An international convention of people of Indian-origin in the US has demanded voting rights for Indian citizens living outside India and Rajya Sabha seats for NRIs.  “The Election Commission of India should finalize the procedure for electronic voting before the next general elections take place in India,” the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) said in a resolution passed during its annual convention in New York that took place last month.  “There are 10 million NRIs who have no representation in the decision making process in the country of their citizenship,” it said. “We urge the Government of India to nominate a few prominent NRIs as members of the Rajya Sabha to reinforce and further integrate bonds between India and the overseas Indian community,”  Over 200 delegates from 20 countries participated in convention. Noting that while many NRIs want to support their alma maters, set up schools and colleges in their villages and towns, and support social and environmental causes, they face major hurdles in doing so. “The clearance process through the Home Ministry is time consuming and needs to be streamlined, made more efficient,” it said.

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