The government on Tuesday issued a standard operating protocol (SOP) for the return of Indians stranded abroad and those who are stuck in India and wish to travel to international destinations for urgent reasons.
In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said priority will be given for return to India to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers, labourers who have been laid off and those faced with expiry of short term visas.
Persons with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students will also be given preference, the home ministry said. The cost of travel will be borne by such travellers.
Based on the registrations received, the Ministry of External Affairs will prepare flight or ship wise database of all such travellers, including details such as name, age, gender, mobile phone number, place of residence, place of final destination; and information on-PCR test taken and its result.
This data base will be shared by MEA with the respective state and union territories in advance.
The MEA will designate state and UT wise nodal officers, who will co-ordinate with the nodal officers designated for this purpose by the respective states, the home ministry said.