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Indian Diaspora, please don’t be judgmental!

Indian Diaspora

By Shrinivas Dharmadhikari

The Independent, a British newspaper will no longer call India’s commercial capital “Mumbai”. Instead, plans to revert to colonial Bombay. While explaining the rationale One Amol Rajan, India-born editor of the paper told BBC radio “If you call it what Hindu nationalists want you to call it, you essentially do their work for them.”

This is not the first time Indians staying abroad passing at times patronizing, often silly stereotypical and most irritating of all highly judgmental comments. Ever since the Neo Liberal Indian Governments have opened doors for the so-called diaspora dividends from this eminent community, what we have got is tons of tips and grams of gold.

The bulk of the investments flowing in from NRI/PIOs has been by way of bank deposits, portfolio investment or real estate what is called hot money, which moves globally in search for higher returns. Universal economic logic used by persons of all nationalities. Despites decades of attractive schemes, investment in productive sectors has not reached even double digits more striking when contrasted with China , where the investment by the Chinese diaspora is the major share of total foreign direct investment. This is not to say self seeking character is something special about Indians. Several studies of diaspora investment in homeland is first governed by risk return trade off and then comes home bias as poor second.

Hence, we do not grudge about Indian diaspora’s economic behaviour towards India. Indeed, we Indians have been successful in our nation building since late fifties , when most of PIOs today having got best of the training at highly subsidised rates in IITs and IIMs, abandoned motherland for better creature comforts. But we certainly object to their passing judgements over issues purely Indian which are not only much less nuanced (crude?) but many times frozen in the times when they left the country. Unless of course they abandon their London based imperial world view and do serious homework at the grass root level. I am not sure if my editor friend young as he is (born 1983) , knows what Mumbai means to every Maharashtrian of any political affiliation. It was during the Samyukta Maharashtra movement(1960) which was an all-party struggle with active participation by the left that 19 activist sacrificed their life.

And regional identity per se is nothing regressive or fundamentalists. It’s use can be teleological and ideology driven. There are adequate number of similar issues in Scotland and Northern Ireland where he can take appropriate stands wearing his ideological trapping on his sleeves

Further, it is a need of large section of Indian diaspora in UK to selectively forget India’s colonial past and the draconian exploitation done by Imperial England. We in India don’t have those compulsions. Rather, we would like each of our forthcoming generation to remember it as vividly as possible and learn to despise it and its residual vestiges. In fact, we wholeheartedly support the reparation demand made by Shashi Tharoor as compensation for India’s colonial exploitation during which India’s share of the world economy dropped from 23 to 4 per cent I urge our editor friend to support it and advocate it, the least he should do as his leftist commitment.

In fact this takes me to an even larger issue. The Times Square and Wembley Stadium events where an organized attempt of made to parade PM Modi as the rock star poster boy of new emergent India is also an organized attempt by Saffron Diaspora to influence Indian public opinion. In fact it is high time these “Chitthi Ayee re, Chitthi ayi”, permanently nostalgic super patriots restrict such acts of celebrations to their palatial drawing rooms in late evenings with few pegs of single malt down the throat. They can even hug and cry as much as they want. After all we have obliged them with a hug loving Prime Minister !

In the end just a small clarification. I am not diaspora phobic as many may have by now might have mistaken me for. I admire each of them for venturing out and exploring unknown lands. How I wish , we Indians had started doing it way back in the fifteenth and sixteenth century.

To all those brave hearts, all that I wish to say can best be summarized as;

I don’t miss you and you alone, I miss you and me together.

The writer lives in United Kingdom and is a researcher of Global and National Strategic issues. Twitter


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British Columbia Looking For Skilled Indian to Join Tech Related Jobs

"India would be a very crucial market for us. There are many international immigrants including Indians in Vancouver".

British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world
British Columbian Flag.Wikimedia commons

British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world, is looking at a shortfall of 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs, with India as an important catchment area for recruiting immigrant talent.

“India, the Philippines and Nigeria are the countries we are looking for tapping talent in the Information Technology (IT) sector,” says Patrick Mackenzie, CEO of the Immigrant Employment Council (IEC) of British Columbia, the southwestern province in Canada which accounts for more than 10,000 companies and approximately $29 billion (Canadian dollars) in revenue.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the third annual BCTECH Summit here, Mackenzie said there are huge openings for immigrants as information system analysts, consultants, software engineers and designers and computer system managers.

“The current supply cannot meet the industry’s growing demands for tech talent. By 2021, there will be an anticipated shortfall of over 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs in the province,” he noted.

Unless immediate action was taken by the provincial and federal governments, tech employers, the settlement and integration sector and other key shareholders, this employment gap will severely limit the potential growth of the industry, Mackenzie added.

The “2016 Tech Talent BC Report” identifies three talent pools — new entrants or recent graduates, immigrants and other local supply to include career transitioners and people from under-represented groups.

The focus of the report was immigrants and the country needs to source 8,500 more immigrants than are currently projected to arrive in BC by 2021 to meet the growing tech sector demand.

British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan, in his remarks at the plenary session on Wednesday, put the figure at 9,600 which the province needs to bring people from across the world into the tech sector.

British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world
British Columbia is willing to hire numerous skilled personnel for their technical industry. Pexels

The tech and innovation sector in BC has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, transforming its economy in many ways that people could not have imagined. It is evident in the increase of technology jobs from 66,000 in 2002 to more than one lakh in 2016.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, British Columbia, said the province is home to globally-recognised talent, trained at international renowned post-secondary institutions and some of the most successful and innovative companies in the industry.

Ralston said the government of British Columbia actively supported the tech sector to build the good, highly-skilled jobs of tomorrow and to keep their traditional sectors stay efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.

“However, we know the government cannot grow the tech sector alone, and we need strong partnerships –within the private sector, with other levels of government, with educators, and between our traditional industries and innovative tech companies- to continue to develop the emerging economy,” he added.

Mackenzie says even this year, despite the high number of openings, actually over 3,600 jobs will get unfilled till 2020-21 if we don’t find ways to fill them. “We need 8,500 immigrants with skills,” he added.

Asked about the emphasis the IEC would have on India as a pool for scouting talent, he said: “India is a leader in the tech sector and the Council has a very clear picture how to rope in talent and to tell the immigrants what they can look for and do in Canada”.

“India would be a very crucial market for us. There are many international immigrants including Indians in Vancouver”.

It is not just tech jobs and there are openings everywhere, the IEC CEO stressed.

One of the key findings of the IEC report on “Employer Challenges in Attracting and Integrating Immigrant Talent into BC’s Tech Sector” was that most employers had used at least one of the programmes to source international talent and had mixed reviews.

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The other was the alignment between immigrant talent and tech employer needs as they relate to soft skills (language) and hard skills (technical).

With a few exceptions, most employers felt that immigrants’ soft skills were in short supply and, in particular, their interpersonal communication styles often do not align with Canadian employers’ expectations.

The final theme of the report involved settlement and integration services and support for newcomers and their families.

British Columbia is home to international tech giants like Microsoft, Google and others.