Goans urged to keep fake recruitment agencies at bay

Maintaining that the biggest problem faced by Goans going abroad is unregistered/bogus recruitment agencies, the office of the Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Goa said that Goans should protect themselves from such illegal agencies.

The Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Goa, Dr Wilfred Mesquita stated that the law has already been provided with teeth to handle such agencies, with the police in Goa now allowed to take suo moto action against them.

"And the police need not even take permission from the ministry of overseas Indian affairs under the Immigration Act," he added.

"We have already given advertisements and would undertake awareness in educational institutions against going to foreign countries, especially Gulf countries without proper paperwork," Dr Mesquite said, pointing out that the job contracts needs to be attested by the respective Indian embassies.

The Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Goa also maintained that comparatively lesser number of students from Goa go to foreign countries for higher studies. "However, whoever goes abroad for educational purpose rarely comes back, as he or she subsequently develops interest in getting employed in these countries," he maintained, noting that at least 80 per cent of the total number of Goan students going abroad decide to settle there, especially as nowadays it has become easy to get the Overseas Citizenship of India, which allows all rights to the individual except running for election and voting.

Dr Mesquita also informed that the Office of the Commissioner of NRI Affairs, Goa is pursuing the matter of providing passports to those individuals, who had travelled from various former colonies of Portugal such as Angola, Mozambique and so on – termed as overseas provinces of Portugal – to Goa, before Liberation of Goa. "These people had then freely arrived in Goa, moving from one overseas province of Portugal to another, without any passport," he maintained, adding that today their parents are dead, while they have no documents, even though they are in the service of state as well as central government, and other reputed concerns.

"We have requested the Union ministry of home affairs to instruct the collectors to verify the identity of such people and give them certification as Indians," the Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Goa said, noting that all those people living in Goa before December 19, 1961 are naturalised Indians as provided for under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Dr Mesquita also expressed fear that Goa is on the abyss of a major demographic change as many Goans are leaving the state, while a number of non-Goans are settling here. "Therefore, although the topography of Goa is same, its demography is fast changing," he lamented, maintaining that facilities are being provided to Goans abroad, such as reserved seats for their children in Goan professional colleges, for attracting them back.

It was also observed that not lack of opportunities, but lack of proper direction is forcing Goans to migrate. "Goans are very choosy about their jobs and are not interested in blue or grey collared jobs, even though vocational skills are being imparted in local institutions," it was mentioned. [NT]