Why in news?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has stated that more than 34 lakh Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registrations had been done but declined to divulge information relating to the number of persons whose OCI cards had been cancelled, citing non availability in a “consolidated form.”

Background

  • The Diaspora encompasses a group of people who can either trace their origins to India or who are Indian citizens living abroad, either temporarily or permanently.
  • It includes Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).
  • PIO and OCI card holders were merged under OCI category in 2015.
  • A person with OCI status is not an Indian citizen. The person does not have voting rights in India, nor can contest elections or hold any constitutional office.
  • An Overseas Citizen of India is however entitled to some benefits such as a multiple-entry, multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India.
  • They are exempted from police reporting for any length of stay in the country.
  • They are also granted all rights in parity with NRIs except, the right to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
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