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Facts of the Week: Countries that extend Visa on Arrival to Indians & the Number of Political Parties

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This week, we look at the list of countries that extended visa-on-arrival or require no visa or extended-visa facility to Indian Passport Holders. We also look at the number of political parties in the country. This number is sure to surprise you. The Union Government in its endeavour to simplify administrative procedures has asked various central ministries & state governments to adopt self certification as a valid policy and do away with affidavits/attestation in a time bound manner.

Countries that extend Visa on Arrival to Indians

As per information available with the Ministry of External Affairs, the following countries have either extended the facility of visa-on-arrival or require no visa or have extended e-Visa facility to Indian passport holders.

Bahrain, Bhutan, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cote d”Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia (visa on arrival under certain condition), Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nepal, Niue, Palau, Reunion Island, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka (Electronic Travel Authorization), Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Similarly, Indian e-Tourist Visa is available for the passport holders of the following countries.

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Vietnam.

Number of Political Parties in India

While the number of political parties in India is way higher than other countries with the myriad regional & local parties, the actual count is bound to surprise one and all. As of July 2015, there are a total of 1866 political parties registered with the Election Commission of India. Out of these, only 56 political parties are recognised (National/State) political parties and the remaining are un-recognised registered political parties.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha Election, only 464 political parties set up candidates. To control this proliferation of political parties, The Law Commission in its 255th Report has recommended for the de-registration of a political party for failure to contest Parliamentary or State elections for ten consecutive years. The recommendations made in the Report are under consideration of the Government.

Number of Political Parties in India

Self Certification Vs Attestation

The process of attestation of certificates by a Notary or a Gazetted Government officer has over time, become an unnecessary burden on the citizens. The Union Government has gone ahead with the abolition of affidavits and adoption of self-certification. All the Central Ministries/Departments have been requested to do away with the provision of affidavits and attestation wherever possible. State/UT Governments have also been requested to explore the possibility of abolishing them in a phased and time bound manner.

Subsequently, Central Ministries/Departments and States/UTs are being requested to review the requirement and to replace it with self-certification. The services in which this requirement has been abolished largely relate to birth and death certificates, admissions, Government jobs, caste and SC/ST Certificates, etc. Till date, 27 State/UTs and 50 Central Ministries/Departments have taken action in this regard. The West Bengal Government has issued a detailed order in this regard.

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