January 2016, National
In order to avoid duplication of work and to improve efficiency, the government merged the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs.
The decision to merge MOIA with MEA was taken as senior diplomats wanted officials dealing with foreign workers-related issues and emergencies to have better diplomatic back-up and coordination.
Explaining the official line, a spokesperson of MEA said the merger of MOIA was to avoid “duplication” as most of the work of MOIA was done by Indian missions abroad.
But reportedly, the MEA, which has been short of staff, wanted greater number of officials with diplomatic experience in key positions in MOIA to deal with emergencies involving Indians in various crisis-prone countries in West Asia. The merger is expected to increase efficiency in MEA’s emergency work abroad.