FAQs about members

What exactly does an NRI/PIO/RI need to do to participate in NRI-Natter live video seminars?

To indicate your interest, register on this website by filling up the form below. If the organizers accept your request, you will be informed in advance about forthcoming seminars. Upon receiving your expression of intent and confirmation of participation via email, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc, you will be given details on how to log in and participate in a session. You can also check this website for details of forthcoming discussions (as well as past seminars).

The Dos & Don’ts (‘Code of Conduct’) applicable to participation in the discussion sessions are given separately. You may want to read and understand them thoroughly before logging in to participate in any live video seminar.

What are the eligibility criteria? Should I have any specific educational qualifications or other qualities or traits as prerequisites to join the group?

First of all, to participate in NRI-Natter, you need to be, well, an NRI; or, you need to be a PIO or an RI. To be more specific, you need to be a working-class / middle-class NRI, PIO or RI.

You are NOT a celebrity, luminary, iconic figure, key opinion leader (KOL) or a prominent personage. Instead, you are, like the rest of us, a common man/woman – an ordinary, conscientious, civic-conscious, right-thinking citizen with an activist mindset and fire in the belly. 

We would prefer if you are knowledgeable, articulate, cordial, outspoken and soft-spoken. Participants communicate largely in English language, with some Hindi thrown in occasionally. You could say it’d help if you are bilingual (English and Hindi). That’s about it.

Other than that, there are NO educational qualifications required nor any exclusive criteria like age, gender, community, religion, socio-economic status, etc.

I was an NRI. Now, I am back in India. Can I still join NRI-Natter?

Yes, you may. Please refer to the FAQ about “eligibility criteria” above. 

I am in India. But very shortly, I will be going abroad for a long-term assignment. I am a potential NRI. Can I join you?

 

Yes, you may. Please refer to the FAQ about “eligibility criteria” above.

 

Actually, I am a PIO (OCI-cardholder), not an “NRI”. Can I participate?

Yes, you may. Please refer to the FAQ about “eligibility criteria” above. 

I like the idea of participating in a freewheeling, informal group discussion with like-minded middle-class NRIs. But I am not sure if that is a wise thing to do though because I am employed in XXXXXX country and I don’t want to get into any trouble with the local authorities nor with my employer.

Well, as you rightly stated, the operative words here are “freewheeling” and “informal”. If you are not comfortable, you may choose not to participate. 

Rest assured, the objective of NRI-Natter is to bring like-minded NRIs together to natter, chatter, to help sharpen the gray matter. Ideas matter – we believe they can help make things better. 

The forum is not for discussions on divisive, explosive or potentially controversial topics like politics, ideologies, religions, etc. So, we don’t quite see why harmless, thought-provoking, orderly discussions online on socially relevant issues should pose problems to the local authorities or the employers concerned. 

Can I participate in anonymous or confidential mode – I don’t want to reveal my identity, nor be held responsible or accountable for the views expressed on the online forum?

We don’t record the sessions, but notes are scribbled (minutes of the meeting), to be shared later on this website. But the emphasis is on substance/content, not individuals, not who said what. We believe ideas are more important than individuals.

The seminars are live video sessions. So, participants introduce themselves at the beginning. They cannot wear masks, outsize goggles, large hats or caps, etc, to hide their identity. We won’t discuss personal issues nor specific political / ideological matters.

Imagine a group of 15-25 people taking part in a stimulating, meaningful, enlightening discussion. If you are not confident, you may choose to skip.

If you wish to participate, you will be expected to be responsible, mature, dignified and level-headed, and not insane, irresponsible, uncivil or outrageous.

How much time do I need to dedicate for every session?

There is no time-limit for participation. There is no rule either that once you register, you need to participate in each and every event.

 

Even during a particular discussion, you may enter, exit, re-join, exit the debate as per your convenience, although we would prefer if you join at the start, as a mark of courtesy to other participants, and to avoid disturbance, disruption or constant recaps. The emphasis is on substance, not style; the accent is on ideas, not individuals.

I want to only hear, not speak. I am shy. Can I participate?

We would prefer if you skip our events. This forum is not for passive participants or mute spectators. This platform is for thinking, conscious, articulate, brainy, sharp or smart NRIs, PIOs and RIs who are proactive, fearless, mature and professional in outlook. This forum is for people with ideas, views, opinions and convictions.

This is NOT an arena for practicing or demonstrating bureaucracy, artless diplomacy, ‘political correctness’ for fear of being perceived this way or that, evasiveness, non-committal or dull participation, pretentiousness, pseudo-intellectualism, etc.

I can speak only in my regional language Xxxxxxxx. I can’t communicate in English. I don’t even know how to speak in Hindi actually.

As we stated earlier, this forum will be largely in English, with a smattering of Hindi thrown in occasionally. Emphasis will be on ideas, not individuals; on substance, not just style; on communication, not eloquence, vocabulary, grammar, turn of phrase, etc.

Are there any off-bound topics that I need to avoid if I decide to participate? 

The seminars online will be focused on particular topics. Participants are expected to focus on the topic of the day, and not digress into subjects or issues that are not germane to the discussion. We shall always desist from discussing needlessly divisive or controversial issues that are deemed out of bounds, illegal or subversive. 

What are the broad areas or specific topics to be covered by this group in the near future?

As we said earlier, this forum is nascent, still growing and evolving. There is no fixed format as of now. Through brainstorming, consultation and polls, we shall pick topics that could generate lively discussions and ideas for identifying, understanding and solving problems that have implications for all middle-class NRIs, PIOs and RI, and potentially the rest of humanity and the planet itself.

Do I have to compulsorily introduce one more person to the group like in pyramid or Ponzi schemes?

Heck, no. But if you are aware of any person(s) who you think can bring value to this group, we will appreciate if you could put in a kind word about us to him / her / them.

Is there a dress code?

Hmmm, no. This is an informal, freewheeling forum. But that does not mean, this is a “casual” place for trivial pursuits or futile (or "time-pass") discussions. Participants are expected to be presentable and personable. They are expected to be smart and decent in terms of their appearance, demeanor (manners or behavior) and social etiquette.

 

Considering that the events are going to be live video seminars, you would want to look your best; if that is not possible, you would want to be reasonably presentable and civil at least.

Can I date a participant I like in the group? Can I use the platform to forge personal relationships?

We would strongly advise discretion and mature, responsible conduct that is in line with the purpose of the forum (which is not a dating, relationship or matrimonial site/app).

How will participation in the forum benefit me?

If you think ideas, knowledge, information, a platform to articulate inner thoughts, educative discussions, thought-provoking seminars, ken-broadening debates, enlightening chatter and fun (but not trivial) natter are “benefits”, you may want to consider participating in our forum.

I am a foreigner friend of NRI/PIO/RI. But I am interested in joining the discussion. Can I participate?

We appreciate your interest. At the moment, this forum is only for NRIs, PIOs, OCIs and RIs.

 

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