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Indian-American diaspora can give more aid to India than US government

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Washington: The Indian-American diaspora among the top ten percent earners in the US has the capacity to give to India at levels that could be more than official US development aid there, according to a new report.

Indian-Americans are expanding their philanthropy from giving to family and community to giving to broader-based social causes aimed at addressing India’s most challenging problems, noted the report released Monday by the Bridgespan Group.

Approximately 3.5 million Indian-Americans and their children are living in the US States. The India-born population is a rapidly evolving and fast-growing diaspora group, noted the Group, an advisor for not-for-profit organizations and philanthropists.

“The Indian diaspora in the United States is positioned to help now more than ever before,” said Rohit Menezes, a Bridgespan partner who leads the organization’s India office.

“Indian immigrants have fared well and amassed significant wealth. It is our aim to encourage donors to give more to India and to do so more effectively,” he said.

The report notes that Indian-headed households have a median annual income of $89,000 (compared to a US median of $50,000), and 27 percent of Indian households earn more than $140,000, putting them in the top 10 percent of earners nationally.

The combined annual discretionary income of Americans of Indian origin is approximately $67.4 billion.

“If their philanthropic contributions were consistent with those of other US households in similar income brackets, and they directed 40 percent of their philanthropy to India, $1.2 billion per year would flow from Indian diaspora donors to Indian causes, as compared to current US foreign aid to India ($116.4 million in FY 2014),” the report noted.

And it represents over half the entire amount of annual official development aid received by India from all countries-$2.2 billion, on average, from 2005 through 2013.

The report also points to significant nonfinancial assets the diaspora community has to offer.

“Indian-Americans are highly educated and well represented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions, in technology and entrepreneurship, and increasingly occupy roles of political and social influence in the US,” said Menezes.

“This achievement, combined with familiarity with Indian culture and communities, positions Indian-Americans well to increase involvement in building the capacity and professionalism of India’s civil society organizations and the philanthropic entities that support them.”

The Bridgespan Group along with Stanford Social Innovation Review and Dasra have also launched “Impact India “- a joint publication on strategic philanthropy in India.

It represents trends in giving by Indian-Americans back to India, and the impact of these funding flows. The giving could also be in non-monetary terms.

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.