Consul General at the Scholar Badge Ceremony of Delhi Private School, Dubai on June 10, 2014

Consul General, Mr. Anurag Bhushan calling on H.H. Sheikih Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Mnister of Finance on April 23, 2014

Consul General, Mr. Anurag Bhushan calling on H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al-Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman on February 11, 2014

Consul General inaugurating the Samarpan Concert at the Consulate Auditorium on June 13, 2014

Presentation of credentials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dubai on January 7, 2014

Consulate will remain closed on Monday, July 28, 2014 on account of Eid-Al Fitr

Consulate will remain closed on Monday, July 28, 2014 on account of Eid-Al Fitr

Passport Seva Divas

 

Security situation in Iraq

  1. The Government of India is deeply concerned with deteriorating security situation in Iraq, resulting out of recent attacks and taking over of some cities, including of Mosul and Tikrit by terrorist outfits since 8 June 2014, which is a direct threat to the security and territorial integrity of Iraq. The Government of India strongly condemns such attacks and firmly stands by the Government and the people of Iraq in their fight against international terrorism and in their efforts to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the friendly country of Iraq.
  2. India remains strongly committed to the emergence of a stable, peaceful, united and democratic Iraq, which is in the interest of regional and global peace and security.
  3. The safety and security of the Indian nationals currently in Iraq remains a matter of serious concern for the Government of India. An advisory has been issued on 15 June, 2014 giving the details of a 24 hour helpline set up by the Indian Embassy in Baghdad for assistance of Indian nationals there.

New Delhi
June 16, 2014

Travel Advisory for Indian nationals in Iraq

In view of the precarious security situation prevailing in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all travel to Iraq, until further notification.

Indian nationals in Iraq may consider leaving the country by commercial means if it is safe to do so. Our nationals living in areas affected by the ongoing armed conflict are advised to stay indoors as far as possible and are advised to remain in contact with our Embassy in Baghdad for necessary advice and updated information on the evolving security situation. Those nationals who do not have travel documents or need other consular services are advised to seek assistance from the Indian Embassy in Baghdad.

The Indian Embassy in Baghdad has set up a 24 hour helpline which can be accessed for information or assistance as per contact details given below:

Tel. No. +964 770 444 4899+964 770 444 4899 (Mobile)

Tel No. +964 770 484 3247+964 770 484 3247 (Mobile)

Email: amb.baghdad@mea.gov.in

hoc.baghdad@mea.gov.in

cons.baghdad@mea.gov.in

edubaghdad@yahoo.com

Website: www.indianembassybaghdad.in

Swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minsiter & Union Council of Ministers

Live streaming of swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister of India and the Union Council of Ministers will be available on May 26, 2014 (Monday) from 1730 hrs IST onwards on Ministry of External Affair’s YouTube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/MEAIndia and Ministry of External Affairs website www.mea.gov.in

View the latest tenders

Tender for Computers

Download Last date: 10.06.2014

Tender for UPS for servers

Download Last date: 07.05.2014

Tender for X Ray Machine

Download Last date: 08.05.2014

Tender for CC TVs

Download Last date: 08.05.2014

 

Know India Programme 2014-2015

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is planning to conduct the 28th and 29th editions of the ‘Know India Programme (KIP),’ for the year 2014-15. Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are the partner states for these two editions. The KIP is a 3-week orientation programme for diaspora youth conducted with a view to promote awareness on different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields e.g. economic, industrial, education, Science & Technology, Communication & Information Technology, culture.

The content of the programme broadly includes the following:

a. Presentations on the country, political process, developments in various sectors,
b. Interaction with faculty and students at a prestigious University/College/Institute,
c. Presentation on the industrial development and visits to some Industries,
d. Visit to a village to better understand the typical village life,
e. Exposure to Indian media,
f. Interaction with NGOs and organizations dealing with women affairs,
g. Visit to places of historical importance/Monuments,
h. Taking part in Cultural programmes,
i. Exposure to yoga,
j. Call on high dignitaries, which may include President of India, Chief Election Commissioner of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and Ministers in-charge of Overseas Indian Affairs, Youth Affairs and Sports.

It may be noted that KIP is open only to People of Indian Origin (PIO) from all over the world, in the age-group of 18-26. The Applicant shall either be a graduate or a student of graduation. The Applicant shall be able to converse in English, either studied English in High School or had English as a medium of instruction in an undergraduate course. Participants of previous KIPs or Internship Programme for Diaspora Youth of the MOIA would not be considered.

The application form for KIP is available in the MOIA website link http://moia.gov.in/writereaddata/pdf/Application_Form.pdf. Duly filled application form with a passport size photograph and a medical fitness certificate may be deposited at the Indian Diplomatic Mission/ Consular post that covers the area of residence of the applicant. The participants would be selected based on the recommendations received from Heads of Indian Missions/Posts abroad.

List of selected participants will be communicated a month before the commencement of the programme. The selected participants would be offered full hospitality in India during the programme but they are required to purchase air ticket for their journey from the country of residence and back, as per the schedule prescribed by the Ministry. The concerned Indian Mission / Post would reimburse 90% of the total cost of air ticket (at lowest economy excursion fare), to the participants on successful completion of the programme. They will also be granted a Gratis visa by Indian Missions/ Posts. Each Participant should have medical insurance before the visa is granted to them.

If participants are found guilty of misconduct or indiscipline, they may be asked to leave the programme. Such participants and those who leave the programme on their own would have to meet the entire cost of their air travel.

Tentative dates for the  29th KIP are 29th August -18th September, 2014.

The last date for receipt of nominations in MOIA for the 29th KIP will be 10th July 2014 .

Soft copy of the filled-in applications may be sent to:

Mr. M. K Pandey
Under Secretary (DS),
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs,
Diaspora Services Division
Akbar Bhavan, Chankyapuri,
New Delhi, 110011
Email: usds2@moia.nic.in
Tel: (011)24197926
Fax: (011) 24197942

The application form in original may be subsequently sent to the same address by diplomatic bag/Speed post.

Details of the KIP are also are available on the link: http://moia.gov.in/services.aspx?id1=42&id=m4&idp=42&mainid=23

Invitation for Global Expression of Interest (EOI) on consultancy for ‘Parcel Network Optimization Project’, Department of Posts, Government of India

Department of Posts, Government of India invited a global Expression of Interest (EOI) on consultancy for its ‘Parcel Network Optimization Project’. Details of the project are available on the Central Public Procurement Portal of the Government of India, i.e., https://eprocure.gov.in/eprocure/app.

The tender id for the same is 2014_DOP_5370_1. The last date for submission of EOI applications is 7th March 2014

Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has introduced a Pension and Life Insurance fund scheme called Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY) for the Overseas Indian workers having Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports.

The objective of MGPSY is to encourage and enable the overseas Indian workers by giving government contribution to:

  • Save for their Return and Resettlement (R&R)
  • Save for their old age,
  • Obtain a Life Insurance cover against natural death during the period of coverage.

The government contribution available under the MGPSY is for a period of five years or till the return of subscribed worker back to India, whichever is earlier.

The main attractions of MGPSY are:

  • Government contribution of Rs.1,000 per annum in line with Swavalamban platform for all MGPSY subscriber who save between Rs.1,000 and Rs.12,000 per year in NPS-Lite.
  • An additional government contribution of Rs.1,000 per annum by MOIA for the overseas Indian women workers who save between Rs.1,000 to Rs.12,000 per year in NPS-Lite.
  • A special government contribution of Rs.900 by MOIA towards Return and Resettlement (R&R) of the overseas Indian workers who save Rs.4,000 or more per annum.

Click here for Application Form

Notification to Online Visa Applicants

It has come to this mission’s notice that a website with the heading of Online Indian Visa Application Form and with URL address https://india-visa.co/index.php is available on internet. This website claims to have expertise in Indian tourist, business and long term entry visa. The website instructions ask users to pay service fee of 55 Pounds or 90 US Dollar or in equivalent Euros/Indian Rupees. This website is only charging service fees and is asking applicants to pay visa fee later when applying at the visa center. This mission has been informed that a few applicants have turned at difference BLS International centers after filling up the online visa application on this website and having made the payment for service fee. It seems that some unscrupulous elements are creating a website similar to the Online Visa Application website of Govt. of India and are deceiving people to pay service fee. The original authentic website for online visa application has URL address Click here Applicants are advised not to make any online payments for any visa service.

Dignitaries at the Republic Day Reception on January 26, 2014

H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment & Water for UAE along with Consul General H.E. Anurag Bhushan and Mrs. Neeta Bhushan at the Republic Day Reception

Cultural programme by children of Indian High School Dubai on Republic Day 2014

H.E. Shri Anurag Bhushan hoisting the national flag at the Indian school Dubai on the occasion of Republic Day

President’s Address To The Nation On The Eve Of Republic Day 2014

My Fellow Citizens:

On the eve of 65th Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to all of you in India and abroad. I convey my special greetings to members of our Armed Forces, Paramilitary Forces and Internal Security Forces.

2. The Republic Day commands the respect of every Indian. On this day, sixty four years ago, in a remarkable display of idealism and courage, we the people of India gave to ourselves a sovereign democratic republic to secure all its citizens justice, liberty and equality. We undertook to promote among all citizens fraternity, the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation. These ideals became the lodestar of the modern Indian State. Democracy became our most precious guide towards peace and regeneration from the swamp of poverty created by centuries of colonial rule. From within the spacious provisions of our Constitution, India has grown into a beautiful, vibrant, and sometimes noisy democracy. For us, the democracy is not a gift, but the fundamental right of every citizen; for those in power democracy is a sacred trust. Those who violate this trust commit sacrilege against the nation.

3. Some cynics may scoff at our commitment to democracy but our democracy has never been betrayed by the people; its fault-lines, where they exist, are the handiwork of those who have made power a gateway to greed. We do feel angry, and rightly so, when we see democratic institutions being weakened by complacency and incompetence. If we hear sometimes an anthem of despair from the street, it is because people feel that a sacred trust is being violated.

Fellow Citizens:
4. Corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy, and weakens the foundations of our state. If Indians are enraged, it is because they are witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments.

5. Equally dangerous is the rise of hypocrisy in public life. Elections do not give any person the licence to flirt with illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible. Government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance. False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power.

6. This rage will abate only when governments deliver what they were elected to deliver: social and economic progress, not at a snail’s pace, but with the speed of a racehorse. The aspirational young Indian will not forgive a betrayal of her future. Those in office must eliminate the trust deficit between them and the people. Those in politics should understand that every election comes with a warning sign: perform, or perish.

7. I am not a cynic because I know that democracy has this marvellous ability to self-correct. It is the physician that heals itself, and 2014 must become a year of healing after the fractured and contentious politics of the last few years.

My Fellow Citizens:
8. The last decade witnessed the emergence of India as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The slowdown of our economy in the last two years can be some cause for concern but none for despair. The green shoots of revival are already visible. The agricultural growth in the first half of this year has touched 3.6 per cent and rural economy is buoyant.

9. 2014 is a precipice moment in our history. We must re-discover that sense of national purpose and patriotism, which lifts the nation above and across the abyss; and back on to the road of prosperity. Give the young jobs and they will raise the villages and cities to 21st century standards. Give them a chance and you will marvel at the India they can create.

10. This chance will not come if India does not get a stable government. This year, we will witness the 16th General Election to our Lok Sabha. A fractured government, hostage to whimsical opportunists, is always an unhappy eventuality. In 2014, it could be catastrophic. Each one of us is a voter; each one of us has a deep responsibility; we cannot let India down. It is time for introspection and action.

11. India is not just a geography: it is also a history of ideas,
philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation,
and experience. The promise of India has sometimes been mislaid by misfortune; at other times by our own complacence and weakness. Destiny has given us another opportunity to recover what we have lost; we will have no one to blame but ourselves if we falter.

Fellow Citizens:
12. A democratic nation is always involved in argument with itself. This is welcome, for we solve problems through discussion and consent, not force. But healthy differences of opinion must not lead to an unhealthy strife within our polity. Passions are rising over whether we should have smaller states to extend equitable development to all parts of a state. A debate is legitimate but it should conform to democratic norms. The politics of divide and rule has extracted a heavy price on our subcontinent. If we do not work together, nothing ever will work.

13. India must find its own solutions to its problems. We must be open to all knowledge; to do otherwise would be to condemn our nation to the misery of a stagnant mire. But we should not indulge in the easy option of mindless imitation, for that can lead us to a garden of weeds. India has the intellectual prowess, the human resource and financial capital to shape a glorious future. We possess a dynamic civil society with an innovative mindset. Our people, whether in villages or cities, share a vibrant, unique consciousness and culture. Our finest assets are human.

Fellow Citizens:
14. Education has been an inseparable part of the Indian experience. I am not talking only of the ancient institutions of excellence like Takshashila or Nalanda, but of an age as recent as the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, our higher educational infrastructure consists of over 650 universities and 33,000 colleges. The quality of education has to be the focus of our attention now. We can be world leaders in education, if only we discover the will and leadership to take us to that pinnacle. Education is no longer just the privilege of the elite, but a universal right. It is the seed of a nation’s destiny. We must usher in an education revolution that becomes a launching pad for the national resurgence.

15. I am being neither immodest, nor beating a false drum, when I claim that India can become an example to the world. Because, the human mind flourishes best when it is, as the great sage Rabindranath Tagore said, free from fear; when it has the liberty to roam into spheres unknown; in search of wisdom; and when the people have the fundamental right to propose as well as oppose.

My Fellow Citizens:
16. There will be a new government before I speak to you again on the eve of our Independence Day. Who wins the coming election is less important than the fact that whosoever wins must have an undiluted commitment to stability, honesty, and the development of India. Our problems will not disappear overnight. We live in a turbulent part of the world where factors of instability have grown in the recent past. Communal forces and terrorists will still seek to destabilize the harmony of our people and the integrity of our state but they will never win. Our security and armed forces, backed by the steel of popular support, have proved that they can crush an enemy within; with as much felicity as they guard our frontiers. Mavericks who question the integrity of our armed services are irresponsible and should find no place in public life.

17. India’s true strength lies in her Republic; in the courage of her commitment, the sagacity of her Constitution, and the patriotism of her people. 1950 saw the birth of our Republic. I am sure that 2014 will be the year of resurgence.

Jai Hind!

Notification for all non-Machine Readable Passport holders

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November 2015 for globally phasing out all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). From 25th November 2015 onwards, foreign Governments may deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP passport.

2. All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by Government of India are considered non-MRP passports. All 20year validity passports will also fall in this category. The Government started issuing MRP passports since 2001. All new Indian passports are ICAO-complaint MRP passports.

3. Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding handwritten passports as well as 20-year passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015, should, therefore, apply for re-issue of passports and obtain MRP passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining foreign visa or immigration problem.

4. For more details related to passport services, Passport website (www.passportindia.gov.in) or the National Call Centre (toll free number 1800-258-1800) may be accessed.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas – 2014

The 12th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) with the theme “Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations” is scheduled to be held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi from 7-9 January, 2014. It is hosted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
The objectives for PBD – 2014 are as listed below:

• To strengthen Diaspora’s engagement with India’s growth story and provide an invigorating platform to network and exchange views and perspectives

• To enhance linkages and synergies for Diaspora across the spectrum: economic, social and cultural

• To foster Diaspora innovations and strides in science and technology

• To deepen engagement with young Diaspora and facilitate new perspectives

• To recognize Diaspora’s contribution to the Indian growth and development

The program schedule and registration details are available at Click here

Blood Donation Camp organised by the Consulate & IBPC Dubai on November 22, 2013

Blood Donation Camp organised by the Consulate & IBPC Dubai on November 22, 2013

Holiday Announcement

Consulate General of India, Dubai will remain closed on November 3, 2013 on account of Diwali. IVS Global will also remain closed on November 3, 2013. BLS International will remain closed on November 2, 2013 and resume work on November 3, 2013.

Know India Programme 2013-2014

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is planning to conduct the 26th edition of the ‘Know India Programme (KIP),’ for the year 2013-14. Orissa is the partner state for this edition. The KIP is a 3 week orientation programme for diaspora youth to promote awareness on different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields. The programme broadly includes the following:
• Call on high dignitaries, which may include President of India, Chief Election Commissioner of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Ministers in-charge of Overseas Indian Affairs, Youth Affairs and Sports.
• Presentations on the country, political process, developments in various sectors.
• Interaction with faculty and students at a prestigious University/College/Institute.
• Presentation on the industrial development and visits to some industries.
• Interaction with NGOs and organizations dealing with women affairs.
• Visit to a village to better understand a typical village life.
• Visit to places of historical importance/monuments.
• Taking part in Cultural programmes.
• Exposure to Indian media.
• Exposure to yoga.
Tentative dates of the programme is given below:
KIP Edition Tentative Dates Partner State Last date for receipt of nominations in MOIA
26th KIP December 23, 2013-January 12, 2014 Orissa October 30, 2013

The following may be noted in this regard:
i. This programme is open only for diaspora youth in the age group of 18-26. NRIs are not eligible to apply for this programme.
ii. It is open to PIOs from all over the world.
iii. Only those nominations may be forwarded to the Ministry which are in accordance with the prescribed guidelines.
iv. Nominations are required to be duly recommended by Head of Mission/Head of Post at the given column in the application form.
v. Nominations may be sent by e-mail or fax by the prescribed last date and the originals could be followed by bag/post. Nominations received in the Ministry after the prescribed last date would not be considered.
vi. List of applicants who have been selected for a particular Know India Programme would be communicated at least a month before its commencement.
vii. Selected participants would be required to purchase air ticket for their journey from the country of residence to India and back, as per the schedule prescribed by the Ministry. Concerned Indian Missions/Post would reimburse 90% (ninety percent) of the total cost of air ticket (at lowest economy excursion fare) to the participants on successful completion of the programme by them. They will also be granted a Gratis visa by Indian Missions/ Posts. Each Participant should have medical insurance before the visa is granted to them. If participants are found guilty of misconduct or indiscipline, they may be asked to leave the programme. Such participants and those who leave the programme on their own would have to meet the entire cost of their air travel.
The application form for KIP is available on the MOIA website link http://www.moia.gov.in/writereaddata/pdf/Application_Form_KIP_new.pdf. Duly filled application form with a passport size photograph and a medical fitness certificate may be deposited at the Indian Diplomatic Mission/ Consular post that covers the area of residence of the applicant. Participants would be selected based on the recommendations received from Heads of Indian Missions/Posts abroad. Applications for KIPs may be sent to:
Under Secretary (DS-1),
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs,
Akbar Bhavan,
New Delhi, 110011
Email: usds2@moia.nic.in
Fax: (011) 24197926/27
The application form in original may be subsequently posted to the same address.
Details of the KIP are also available on the link: http://www.moia.gov.in/services.aspx?id1=42&id=m4&idp=42&mainid=23

Helpline numbers

Renovation work at the Consulate may temporarily disrupt our helpline numbers listed on the Consulate website for couple of weeks.

Enquiries on passport, visa, labour and consular issues may kindly be forwarded to us by email addresses listed below:

Passport Section: consulpassport@cgidubai.com, vcppt@cgidubai.com
Visa Section: consulvisa@cgidubai.com, vcvisa@cgidubai.com
Labour Section: consullabour@cgidubai.com, vclabour@cgidubai.com
Consular/Marriages: consulcons@cgidubai.com, vccons@cgidubai.com

Notification from the Election Commission of India

India Trade Promotion Organisation’s Calendar of Events 2013-14

Change in timings of Attestation Services

The attestation services of the Consulate General of India, Dubai at IVS Global Services Private Limited located at the Business Atrium, No. 201 – 202, 2nd Floor, Oud Mehta, Dubai has revised their timings from 8 AM to 3 PM from Sunday to Thursday.

‘2nd Study India’ Programme

The Study India Programme initiated by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is envisaged as a means of enhancing engagement with the Diaspora youth. The objective of the Scheme is to enable overseas Indian youth i.e. foreign citizens of Indian origin in the age group of 18-26 years to undergo short term courses of 4 weeks to familiarize them with the art, culture, heritage, history and social and economic development of India. The Programme will be organized in partnership with Symbiosis centre for International Education(SCIE), Pune. Such short term courses shall aim at providing an opportunity to the overseas Indian youth to better understand and appreciate contemporary India, foster closer ties with the land of their ancestors and enhance their engagement with India.

2. The following may be noted in this regard:

(i) This programme is open only for Diaspora youth in the age group of 18-26 years. NRIs are not eligible to apply for this programme.
(ii) It is open to PIOs from all over the world.
(iii) Only those nominations may be forwarded to this Ministry which are in accordance with the prescribed guidelines. Applications for the SIP are to be sent to Under Secretary (DS ), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Akbar Bhawan, New Delhi – 110011; e-mail: usds2@moia.nic.in; fax: (011) 24197942. The application form in original may be subsequently sent by diplomatic bag to Under Secretary (DS).
(iv)Nominations are required to be duly recommended by Head of Mission/Head of Post at the given column in the application form.
(v) Nominations may be sent by e-mail or fax by the prescribed last date and the originals could be followed by bag/post. Nominations received in the Ministry after the prescribed last date would not be considered.
(vi)List of applicants who have been selected for the SIP would be communicated at the earliest before its commencement.
(vii) Selected participants would be required to purchase air ticket for their journey from the country of residence to India and back, as per the schedule prescribed by the Ministry. Concerned Indian Mission/Post would reimburse 90% of the total cost of air ticket (at lowest economy excursion fare) to the participants on successful completion of the programme by them.

3. Guidelines and Application form for the programme are available at the link

http://moia.gov.in/services.aspx?ID1=423&id=m5&idp=386&mainid=23

The tentative dates for the Study India Programme 2012-13 are 23rd September- 19th October, 2013 and the last date for receipt of nomination in MOIA is August 31, 2013.

HON’BLE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE EVE OF INDIA’S 67TH INDEPENDENCE DAY

On August 14, 2013

Fellow citizens:
1. On the eve of the 66th anniversary of our Independence, I extend warm greetings to you and to all Indians around the world.

2. My thoughts turn first towards the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who shaped our liberation struggle and the martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the freedom of our country and great patriots whose relentless struggle liberated our motherland from the colonial rule of nearly two hundred years. Gandhiji sought freedom from both foreign rule as well as the indigenous social chains that had imprisoned our society for long. He launched every Indian on a path of self-belief and hope for a better future. Gandhiji promised Swaraj- self-rule based on tolerance and self-restraint. He promised freedom from want and deprivation. For nearly seven decades now we have been masters of our destiny. This is then the moment to ask: are we heading in the right direction? Gandhiji’s vision cannot be turned into reality if we spurn the very values that were compulsory to his cause: sincerity of effort, honesty of purpose and sacrifice for the larger good.

3. Our founding fathers created the first oasis in the desert of a colonized world nourished by democracy. Democracy is much more than the right to vote every five years; its essence is the aspirations of the masses; its spirit must influence the responsibilities of the leaders and duties of the citizens every day. Democracy breathes through a vibrant Parliament, an independent judiciary, a responsible media, a vigilant civil society, and a bureaucracy committed to integrity and hard work. It survives through accountability, not profligacy. And yet we have allowed unbridled personal enrichment, self-indulgence, intolerance, discourtesy in behavior and disrespect for authority to erode our work culture. The biggest impact of the decay in the moral fiber of our society is on the hopes and aspirations of the young and the poor. Mahatma Gandhi had advised us to avoid, and I quote, “politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice”, (unquote). We have to pay heed to his advice as we work towards building a modern democracy. The ideals of patriotism, compassion, tolerance, self-restraint, honesty, discipline and respect for women have to be converted into a living force.

Fellow citizens:
4. Institutions are a mirror of national character. Today we see widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of institutions in our country. Our legislatures look more like combat arenas, rather than fora that legislate. Corruption has become a major challenge. The precious resources of the nation are being wasted through indolence and indifference. It is sapping the dynamism of our society. We need to correct this regression.

5. Our Constitution provides a delicate balance of power between various institutions of the State. This balance has to be maintained. We need a Parliament that debates, discusses and decides. We need a judiciary that gives justice without delays. We need leadership that is committed to the nation and those values that made us a great civilization. We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges before us. We need a media and citizens who, even as they claim their rights, are equally committed to their responsibilities.

Fellow citizens:
6. A re-ordering of the society can be brought about through the educational system. We cannot aspire to be a world class power without a single world class university. History records that we were the cynosure of the world once. Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri comprised the ancient university system that dominated the world for eighteen hundred years beginning Sixth Century BC. They were a magnet for the finest minds and scholars in the world. We must seek to regain that space. A university is the banyan tree whose roots lie in basic education, in a vast network of schools that build the intellectual prowess of our communities; we have to invest in every part of this knowledge tree, from seed, root and branch to the highest leaf.

Fellow Citizens:
7. There is a direct relationship between a successful democracy and a successful economy, for we are a people-driven nation. People serve their interests best when they participate in decision- making at the level of panchayat and other forms of local government. We have to rapidly empower the local bodies with functions, functionaries and finances to improve their performance. Faster growth has given us the resources, but larger outlays have not translated into better outcomes. Without inclusive governance, we cannot achieve inclusive growth.

8. For a developing country of more than 1.2 billion people, the debate between growth and redistribution is vital. While growth builds the scope for redistribution, redistribution sustains growth over time. Both are equally important. A disproportionate emphasis on any one, at the expense of the other, can have adverse consequences for the nation.

9. The last decade has seen India emerge as one of the fastest growing nations in the world. During this period, our economy grew annually at an average rate of 7.9 per cent. We are today self-sufficient in food grains production. We are the largest exporter of rice and second largest exporter of wheat in the world. The record production of 18.45 million tonne of pulses this year augurs well for our march towards self-sufficiency in pulses. This was unthinkable just a few years ago. This momentum has to be sustained. In a globalized world, with increasing economic complexities, we have to learn to cope better with adversities, both external and domestic.

Fellow citizens:
10. At the dawn of our Independence, we lit the glowing lamp of modernity and equitable economic growth. To keep this lamp aflame, our highest priority has to be the elimination of poverty. Though a declining trend in the poverty rate is clearly visible, our fight against this scourge is far from over. India has the talent, ability and the resources to overcome this challenge.

11. Reforms that have enabled us to come this far have to be pursued at all levels of governance. Favorable demographic changes over the next two decades can pay us handsome dividends. It requires industrial transformation and rapid creation of employment opportunities. It also requires an orderly urbanization process. Several initiatives taken by the Government in the recent past including the New Manufacturing Policy, the renewal of urban infrastructure and the ambitious skill training programme will need close monitoring in the coming years.

12. We have given our citizens entitlements backed by legal guarantees in terms of right to employment, education, food and information. We now have to ensure that these entitlements lead to real empowerment for the people. We need robust delivery mechanisms to make these legislations work. New benchmarks of efficient public service delivery and accountability have to be established. The Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme, launched earlier this year, will bring in greater transparency, enhance efficiency and eliminate wastage of precious resources.

Fellow citizens:
13. In our race for development, we must be careful not to disturb the balance between man and nature. The consequences of such imbalance can be disastrous. My heartfelt condolences to the many who lost their lives, and the innumerable who suffered in Uttarakhand; and my salutations to those brave personnel of our security and armed forces, government and NGOs who did so much to alleviate suffering. This tragedy owes as much to the avarice of human nature as to the rage of Mother Nature. This was nature’s wake-up call. And it is time to wake up.

Fellow citizens:
14. We have seen in the recent past grave challenges to our security, internal as well as external. The barbaric face of Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh led to a loss of many innocent lives. Despite India’s consistent efforts to build friendly relations with neighbours, there have been tensions on the border and repeated violations of the Ceasefire on the Line of Control, leading to tragic loss of lives. Our commitment to peace is unfailing but even our patience has limits. All steps necessary to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken. I applaud the courage and heroism of our security and armed forces who maintain eternal vigilance and pay homage to those who have made the supreme sacrifice of the most precious gift of life in the service of the motherland.

15. There will be a general election in our country before I have the privilege of addressing you again on the eve of our next independence day. This great festival of democracy, is an opportunity for us to elect a stable government which will ensure security and economic development. Every election must become a crucial milestone in our nation’s journey towards greater social harmony, peace and prosperity.

16. Democracy has given us an opportunity to re-create another golden age. Let us not squander this extraordinary opportunity. The journey ahead calls for wisdom, courage and determination. We must work on across-the-board revival of our values and institutions. We must realize that rights go with responsibilities. We must re-discover the virtue of self-scrutiny and self-restraint.

17. Let me conclude by quoting from the great classic Bhagvad Gita where the Teacher propounds his views and then says, and I quote, “ÿatha icchasi tatha kuru” “even as you choose, so you do. I do not wish to impose my views on you. I have presented to you what I think is right. Now it is for your conscience, for your judgment, for your mind to decide what is right.” (unquote)

On your decisions rests the future of our democracy.
Jai Hind

Independence Day Celebration – 2013

All Indians and friends of India are invited to join the Independence Day Celebrations on Thursday, 15th August 2013 from 0750 hrs to 0900 hrs at the Consulate General of India, Al Hamriya Diplomatic Enclave, Dubai. The flag hoisting will be at 0800hrs, followed by a brief programme.

Change of location for Verification of Genuineness Certificates services

The Verification of Genuineness of Education Certificates by the Consulate General of India, Dubai are being provided from July 7, 2013 onwards at IVS Global Services Private Limited located at the Business Atrium, No. 201, 202 on 2nd floor, Oud Metha, Dubai.
Those wishing to get their documents for Verification of Genuineness of the Education Certificates have to submit their application to the IVS Centre which will be open from 8:00 am to 3.30 pm from Sunday to Thursday. (Ramadan timing: 8:00 am to 2.00 pm). Details of the required documents are given on the CGI website link: http://www.cgidubai.com/category/education/application-for-genuineness-certificate/ . The closest metro station to the centre is Oud Mehta Metro station – I and the bus stop is Oud Mehta stop. There is also adequate parking space available near this location. The IVS can be contacted on 04 – 3579545.

Message from Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Salman Khurshid on Passport Seva Divas

It gives me immense pleasure to declare that the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to celebrate the 24th June every year as ‘Passport Seva Divas’. It was on this day in 1967 that the landmark Passports Act was enacted, laying the foundation of a sound legal framework for issuance of Passports and other travel documents in the post-independent India.

Today, Passport service is one of the important public services delivered by the Central Government. In 2012, 7.39 million Indian citizens were provided Passport services through the all-India network of 37 Passport Offices and 180 Indian Missions/Posts abroad. The number of passport applications have registered almost a three-fold increase since 2000. In this context, the successful implementation of the Cabinet-mandated Passport Seva Project in 2012 assumes special significance. The Project, which was undertaken to comprehensively overhaul Passport issuance and delivery system, was completed swiftly over two years and by June 2012 the task of setting up of 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs)was accomplished.

The transformational changes have been brought by the Government with the aim to extend Passport services to the citizens by expanding the network for Passport services and ensuring service delivery with greater security, reliability and defined service levels. Some of the other steps to make the Passport Issuance System simpler, speedier and secure include strengthening of the Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism, establishing multilingual National Call Centre operating round-the-clock, creating user-friendly portal, holding Passport Melas and Adalats to reach out to the people, improvement in physical infrastructure in Passport Offices and introduction of new security features in Passport booklets to keep pace with international developments.

On this occasion, I would like to convey my greetings to all the employees of the Central Passport Organisation, officials doing Passport work in Missions/Posts abroad and personnel deployed by M/S Tata Consultancy Services at PSKs. As we observe Passport Seva Divas today, let us work together to make Passport Seva programme a model of good governance and efficient citizen service delivery in the country.

June 18, 2013

FROM 6TH MAY ONWARDS ALL GROUP RECRUITMENTS WILL BE DONE VIA AN ONLINE PROCESS

FROM 6TH MAY ONWARDS ALL GROUP RECRUITMENTS WILL BE DONE VIA AN ONLINE PROCESS.

PLEASE REGISTER ON THE WEBSITE.

http://uaeindians.org/recruitment

RTI applications by NRIs now easier

The Government has recently launched a facility that would enable NRIs to electronically file applications for information under the Right to Information Act 2005.

Electronic Indian Postal Order (eIPO) is a facility to purchase an Indian Postal Order electronically by paying a fee on-line through e-Post office Portal link https://www.epostoffice.gov.in/eipo_info.htm. The user needs to get registered at the website -https://www.epostoffice.gov.in/eIPO/Loginpage.aspx and then select the Ministry/Department from whom he desires to seek the information under the RTI Act. The eIPO so generated can be used to seek information from that Ministry/Department for one time only.

A printout of the eIPO is required to be attached with the RTI application, if it is sent by post. Even if the RTI application is being filed electronically, the eIPO is required to be attached with it. Payments towards eIPO can be made by both debit and credit cards powered by Visa/Master.

This facility is only for purchasing an Indian Postal Order electronically. All the requirements for filing an RTI application as well as other provisions regarding eligibility, time limit, exemptions etc., as provided in the RTI Act, 2005 will continue to apply.

Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance Mr. P. Chidambaram

President’s address to the Nation on the eve of 64th Republic Day

President’s address to the Nation on the eve of 64th Republic Day

My Fellow Citizens:

1.On the eve of our 64th Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to all of you in India and abroad. I convey my special greetings to members of our armed forces, paramilitary forces and internal security forces.

2.India has changed more in last six decades than in six previous centuries. This is neither accidental nor providential; history shifts its pace when touched by vision. The great dream of raising a new India from the ashes of colonialism reached a historic denouement in 1947; more important, independence became a turning point for an equally dramatic narrative, nation-building. The foundations were laid through our Constitution, adopted on 26 January 1950, which we celebrate each year as Republic Day. Its driving principle was a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality.

India did not win freedom from the British in order to deny freedom to Indians. The Constitution represented a second liberation, this time from the stranglehold of traditional inequity in gender, caste, community, along with other fetters that had chained us for too long.

3.This inspired a Cultural Evolution which put Indian society on the track to modernity: society changed in a gradual evolution, for violent revolution is not the Indian way. Change across the knotted weaves of the social fabric remains a work in progress, impelled by periodic reform in law and the momentum of popular will.

4.In the last six decades there is much that we can be proud of. Our economic growth rate has more than tripled. The literacy rate has increased by over four times. After having attained self sufficiency, now we are net exporters of food-grain. Significant reduction in the incidence of poverty has been achieved. Among our other major achievements is the drive towards gender equality.

5.No one suggested this would be easy. The difficulties that accompanied the first quantum leap, the Hindu code bill, enacted in 1955 tell their own story. It needed the unflinching commitment of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Babasaheb Ambedkar to push through this remarkable legislation. Jawaharlal Nehru would later describe this as perhaps the most important achievement of his life. The time has now come to ensure gender equality for every Indian woman. We can neither evade nor abandon this national commitment, for the price of neglect will be high. Vested interests do not surrender easily. The civil society and the government must work together to fulfill this national goal.

Fellow Citizens:

6.I speak to you when a grave tragedy has shattered complacency. The brutal rape and murder of a young woman, a woman who was symbol of all that new India strives to be, has left our hearts empty and our minds in turmoil. We lost more than a valuable life; we lost a dream. If today young Indians feel outraged, can we blame our youth?

7.There is a law of the land. But there is also a higher law. The sanctity of a woman is a directive principle of that larger edifice called Indian civilization. The Vedas say that there is more than one kind of mother: birth mother, a guru’s wife, a king’s wife, a priest’s wife, she who nurses us, and our motherland. Mother is our protection from evil and oppression, our symbol of life and prosperity. When we brutalise a woman, we wound the soul of our civilization.

8.It is time for the nation to reset its moral compass. Nothing should be allowed to spur cynicism, as cynicism is blind to morality. We must look deep into our conscience and find out where we have faltered. The solutions to problems have to be found through discussion and conciliation of views. People must believe that governance is an instrument for good and for that, we must ensure good governance.

Fellow Citizens:

9.We are on the cusp of another generational change; the youth of India spread across villages and towns, are in the vanguard of change. The future belongs to them. They are today troubled by a range of existential doubts. Does the system offer due reward for merit? Have the powerful lost their Dharma in pursuit of greed? Has corruption overtaken morality in public life? Does our legislature reflect emerging India or does it need radical reforms? These doubts have to be set at rest. Elected representatives must win back the confidence of the people. The anxiety and restlessness of youth has to be channelized towards change with speed, dignity and order.

10.The young cannot dream on an empty stomach. They must have jobs capable of serving their own as well as the nation’s ambitions. It is true that we have come a long way from 1947, when our first Budget had a revenue of just over Rs.171 crore. The resource base of the Union government today is an ocean compared to that drop. But we must ensure that the fruits of economic growth do not become the monopoly of the privileged at the peak of a pyramid. The primary purpose of wealth creation must be to drive out the evil of hunger, deprivation and marginal subsistence from the base of our expanding population.

Fellow Citizens:

11.Last year has been a testing time for us all. As we move ahead on the path of economic reforms, we must remain alive to the persisting problems of market-dependent economies. Many rich nations are now trapped by a culture of entitlement without social obligations; we must avoid this trap. The results of our policies should be seen in our villages, farms and factories, schools and hospitals.

Figures mean nothing to those who do not benefit from them. We must act immediately, otherwise the current pockets of conflict, often described as “Naxalite” violence, could acquire far more dangerous dimensions.

Fellow Citizens:

12.In the recent past, we have seen serious atrocities on the Line of Control on our troops. Neighbours may have disagreements; tension can be a subtext of frontiers. But sponsorship of terrorism through non-state actors is a matter of deep concern to the entire nation. We believe in peace on the border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship. But this hand should not be taken for granted.

Fellow Citizens:

13.India’s most impregnable asset is self-belief. Each challenge becomes an opportunity to strengthen our resolve to achieve unprecedented economic growth and social stability. Such resolve must be nourished by an avalanche of investment, particularly in better and greater education. Education is the ladder that can help those at the bottom to rise to the pinnacles of professional and social status. Education is the mantra that can transform our economic fortunes and eliminate the gaps that have made our society unequal. So far education has not reached, to the extent desired, to those most in need of this ladder. India can double its growth rate by turning today’s disadvantaged into multiple engines of economic development.

14.On our 64th Republic Day, there may be some reason for concern, but none for despair. If India has changed more in six decades than six previous centuries, then I promise you that it will change more in the next ten years than in the previous sixty. India’s enduring vitality is at work.

15.Even the British sensed that they were leaving a land which was very different from the one they had occupied. At the base of the Jaipur Column in Rashtrapati Bhavan there is an inscription:
“In thought faith…
In word wisdom…
In deed courage…
In life service…
So may India be great”

The spirit of India is written in stone.
JAI HIND!

Consulate General of India, Dubai will remain closed on January 24, 2013 on account of Milad-Al-Nabi.

Consulate General of India, Dubai will remain closed on January 24, 2013 on account of Milad-Al-Nabi.

Change of location for attestation services

The attestation services of the Consulate General of India, Dubai will be provided from January 13, 2013 onwards at IVS Global Services Private Limited located at the Business Atrium, No. 201, 202 on 2nd floor, Oud Metha, Dubai.

Those wishing to get their documents attested have to submit their application with IVS Centre. The centre will be open from 8 am to 3.30pm from Sunday to Thursday. Service hours have been effectively extended by three and half hours for the convenience of applicants. The closest metro station to the centre is Oud Mehta Metro station – I and the bus stop is Oud Mehta stop. There is also adequate parking space available near this location. The contact number is 04 – 3579545.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 – ‘Engaging Diaspora: The Indian Growth Story’ will be held from January 7- 9, 2013 at Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi, Kerala. For further details click here http://www.pbd-india.com/index.shtml

Wills in the UAE : A brief overview

Why make a Will?

The interpretation of inheritance laws and how they are applied by the UAE courts is a matter that concerns many of us as expatriates.

The key questions seem to be:

  • Whether the inheritance and intestacy laws of India, our home country, prevail over the UAE’s local processes, which follow the principles of Sharia.
  • Whether U.A.E law is applicable only to UAE nationals, or to all Muslims, or even to all expatriates irrespective of nationality and religion.

There are different aspects to the inheritance laws in the UAE. These laws are explained later in this discussion. The UAE courts do not follow the process of common law, in comparison to India. Hence, precedent on the precise interpretation of laws relating to inheritance is not established.

Therefore, while execution of a Will may not ensure distribution of savings, wealth and assets in accordance with one’s wishes in all cases, it is definitely likely to ease matters for the beneficiaries. It is also likly to help secure guardianship of children in accordance with their parents’ wishes.

Different aspects of Inheritance Laws

In case a person of any religion dies intestate (without leaving a will), the courts may adhere to Shari’a laws in regard to inheritance of assests and custody of children.

Inheritance matters in the UAE are government principally by two Federal Laws: The Personal Affairs Law of No.28 of 2005 which allows non-Muslim expats living in the UAE to opt to use the law of their own countries to distribute their assets are in the UAE. The other federal law in this area is the UAE Civil Code.

Inheritance Laws (I)

As a result of the Personal Affairs Law (No 28 of 2005), a non-Muslim expatriate who is resident in the UAE can opt for the law of their home country to be applied to the distribution of their UAE assets.

This is irrespective of the fact whether or not the non-Muslim expatriate has a legally recognised Will in his/her home country.

In other words, the descendants can apply for probate in the home country upon the demise of a family member, which will allow them to distribute the UAE assets in the manner that the deceased person would have wished.

Inheritance Laws (II)

The UAE Civil Code provides that the law of the home country of an expatriate will apply to determine how movable assets (cash, investments, cars, personal items, etc) will be distributed. (This will mean application for probate as mentioned earlier.)

However, in regards to immovable property, Article 17 (5) of the Code states that “ the law of the UAE shall apply to wills made by aliens disposing of their real property located in state.” The interpretation of this could refer either to Shari’a law or Personal Affairs Law.

What does this mean?

The local laws may be open to interpretation in certain cases.

It is therefore advisable to make a Will to help reduce the time and costs associated with the process of carrying out a testator’s wishes.

What other options are available?

In some cases, property owners have considered setting up structures of holding companies or trusts in which to hold their immovable assets (mortgage free only) as well as some of their movable assets such as shares, subject to local regulations.

However, many people have made Wills in order to benefit from the legal system that is in place.

How to make a Will?

For the sake of speed and expediency, a Will should be drawn up with the help of a professional person well-versed in these matters.

Local government authorities have given a certificate of recognition to some professionals in order to allow them to carry out this activity.

While drawing up a Will, it is recommended that you check if such a certificate is available.

To start with, the person making a Will should have readily available updated details of :

  • Assets in the UAE (with proof of ownership)
  • Liabilities, and to whom they are to be paid
  • Proof of residence through, for example, recent utility bills
  • Passport copies of the entire family
  • Other official documents such as marriage certificates etc.

Next, the person making the Will would determine how movable assets [cash, investments, cars, personal items, etc] and immovable assets in his or her estate should be distributed and who should be the Executor of their Will.

The Will may include movable funds, and property, located in and outside the country.

An option available to expatriates who own property and assets in India or elsewhere is to make a Will in the UAE specifying that this is only for their UAE assets. They could therefore make a separate Will for their Indian property, for example.

If there are minor children, their permanent guardian should also be determined.

In the instance where the guardian may not be in the UAE, a separate document is required to allow temporary guardianship of minors to a close friend or relative until probate is granted. This is an important part of the process, to protect your family.

Once prepared, Wills need to be:

  • translated into Arabic,
  • attested by the Dubai Courts or Notary, and
  • attested by the Indian Consulate.

Applicants who wish to have their Wills attested may be asked to provide proof of ownership of the assets mentioned in the Will.

Applicants should submit the application to the Courts and to the Consulate personally or through a representative who must hold Power of Attorney that specifically mentions that he/ she has the authority to represent the Applicant for his/ her Will.

Spouses may make a “Mirror Will” for themselves. This would mean that the details of the two Wills would be exactly the same, with the names of testator/ testatrix transposed where relevant.

It is also possible to cancel or amend a Will. This would require the entire process to be repeated.

In Conclusion

The information presented here has been gathered through discussions with legal experts and other professionals.

In summary, they feel that it is comparatively beneficial to execute a Will in the UAE.

Otherwise the road to estate disbursement is likely be lengthier and costlier.

Information Courtesy of: Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Dubai Chapter.

Group Recruitment of Indian Workers by companies to be done online

Effective November 1, 2012 applications for all group recruitment are required to be submitted online. For more details please visit
http://uaeindians.org/recruitment/

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Mauritius 2012

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on 9 January each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India. The day commemorates the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in India from South Africa.

Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ are organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with the host Government, the concerned Indian Mission and organisations catering to the needs of the Indian Diaspora. They serve the objective of reaching out to a vast majority of our 25 million-strong diaspora, who for various reasons, are unable to attend the annual main PBD conventions in India and benefit from its deliberations. Regional PBD conventions are also helpful to local populations who are not of Indian origin but are interested in doing business and/or collaborating with India.

In 2007, New York hosted the first regional PBD convention. Thereafter, Singapore (2008), The Hague (2009), Durban (2010) and Toronto (2011) have hosted regional PBD conventions.

The 6th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention will be held in Mauritius on October 26-28, 2012. For more details log on to www.pbdmauritius.org

Change in location of BLS International’s Indian Passport outsourcing center

The Indian Passport outsourcing center operated by BLS International Services Ltd in Al Khaleej Centre, Bur Dubai has been moved to a new location on the same building, on the Mezzanine floor, Number S-118 from September 8, 2012. The new centre has 10 counters as against the current 8, with dedicated counters for new-borns; handicapped applicants; Senior citizens; pregnant applicants and a resting room for feeding mothers. The BLS helpline number for Passport & Visa services is 04 – 2555530

Independence Day Celebrations – 2012

On the occasion of the 66th Independence Day of India, H.E Sanjay Verma, Consul General of India in Dubai, unfurled the National Flag this morning at the Consulate premises in the presence of the Indian community. The Indian flag was also hoisted by the Indian Community in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah etc.

About 500 members of the Indian community from all walks of life – students, teachers, businessmen, professionals, workers and others – attended the function.

The Consul General read excerpts from the President’s Address to the Nation on the eve of the Independence Day. The full Address is available on www.cgidubai.com.

In his remarks, the Consul General addressed the Indian Community in UAE saying, “Your link with India is as much as it is mine and the Consulate’s staff and you are all India’s envoys. It is an honour for me, I’m blessed because the community shares such a good chemistry with the Consulate. My job is easy because you make it easy. I felicitate many Indian associations for being agents of community welfare. Their duty towards the community is not just celebrating festivals, but they rise to the occasion when circumstances demand. The best for India is yet to come.”

The programme ended with patriotic songs sung by Mr. A.K. Bharadwaj, Consul (Passport) and Mrs. Shobana Chandramohan.

Address to the nation by the President of India on August 14, 2012

Address to the nation by the President of India on the eve of the 66th Independence Day at New Delhi on August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012

My fellow citizens:

It is a great privilege to address, for the first time, my fellow Indians living within our country and in a hundred corners across the globe, on the 65th anniversary of our independence. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to the people and their representatives for the honour of this high office, even as I am deeply conscious of the fact that the highest honour in our democracy does not lie in any office, but in being a citizen of India, our motherland. We are all equal children before our mother; and India asks each one of us, in whatsoever role we play in the complex drama of nation-building, to do our duty with integrity, commitment and unflinching loyalty to the values enshrined in our Constitution.

2. It is important to remember, on Independence Day, that in the age of empires freedom was never given; it was taken. It was won by a generation of giants, led by a mighty man of destiny, Mahatma Gandhi, who fought with selfless, unflinching conviction against the mightiest power in history, with a moral force that transformed political thought and whose reverberations echo in great events all around us today. If the rise of European colonisation began in 18th century India, then the rallying cry of “Jai Hind!” also signalled its end in 1947. The final call to victory, “Jai Hind!” was given by Subhas Chandra Bose, fondly known to every Indian as “Netaji”. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarojini Naidu and many others charted the roadmap of independent India. These extraordinary men and women sacrificed their todays for our tomorrows. That tomorrow has come, and there is a question we must ask ourselves: have we honoured the great vision of these stalwarts, as a nation and as a society?

3. I was a toddler when Netaji, as Rashtrapati of the 51st Session of Indian National Congress in Haripura, on the banks of the river Tapti, reminded us that “our chief national problems are eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease”. His speech echoed through my home, as it did through millions of others. My father was a freedom fighter and through those long years when freedom seemed an illusion, we were sustained by faith in ourselves, in our leaders, in the strength of non-violence, in the courage of Indians liberated from fear. But we knew then, as we do now, that freedom must mean both bread and dreams.

4. Netaji and Nehruji believed that India could seize the future by an application of synthesis, samyavada, of what might seem on surface to be implacable opposites. They believed that free India would become, by example, an alternative model for a post-colonial world through economic equity and a social revolution inspired by harmony between communities that had been misled into hostility. Propelled by freedom of faith, gender equality and economic justice for all, India will become a modern nation. Minor blemishes cannot cloak the fact that India is becoming such a modern nation: no faith is in danger in our country, and the continuing commitment to gender equality is one of the great narratives of our times.

My fellow citizens:

5. I am not a pessimist; for me, the glass is always half full, rather than half empty. I would go to the extent of saying that the glass of modern India is more than half full. Our productive working class; our inspiring farmers, who have lifted a famine-wrecked land to food-surplus status, our imaginative industrialist entrepreneurs, whether in the private or public sector; our intellectuals, our academics and our political class have knit together a modern nation that has leapt, within mere decades, across many centuries in economic growth and progressive social legislation.

6. We cannot appreciate how far we have travelled, until we understand from where we started in 1947. As Jawaharlal Nehru pointed out so often, in his speeches and prose, India was not a poor country when our independence was snatched away. No one, I may add, travels thousands of miles to conquer a poor country. Statistics published by contemporary international scholars are proof for sceptics. In 1750, seven years before the fateful battle of Plassey, India had 24.5% of World Manufacturing Output while United Kingdom had only 1.9%. In other words, one in every four goods on the world market was manufactured in India. By 1900, India had been left with only 1.7% of World Manufacturing Output and Britain had risen to 18.5%. The western industrial revolution was in its incipient stages in the 18th century, but even in this regard India slipped from 7 to 1 in per capita industrialisation in that period, while Britain vaulted from 10 to 100. Between 1900 and 1947 India’s economic growth was an annual average of 1%. From such depths we climbed, first, to 3% growth, and then took a quantum leap forward: today, despite two great international crises that rocked the world and some domestic dips, we have posted an average growth rate of more than 8% over the last seven years.

7. If our economy has achieved critical mass, then it must become a launching pad for the next leap. We need a second freedom struggle; this time to ensure that India is free for ever from hunger, disease and poverty. As my pre-eminent predecessor Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, speaking from this platform on the 18th anniversary of freedom, said, “Economic progress is one of the tests of democracy.”

8. If progress falls behind rising aspirations, particularly of the young, rage will manifest itself. We are a nation that is becoming younger both in age and spirit; this is an opportunity as well as a challenge. The young thirst for knowledge that will lift their skills; and for opportunity that will put India on the fast track to the first world. They have the character; they need the chance. Education is the seed; and economy is the fruit. Provide good education; disease, hunger and poverty will recede. As I said in my acceptance speech, our motto must be: All for knowledge and knowledge for all. Vision cannot be an open-ended vista; it must be focused on our youth.

My fellow citizens:

9. Notwithstanding the tremendous pressure of an adverse external environment, our economy today is more resilient and confident. Two decades of steady economic reforms have contributed to improvement in average income and consumption levels in both rural and urban areas. There is new found dynamism in some of the most backward areas bringing them into national economic mainstream. Yet there are several gaps that need to be bridged. Green revolution has to be extended to the eastern region of our country. Creation of high quality infrastructure has to be fast tracked. Education and health services have to reach the last man at the earliest. Much has been done, a lot more remains to be done.

10. The monsoon has played truant this year. Large areas of our country are in the grip of drought, some others are devastated by floods. Inflation, particularly food inflation, remains a cause of worry, While our food availability remains healthy, we cannot forget the plight of those who made this possible even in a lean year; our farmers. They have stood by the nation in its need; the nation must stand by them in their distress.

11. I do not believe that there is any inherent contradiction in protecting our environment and economic development. As long as we heed Gandhiji’s great lesson: there is sufficient in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed, we are safe. We must learn to live in harmony with nature. Nature cannot be consistent; we must be able to conserve her bounty during the many seasons of plenty so that we are not bereft during the occasional bout of scarcity.

12. Anger against the bitter pandemic of corruption is legitimate, as is the protest against this plague that is eroding the capability and potential of our nation. There are times when people lose their patience but it cannot become an excuse for an assault on our democratic institutions.

13. Institutions are the visible pillars of our Constitution, and if they crack then the idealism of our Constitution cannot hold. They are the interface between principles and the people. Our institutions may have suffered from the weariness of time; the answer is not to destroy what has been built, but to re-engineer them so that they become stronger than before. Institutions are the guardians of our liberty.

14. The vigilance on our frontiers has to be matched with vigilance within; we must restore the credibility of those areas of our polity, judiciary, executive and legislature where complacency, exhaustion or malfeasance may have clogged delivery. The people have a right to express their discontent. But we must also understand that legislation cannot be wrenched away from the legislature or justice from the judiciary.

15. When authority becomes authoritarian, democracy suffers; but when protest becomes endemic, we are flirting with chaos. Democracy is a shared process. We all win or lose together. Democratic temper calls for dignity of behaviour and tolerance of contrary views. Parliament will live by its own calendar and rhythm. Sometimes that rhythm sounds a bit atonal; but in a democracy there is always judgement day, an election. Parliament is the soul of the people, the “Atman” of India. We challenge its rights and duties at our peril.

16. I say this not in a spirit of admonition, but as a plea for greater understanding of the existential issues that lurk behind the mask of the mundane. Democracy is blessed with a unique opportunity for redress of grievances through the great institution of accountability – free elections.

17. Old fires that threaten the stability of our nation have not been fully doused; the ash continues to smoulder. It is particularly painful for me to witness the violence in Assam. Our minorities need solace, understanding and protection from aggression. Violence is not an option; violence is an invitation to greater violence. Concrete attempts have been made to heal the wounds of Assam, including the Assam accord conceived by our young and beloved former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. We should revisit them, and adapt them to present conditions in the spirit of justice and national interest. We need peace for a new economic surge that eliminates the competitive causes of violence.

18. It is a fact of our geopolitical environment that some problems transcend borders. SAARC was created 27 years ago to find solutions through dialogue, and by mutual cooperation create the rapid economic growth that is the only long-term answer to problems like migration and uneven development. SAARC must acquire vigour to fulfil its mandate.

19. The SAARC should be a major instrument in the common war against terrorists. Great success is possible by international cooperation. All SAARC nations must cooperate to bring to justice those who believe in mayhem against innocents. There is no other way towards peace on the subcontinent.

20. I am proud of our brave armed forces and our valiant police forces, who have done so much, at such great personal risk, to curb this menace of terrorism. It is their vigilance which has prevented more havoc. If we sleep in peace it is because they are awake and vigilant in the desolation of desert and mountain and forest; and in the vast loneliness of the seas. I salute their commitment and their patriotism. It is heartening that the armed forces not only guarantee our peace, but also produce medal winners at Olympics. I congratulate all who have done their nation proud at the recently concluded Games, by winning as well as by participating. The number of trophies may not be too large but it is a remarkable improvement upon the last count, Four years later, when I hope to address you again, I am sure, we will celebrate a medals spring.

My fellow citizens:

21. If there is one man in history whose name is synonymous with peace, then it is Gandhiji, the architect of our independence. India is a land of plenty inhibited by poverty; India has an enthralling, uplifting civilization that sparkles not only in our magnificent art, but also in the enormous creativity and humanity of our daily life in city and village. When Indira Gandhi reached for the stars, she believed that this would be within the grasp of India in just another generation. But there is neither a present nor a future, except in a climate and culture of national unity and brotherhood.

My fellow citizens:

Let us leave behind the way of hatred, violence and anger;

Let us put aside our petty quarrels and factions.

Let us work together for our nation with the devotion of a child towards a mother.

Let us repose our faith in this invocation from Upanishads:

May God Protect us.

May God Nourish us.

May we Work Together with Vigour and Energy.

May our Studies be Brilliant.

May there be no Hostility amongst us.

May there be Peace Peace Peace.

Peace must be our ideology, progress our horizon.

JAI HIND!

Ramadan Timings of BLS Passport & Visa Centres

During the Holy month of Ramadan, the Passport & Visa outsourcing centers operated by BLS International Services Ltd in Dubai and the northern Emirates, will observe shortened timings.

All centers including the Indian associations would operate from Saturday to Thursday between 08.00 AM – 06.00 PM (Token will be issued till 4.30 PM only).

The BLS Premier Lounge at Dubai would operate from Saturday to Thursday between 08.00 AM – 05.00 PM (Token will be issued till 4.40 PM only).

These timings will be observed from 20th of July to Eid ul Fitr, after which the normal working hours will resume.

TENDER BID FOR ATTESTATION SERVICES

Source:Please click here for details

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

1. Introduction

With a view to short-list and select a reliable and experienced outsourcing agency to provide administrative support and facilities for attestation services at Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India, Dubai (hereinafter referred to as EOI and CGI), this RFP invites only Indian/ Indian origin companies with or without a local partner either of Indian/foreign origin to outsource attestation services currently rendered at EOI, Abu Dhabi and CGI, Dubai. The companies are required to have the following experience:
• Operating same or similar centers on behalf of a Diplomatic Mission/Post for at least one year;
• Having dealt with at least 300 applications per day on an annual-average basis, at least during one of those three years, with electronic data entry of these applications; and
• Following good industry practice in above intended facilities at their Centres in terms of office accommodation, applicants waiting area and other ancillary services to the applicants.

Based on average of the previous years, during 2012-2013 EOI and CGI are expected to receive approximately 35,000 & 85,000 documents for attestation respectively. EOI and CGI, however, offer no guarantee as to the number of services. The intended outsourcing agency (hereinafter referred to as IOA) is expected to collect/receive documents across counter for attestation from applicants in person, collate these applications/documents along with supporting documents of the applicants, scan the applications received on its behalf and subsequently return the attested documents to the applicants across counter within times specified by the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

2. Request for Proposal

Bidders are invited to submit a priced proposal for providing facilities and administrative support to attestation services currently being rendered by EOI Abu Dhabi and CGI Dubai in accordance with this RFP.
• The proposal would be valid for a period of 3 months after the RFP closing date.
• The initial Contract with IOA will be signed for a period of three (3) years with review of operations after every year.
• The Service providers will be required to start full operations with effect from October 1, 2012.
• Operations can start only after EOI Abu Dhabi / CGI Dubai conveys its satisfaction with the arrangements made by the Service provider.
• Either party may terminate the contract by giving three
(3) months advance notice of being unable to carry on the services any longer. In such circumstances, the process of smooth takeover of services will deem to begin from the date of receipt of the notice by the other party or from the date as stated in the notice, whichever is later and the process of termination/smooth takeover will be completed in a reasonable period of time of not more than three (3) months.

2(A). Eligibility

Only Indian/ Indian origin companies with or without a local partner either of Indian/foreign origin are eligible to apply.

3. Clarification/Additional information required

i) Requests for further information must be made in writing and be sent to the contact person from EOI/CGI mentioned in this document;

ii) Only communications that are in writing from the authorized person in EOI/CGI Dubai may be considered as properly authorized expression;

iii) The EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai shall provide a copy of all questions and answers provided during the tendering process to all bidders. The source of question will not be divulged;

iv) Questions from bidders will be accepted until 28th June, 2012 , two working days before the Pre-bid conference. The pre-bid conference will be held 13 days before the RFP closing date.

v) Each bidder shall provide the name and contact details of an individual to act as a point of contact during the tender process. That person may be asked to clarify the bid to provide additional information during the evaluation process.

4. Proposed Programme for the RFP Process

Closure of bidders questions 28th June, 2012
Pre-bid Conference 2nd July, 2012
Deadline for submission of Proposals 15th July,2012 (till 1400 hrs)

5. Statement of Service Requirements

The Service Provider shall establish an Attestation Centre adhering to good industry practice standards in the UAE in terms of accommodation, Information Desk, waiting area, toilet facilities, signage, drinking water, customer services etc following a mutually agreed date of opening agreed with EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai respectively. EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will enter into full consultation and planning with the Service Provider in such cases.

6. Scope of Work and Deliverables Required

a. The Service Provider shall ensure that the Attestation Centre is situated in a premise, within a radius of 5 Kms of the EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai, easily accessible by public transport, including metro and with sufficient parking space. This condition for location of centre may be waived at the discretion of the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai The Centre shall have sufficient space in terms of waiting area, application counters and processing area. These should include at least 06 working counters and 02 reserve counters in Dubai and 03 working counters and 01 reserve counter in Abu Dhabi, a separate Information Desk for enquiries, seating for 100 visitors in Dubai and 50 in Abu Dhabi, provision of drinking water, newspapers (10 copies) and magazines (10 copies), minimum 42” LED TV and washrooms. Centre will have appropriate signage in mutually agreed languages, facilities and conveniences for the applicants while endeavoring to minimize waiting time. The Centres shall be open from 09.00 am to 17.00 pm on all days excluding weekends and public holidays observed by EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai. The timings and days of operation may be altered in future subject to the requirements of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

b. The Service Provider shall be responsible for ensuring that wherever an application is made, the Service Provider should undertake all of the following functions for EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai:
i) The Service Provider will arrange to print, at its own cost application forms/formats/ booklets/ checklist/ FAQs- multilingual, namely English, Hindi and Malayalam. Templates for the same will be provided by EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai.

ii) The Service Provider shall provide an Information Desk at the attestation hall for disbursement of relevant forms/formats and to provide guidance to service seekers in completion of forms and to provide factual information to the applicant.

iii) Accept documents for attestation across the counter with the charges specified by EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai, Service Provider’s service fee (equal to the Contract Price) and supporting documents from applicants and return across the counter. Fee will be accepted in cash only.

iv) Accept such fees from the applicants at the rates approved by EOI Abu Dhabi and CGI Dubai and deposit the fees collected to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai i.e., fees excluding the Service Provider’s service fee, in EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai’s bank account on the same day of receipt. Clear and transparent audit trails of fees taken will be supplied at the time the relevant applications are submitted in a format to be agreed between EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai and Service Provider. The service Provider shall provide a Bank Guarantee amounting to Dhs. 25,000/- (Dh. Twenty five thousand only) for the government funds held by it temporarily and for the safety of documents. In addition, a performance guarantee of Dhs 100,000 will be furnished by the IOA

v) EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will not pay for the services rendered by the Service Provider. The Service Provider will charge fee per document, as approved by the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai denominated in UAE Dirham. The fee per document should be quoted inclusive of any local taxes and VAT/service charge, if any currently applicable in the United Arab Emirates. This fee will remain fixed during the term of Contract and can be revised upwards during this period, rounded off to the next higher denomination, only if there is cumulative rise in the local cost of living as per UN CPI, rate of local taxes and/or VAT/service charge by more than 25%.

vi) The Service Provider’s Service Fee (SF) would not be changed on account of inflation, changes in number of documents received for attestation and fluctuations in rate of exchange. Any change is possible on account of changes in VAT/ local taxes to the tune exceeding 25%. The rounding off must be done in two halves, i.e less than half would be reduced to the previous lower denomination; and half and above would be rounded off to the next higher denomination taking in to account the practicability of implementation.

vii) Provide a bar-coded receipt to each applicant showing the service fee paid to the Service provider. A copy of the same bar coded receipt is also to be enclosed with the application.

viii) A copy of the bar coded receipt given to the applicant is also to be enclosed with the application.

ix) Scrutinize with regard to the genuineness of the collected documents and their pre-authentication by designated authorities
x) Handing over the completed document/s to applicants across counter within stipulated time and in an orderly fashion.

xi) Electronic data entry/scanning of the documents in a format prescribed by the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai and transfer this data physically to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai, the timings and manner of which will be determined by the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

xii) Maintain proper records of every application received, cross referenced to individual fees taken on databases and systems, and in accordance with practices to be prescribed by the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

xiii) Have in place an efficient system for scheduling appointments for applicants requiring an interview.

xiv) Have in place a reliable quality control system that maintains continuous surveillance on service standards.

xv) The Service Provider should have appropriate certification from a reputed agency of the country where the services are provided, wherever feasible.

xvi) Put in place a viable and effective security and vigilance system, including a CCTV system covering the entire area of operation, as well as the public waiting area. Recording of up to 30 days of the surveillance cameras will be made available on demand to the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai

xvii) Operate a website containing full and detailed information on all services offered, fees charged, application formats, processes, requirements and other relevant information, and an e-mail and electronic display.

xviii) Put in place a system where emails queries/postal letters will be responded to within 16 working hours of the receipt.

xix) Issue news releases, notices and banners as and when required by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai. No banner/announcements except for signage indicating facilities will be put up at the centre without prior approval from the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai

xx) Carry out any other related activities as instructed by the EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai.

(xxi) No value added service(s) may be introduced without prior written approval from the EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai.

xxii) Have in place an adequate contingency plan, prior to operation of the agreement, to maintain an acceptable level of service if the operation of Application Centre is interrupted for any reason.

7. Facilities

The Service Provider shall be required to have the following facilities at the Attestation Centre:

(a) Effective systems and processes to recruit and train staff who can explain clearly and accurately the attestation process and the details of documents which must be submitted with the application. They should have working knowledge of English, Hindi and Arabic.

(b) An IT system which will allow the entire Service Provider’s Attestation services network access to any centrally based appointment system. The IT service provided must be in accordance with standards prescribed by an appropriate agency of the host country wherever possible or by India’s National Informatics Centre (NIC), as determined by the Mission.

(c) The ability to computerize operations related to data capture and scanning of the applications on behalf of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai. The data captured should be easily retrievable by the administrators appointed by to the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai

(d) The ability to computerise operations related to the accounting of fee collection.

(e) The ability to computerise operations related to the tracking of movement of documents from receipt to delivery.

(f) A security system for the control of access of applicants and safe custody of documents collected, including information held on IT systems.

(g) An effective quality control and feedback system.

(h) The Service Provider will maintain records and statistics in the format required by the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

(i) The Service Provider will be allowed to charge Attestation Service Fee (SF), equal to the Contract Price, from all individuals who make an application for attestation. This SF will be collected by the Service Provider from applicants at the time of receiving the application and attestation fees (AF). Documents relating to collection of the service fee (receipt books etc.) will be properly maintained and made available for inspection by the designated officer of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai or to any audit team designated by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

(j) The Service provider may secure additional sources of revenue through advertising subject to prior approval in writing and agreement from the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai and subject to the terms and conditions being in conformity with the local laws provided there is no conflict of interest. The decision of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will be final in this case.

(k) The service provider will ensure that turn-around time for applicants applying for attestation will not be more than 60 (sixty) minutes. Machine generated tickets should be given to the applicants on first-come-first-served basis.

(l) The Service provider may also introduce value-added services for the benefit of applicants and offer these services for a charge if there is no conflict of interest. Introduction of such value-added services is subject to the prior written approval of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai and being in conformity with the local laws.

(m) The Service provider shall not receive any payments from EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai for setting up this centre, nor for providing services for attestation applicants. EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai shall entertain no claim for expenses or liability for loss of passports or documents. The Service provider shall indemnify EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai in the event of any claim made by any applicant and it shall be the Service provider’s responsibility to compensate applicants if such losses occur.

(n) The Service Provider will establish and operate a website on behalf of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai which will contain all information relevant and useful to visa applicants. All information posted on the website will be agreed in advance with EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

(o) The Service Provider shall ensure complete confidentiality of the information provided by the applicants and will further ensure that it is used for no purpose other than processing for attestation. The service provider shall be liable to indemnify the applicant and EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai in the event of any leakage of such information and a consequential claim made by any applicant/applicants.

(p) The Service Provider will ensure a separate cabin at their centers away from public view for the authorized officials which will be have a landline phone, internet connection and a computer with printer.

(q) The Service Provider will effect and maintain adequate and operative insurance to cover its obligations, including centre and waiting applicants at their premises, under the Agreement, including those obligations which survive the expiration or termination of the Agreement/Contract. A copy of the insurance cover should be submitted to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

(r) The Service Provider will not represent itself nor cause to represent and will ensure that its officials and sub-contractors do not represent or cause to represent themselves as an official or agency or organ of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai or of the Government of India.

(s) The Service Provider should be prepared to pay such penalty for violating the term(s) and condition(s) of the Contract as may be determined by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI in terms of the Contract.

(t) The Service Provider will not assign in whole or in part its rights or obligations under this Agreement without the prior written approval of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai. The Service Provider will not consult with any other person or body for the purposes of entering into an arrangement which will require notation of the Agreement without first consulting EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

(u) The Service Provider should invite feedback from the applicants and/or conduct a survey, once every month to evaluate the quality of services rendered when returning the documents using an objective feedback form. The feedback should be constantly monitored and measures taken to overcome shortcomings pointed out. A summary of the feedback should be sent to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai on a monthly basis and any serious complaints should be brought to the notice of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai immediately.

8. Service Standards

i) The Service Provider shall ensure a high level of service standard with regard to the facilities and amenities in the India Attestation Centre (IAC), efficient processing of cases so that waiting time is minimal and customer satisfaction is high.

ii) There will be a provision for review one year after commencement of full operations in terms of service standards and thereafter at the end of every subsequent year.

iii) The Service Provider should ensure that the staff of the IAC be courteous and helpful and should not indulge in arguments or use of inappropriate language. The Service Provider should ensure strict discipline, punctuality and decorum of office amongst the staff of the centre.

9. Responsibility and Indemnity

(i) IOA will be fully responsible for the agreed services, all documentation, Service charges received, including the safe keeping of such documentation/fees from the point of collection until delivered to the applicant or deposited in the Embassy/Consulates’ designated bank account in accordance with the Schedule and while it is in transit back to the applicant or their authorized representative/agent.
(ii) IOA will indemnify either directly to applicant or through EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI any liability incurred by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai towards loss/damage to the property of arising from any unlawful, negligent or willful act or omission by IOA, its officers, employees agents or subcontractors in connection with this agreement. IOA liability to indemnify EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will be reduced proportionately to the extent that any negligent act or omission of EOI/CGI its officers, employees, agents or sub contractors contributed to the relevant liability loss or damage.
10. Guide to Bidders

i) It is essential that other criteria such as organization profile, experience, method statement and standards are also met. The bidding company and its sister company or subsidiary should not bid separately in the same bid. A certificate to this effect should be given by the bidding company at the time of bidding.

ii) EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will take all reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of any of the bidders’ information, which is clearly marked ‘confidential’. However, EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai is subject to the Right to Information Act 2005 of Government of India and it may be required to release information supplied in this RFP in accordance with that Act.

iii) The information in this RFP, or otherwise supplied by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai or any of its representatives, is to be kept confidential except to the extent already publicly available or authorized by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai. In case of any damage either direct or indirect including any legal action filed by any individual, in respect of the RFP the vendor shall be solely responsible and the EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will not be liable.

iv) The bidders shall not at any time make any public statements in relation to this RFP or any proposal without obtaining prior written approval from EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai’s contact person. All material supplied to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai in relation to the bidder’s proposal becomes EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai’s property and may not be returned to the bidder, unless requested in writing beforehand or agreed to by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

v) The bidders should note that in the event of Contract having been awarded, the Service Provider will not assign in whole or in part its rights or obligations without the prior approval of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

vi) EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will not be liable to contract and tort (including negligence), equity or any other cause of action for any direct or indirect damage, loss or cost(including legal and lawyer/client costs) to the bidders or other persons in respect of this RFP.

vii) This RFP will be governed by the law currently in force in India. The concerned party/parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian courts any dispute or difference of any kind that may arise concerning this RFP or any related contract.

viii) In submitting a proposal to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai, the bidder will be deemed to have understood this RFP, obtained all requisite information and verified the correctness of any information to be relied upon, as may be necessary to prepare the proposal and for any subsequent negotiations with EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

ix) In submitting a proposal to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai, the bidder will be deemed to be fully informed and to have accepted the terms and conditions outlined in this request for proposals.

x) The cost of preparing and submitting the proposal shall be borne by the bidders.

xi) EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai shall arrange a pre-bid conference for bidders about the project under consideration, about 13 days prior to the last date for submission of bids.

xii) EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai reserves the right to accept or reject any or all Proposal(s) and to annul the proposal process at any time, thereby rejecting all proposals, prior to any Contract being awarded.

11. Response to the RFP

a) Contract Price

i. The EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will not pay for the services rendered by the Service Provider. The Service Provider will charge fee, per application for attestation, denominated in UAE Dirham. The fee per attestation should be quoted inclusive of any local taxes and VAT/service charge currently applicable in the United Arab Emirates. Any changes to the Attestation Service Fee(SF) would be in accordance with paragraph 6(b)(vi) ibid. For any increase under this clause, the Service Provider should make a formal request in writing to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai with supporting documents.

ii. The applicable law in respect of the RFP is Indian laws and the contract is subject to Indian Courts’ jurisdiction.

b) Organisation Profile:

Please provide an organization profile as also the following information:

i. Full Legal name ;

ii. Complete address, including registered office of company both in India and locally;

iii. Contact person;

iv.Telephone, facsimile and email contact details and website address(es);

v. Summary of locations and number of staff in UAE and any other neighbouring country(ies);

vi. Summary of services provided in UAE and any other neighbouring country(ies);

vii. Number of years that the organization has been providing outsourcing services;

viii. Company ownership, structure and location of ultimate Holding Company and trade license

ix) Company Head office location, and branch office locations;

x) The Bidding company should be free from any legal, administrative cases and cases related to human trafficking, Hawala etc. The bidding Company should be free from any anti-India activities. If it was found at a later stage that such information was hidden from the Mission, the bidding company would become ineligible to take part in the process. If during the contract period such information came to light, the contract would be liable to be terminated immediately and all costs on such a termination should be borne by the Company

c) References

Provide information on work that has been undertaken for similar sized organizations. At least three referees are required. The bidders must provide the following information:
i. The name, business and location of the organization;
ii. The name and contact phone number of a referee at the organization;

iii. Date on which the work was undertaken and the length of time involved;

iv. Brief description of the products or services provided;

v. Website address of any website currently operating for that service.

The referees may be advised that EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai or the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi may contact them. A latest certificate in original from the foreign Mission(s) concerned regarding outsourcing services and length of service should be provided at the time of bidding.

d) Method Statement

The purpose of the Method Statement is to enable EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai to evaluate bidder’s understanding of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai’s requirements and the quality of bidder’s proposals for meeting them. Bidder’s method statement should describe clearly how he/she will provide each of the main requirements indicated in the Statement of Service Requirements. Explanation may be given under the following headings and order. Particular questions to be addressed in bidder’s response are given below:

e) Professional Plan

1 Describe organisation’s experience in the areas relating to this Proposal. This must be substantiated adequately by supporting documents and presentation by the bidder.

2 Describe capacity for flexibility in service provision – e.g. a sudden increase in demand.

3 Describe proposals for monitoring and evaluating service usage.

4 Describe proposals for innovative web-site design and online development.

5 Describe proposals for managing risks and contingencies.

f) Resource Plan

1. Give details of the resources expected to be used to service the Contract, including the number of staff expected to be employed for providing the service. Also include an organisational chart indicating responsibilities and reporting lines in respect of this proposal.

2. Indicate in each case whether the Staff is expected to be drawn from within service providers’ organisation or to be newly recruited and where staff will not be employed full time on this Contract.

3. Explain plan for the training of Staff to be employed on the Contract.

4. Please give names and position held of Key Staff who will be responsible for the management of the contract.

5. Please provide curriculum vitae for each member of Key Staff.

6. The detailed sub-contract plan, if any.

g) Quality Plan

The Service Provider should give details as to how it will ensure that a high quality Service is maintained and that any performance targets mentioned in the Statement of Service Requirements will be met in respect of the following
1. the monitoring and reporting on the quality of the Services delivered including the performance checks that it will perform, their frequency and scope, and who will perform them.
2. the proposed contract management and supervisory systems.
3. the proposed customer liaison arrangements including procedures for dealing with complaints and problems.
4. The Service Provider should have a system of feedback proforma to be filled by the applicants at the time of receiving the documents for attestation. The comments both appreciation and criticism should be closely watched and appropriate steps taken as necessary. A monthly report to EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai should be sent regularly. Any serious complaints should be brought to the notice of EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai immediately for further instructions from EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai.

h. Additional Information

The bidding Company should give any additional information that it thinks would be useful in support of its proposal, including any additional facilities not included in the Statement of Service Requirements that will make the Service more customer-friendly

12. Submission Requirements:

I) The bidders should submit “two envelope” bids – technical and financial separately. The technical bid should contain all the information sought as per the preceding paragraphs of this RFP. In order to qualify technically, a bidder must fulfill all the following requirements:-
(a) A confirmation to comply fully and without any reserve with the scope of work and deliverables included in this RFP.
(b) The bidder must have experience of operating a Centre for Attestation Services on behalf of a Diplomatic Mission or Missions for at least one year; dealing with at least 300 (Three hundred) applications per day on an annual-average basis, with electronic data entry.
(c) The bidder must confirm his willingness to provide facilities of good industry practice standards of applicants seeking attestation services.

II) (a) In the first stage only the technical bids, in presence of the bidding companies on the appointed date and time, will be opened and examined as per the above criteria and only the bidders fulfilling all of the three criteria mentioned at (a), (b) and (c) above will be selected for opening the financial bids. Any remaining bids will not be processed further. Financial bids of companies which qualify on the basis of technical evaluation will be opened in the next stage and the Contract Price shall be the criterion for selecting the successful Service Provider.
(b)There will be a minimum gap of three to five working days for consideration of the technical bids by the Mission and the companies selected will be called to be present on the date and time fixed by the Mission and the financial bids will be opened in their presence. Contract Price shall be the criterion for selecting the successful Service Provider which will be announced at the meeting.
III) (i) The proposal should be addressed by name to Mr. M.P. Singh, Consul (Labour & HOC), Consulate General of India, Post Box No. 737, Dubai, UAE, and sent so as to reach by before the due date. RFP must be submitted in a secure package containing:

a. A signed original
b. Four copies of the original proposal.
c. A CD copy of the proposal in Microsoft Word

ii. Faxed or e-mailed proposals will not be accepted. The envelopes should be superscribed ‘Outsourcing Agreement – Administrative Support for Attestation Services’.
iii. The proposal must contain the information required by the RFP, as sought in Paragraph- 10 above along with the RFP Form duly completed and signed by the authorized representative of the bidder.
iv. The original must be signed by an authorized representative of the bidder. This copy is deemed to be the master copy.
v. The proposal must be received by 1400 hours on 15th July,2012 The Technical bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders or their authorised representative (limited to one person only) at the premises of the Consulate General of India, Dubai at 1500 hours on the same day i.e. 15th July,2012. The process of awarding of Contract will be as explained in para 12 (II)

vi. The receipt of the proposal will be duly acknowledged as and when received.

vii. The EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai may accept or reject any proposals submitted late for consideration.

viii. The name, title, profile, address, phone and fax numbers, website and email address of the bidder in respect of this RFP must be provided to EOI Abu Dhabi/ CGI Dubai in the proposal. This must be sent to the Mission immediately for pre-verification of antecedents.

ix. The EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai reserves the right to negotiate without restriction with bidders after the close of proposals on any matter contained in the proposal, without disclosing this to any other person.

x. The bidder’s proposal will constitute an offer to develop a contract based on the terms and conditions stated in this RFP. The proposal may form part of the final contractual documentation, if the bidder is invited by EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai to enter into a contract. The contract will also include provisions for the Service Provider to adhere to all local laws applicable to the operation of the outsourcing centre, including on employment of staff, banking operations, environment, safety, insurance, privacy and payment of local taxes etc. Matters regarding dispute resolution between the Service Provider and EOI Abu Dhabi/CGI Dubai will be under the jurisdiction of Indian Courts. The contract will also include provisions of Force Majeure, termination of contract, consequences of termination and re-tendering after termination of contract.

IV) RFP Form to be sent to :

Mr. M.P.Singh,
Consul (Labour & HOC),
Consulate General of India, Dubai
P.O. Box No. 737,
Dubai, UAE

The bidder’s response is submitted with this RFP Form and it is confirmed that he has read, understood and complied with all the conditions as indicated in the RFP document. It is acknowledged that the proposal remains open for three months
following the Closing Date of the RFP.
Bidder ________
Date ________
Signature(s) ________
In the capacity of ________

Witness(es): ______