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Six recruitment agencies authorized to recruit nurses
May 12, 2018, 5:03 pm
The Indian Embassy has announced that six state-run recruitment agencies in India have been accredited and will be permitted to recruit nurses from India to Kuwait and 17 other Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries.
A senior official from the Indian Embassy in Kuwait revealed that a proposal was sent to the government of Kuwait to allow the recruitment of nurses only through these six agencies with the aim of streamlining the recruitment process and curbing unscrupulous private agents who swindle applicants by charging exorbitant fees.
The proposal was accepted by the Kuwaiti government, and the new system in place ensures job seekers will have to pay only Rs 30,000 for the recruitment process. The six state-run agencies in India authorized for the recruitment of Indian nurses abroad are NORKA-Roots Centre and Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants in Thiruvananthapuram, Overseas Manpower Corporation Ltd in Chennai, UP Financial Corporation in Kanpur, Telangana Overseas Manpower Company in Hyderabad and the Overseas Manpower Company in Vijayawada.
As per the data issued by the Indian government regarding nurses working in Gulf countries as of 19 December, 2017, Saudi Arabia tops with 3,621 nurses under ECR category, followed by Qatar with 350 nurses and Kuwait with 118 nurses. 
The aforementioned steps were put into place following reports that nurses were being duped by emigration-related fraudsters. In the past, the Indian government took several steps to prevent nurses from being taken advantage of by such fraudsters.
However, migrant rights activists in India revealed that the number of nurses migrating through unofficial channels and private agencies remains high, with nurses charged between Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh to work in Kuwait. 
Aside from being cheated out of their money, many who find jobs in Kuwait are often denied basic worker rights. A migrant rights activist Arul Antony said some nurses were taken to Kuwait by a private agency for jobs in a hospital but they were forced to work as home nurses in Kuwait without rest, proper shelter or proper salary, adding that they were later repatriated with the intervention of the Indian Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait.
He revealed that the same agency has been trying to recruit more women to Kuwait by charging huge amounts as recruitment fee. Earlier in 2017, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested a Kuwait-based recruiter Varghese Uthup , whose Kochi-based firm scammed Indian nurses by allegedly charging Rs. 19.5 lakh for recruitment to Kuwait instead of charging INR 19,500 as service charge.
After being charged with cheating, conspiracy to commit criminal misconduct, and collection of excess service charge from emigrants, Uthup remained in Kuwait to evade arrest. However, he was detained by the CBI team when he was forced to visit Kerala. His anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court. 
His arrest hasn’t deterred other scammers, as last year an advertisement was circulated on social media through North East India with job opportunities for nurses in Ministry of Health and Kuwait Oil Company.
However, Manipur government, after identifying the advertisement as a scam, released a warning that such advertisements are a scam to dupe prospective nurses in India by sending them to Kuwait via Dubai or Bahrain without the involvement of authorized state-run agencies.
In addition, the Indian Embassy in Kuwait had affirmed that the advertisement was not registered under Section 10 of the Emigration Act, 1983 due to which the concerned agency did not have the valid registration certificate and was not authorized to carry out overseas recruitments.
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