International Goa News
Goans desiring to register birth in Portugal will be obliged: Consul General
Newly appointed Consul General of Portugal in Goa Dr Rui Carvalho Baceira on Wednesday said that if any Goan born before December 19, 1961, that is before the Liberation of Goa from the Portuguese regime, applies to the Portuguese Consulate for registering his birth in Portugal, and if his or her application fulfils all necessary criteria, then the Consulate is bound to respond positively to the application.
“The exercise, however, is not easy and the applicant needs to submit all the necessary documents for the purpose,” he added, stressing that not every Goan born before December 19, 1961, becomes a Portuguese citizen by default.
“The registration of birth in Portugal, as per the existing Portuguese laws will entitle a person to possess Cartão de Cidadão, a Portuguese Citizen Card, which has been primarily designed to replace the older Bilhete de Identidade or Identity Card,” Dr Baceira added, pointing out that the Cartão de Cidadão would make the applicant a citizen of Portugal.
“In fact, there are different Portuguese laws for different former colonies of Portugal, pertaining to the Portuguese citizenship of the residents of these former colonies,” he maintained, stating that Portuguese passport is just a travel document that facilitates travel to Portugal, and Cartão de Cidadão is the most important document as far as Portuguese citizenship is concerned.
Interacting with the media informally, the Consul General of Portugal in Goa said that the Portuguese laws are clear and if there is any confusion about the dual citizenship issue locally, then the government of India should address the same. Dr Baceira also stated that since he has recently taken over the responsibility as the Consul General of Portugal in Goa, he has no idea about any possible communication that has taken place between government of India as well as government of Goa and the Consulate General of Portugal in Goa over the matter.
Replying to a question as to whether there exists a sunset clause for expiry of the provision in the Portuguese law pertaining to Portuguese citizenship of Goans born before December 19, 1961, Dr Baceira said that no such deadline exists. “May be, say, after 100 years, the population born before December 19, 1961, would cease to exist and the particular provision will turn redundant,” he observed.
When asked as to whether large number of people has sought Portuguese citizenship from Portuguese Consulate in Goa, Dr Baceira said that although not too many people from Goa have sought Portuguese citizenship from the Consulate here, such number appears to be large since the exercise is going on for past several years.
On a parting note, the Consul General of Portugal in Goa said that people in Goa, who have any work related to citizenship or travel documents linked to Portugal, should approach the Portuguese Consulate here, and refrain from seeking help of the agents.
It may be recalled that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs vide a notification dated March 28, 1962, had notified the Goa, Daman and Diu (Citizenship) Order, 1962, under Section 7 of the Citizenship Act 1955, which ensured that every person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born before December 20, 1961, in the then Union Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, shall be deemed to have become citizens of India on that day, except where any such person had made a declaration in writing within one month that he had chosen to retain the citizenship which he had immediately before December 20, 1961.
The issue of dual citizenship in Goa, in fact, had come alive after two ruling side MLAs – Glen Ticklo of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Caetano Silva of the Goa Vikas Party – had to approach courts faced with this problem. Many have since taken a legal position that their births (of Goans born before 1961) have been registered in Portugal by third person or some agent, without their knowledge.
Earlier, the new Consul General of Portugal in Goa said that Goa is a melting pot of many cultures and influences. “My work is to support Portuguese speaking people in Goa as well as try to keep the presence of Portuguese culture in Goa alive,” he added, pointing out, “There are other duties too including the activities of the Consulate, Portuguese language, Portuguese identity, and so on.” Presently, there are around 10,000 Portuguese speaking people in the state. [NT]
Goa-Moscow direct flights to begin on Sunday
In an attempt to cash in on the growing Russian tourist traffic to the state and offer the Russian tourists direct connectivity, the national carrier Air India would start operations of direct flights between Goa and Moscow via Delhi beginning Sunday (October 26).
The flights between Goa and Mumbai would be operated between Goa and Moscow four times a week (on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). The Moscow-bound flight (AI 155) would depart from Goa at 1:45 p.m. and reach Delhi at 4.15 p.m. It would leave Delhi at 7.40 p.m. and arrive in Moscow at 11:20 p.m. on the same day.
The flights from Moscow to Goa will be operated (four times a week) on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with departure from Moscow at 1 a.m. hours and arrival in Goa at 1:05 p.m. on the same day with a transit halt in New Delhi.
The AI flight 156 will leave Moscow for Delhi at 1 a.m. and arrive there at 9 a.m. It will leave Delhi at 10.30 a.m. and arrive in Goa at 1.05 p.m. The operation of flights will also help domestic air passengers to travel to the national capital from Goa by a non-stop flight.
This AI service will meet the longstanding demand for seamless air travel between Goa and Moscow in view of the increased traffic between India and Russia especially Goa that has been experienced for a long time now and for non-stop flights between Goa and Delhi – a demand from the domestic travellers including government officials.
The commencement of the service would also help AI passengers the convenience of doing their customs/immigration at Goa on their departure and arrival with seamless transfer connections in Delhi to/from other international destinations like Bahrain, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Muscat, Singapore and Dubai apart from Moscow. [NT]
Indian students can stay in UK if they get jobs: British minister
Vince Cable, Britain's secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said that though Indian students were highest in the UK, their number has now fallen due to a wrong perception that Indian students are not welcome in the UK anymore. "The UK government did tighten rules to stop certain abuses and also acted against illegal universities, but Indian students are most welcome and can stay on in the UK if they get jobs," Cable told mediapersons in Panaji on Monday. He is in Goa as part of an India tour to pursue the twin goals of business and education.
Cable explained that there are approximately 25,000 Indian students studying in the UK and genuine students studying in genuine institutions will get their visas. "There is no cap on the number of Indian students in the UK and there is provision to work after study in a graduate-level job (20,000 pounds per annum) for three years, extendable to another three years," said Cable.
He further explained that up to 700 scholarships are offered to Indians by UK institutions each year, and Britain's flagship Chevening programme, run by the Foreign and Commonwealth office, is now in its 30th year. "In 2015-16, the Chevening budget for India will increase to 2.4 million pounds, four times what it is now, which will fund 150 scholarships for Indians," said Cable, adding that 500 GREAT awards are also being offered to Indian students for undergraduate and postgraduate courses ranging from engineering, law and business to art and design.
Cable pointed out that the UK's largest visa operation in the world is in India, with 12 UK visa application centres across the country, which, in 2013, received over 4 lakh visa applications, a 5% increase from 2012, and of which 90% were successful. Visitor visas also increased by 6% to 3,16,857; work visas by 10% to 53,598; and student visitor visas by 7% to 13,608, said Cable. [TOI]
Petition for Goa to Muscat direct flights
State government has petitioned the Union Ministry for Civil Aviation to start direct flights from Muscat to Goa and back to cash in on the potential ‘richie rich’ tourists from the Gulf countries.
Also considering the difficulty faced by the substantial number of Goans residing in Muscat to travel back to their native place, the NRI Commission has written to the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati requesting direct Muscat to Goa flights. The Commission has raised the concern of Non Resident Goans (NRGs) of Oman, who have been petitioning the State government with their long-standing demand to have direct flights from Muscat to Goa and back.
The NRI Commissioner Dr Wilfred Mesquita’s letter has pointed out that due to non availability of direct flights and inconvenience of changing flights, the Arab tourists prefer to holiday in Thailand or Sri Lanka.
“During the visit of the Goan delegation to the Gulf, it was pointed out that Goa can be promoted as a destination for Arab tourists and other
expatriates, if it is directly connected with countries in the Gulf,” he said. [H]
UK business secretary in Goa seeks to boost business ties
The UK is looking to strengthen business ties with India and also welcomes Indian students to study in the UK, Dr Vince Cable, Britain's secretary of state for business, innovation and skills said here on Monday.
Cable is in Goa as part of his India tour to pursue the twin goals of business and education. Besides meeting Goa deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza, Cable met with several Goan businessmen including Sreenivas Dempo, Victor Albuquerque, Ashok Chowgule and others.
Later speaking to the media, Cable said Britain has a highly sophisticated manufacturing sector in advanced technology like aerospace, biosciences and automotive sector and was looking for tie-ups with Indian companies. While Tata has huge business interests in the UK, Goan businessmen like Pai Kane and Chowgule's also had businesses there, he said.
Cable said that though Indian students were highest in the UK, their number has now fallen due to a wrong perception that Indian students were not welcome in the UK anymore. The UK government did tighten rules to stop certain abuses and also acted against illegal universities. But Indian students are most welcome and can stay on in the UK if they get jobs, he said.
There are approximately 25,000 Indian students studying in the UK. Genuine students studying in genuine institutions will get their visas. There is no cap on the number of Indian students in the UK. There is provision to work after study in a graduate leel job (UK pounds 20,000 per annum) for three years, extendable to another three years. [TOI]