Overseas Indians to trace roots through 'Tracing the Roots' prog

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) from across the world can now trace their roots in the country with active assistance from the Indian government.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is set to launch a programme called "Tracing the Roots" and has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 'Indiaroots', a specialist company, for the purpose.

The PIO will have to fill up an application form and deposit it with a fee of Rs 20,000 in equivalent US dollar, Euro or any other acceptable foreign currency with the Indian Mission/Post located in the country of his/her residence. Any other useful information or document that could be helpful in tracing the roots may be submitted with the application. The ministry will forward the application with all supporting documents to Indiaroots along with an advance amount of Rs 6,000.

According to a ministry release, the organisation will provide the ministry with details of name of close surviving relatives, place of origin of their forefathers (paternal and maternal side) and a possible family tree within three months from the receipt of the application. The details would then be sent to the Indian Mission/Post concerned at the earliest for onward transmission to the applicant.

In case of any doubt about the genuineness of the roots traced, the decision of the ministry, taken in consultation with the applicant and 'Indiaroots', will be final and binding on the organisation.

In case the applicant wishes to visit these places, the ministry or Indiaroots would facilitate such visits but the applicant would have to bear all related expenditure.

Following a fruitful search, the rest of the money will be released by the ministry to Indiaroots. In case the attempt meets a dead end, only Rs 4,000 will be given to Indiaroots and the rest refunded in Indian Mission/Post would be authorised to refund foreign currency equivalent to Rs 10,000 to the applicant.

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