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A final decision on granting dual citizenship to non-resident Indians and people of Indian origin in half a dozen countries, including in the UK and the US, will be taken before January 9, Bhishma K Agnihotri, ambassador-at-large in the US for NRI and PIOs, said in London on Friday.
He told reporters that the proposal, already accepted by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in principle, has been sent to various ministries for their opinion. "Once
the review is done, it will go before the Cabinet," he said.
Stating that there was no need for any Constitutional amendment, he said the changes could be effected under Section 12 of the Citizenship Act of 1955.
Noting that he has been visiting various countries to understand the "concerns" of the 22 million Indians living abroad, Agnihotri suggested that there should be "unity among Indians wherever they are," so that they could take up issues concerning India and Indians.
Agnihotri, who met NRIs and PIOs in Birmingham on Thursday, said one major concern of the people he met was the "attitude" of the third generation Indians to India. "The future of Indian diaspora depends on these generation."
Agnihotri advised NRIs to work together with the local people wherever they are.
He said he has already initiated work on ten projects including a "root project," and a "data bank project." There is also a project for college students' internship.
Agnihotri said he saw no conflict between his appointment as ambassador-at-large and various embassies and high commissions. While the missions took care of bilateral matters, he said, his main concern were NRIs and PIOs.
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