Dyaneshwar Mulay Passport Man Of India on Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas

Prerit Chauhan / Photo & Video By Jitender Pal

Galgotias Ad

New Delhi (16/01/2019) : Every other Indian seems to have a traumatic tale about getting a passport, including Dnyaneshwar Mulay, who earned the Moniker, ‘Passport Man of India’ , for simplifying the process that used to give “sleepless nights” to applicants.

In fact, his personal experience was so daunting that it strengthened his resolve to streamline the procedure, which was once considered as insurmountable as Mt Everest.

In his current charge as Secretary (CPV&OIA), Mulay is keen that passport services within India are easily accessible to every Indian citizen and similarly the Indian visa process is made more efficient. With his vast experience in dealing with Indian diaspora, he is working for stronger and deeper engagement with the diaspora.

Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Secretary (CPV & OIA), Ministry of External Affairs, in an exclusive conversation with Ten News discussed about Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, the gamut of the work being done by his ministry, including the passport issuance process and its improvements over the years, various schemes for the Indian diaspora, and much more.


Please enlighten us with upcoming Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas and how it is going to be different from previous such occasions?

This year Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas will be very different from all the 14th editions in the past. Varanasi which is continuously oldest living city. Along with PBD people will also be a part of Kumbh at Prayagraj. Thereafter the participants will be brought to Republic Day parade, which is a experience in itself. Tent city created called Baleshwar Aggarwal Nagar for people to stay in Varanasi. There is also something called Kashi ka Athititya in Varanasi which will actually open their houses for the overseas participants who are coming to Varanasi.

Indian diaspora has been one of the forces to recon with globally and their contribution in art, culture, ligature, politics, diplomacy and corporate is second to none. How does our government plan to leverage this key resource?

Government is already trying to use their “Expertise and Experience”. Infact we are naturally looking for the finance from the Diaspora. What is important is these scientist and technocrats, technicians who have knowledge in various areas they should come to India and connect only not to only our institutions but with also people of the country. Because India have its resources on its own, what requires is a good technology, new ideas and best practices.

Globally, key political powers are using its diaspora resources as a soft power in a fast changing geo political ecosystem. Given India’s diaspora strength, what would you prescribe we as a nation should do to build on this immense resource?

I think there is need for people in our country to contact with overseas Indians more effectively to bring development in the infrastructure sector, to bring ideas in education particularly higher education, to bring creativity to business and in our industry and other areas like health, river navigation so there are any number of areas. Most importantly for me it has to become a people’s movement.

Recent World Bank Report On Development and Immigration puts Indian diaspora remittances at record USD 78 billion ahead by a long shot of China consistently over the past few years. What does this signify and how should this be more and better utilised from diaspora’s economic contribution to India?

Well this is really a effective indicator belonging to the Diaspora segment which is connected to India. We have gone ahead of China, Mexico, Philippines which use to receive huge remittances. There is a large scope not only for getting remittances but also investments. The networth of overseas Indians could be in-between few hundred billions to trillion. Now these members of Diaspora are keenly interested in investing . We need to further improve the ecosystem in our country to recive the investment and technology.

Due to your leadership work and innovation, you have been one single influence in making passport related services a lot more easier earning epithet of ‘passport man of India’. What are next few measures that you intend to advise should be incorporated to take passport services to people’s door step?

Well today we are aiming in a very ambitious manner to reach every Lok Sabha constituency as fast as possible. In this process alone in last two years 272 new passport Centres have been created in the country, this is an addition to 77 which we have established till 2014.so this is an remarkable level in terms of access. What is important is also the police verification becomes faster, efficient and more transparent because that is one area we are lacking.

Indian diaspora seems to have reported difficulties over the years when they move out and need local support in their own state in India including issues related to their families and protection of their properties and it is rued that they do not have much of the handholding by local agencies? What is your advice on correcting this situation?

This situation can be corrected provided people know the important role played by the overseas Indians. The Ministry of External Affairs is trying to engage the states in a variety of manner for example, we have something called videsh sampark program where by our officers go to the state, meet the political leaders, meet the bureaucracy, meet the NGOs, meet the media and explain to them, how it is important to have a proper contact and connectivity to Indian diaspora.

What are the key challenges according to you of Indian diaspora and what could be possible prescriptions?

Key challenges is that we need to create,ease of business so every overseas Indian who comes to India feels like completely at home. Remember when he is abroad he is use to certain comfort material, systematic comfort, we should be able to give that in our country. Once we do that we get expertise, we get investment, until and unless we don’t give that feeling to overseas Indian he is unlikely come here in a big way.

At the same time, there are obvious opportunities that diaspora presents to the government, how can this part be converted to our nation’s advantage?

Diaspora have many advantages, they are very powerful in their countries, they are highly educated, they are very well off economically also. So in that country Diaspora acts and is already acting India’s soft power. Whether it is Bollywood, whether is music, whether it is Indian food now all these things are very very popular abroad.

Government has been doing a lot to solve many diaspora issues and MEA has played a key role in it and your leadership has been key in it. In order to carry out other outstanding issues related to Indian diaspora, how do you plan to involve non- profit and voluntary organisations to supplement and compliment role of the government in respect of resolving diaspora issues, specially at the state level?

We have so far not very actively involved the NGOs, the Media and the general public in the conversations regarding Diaspora,the more we do the better is for us. MEA has started doing this through Public Diplomacy by holding the conferences and holding the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, going to states and engaging the state governments but this needs to be further picked up.

How do you see the role and relevance of Diaspora India Media and Communication ( DIMC), going forward and what would be your advice to the Organisation, going forward?

I would say that in entire process in strengthening the connectivity with overseas Indians communication can play a important role. For example current we have 31 million overseas Indians living in more than 120 countries. These people who live in a particular country they live in there own silos. They have connectivity with india but they don’t have connectivity among themselves. For example people of Indian origin living in USA have no contact with people of Indian origin living in Singapore. What is important that all theses communities living abroad need to connect themselves and India.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.