Promotion of Overseas Employment


Indian Council of Overseas Employment (ICOE) has been set up as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 with effect from 30th July, 2008 under the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). This serves as a think-tank to devise and execute medium to long term strategy for promoting overseas employment of Indians. It has undertaken various studies related to international migration and promotion of overseas employment.

The Council is a two-tier body comprising a Governing Council and an Executive Directorate. The Governing Council is headed by Secretary, MOIA and comprises experts, State Government nominees and Central Government nominees. It provides broad policy framework for the programmes and activities of the Council in consonance with its objectives. The day-to-day management of the Council is vested in the Executive Directorate. The Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council.

The Council has the following broad functions:

(i)     Build and maintain a database on emerging country/sector-specific employment opportunities abroad.

(ii)    Identify labour supply gaps in overseas labour markets and the skill-sets required by Indian workers to fill those gaps.

(iii)   Initiate programs for skill development and skill upgradation in consultation with professional bodies and the private sector and promote employment opportunities abroad.

(iv)   Initiate pre-departure orientation programs for various categories of workers.

(v)    Coordinate with other employment promotion agencies, including the state manpower development corporations, project manpower suppliers and foreign employers.

(vi)   Initiate and support the study, monitoring and analysis of the trends and dynamics of international labour market, problems faced by the emigrant Indian workers in India and abroad, benchmark the best practices of other labour sending countries and recommend policy initiatives/ strategies.

(vii)  Administer need-based welfare support for Overseas Indian workers including through institutional arrangements of a welfare fund for the purpose.

Achievements of the Council are as follows:

(i)     A series of Research internship Programmes have been completed in 2010, in which four research interns from Indian Institute of Management(IIM) Bangalore, University of Hyderabad and Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) have submitted their reports to the ICOE.

(ii)    ICOE has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with European University Institute (EUI), Italy (September 2009), Hellenic Migration Policy Institute, Athens (January 2010) and Migration Policy Institute, Washington (September 2010) regarding research on migration of labour.

(iii)   ICOE has entered into MOU with United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in August 2010 for implementation of various projects to achieve avoidance of gender discrimination towards Indian woman migrate workers.

(iv)   A study was conducted on impact assessment of recession on Indian migrant workers in Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) and Malaysia.

(v)    A study was organised on Overseas Workers Welfare Fund (OWWF) to help the MOIA set up the OWWF in order to alleviate the distress of Overseas migrant workers returning to India on account of premature termination of their employers.

(vi)   The Council took steps to organise Overseas Employers Conference from 21st to 22nd February, 2011 at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in partnership with the Overseas Manpower Corporation Limited (OMCAP), the State government of Andhra Pradesh, IOM, Central, State Government officials, Overseas Employers and other stakeholders.

The Council does not directly facilitate overseas employment. It provides strategic inputs for promotion of overseas employment of Indians.An agreement was signed in September, 2009 between ICOE and International Organisation of Migration (IOM) on Labour Market Assessment in France, Denmark, Romania, Czech Republic, Sweden and Poland and report is in advanced stages.

This information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.



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