India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, was in the UAE on a three-day visit from January 19-21 and took part in a number of community events in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
After landing in Abu Dhabi on the night of January 18, he met UAE dignitaries including Minister for Tolerance and Co-existence Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan as well as Indian officials and community leaders the next day.
He met Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh and tweeted later: “Had fruitful & forward-looking discussion on expanding comprehensive strategic partnership including in trade, investment, connectivity, IT, space & welfare of Indian community.” He added that he had fruitful discussions on the way forward in Indian Ocean Rim Association under UAE’s continuing Chairmanship.
The Minister interacted with the Indian community at a function organised in the Indian Consulate auditorium in Dubai on January 21. He praised the concept of ‘uberisation of educational infrastructure’ in the upskilling and training of blue-collar workers through academia-industry-Consulate partnership.
He also launched the Pravasi Bhartiya Sahayta Kendra (PBSK) mobile app which will help workers and expatriates connect with the Indian missions and register their grievances, queries, have live chats with authorities or seek an appointment with a legal/psychological or financial counsellor free of cost. The PBSK office is now located in the Consulate premises.
He visited Gulf Medical University located in Thumbay Medicity Campus in Ajman and expressed his deep gratitude to frontline workers in battling COVID-19 and appreciated the role played by Indian entrepreneurs in healthcare and other vital sectors of the UAE. The university’s potential role in upskilling Indian workers was also discussed.
He also visited the office of the Indian Association Ajman on January 21 and conveyed his deep appreciation to the organisation for their exemplary work towards welfare of Indian community, especially poor labourers and distressed women. He commended the Association’s selfless service during Covid times and also thanked the Ajman leadership for the support to the Indian community during the pandemic. He also inaugurated the Ajman office of the Indian People’s Forum, a community organisation.
On January 20, he inaugurated the first-ever Upskilling & Training Centre for Indian blue-collar workers in UAE at Delhi Private School, Jebel Ali, Dubai. He inaugurated classes for Arabic and English languages as well as computer skills for the workers in the school premises. Consul General Dr Aman Puri was present.
Dinesh Kothari, Chairman of DPS Society, said that DPS has become the first educational institution to partner with the consulate and design courses to enhance the skills of workers.
He commended the role of the workers in nation-building and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had instructed all concerned states to re-employ returning expats according to their skills under the SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) program.
While meeting business leaders at Hotel Taj Business Bay, Dubai, on January 20, Muraleedharan applauded their role played in maintaining the extraordinary relations between UAE and India and called each one of them goodwill Ambassadors of India in the UAE.
He also lauded the support extended by the business community and various professional groups during the COVID crisis in providing air tickets, food, medical aid and other logistical support to the needy.
The Minister appealed to the business community to contribute to the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat programmes of the Union government.