Vande Bharat mission: 360,000 Indians brought back to country, says MEA

Over 3.6 lakh Indians have returned to India from abroad after the government launched the ''Vande Bharat'' evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said a total number of 5,13,047 Indians have registered their request with Indian missions abroad for repatriation to India on compelling grounds.

Of the people who have registered, 3,64,209 have returned under this Mission as of today, he said.

Repatriations from neighbouring countries have also been happening through land borders, he added.

"More than 84,000 Indians have returned through land border immigration checkpoints from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh," the MEA spokesperson said.

"In the first three phases of the Vande Bharat Mission, around 875 international flights were scheduled for operation from over 50 countries across five continents. So far, more than 700 of these flights have reached India, repatriating around 1,50,000 Indians," Srivastava said.

The remaining 175 flights under the Phase 3 are expected to reach in the coming days, he said.

These Vabde Bharat Mission (VBM) flights have been instrumental in addressing the immediate requirements of stranded Indians from many parts of the world, Srivastava said.

"We are committed to bringing back our remaining compatriots particularly in the GCC countries, Malaysia, Singapore among other places. In order to continue with our efforts, Phase IV of VBM is being firmed up with effect from July 3, 2020," he said.

"Phase IV will particularly focus on countries where we still have a large number of Indians who have registered to return," Srivastava said.

Apart from these, chartered flight operations which commenced on May 26, have steadily increased over the past weeks, he said.

These flights have also brought back seafarers and crews of shipping companies stranded in various places, Srivastava said.

"Till date, 1,30,061 persons have returned on these flights. Demand for these flights remains very high especially in the Gulf region. Therefore, we are moving to further streamline the process," Srivastava said.

Noting that repatriations through naval ships have also been part of this mission, he said one such repatriation is presently underway.

INS Jalashwa reached Port of Bandar Abbas in Iran on June 24 to bring back Indian citizens and their embarkation was to commence on Thursday, Srivastava said.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel