Global Indians: Unleashing Their Potential — The Indian diaspora, comprising of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), has played an important role in shaping India’s economy and foreign relations. With a population of approximately 31.2 million people spread across 146 countries, the Indian diaspora has made significant contributions to India through remittances, trade, investment, and diplomacy.
One of the greatest economic contributions of the Indian diaspora has been in terms of remittances. According to a World Bank report, India received approximately 87 billion dollars in remittances in 2021, with the United States being the biggest source, accounting for over 20% of these funds. This inflow of funds has helped balance India’s current account and has been instrumental in socio-economic development and poverty reduction.
The Indian diaspora also serves as an important bridge for India to access knowledge, resources, and markets for its development. The diaspora’s ability to spread Indian soft power and lobby for India’s national interests has also been well-recognized. For example, the Indian diaspora played a critical role in the fructification of the Indo-US Nuclear deal.
In addition, the Indian diaspora has contributed to the growth and development of the countries in which they reside. For example, Silicon Valley represents the success of Indians in the field of technology and entrepreneurship. The Indian diaspora has also played an important role in the field of science and technology, and has been a significant source of trade and investment in India.
To mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated on January 9th every year. However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed to fully utilize the potential of the Indian diaspora. To ensure that diaspora members feel welcomed on their arrival in India, easier procedures for immigration and customs clearances that are marked by courteous service are essential. The government should also focus on addressing the problems of overseas blue-collar workers and promoting tourism among 2nd generation PIOs.
In conclusion, the Indian diaspora has played a significant role in shaping India’s economy and foreign relations. The inflow of remittances, the bridge to access knowledge, resources, and markets, and the role in diplomacy are some of the major contributions of the Indian diaspora. However, there is still a need for the government to address the challenges and fully utilize the potential of the Indian diaspora for the development of India.
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