OCI Cards, Direct Flights: PM Modi’s Promises To Indians In Israel

ICYMI, here are seven key takeaways from Prime Minister Modi’s speech to the Indian diaspora in Israel.

Updated
India
3 min read
PM Narendra Modi addresses the Indian diaspora in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

People of Indian origin in Israel will be granted Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards even if they have served with the Israeli army, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on 5 July.

Addressing the Indian diaspora in Israel at an event in Tel Aviv, Modi said:

I want to confess that we are meeting after a long time. It has taken us 70 years to meet

The crowd chanted his name as he took the stage.

Here are seven key takeaways from the Prime Minister’s address:

1) “First Indian PM to Visit Israel”

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

PM Modi said that the fact that he was the Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in 70 years "raised questions" – hinting at the previous government’s lack of interpersonal connect with the country.

2) On GST & Other Initiatives

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

PM Modi listed out a few of his government’s initiatives, including the Goods and Services Tax, which he said was aimed at achieving economic integration in India.

With the aim of 'housing for all', the government is now emphasising on construction and real estate, along with creating an ecosystem for entrepreneurs and innovators, the Indian prime minister added.

3) On Make in India

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

Invoking his flagship ‘Make in India’ programme, Modi said that India was soon emerging as a global leader in the digital revolution. He spoke about the importance of innovation, stating that the government had set up various incubation centers across the country to encourage entrepreneurship.

Where innovation stops, the path of life also stops. 

4) On Reforms

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

The ruling government has done away with over a 100 obsolete laws and has changed existing laws to meet the demands of the changing population, PM Modi told the gathering at the Tel Aviv convention centre.

His announcement about the government having extended maternity leave to 26 weeks drew loud applause.

5) OCIs for Indians in Israel

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

The Indian government has simplified the rules and even those who have undergone the compulsory military service in Israel will get the OCI cards, PM Modi said.

Assuring them that the regulations would be made easier, he said that the demands of the Indian diaspora would be met as quickly as possible.

6) On Ties With Israel

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

Keeping in mind the requests made by Indian Jews in Israel, Modi announced the launch of an Indian Cultural Centre in Jerusalem.

He said he believed the cultural centre would strengthen the relationships between the two countries, while helping the diaspora stay in touch with their roots.

7) On Direct Flights to Tel Aviv

(Image: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Image: The Quint)

As a parting note, Modi also announced the launch of flights that will fly directly from Delhi and Mumbai to Tel Aviv.

Inviting Israeli youth to visit India, Modi said that this move would help enhance people-to-people connections between the countries.

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