Only NRI quota seats based on entrance exams for OCI cardholders
Overseas Citizen of India
- Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) are of Indian origin but they are foreign passport holders and are not citizens of India. They are registered under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- Following categories of foreign nationals are eligible for registration as OCI Cardholder:-
- who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or
- who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or
- who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947; or
- who is a child or a grandchild or great grandchild of such a citizen; or
- spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI Cardholder
- No person who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an OCI Cardholder.
What benefits an OCI cardholder is entitled to?
- India does not allow dual citizenship but provides certain benefits under Section 7B(I) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 to the OCIs. It includes:
- Multiple entry life-long visa for visiting India for any purpose.
- Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial, and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
- Registered OCI Cardholder shall be treated at par with NRIs in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.
Why in News?
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reiterated through a gazette notification that OCI cardholders can lay claim to “only Non Resident Indian quota seats” in educational institutions based on all-India entrance tests such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (Mains), Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) or other such all-India professional tests.
- The recent notification is in response to petitions filed by several OCI cardholder students claiming that they are eligible to get admission against general seats in medical, engineering and other government colleges if they clear the all-India tests.
- The notification also reproduced a part of the guidelines issued by the Ministry on November 15, 2019 regarding benefits to OCI cardholders, which said that OCIs are not entitled to undertake any “missionary, mountaineering, journalism and tabligh activities” without prior permission of the Government of India.
Who is a Non Resident Indian?
- An Non Resident Indian is an Indian Citizen who resides in India for less than one hundred & eighty two days during the course of the preceding financial year, or
- who has gone out of India or who stays outside India for the purpose of employment, or
- who has gone out of India or who stays outside India for carrying on business or vocation outside India, or
- who has gone out of India or who stays outside India for any other purpose indicating his intention to stay outside India for an uncertain period.
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