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Indian embassy accredits 6 agencies to recruit nurses – ‘Job seekers to pay only INR 30,000’

KUWAIT CITY, May 10: Six state-run recruitment agencies in India have been accredited for sending nurses from India to Kuwait and 17 other Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries, reports firstpost.com.

According to a senior official from the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, 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. There are at least 5,000 nursing job opportunities coming up in Kuwait. With the new system in place, job seekers will have to pay only INR 30,000 for the recruitment process.

It will be a “government-to-government recruitment system, where fair practices will exist.” 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 data issued by the Indian government concerning nurses working in Gulf countries as of Dec 19, 2017, Saudi Arabia tops with 3,621 nurses under ECR category, followed by Qatar with 350 nurses and Kuwait with 118 nurses. In the past, the Indian government took several steps to prevent nurses from being duped by emigration-related fraudsters.

However, migrant rights activists in India revealed that the number of nurses migrating through unofficial channels and private agencies remain high. They explained that nurses opting to work in Kuwait are charged from INR 10 lakh to 15 lakh.

They manage to find jobs in Kuwait but are often cheated of their money and denied basic working 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. Instead of charging INR 19,500 as service charge, Uthup’s Kochi-based firm was allegedly charging INR 19.5 lakh for recruiting nurses to Kuwait.

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. Also, an advertisement had last year 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, warned against such advertisements that 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.

Source – firstpost.com

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