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1) Examine the evolution of India’s policy towards its diaspora over the years and the specific interventions made to mobilize Indian diaspora for India’s advantage? (250 words)

Topic–  Indian Diaspora

1) Examine the evolution of India’s policy towards its diaspora over the years and the specific interventions made to mobilize Indian diaspora for India’s advantage? (250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question

The article lists the achievement of Vajpayee regime in mobilizing India’s diaspora for India’s benefit. It lists several important initiatives undertaken by the government to engage our diaspora. The article will help in preparing the aforementioned topic for GS2.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the how our policy regarding our diaspora has evolved over the years. We also need to highlight and explain the specific steps taken by the government to engage Indian diaspora and the advantages it has had.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that diasporas have emerged as powerful entities since they are recognized as ‘soft power’ in the realm of foreign policy strategy and also as an agent or catalyst of economic development of countries of origin beside their active role in the host countries.

Body

  • Highlight that Indian Diaspora has increasingly become more influential over India’s foreign policy and has evolved as a strategic asset for India in the recent decades. Mention that around roughly about 25 million people spread across 135 countries form a part of Indian diaspora.
  • Discuss the evolution of our policy wrt our diaspora –
  • ethnic Indians who chose to remain abroad would consider themselves as citizens or nationals of their respective host lands. In fact, they were encouraged to integrate with host culture and fight for the liberation of their adopted lands
  • Later, when there was a switch of foreign policy priorities from realism to inter- third world cooperation under the regime of Rajiv Gandhi, there was a slight shift in Diaspora policy as well. He offered his amicable support and tried to handle Fiji Indian crisis in 1986, which had strained our relationship with Fiji. Besides, having realized Indian Diaspora as a strategic asset, he invited Indian diasporic talents like Sam Pitroda to realize his vision of 21st century India and took administrative measures like the establishment of Indian Overseas Affairs department in 1984.At the same time, there were no constructive steps or consistent and clear-cut policies to deal or tap the overseas Indians until the coming of National Democratic Alliance government led by BJP.
  • Diaspora  was able to participate in the plethora of economic opportunities of  the unregulated and open Indian economy. It resolved the foreign currency crisis due to substantial investment and remittance from the Indian Diaspora. Subsequently, the Indian government changed its outlook towards Diaspora and reviewed its Diaspora policy. The NDA government led by BJP had initiated major steps to leverage upon the Indian Diaspora for economic growth and also as part of its larger vision of cultural nationalism.
  • Discuss the specific measures undertaken to engage diaspora such as the ones mentioned in the article.

Conclusion – Highlight how significant diaspora is for the development of our country and the way forward.