Why in news?

Responding to India’s concerns, the United Arab Emirates has offered to fly stranded Indian nationals who want to return home in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government of UAE has decided to help all countries fly their citizens home after the completion of the necessary medical tests.


  • UAE has  reached out to all foreign governments to repatriate their nationals including testing them before they leave and if found positive to treat them here.
  • A note verbale to all embassies was sent seeking the help of all governments.
  • The repatriation offer would be available only to those citizens unaffected by the viral outbreak.
  • Kerala was worried about the safety and well-being of its diaspora in the Gulf, the Chief Minister said, seeking Central intervention.
  • New Delhi has said there are at least 25,000 Indian citizens consisting of travellers, students and stranded tourists in various parts of the globe who want to return home.
  • It is believed that a substantial number of these citizens are in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as these are two prominent aviation hubs that serve India.

Indian Diaspora report as of September 2019

  • The count of the Indian disapora has increased 10% from 15.9 million in 2015, making it the largest in the world, according to the UN’s International Migrant Stock 2019 released on September 2019.
  • It now comprises 6.4% of the total global migrant population.
  • In 1990, India was behind Russia and Afghanistan as a source of international migrants at 6.6 million with Russia sending 12.7 million abroad and Afghanistan 6.8 million.
  • In 2019, Russia fell to the fourth position behind Indian, Mexico and China with 10.5 million migrants.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the top destination of Indian migrants followed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Oman, as per the data set compiled by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division.
Machine generated alternative text:Number of Indian migrants in 2015 2 1.97 1.89 1.06 0.78 0.78 0.65 0.62 3.5 million United Arab Emirates Pakistan United States Saudi Arabia Kuwait Oman United Kingdom Qatar Canada


Focus: GS-I Indian Society

Why in news?

A ‘red army’ of wise old men and women are helping villages across some hill States in the northeast keep the novel coronavirus away.

‘Red Army’ of the Northeast

  • Gaon buras (male villager elder) and Gaon buris (female village elder) — usually referred to as GBs — “formed a shield” between the villages and the virus.
  • The village elders across the States are distinguished by their red coats provided by the government, which also pays them a stipend of ₹1,500 per month.
  • The villagers look up to the elders in times of crisis as well as happiness. They consider it their duty to ensure their safety and liaise with the government agencies for guidelines and in maintaining order.
  • During epidemics and disasters, GBs put their heads together to decide what is best for the villagers and share the responsibilities.
  • Assisting the GBs in Nagaland are the dobashi, the custodians of Naga customary laws who also wear red coats.
  • They have been salaried government employees since 1842 when the British appointed the first dobashis for interpreting Naga dialects into Assamese or Hindi.
  • Arunachal Home Minister said the importance of village veterans was evident from the inclusion of the powers of the GBs in the Constitution and they are indispensable.
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