mix of hoteliers and panellist from a market research company.
“Against the optimistic backdrop of the Indian economy, both travellers and hoteliers are expressing clear intentions that paint a positive picture for the Indian travel sector in 2015. Significantly, this optimism looks set to translate into a sharp spike in the number of Indians travelling abroad this year,” said Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor, India.
Of course, travel to foreign lands is fraught with uncertainty. Documentation and visa paperwork is just one factor to consider. However, having the right visas and travel permit is a major issue that Indians face while traveling overseas.
Take the example of the young lady from Mumbai, Khushbu Kaushal, who decided to visit and explore the East European country of Georgia (link) alone. Nothing wrong with that. Single women travelers are increasingly exploring the world alone. However, due to some paperwork issues, Ms. Kaushal was denied entry into Georgia and deported. It is unclear from her detailed facebook post what the issue was but what is appalling is her ordeal.
She begins herFacebook post with an appeal to the Georgian Ambassador to India.
Dear Mr. Archil Dzuliashvili (Georgian Ambassador to India) ,
I am a citizen of India, a single woman who earns her honest living working for an advertising agency. This year for my annual break I decided to visit your country Georgia. It rated pretty high for solo woman travellers and the general topography and the history of the country was attractive enough to seal my decision. My flight for Georgia took off from Mumbai on 29th June at 5am IST and I reached Tbilisi by 5pm Georgia time. I was carrying approved e-visa, letter from my employer stating I was on a holiday and will be joining back after my vacation, my bank statement to prove my financial stability, my hotel bookings to prove my stay in the country is legit and health and travel insurance in case anything happens to me while I am in your country.
The post went viral and was picked up my major Indian media outlets. From Indian media :
Today’s Deccan Chronicle has a color picture of the visibly pregnant and naked Serena Williams showing her bump.
Today’s Deccan Chronicle has a color picture of the visibly pregnant and naked Serena Williams showing her bump. This appears on the cover page of the newspaper that kids, their parents and grandparents are bound to ogle at!
Is this an attempt to bring ‘Global values’ to India?
With the Indian space agency achieving several milestones in recent months, PM Narendra Modi, during his current visit to the US, lauded Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for its rapid advancement in space technology.
While addressing the Indian diaspora in Washington DC on Sunday night, Modi said, “India has earned a big name in space technology. Just two days ago, Isro had launched 31 satellites in one go. A few months ago, we had broken the world record by launching 104 satellites in one go.”
The PM also spoke about Isro’s achievements in launching the country’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk III on June 5, which made India capable of launching a 4-tonne-class geosynchronous satellite. He said, “We recently launched a rocket whose weight was not counted in kilograms but was compared with the weight of many (200) elephants. Our government’s focus on technology-driven governance, technology-driven society and technology-driven development is showing desired results.”
Space is certainly in Mr. Modi’s agenda. The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar(NISAR) is scheduled to be launched in 2021 but the work has started on it at Pasadena, a suburb of Los Angeles. India has also been forging ahead with a private-public business venture called Team Indus. Team Indus, ISRO aim for January 26, 2018 to plant Tricolour on moon. Team Indus is the only Indian team in this Google-sponsored global effort.
NDTV asks “Will NASA-ISRO Mega Satellite Pass Trump Test? Scientists On Tenterhooks?”
India.com adds : “Narendra Modi-Donald Trump meeting in US: NASA-ISRO satellite at stake”
Mike Pence also admired the efforts of SikhsPAC for encouraging the community’s participation in the main stream politics.
WASHINGTON: US Vice President Mike Pence has lauded the Sikhs’ contribution, saying the community should continue to give serve in the military and public offices at local, state and federal levels in the country. Mr Pence, 58, said the community’s “issues” were close to his heart and he was aware of them.
“Sikhs Community and its issues are always close to my heart and I always admire the contribution of Sikhs in Indiana and across the United States,” Mr Pence told a Sikh delegation in Indianapolis.
“I am fully aware of Sikh awareness issues since me days as Governor,” Mr Pence told Sikhs Political Action Committee (SikhsPAC), led by Gurinder Singh Khalsa.
The main topic of discussion with the delegation was Sikh awareness and introduction of Sikh History in public history curriculum through federal department of education.
Mr Pence also admired the efforts of SikhsPAC for encouraging the community’s participation in the main stream politics, a SikhsPAC statement said.
During the meeting, Mr Pence reaffirmed his commitment to Sikh community and encouraged it to continue to give back in the form of serving in the military and public offices at local, state and federal level, it said.
Early this week, Mr Khalsa visited Washington DC and met about two dozen US Senator and Congressmen.
He also attended US Global Leadership Collision where about 500 world faith leaders, veterans and elected leaders participated to influence the American foreign aid policies.
Mr Pence was the first siting Governor who attended Sikh Parade and bestowed the highest civilian award to a Sikh in 2015.
The US state of Indiana has passed a resolution recognising Sikhs’ “significant contributions” to America.
Hate-crime incidents, however, against Sikhs have seen a spurt in in America recently. A 39-year-old Sikh man was shot in the arm outside his home in Kent, Washington in March by a partially-masked gunman who shouted “go back to your own country”.
Earlier, Indian-origin convenience store owner Harnish Patel, 43, of Lancaster in South Carolina was found dead of gunshot wounds in his yard in the same month.
India-US ties to see new dawn: Sikh leader – Indo-US ties will touch new heights under the Trump administration as the two countries are “natural partners” and have common interests amid China’s assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region, an Indian-American entrepreneur considered close to Vice-President Mike Pence has said. The Tribune