Explain how India’s engagement with its Diaspora has evolved and undergone a change through various policies in recent past.

India has the numerically largest Diaspora in the world, which helps to promote India’s economic and diplomatic growth all over the globe and improve soft power of India in international relations.

Change in engagement:

  • Economic – while continuing to encourage remittances, the government is now seeking investments by the Diaspora, e.g. by easing foreign portfolio investment norms.
  • Cultural – greater emphasis on helping the Diaspora connect with their roots, e.g. ‘know India program’ for Indian origin youth by ministry of external affairs.
  • Tourism – India is trying to leverage its tourism potential with the help of the Diaspora, e.g. Pravasi Teerth Yojana.
  • Recognition – the achievements of distinguished members of Indian Diaspora are being recognized, e.g. through Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and awards for Diaspora.
  • Safety – India is far more involved regarding welfare of Indian Diaspora, e.g. Migrant Resource Centres are being operated by Indian embassies.
  • Indian Diaspora is being encouraged to contribute towards flagship government missions like Swachh Bharat Mission.

Way forward:

India must evolve a policy to increase continuance and high-level engagement with its Diaspora.

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