Acknowledging PIO Contribution in Nation Buildingby Opinion Express February 7, 2019 0 comments
India has made significant progress in the last few decades, and today it is one of the most prominent country in the new world order. The steel frame of the country is constructed by brilliant leaders namely Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, PV Narsimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Dr Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi to position India in the top list of global super power. Technocrats, Scientists, Bureaucrats, Diplomats, Judges, Journalists, Social community leaders has put their maximum effort to uplift India from an under developed nation to a highly progressive nation. Today we are at the high table of the various global power centers and the world acknowledges the contribution of India in making the world a better place to live. Initially the role of People of Indian Origin people living in various part of the world is greatly undermined because of the size of the Diaspora but liberalization process and opening of Indian economy has put the PIO community in the mainstream of the global Indian interest, so the Indian Diaspora started acting as India’s permanent Ambassadors spreading the country’s cultural ethos and heritage.
A recent UN report says that India now has the largest ‘Diaspora’ in the world, with more than 16 million persons of Indian origin living abroad. This Non Resident
Indian (NRI) pool represents a little over 1 per cent of India’s population but is a crucial cog in the wheel of India’s development.
How does the Indian Diaspora benefit India? The biggest way is through regular remittances. According to a World Bank report released in April, India was the largest remittance-receiving country in the world, with an estimated $69 billion in 2015. This amounts to a whopping 3.4 per cent of India’s GDP, an amazing multiplier because just 1 per cent of the citizenry, which does not even live in the country, contributes more than three times its fair share to the nation’s wealth. India should show that it is serious about managing its relationship with the NRIs by opening a separate Minister-of-State level department for NRI administration – similar to the Veterans’ Administration in the US. This department would act as the NRI voice across various Indian government agencies and promote engagement with NRIs to help India’s larger cause.
The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2019 is special for the visiting PIO community because the event is organized at the oldest living city of the modern world – Varanasi, it will be an experience for the participant to explore the ancient Indian culture and learn more about India. Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore may offer better facilities and accommodation but the true prospective to learn the Indian way of life can be understood by staying in Varanasi for few days.
As we are entering in 2019, the global PIO population is poised to shine even brighter. A prominent Senator lady of Indian origin is likely to contest US presidential elections in 2020, major global tech companies continues to be headed by PIO technocrats, global media is dominated by prominent Indian journalists, new generation entrepreneurship is likely to drive several business entities. The Indian Diaspora has contributed enormously to strengthening India’s cultural, literary, political and economic bonds across the world. India sees PIO community as an important bridge with the countries where PIO community is living. PIO community must be effectively utilized as an instrumental in building the people to people ties to promote brand India at the global platform.
—Prashant Tewari , Editor-in-Chief