New Delhi, October 23: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has made a few changes in visa format to check entry of persons who may have been involved in child sexual abuse cases. The changes include a questionnaire about past crime history, especially in child sexual abuse cases, of those who apply for visa to visit India. The changes were made following a request by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to prevent entry of paedophiles.

As per the cnahges, persons applying for Indian visa will now have to declare if they have any criminal record, and if they have been denied a visa in the past because of a pending case. WCD minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday confirmed changes in the visa application process for foreign nationals visiting India have been approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs. German Catholic Church Apologises for Mass Child Sex Abuse.

"I am very pleased to inform you that our request to revise the visa application process for foreign nationals travelling to India to declare any criminal record, in view of prevention of sexual abuse of children, has been accepted," Gandhi tweeted. "It has now been decided that an appropriate questionnaire and a declaration will be incorporated in the visa application form which will have to be filled up by visa applicants/ foreign nationals," she added. Google Announces New Artificial Intelligence Technology to Fight Online Child Sexual Abuse.

The minsiter also said the request for changes was based on complaints of serial child sexual abuse offenders managing to visit India. "This step will certainly be a strong deterrent for perpetrators of such heinous crimes," she added. Last year in January, Gandhi had written to the Ministry of External Affairs requesting an amendment in visa format to restrict the entry of foreign nationals convicted of child abuse into India.

"Have requested Smt @SushmaSwaraj ji to revise visa format so foreign nationals with criminal record of child abuse don't enter India," she had said in a tweet. "At present, foreign nationals do not have to declare their record of criminal prosecution for visas to travel to India. Have requested that Indian visa format should include a declaration of criminal record," she had added in another tweet.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 23, 2018 05:15 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website