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No more departure cards to be filled by Indians flying abroad


A notification issued by the ministry of external affairs on June 14 seeks to discontinue the departure cards for Indian passengers at all international airports across the country. However, filling of departure cards will continue at rail, seaport and land immigration checkposts.

Indian flyers headed for foreign destinations will not be required to fill up departure cards starting from July 1, which means one fewer formality before boarding the aircraft.

However, those travelling out of the country via rail, sea ports and land immigration check-posts will have to fill the embarkation card, according to an order issued by the home ministry.

"It has been decided to discontinue the practice of filling up of the departure card by Indians at all international airports with effect from July 1, 2017," the home ministry has said in the order.

The departure card contains passenger details such as name, date of birth, passport number, address in India, flight number and date of boarding.

"The same information (about the passengers) is available in the system from other sources," the home ministry order said, explaining the rationale behind the discontinuation of departure cards.

The requirement for Indians to fill up arrival cards upon their return from abroad was done away with in 2014. These steps are among several taken of late to facilitate both international and domestic travel.

Last year, the customs department did away with the need for Indian passengers to fill up a declaration form while coming to India if they were not carrying dutiable goods. However, those carrying prohibited and dutiable goods are still required to fill up an 'Indian customs declaration form'.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), mandated to secure airports in the country, has also started doing away with the practice of tagging and stamping of domestic passengers' hand baggage.

The practice has already been done away with at Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.

NEW YORK: A large number of people including those from the Indian community have participated in special yoga sessions organised by the Indian Consulate here to commemorate the third International Yoga Day.

Consul General Riva Ganguly Das led the Yoga Day celebrations at the Consulate premises on Monday and participated in the yoga and Art of Living (AOL) sessions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message on Yoga Day was played before practitioners led the gathering through the two-hour yoga and meditation sessions.

"Our message is to take yoga to the world. New York is the crossroads of the world and in its fast-paced life, we feel that yoga has much to contribute," Das told PTI.

The Consulate had planned a flagship event for the day at the city's historic and popular Battery Park where hundreds of people were expected to participate in the Yoga Day celebrations.

However, due to inclement weather, the event had to be cancelled and rescheduled at the Consulate premises.

A large number of people attended the yoga sessions at the Consulate and performed the 'Surya Namaskar', 'Pranayam', AOL sessions and other yoga exercises.

Das said resonance for the Yoga Day has grown in three years since the day was first marked in 2015.

"With the focus on one particular day, it helps promote the message," she said, adding that lot of people who normally would not have done yoga are also getting interested and participating in the Yoga Day events.

"People realise the benefits of yoga, and India's name is intrinsically associated with the day," she said.

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