Corruption, exploitation at the root of Indian government’s decision to ban private agencies from recruiting Indian nurses
In a major decision to weed out corruption and exploitation of Indian nurses the government of India has restricted the recruitment of Indian nurses to Kuwait for employment through government run agencies only. Indian ambassador H.E. Sunil Jain told The Times Kuwait that government of India had taken a decision that effective 30 April, 2015, the recruitment of Indian nurses for employment in Kuwait would be restricted through State-run recruiting agencies, viz.,NORKA (Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department)-ROOTS and ODEPC (Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants Ltd), Kerala. Henceforth, Indian nurses interested for overseas employment in 18 countries, including Kuwait, would require emigration clearance from Protector of Emigrants Offices in India.
The new procedure being implemented would ensure transparency and equitable opportunity while protecting the nurses from unscrupulous agencies charging huge sums of money for employment. Detailing the procedure, the Indian embassy in Kuwait explained that foreign employers who sought to recruit Indian nurses would have to register from 30 April 2015 onwards in the e-Migrate system, which is being introduced by the Embassy, for vetting by the Embassy. Thereafter, foreign employers can raise demand for Indian nurses on e-Migrate system with the terms and conditions of their employment. On scrutiny of documents, the attestation/approval would be done by the Indian Embassy on-line basis.
This move has been welcomed by several members of the Indian community who have been pursuing this issue to bring an end to the present system of recruitment, where nurses end up shelling almost KD10,000 (Rs20 Lakhs) to secure employment overseas. There are thousands of Indian nurses working overseas and in the past few years it has become a big business for recruiting agents who were following unethical recruitment practices, creating unwanted misery and mental agony for the nurses, which was tantamount to human trafficking.
The situation got out of control when almost two years back the Indian government under the previous UPA 2 decided to scrap attestation of employment documents thereby opening a huge corruption nexus into the recruitment of nurses. As part of the recent pay-scale adjustment in Kuwait, nurses’ salaries were raised to attract better trained and qualified nurses. However, recruiting agents were quick to seize the opportunity and charge huge sums of money for employment in Kuwait under a higher pay scale. Several association members commended Ambassador Jain’s personal intervention in this issue that brought about a positive conclusion.
- Staff Report