New Delhi: In order to ease the hurdle being faced by the people of Indian origin living abroad, who are classified under two categories - People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), the Central government is mulling to issue a unified identity card under the Overseas Indian Card Scheme (OICS).  

Earlier, over 7, 50, 000 people got registered under the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).

But the Indians living abroad were confused over the difference between OCI and PIO and hence faced difficulties at the Immigration counters while filling columns under these heads (OCI & PIO).

The Intelligence Bureau was also in favour of doing away with the confusion over these nomenclatures.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs disagreed with each other over the nomenclature of the categories.

However, after several rounds of consultations, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs prepared the blue print for merger of both the schemes. Later the Home Ministry proposed to issue Overseas Indian Card (OIC) instead of PIO and OCI.

The Ministry of External Affairs put its foot down over the new nomenclature (OIC) because the abbreviation of Organisation of Islamic Council (OIC) is similar to that adopted for the Indians living abroad.

However, the argument was turned down by the Home Ministry.

The proposal got delayed due to the bickering between both the Ministries. Ultimately, the Home Ministry renamed this as OICS and the proposal was presented before the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

(JPN/Bureau)