Thiruvananthapurm: The Union government is planning to make pre-departure orientation programme mandatory for overseas job seekers.
“We are in the process of implementing a mandatory pre-departure orientation programme as many Indians land in trouble in foreign countries owing to unawareness of the local laws,” minister of state for external affairs V. K. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of an outreach programme of his ministry here on Wednesday.
Mr Singh also said a solution to the steep hike in airfares during peak seasons was likely soon.
“The ministry of external affairs is in discussion with the civil aviation ministry over this long pending issue. We are hopeful of finding a way out soon,” he said.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the programme, stressed the need for a mechanism to offer legal assistance to Indians as many were held up in legal issues. He also added that the state was trying to make an informal arrangement with some lawyers practising in foreign countries to extend legal assistance to Keralites facing legal issues abroad.
He urged the Centre to ensure that at least one officer who knew Malayalam posted at all foreign missions and officials showed compassion to Indians seeking grievance redressal.
Reacting to this, Mr Singh told reporters that already a 24-hour resources centre with officials capable of handling 16 different languages was working in Dubai and similar facilities would be rolled out in all Indian missions abroad.
Mr Singh said the ministry was also negotiating with many foreign countries to prescribe minimum wages for jobs in various sectors.
He said that after the recruitments were made mandatory through the eMigrate portal, the Centre was having a registry of overseas Indians.
The initial reluctance of foreign employers to eMigrate was fading out as 1.15 lakh have already registered on it. He also said Kerala was having the maximum number of overseas migrants in the healthcare sector, whereas Bihar and UP overtook the state in blue collar workers.
The one-day programme discussed various issues on migration, steps to curb illegal migration and issues of passports.
Senior officials of the ministry, NORKA and the police and representatives of recruiting agencies were present at the state outreach programme, the third after Maharashtra and Telangana.