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Government agencies to hire nurses for overseas jobs

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Government agencies to hire nurses for overseas jobs
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Thiruvananthapuram: Two state government agencies will have full rights to take up the recruitment of nurses to overseas countries from April 30, Diaspora Minister K C Joseph announced on Wednesday.

Joseph told IANS that an order from the union overseas Indian affairs ministry has come and from April 30 the state-owned Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants (ODEPC) and Roots-Norka (the agency that looks after the welfare of the Kerala diaspora) will be doing this.

"This is a decision that's going to bring a lot of cheer and one that was a long standing demand from several quarters. We are thankful to the centre for taking this decision. Lots of nurses hailing from poor backgrounds have been cheated by private agencies and with this decision, none would be cheated."

Roots-Norka comes under Joseph's ministry while the ODEPC comes under the labour ministry.

Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John said his department would only be glad to take up this work.

"Through this new arrangement, nurses can freely undergo the interview without fear of being cheated by anyone. This sector for long was one where there were numerous fly by night operators. From April 30 onwards, it will all come to an end," John said in a statement.

The Kerala government for long has been demanding to the centre that the state government should be given exclusive rights for nurses recruitment as last year about 500 nurses recruited by private agencies was left high and dry in Kuwait after they paid hefty agency fees and the state government had a tough time to handle it.

Today the recruitment fees to Kuwait for a nurse is in the range of Rs.1.5 to Rs.2 million and with the state agencies now getting complete rights for recruitment, they will be doing it at minimal fees to cover expenses incurred by these two agencies.

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