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10 facts about Indian immigrants you are probably unaware of

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Figures from the United Nations show India being the world’s largest diaspora, standing at 15.6 million people while revealing a change in the Indian immigrant’s shift in the past two decades from the US towards countries in the Middle East mostly to work as manual laborers and domestic staff.

We feature ten such interesting facts about the geographical aspects of our people living abroad:

  • Over two million Indians have moved overseas in the past five years, the UN data on migrant movements published every five years, show. The increase in Indian expats across the world represented a rise of 17% from 2010, when 13.2 million were living abroad, making it the largest diaspora for the first time.
  • In 2005, India was in third place after Russia and Mexico, countries that both had 10.5 million people living overseas. India’s vast diaspora sends back billions of dollars in remittances every year. With estimated remittance flows of around $72 billion in 2015, the South Asian nation receives more expat cash than any other country, World Bank figures show.
  • Pakistan, which is India’s neighbor and political rival, records the second-highest number of Indian-born people there, at 2 million, according to the UN data. However, the figure is largely due to the partition in 1947. Migration between India and Pakistan is vanishingly rare.
  • While the US is still the second-most popular destination for Indians with nearly 2 million people who were born in India living there, data shows a decline in recent years from 26 percent between 2005 and 2010 to 16 percent between 2010 and 2015.
  • Interestingly, the biggest proportions of Indians are in the United Arab Emirates, where 3.5 million Indians make up 30% of the population being the largest expatriate group. However, numbers of Indian immigrants in the UAE have also slowed dramatically- only 20% from 2010 to 2015 compared with an increase of 126% between 2005 and 2010. The UAE had the most male Indian migrants–2.7 million.
  • Saudi Arabia came next with 1.9 million, then Kuwait with 1 million and Oman where 777,632 India-born are based. Around 1.2 million Indians live in Europe. Most Indians who moved abroad chose to live in what the UN defined as developing regions with 3 million relocating to developed regions.
  • The majority of Indian migrants were men, standing at 10 million. Worldwide, women make up 48.2% of migrants. The number of Indian men choosing to live abroad rose 18% from 8.5 million in 2010 whereas the number of women doing the same thing rose 15% from 4.8 million in 2010 to 5.5 million in 2015. Also, Indian males were more likely to travel to developing regions than their female counterparts– more than twice as many men migrating to such places as women.
  • Also, compared to 2.3 million Indian men living in developed regions, 2 million Indian women are residing there with the US being the host to the most female Indian migrants at 933,216.
  • Many countries logged no Indian migrants at all, including Micronesia, Greenland and Paraguay. Of the places that do have Indians living in them, the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba had the fewest, with just 9 people from the South Asian nation resident there.
  • Overall, migration from Syria rose the most. At 5 million, it was five times its level in 2010, as a certain conflict in the country caused people to flee. Pakistan’s migration rose 18% from 5 million to 5.9 million people living abroad between 2010 and 2015.

Interestingly, The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division revealed that worldwide, 244 million people were living in a country other than where they were born in 2015. That was an increase of 41% compared with the year 2000. Also, of the 20 countries with the largest diaspora, 11 were located in Asia. (The Wall Street Journal) (picture courtesy: visual.ly)

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Students Get Amazon Alexa – Electronic Voice-Controlled Assistants in University Campus Housing

It is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.

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The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA
The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA

One American university is putting Amazon-electronic voice-controlled assistants in every student housing room on campus.

Saint Louis University recently announced it will equip every student living space with Amazon’s Alexa system. The school in St. Louis, Missouri, will place about 2,300 Echo Dot “smart” devices in all student dorms and other university housing.

Officials said the university will be the first in the world to put the devices in every student living space. The devices and the Alexa service are being provided at no costs to students.

The Amazon Echo is a speaker with the ability to listen and “talk” to users and can perform some operations. The Alexa assistant competes with similar systems made by Google and Apple.

Devices linked to the systems have become increasingly popular in homes in recent years. They can be used for things like looking up information, playing music, ordering food or buying things on the internet. The devices can also complete actions in the home. These include turning lights on and off, and controlling systems for heating and cooling and security.

Amazon calls these different tasks Alexa can perform “skills.”

Amazon said in a website post that Saint Louis University chose the Alexa system after carrying out a test program. The program involved the Echo Dot and a device from a competing company. It said the students had a better reaction to the Alexa system.

The Echo Dots will include a special skill developed especially for Saint Louis University. It will provide information and answer questions about local school activities and campus life.

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In this March 2, 2016, file photo, David Limp, Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices, pushes down on an Echo Dot in San Francisco. VOA

Next year, the university plans to add more personalized skills, such as providing information about classes and grades.

The university said it did not increase student tuition to pay for the project. Instead, officials said, it was financed through the school’s general fund, as well as partnerships with Amazon and n-Powered. The company, based in Los Angeles, California, helped develop the parts of the system that are related to Saint Louis University.

David Hakanson is Saint Louis University’s vice president and chief information officer. In announcing the project, he said it will fit well with students who are “highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom.”

He added: “Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education.”

While the devices are being placed in every university housing space, students do not have to use them. For those wishing not to take part, the school suggests students just remove the devices from their rooms and put them away in a safe place.

Other universities have also experimented with voice-controlled assistants in student living areas.

A year ago, Arizona State University announced a program that provided Echo Dot devices to a special housing area for engineering students. In the program, all engineering students moving into the special housing community were given the choice of receiving an Echo Dot if they wanted one.

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Bhavik Patel, a mechanical engineering senior and peer mentor at Arizona State’s community housing center Tooker House, demonstrates use of an Amazon Echo Dot while working on formulas. VOA

As is the case at Saint Louis University, Arizona State students are able to use the system to get the latest information on university programs and events. However, the Arizona students also have the chance to sign up for classes that teach subjects related specifically to creating new uses for Alexa devices.

Octavio Heredia is a director with Arizona State’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. He said he thinks it is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.

Also Read: Google Releases ‘Go Edition of Android 9 Pie’

“Once they are familiar with the devices, they are going to want to further develop their own skills and begin integrating that technology – the hardware and the skills – into other projects,” he said. (VOA)