Venkat Raman –
International students from India studying in New Zealand schools, colleges, universities, tertiary institutions and private training establishments have been advised to register themselves at the Consular Services Management System on the External Affairs Ministry website (www.madad.gov.in).
Registration is free, simple and instant; it creates an online record of the student and enables the Indian government and its diplomatic missions to locate the students and offer timely help if required.
The System is known by its keyword in Hindi- ‘Madad,’ meaning ‘Help.’
The Registration comes with Mobile Apps for Android and iPhones.
An integral part of the Consular Services Management System is the Grievances Process, which enables registered students to file their complaints online over consular services provided by the relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consular Offices. In the case of New Zealand, there is only one diplomatic mission- the High Commission based in Wellington at Level 2, Ranchhod Tower, 102-112 Lambton Quay.
‘Madad’ is a service available to all Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
Who is NRI?
‘NRI’ is a term often ill-understood and misinterpreted. It denotes an Indian holding an Indian passport, ordinarily not resident in India. Such people are also known as ‘Indian Expatriates,’ including permanent residents, migrant workers, international students and others who are away from India on work, study or special assignments.
A citizen of another country is not regarded as ‘NRI’ but as a ‘Person of Indian Origin.’
A notification issued by the External Affairs Ministry said that the Indian government has added a student module to its Consular Grievances Monitoring System (which is also covered by ‘Madad.’).
“The homepage link provides basic guidance on how students can first register themselves on this module and then proceed to providing basic information. This information will help Indian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulate Offices to engage effectively with students and render them all possible assistance,” it said.
Some Indian students have been a cause for concern in recent months with allegations that they or their agents in India suppled false documents, thereby voiding their stay in New Zealand. About 120 students, mostly from Punjab returned to India. Although most them had completed the courses, but were not allowed to apply for work visas, considered a pathway to permanent residence here.
High Commission Advisory
The Indian High Commission Website communique said that an increasing number of educational institutions, particularly Private Training Establishments (PTEs) are coming under the scrutiny of the New Zealand authorities for not mentioning the quality of education required as per the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) rules.
“In some case, NZQA has cancelled the registration of certain education institutions causing problems to the students enrolled in those institutions. NZQA has defined four categories of capability for an educational institution- category 1 being the highest and category 4 being the lowest. A list of PTEs can be found on the NZQA website,” it said.
The High Commission advised all potential students to do due diligence on the credentials of the education institution before securing admission.
“It is also advised that, owing to the current overhaul of the education sector being carried out by NZQA, admission to Category I institution should be contemplated,” the communique said.
A group of students from India prior to their departure in February following deportation notice by Immigration New Zealand (Radio New Zealand Picture)