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Analysis of Sansad TV Discussion: NRIs Participation for Nation’s Development


”GS 2: Indian Diaspora”


  • There are more than 32 million Indian expatriates in the world. Not only this, according to the Migration and Development Brief report released by the World Bank, Indian expatriates are at the forefront of the world in terms of earning abroad and sending money to their country.
  • Indians contribute 13% of global remittances and the remittance sent by Indians back to India amount to approximately 3.2% of the Indian GDP.
  • Similarly, their contribution to the country of residence is also noteworthy. For e.g., the Indian diaspora in the UK is almost 1.8% of the total population of the UK, but it contributes almost 6% of the total GDP of UK.

Spread of Overseas Indian

  • Overseas Indians are one of the most widely spread and diverse community across the world – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, from Burkina Faso to Zambia, there are more than 200 countries where Overseas Indians live.
  • Most Indians are in America. Overseas Indians have not only established themselves in other countries with their style of work but have also achieved many achievements.

What is the difference between NRI, Person of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India?

  • NRI-An Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport.
  • PIO-A person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/ nationality i.e. he/she is holding a foreign passport.
  • OCI-person registered as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

  • PBD is celebrated once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots.
  • During these conventions, selected overseas Indians are also honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognize their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad.

How can one acquire Indian citizenship?

NRI – He/she is an Indian citizen.
PIO – As per section 5(1)(a) & 5(1)(c) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, he/she has to be ordinarily resident in India for a period of 7 years before making an application for registration.
OCI – As per section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act,1955, a person registered as an OCI cardholder for 5 years and who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration is eligible for grant of Indian citizenship. Central Government, if it is satisfied that special circumstances exist, may after recording the circumstances in writing, relax the period of twelve months, up to a maximum of thirty days which may be in different breaks.

How Indian Diaspora Contributes to Nation’s Development?

  • Indian diaspora has come a long way to play a significant role in keeping India at the centre of global affairs.
  • First, it is well poised to contribute towards global supply chains. Self-reliant India envisions India as a contributor to the world and a part of the Covid crisis has shown the perils of being dependent upon foreign sources for raw materials and intermediate products. Thus, the direction of self-reliance is towards creating alternate supply chains.
  • Second, the outflow of the Indian diaspora has positively transformed the perception of the world towards India. The dominance of Indians in computer software, particularly in Silicon Valley, has strengthened the image of India as a technology powerhouse and a source of quality human resources. Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Indra Nooyi, Vinod Khosla, Deepak Chopra and many others have reached the highest echelons in their respective sectors.
  • Third, with a focus on ‘Make in India’, the Indian diaspora can be facilitated to contribute to the Indian development story by investing in the greenfield and brownfield projects, as well as, portfolio investments in India. Similarly, the Indian diaspora is expected to guide the policy-makers in the field of the Artificial Intelligence-driven industry which will create high-value jobs.

What GOI is Doing for the Indian Diaspora?

  • In view of the growing role of the Indian diaspora in the economic transformation of the country, the Modi government is taking concrete steps to strengthen the role of the members of the Indian diaspora.
  • Thus the government has facilitated the rules and regulations that have significantly improved Indian ranking in ease of doing business from 130 to 66 in 2020.
  • This creates a favorable environment for businesses to invest in India and also gives an opportunity to the diaspora to confidently create an outreach strategy in their areas of influence.
  • Similarly, the Modi government has brought the merger of PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India), which has been a long-standing demand of the Indian community.
  • Along with that, the Indian government has accorded many advantages to the OCIs by including them in the definition of Indian management control, in the context of sensitive industries. This will create investment opportunities for the diaspora.
  • Further, the Indian government is in the process of launching awareness generation portals like the Global Pravasi Rishta portal, to provide an instrument of connecting with the diaspora. It will be a dynamic communication platform to connect the diaspora with the Ministry of foreign affairs, Indian missions and the Indian diaspora abroad.

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