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External Affairs Minister’s remarks follow:

(This is English translation of the remarks which were made in Hindi)

External Affairs Minister: Respected fellow MPs sitting in my right and left, Shri Arjun Meghwal Ji & Shri Arun Kumar Ji, both Secretaries i.e. Secretary East, Shri Anil Vadhwa Ji & Secretary America’s & CPV, Shri Swaminathan Ji; Joint Secretaries of MEA, Shri Mridul Kumar Ji & Shri Sanjay Bhattacharya Ji; Joint Secretaries of MOIA, Shri Manoj Kumar Ji, Smt. Vani Rao ji & friends from Media!

Today I am very happy to announce an initiative, for which we were trying from quite some time, in the form of a website/portal namely MADAD. As the name suggests, it is needless to say that it is aimed to help Indians Diaspora. MADAD is such a simple word that everybody knows its meaning. It is not a general helpline. During Parliament sessions or during office time, I used to receive various mails from MPs. Earlier MOIA was a department working under MEA but later it was turned into a separate Ministry. Also, this is the first time when one Minister is taking care of both the Ministries, therefore, enabling me to understand the problem, otherwise there was a lack of compatibility amongst both on various subjects. Earlier concerned Minister of MOIA was not able to resolve the issues as these used to be resolved by the Missions working under MEA. Therefore they were dependent upon each other. MOIA would take up the issue to MEA and MEA would take its own time because working under own Minister is different than working for Minister of other Ministry. But I arranged a joint meeting between them and told them that although scope of these issues comes under MOIA but the same needs to be resolved by MEA. So, a joint effort is required in making a web portal which can connect all the Missions and the Posts working abroad, so that concerned person can register the complaint and our Mission can update the status. So, we arranged a joint meeting between technical departments of both Ministries and they have done an excellent job beyond my expectations. They told me – “Madam, we will definitely make this website but we will also make a provision so that it can update automatically. Suppose if an issue lying with an officer is not resolved for ten days, then its color code will change automatically and the matter will come to the notice of the senior officer. If it still does not get resolved, then color code will change once again and then it will come to the notice of his/her senior officer.” So this website MADAD will ensure accountability, accessibility and responsiveness. So, it is a joint effort of MOIA and MEA, which you are going to witness right now and you are also going to know about its features. JS(CPV) will present its features. But as I told you in brief, if someone registers an online complaint, then it will automatically come to the notice of concerned officer. Time limit is well specified. If the concerned officer is capable of resolving it, then we will update status that it is resolved, but if somehow he is not able to resolve it, then it will be automatically get transferred to the senior officer and still if the same is not resolved, then it will be transferred to his/her senior officer and the senior officer will have the responsibility of explaining the reason for delay. So after making the website, we discussed that “we have finalized the name for our website but a logo should be there”. So we decided to finalise it through crowd sourcing as the same method was successfully adopted by our Prime Minister for Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojna. So, we published an advertisement through and asked general public to suggest logo and tag line for this website. And then, we finalized logo of one contestant and the tag line of another contestant. You can see the logo right there which has been finalized and which I am just going to launch. There are two persons with a letter M in-between them and MADAD is written underneath. And the tagline belongs to another contestant which is ‘Because You Are Us’, means we are helping you because you are us. It was indeed a catchy tag line. So I told them to mix the logo with this tag line and divide the prize money of Rs. One Lac between both of them, so that each of them gets Rs. fifty thousand, since we didn’t like the tag line of the contestant, whose logo was finalized and similarly we didn’t like the logo of the contestant, whose tag line was finalized. So that’s how we designed our logo. We have invited both the contestants here. One of them belongs to Janakpuri, Delhi and another is from Nasik, Maharashtra. We will introduce them in a short while and they will also be awarded a certificate with prize money of fifty thousand each. So that’s how we finalized this logo and we are about to launch it. I would like JS(CPV) to start the presentation so that everybody is aware of its features.


(After the Presentation)

So this was the presentation. Recently I visited Oman. Oman is one of the five GCC countries where we started the pilot project. And I received an overwhelming response. As I told you in the beginning, they have made it beyond my expectations. Usually people complaint that it is easy to make website but the same is not updated regularly, so there is no use of making such website. But you can see, we have assigned color codes to the missions, and hence there is a great competition between them. You know that no one would like to be infamous especially among the department. And therefore, no one would like to get a red color code and if someone gets a red color code, he/she must specify a valid reason for delay, otherwise after a specified time, like after two days, the issue will be transferred from DCM to Senior and after two more days, it will come to the notice of the Ambassador. And if the applicant is not satisfied for some reasons, he/she can contact the concerned Minister. Therefore, Ministry is the highest appellate authority and is very much responsible to address the issue. So by introducing this competition, we have resolved the issue of updating the website, since it will be mandatory to update the website, otherwise Missions will be marked as red. And they are bound to update it otherwise it will give message to others that a particular Mission is not working and therefore, color code is always Red. So it includes both, incentive and disincentive. A good work will definitely be appreciated but at the same time provision for punishment is also there in the form of red color code. So as I told you, technical teams have done an excellent job and I would like you to go through this website and also advise your feedback. Right now, I think we are launching a good website with a good name today and I seek your cooperation to make it a success.

Thank you!

Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...