New Delhi | A single judge of the Delhi High Court today transferred to a larger bench a plea seeking direction to the government to allow private agencies to recruit Indian nurses to work abroad instead of confining it only to state-run agencies.
Justice V P Vaish fixed the matter for July 20 for further hearing the plea which claimed that prohibiting private agencies was rampant violation of human rights as several nurses had already got jobs and visas, but were not able to go abroad due to the recent change in the rules.
The court was hearing a plea filed by ‘The United Nurses Association’, which sought setting aside the March 12 notification banning overseas recruitment of nurses by private agencies.
According to the notification, the recruitment of nurses for overseas employment would be restricted through three state-run recruiting agencies from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The petitioner, represented by senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal, sought direction to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to continue the existing system of recruiting nurses.
He urged the court to direct the government to conduct nurses’ recruitment abroad in strict compliance with existing statutory provisions under guidelines and strict supervision of the ministry as there is a complete chaos in this field after implementation of the notification.
According to the petition, the notification is denying employment opportunities of the members of the profession and the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of Constitution is completely violated.
The petition claimed that due to this notification, nurses from all states in India were facing problems and the issue had national and international ramification. It stated that nearly 10,000 nurses, who have secured job outside India in various countries, were stuck due to the present notification.
Presently, about 10,000 nurses in Kerala, who have successfully cleared their interviews and already got their job visas are facing fear and unsecure future. Most of them have resigned their present jobs and pledged their property and gold for seeking a better opportunity in foreign countries.
Their travel and life are now in jeopardy. Many of the nurses have received the visa and even availed education loan and they have also obtained job abroad but due to the notification dated March 12, 2015, they are constrained to get their recruitment done through state-run agencies only, the petition said, claiming discrimination against the nurses going abroad.
It also claimed that state run agencies are inefficient and incapable and not competent enough to recruit the nurses in such large number. Many of the nurses come from not so well-to-do families and for the purpose of going and earning abroad, many of them have taken education loan and also received the temporary visa and also have the job.
Only due to the delay and incompetency of the state-run agencies which has been imposed by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, the nurses will lose their job, their temporary Visa will get expired before which they had to reach the concerned country and thus they will be left with a huge burden of education loan on their head which may even lead to depression and suicide, the petition said.
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