Indian Diaspora

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 28, 2023, 13:00

The Indian Diaspora is a term used to refer to people living outside of India and those who can track their ancestry back to India. In the year 2020, 17.5 million people were currently living outside their origin country, India, according to the Global Migration Report. India received a remittance of $78.6 billion, adding up to 3.4 per cent of the GDP.

Significance Of the Indian Diaspora

Economic Front

Migrant remittances have a beneficial systemic influence on the balance of payments in general. The $70-80 billion in remittances help close the trade gap. In addition, many emigrants invest heavily in finance, real estate, services and services in their home country, resulting in massive capital inflows that strengthen the local economy and generate jobs.

Political Front

Numerous people of Indian heritage hold top political positions in many nations. Now, they are a big part of the Republican and Democratic parties and even the government of the United States.

Some of them include Christabel Chamarette, the Greens Senator for Western Australia, Prasad Panda, the UCP MLA for Calgary, Pio Gama Pinto, a journalist, politician, and freedom fighter in Kenya and many more.

Moreover, Seema Verma is the first Indian-American woman to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the United States. In addition to that, Kamala Harris is the first women Vice President of America. Furthermore, Gita Gopinath is the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Finally, the Indian Diaspora in the US played a substantial role in persuading doubting legislators to vote for the India-US nuclear deal.

Foreign Policy Front

Indian Diaspora is a fully transferable political vote bank. The institutionalisation of "diaspora diplomacy" indicates that a country's diaspora community has grown significantly more important as a subject of interest for foreign policy and related government activities.

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Indian Diaspora - Some Government Policies

Minimum Referral Wages (2014) increased the minimum wage of Indian employees employed as industrial workers, domestic servants, cleaners, and labourers, but only in ECR nations.

The E-migrate system (2015), which requires all foreign employers to register in the database, was implemented by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Know India Program' (2016) for diaspora engagement aims to familiarise Indian-origin youth with their Indian roots and contemporary India.

The Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (2017) attempts to improve the skill sets of future migrant workers and open up prospects for them to work in other countries.

17th PBD and the Indian Diaspora

On the 9th of January 2022, the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was celebrated. The main reason why PM Modi travelled around the world was to reconnect with the Indian Diaspora.

  • Overseas Indian communities celebrate PBD once every two years
  • The event aims to strengthen the overseas Indian community's engagement
  • The Government of India awards selected overseas Indians for their contributions

For the development of India, the Diaspora community can act as a vital 'bridge' to access information, skills, resources, and markets. The Indian Diaspora is wealthier than ever, and their contribution to India's growth is thriving. It contributes through remittances, investment, advocating for India, promoting Indian culture overseas, and establishing a positive image of India.

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FAQs on Indian Diaspora

Q.1 What is the Indian Diaspora?

Diaspora refers to people who have left their nation for multiple reasons. As a result, the term "Indian Diaspora" refers to a group of people currently residing outside of India and can trace their ancestry to India.

Q.2 Which country currently hosts the greatest number of Indian Diaspora?

The United Arab Emirates, the US, and Saudi Arabia currently have the most number of Indian Diaspora people who have migrated from India.

Q.3 When did the Indian Diaspora start?

The initial wave of the Indian Diaspora is the "Old Diaspora". It started in the early 1800s and lasted till the end of the British Raj.

Q.4 What is the modern Indian Diaspora?

The modern Indian Diaspora has a population of 26 million people. Its roots may be traced back to the introduction of Colonialism in the nineteenth century when European powers strengthened their claims across Asia. The first Indians arrived in Fiji in May 1879, to work in the sugarcane plantations.