Research Council to Study Concerns of NRI Wives in India

The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) is planning to undertake research project to evaluate problems faced by women married to NRI men.


A research on NRI brides in India will be conducted by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), an autonomous body under the Government of India.

There have been several cases where Non-Resident Indian men have left their wives in India and no research studying the condition of the abandoned wives has been conducted so far, ICSSR chairman BB Kumar said, PTI reported.

“The culture by NRI men to come to their homeland and marry girls here is quite old but not all the times these marriages are successful. There have been so many cases when the grooms left the brides here itself or forged certain details about themselves,” Kumar added.

He raised a few points that could be studied and evaluated by the council, such as what makes the parents of girls choose NRI grooms, the factors that they consider while considering an NRI groom, and how their details can be cross-checked.

The council is yet to approve and sanction the research project and is studying the subject. After the feasibility study is done and material for the research is collected, the project will be authorized and the work will commence.

As many as 3,328 complaints from Indian women who have NRI spouses have been received by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and its missions or posts abroad since 2015, the MEA had last year.

Kumar noted that no research has been conducted on how many such marriages take place in the country and where do these women stand after a few years of marriage, the report added. “What happens to those girls who are cheated on pretext of being NRI brides? Do we need stricter norms? All these need to be studied,” he said.

The government has taken many steps in the recent past to protect the wives of NRI men who are in distress. Earlier this month, the integrated nodal agency (INA) began reviewing requests of revocation of 10 passports made by the National Commission for Women. The committee asked MEA to expedite action. The agency began its investigations into the matter of absconding NRI husbands and chaired its first meeting on Jan. 18, which was headed by Maneka Gandhi, the Minister for Women and Child Development.

The registrars from all the states across India were also recently told by the government that they will now have to upload details associated with NRI marriages on the new website being set up by the WCD Ministry. This move has been aimed at tackling the issue of NRI husbands abandoning or ill-treating their wives.

On Nov. 6, 2017, Gandhi said that the Indian government is planning to collect data on all registered marriages to make NRI grooms more accountable and curb incidents of desertion of wives in a foreign country.

A high-level committee set up to research and formulate guidelines for safeguarding the rights of NRI wives had recommended last year that NRIs who harass and desert their wives could face severe punishment, including cancellation of passport.

Another proposal that was recommended by an inter-ministerial committee to the MEA in September 2017 was that Aadhaar should be made mandatory for registration of NRI marriages in India.

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