Chandigarh: Individual complaints and grievances of Non-Resident Indians from Punjab on different issues/matters would henceforth be addressed within 15 days, the state government announced on Friday.
A four-member committee headed by NRIs Affairs Minister Jathedar Tota Singh has been constituted to address issues of land disputes and ‘girdawari’ (record of land cultivation) within the stipulated period, a government spokesperson told IANS.
He said special courts for NRIs have already been set up in Jalandhar.
The Indian diaspora is a generic term representing the people who migrated from the Indian territories to the other parts of the world. It includes the descendants of these groups. Today, over twenty million Indians which include Non-Resident Indians and People of Indian Origin are residing outside the Indian territory as Indian diaspora. According to a UN survey report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world. In 2005, Indians formed the world’s third-largest diaspora. The Indians who settled overseas in the 1960s for more developed countries such as US, UK, Canada, Australia and Western Europe formulate the category of the New Diaspora.
What are the popular host countries for the Indian Diaspora:
The 2010 estimates of Census data of US, UK and Canada suggest that Indian diaspora constitutes three million people in US, 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and one million in Canada. Indians are the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States. Also, five million emigrants from India residing in the Gulf region at present.
The History of Indian Diaspora:
A brief overview of the history of Indian diaspora suggests that the first group of Indians immigrated to Eastern Europe in the 1st century AD from Rajasthan during the reign of Kanishka. Yet another evidence of migration was witnessed in 500 AD when a group immigrated to Southeast Asia as the Cholas extended their empire to Indonesia and Malaysia thereby spreading the Indian culture in these states. Thus the early evidence of the diaspora was found during ancient times. The medieval period witnessed the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism during the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Mughals took Indians as traders, scholars, artists, musicians, and emissaries to the other parts of the country.
The first wave of the Modern Indian Diaspora, also called the Old Diaspora, began in the early 19th century and continued until the end of the British rule. The Dutch and French colonizers followed the suit. Indians were sent in large numbers to become the bonded labourers for sugar and rubber plantation in their colonies.
Indians in Caribbean, Africa, and Asia:
By the end of World War 1, there were 1.5 million Indian laborers in the colonies in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. At present, around 60% of Indian diaspora is constituted of this Old Diaspora.
Impact of Immigration policies on Migration from India:
After the Indian independence, a large number of unskilled and some skilled Punjabi male Sikhs migrated to the UK from India due to favorable immigration policies in the United Kingdom. Similarly, the 1990s onwards, due to software boom and its rising economy, H-1B was introduced in the US immigration policy that allowed the entry of highly skilled IT specialists, doctors, scientists and engineers in the US. Further, the 1970s witnessed oil boom in the Middle East that led to significant growth of Indian diaspora in the Gulf region.
While the low skilled and semi-skilled workers are moving to the Gulf region for better economic opportunities, highly skilled labor is moving from India to US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Has Indian Diaspora started impacting the economies and societies:
With the growing rate of international migration since the beginning of millennia, there is a significant impact of diaspora on the economies and societies of the world. In recent years, the diaspora is influencing the economic, political and cultural affairs in their homeland. It is so because the influence of the diaspora communities increases as they organize themselves and accumulate resources in their host countries for several years. The mobilized diaspora are now influencing the affairs of the homeland countries. A common form of exchange is the financial remittances provided to the relatives by the diaspora community. Overseas family networks of the political elites in India are shaping the political landscape as well. Culturally, the diaspora is influencing the music and literature trends in India as the content is consciously structured to cater to the tastes of the diaspora.
What actions have been taken by the government of India to tap the potential of Indian Diaspora:
The first Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was organized in 2003 by the Government of India to expand and reshape the state of India’s economy by the use of the potential human capital which the Indian diaspora reflects. Clearly, Indian diaspora has a larger role to play in the Indian economy over the coming years as the efforts to mobilize them increase in the homeland.
New Delhi, April 21, 2017: The Centre has acceded to the Punjab government’s request to open a passport office in Nawanshahr town and also look into the issue of blacklisted Sikh youths settled abroad, official sources said.
The issues came up for discussion when Chief Minister Amarinder Singh paid a courtesy call on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Friday to inquire after her health in view of her recent kidney transplant.
Swaraj also promised all possible efforts by the Centre to ensure safety and security of Punjabis and Sikhs living abroad, a state government spokesman said.
The passport office in Nawanshahr to facilitate Non-Resident Indians as well as others from the region will be in addition to the one in Patiala, which is set to be inaugurated soon, he said.
The Chief Minister expressed concern over the delay in removing the names of Sikh youths put on the central government’s blacklist for their alleged involvement in subversive or anti-India activities during and after the Khalistan movement in Punjab during the 80s and 90s.
These youths can’t visit/return to India due to their names being on the blacklist.
Swaraj said she will take up the issue with the Home Ministry, which was in the process of gradually pruning the list. (IANS)
Washington, February 3, 2017: Indian-American Republican leader from Virginia Puneet Ahluwalia is contesting for the state’s House of Delegates for the 34th district against the incumbent Kathleen Murphy.
Ahluwalia, 10th District Representative on the Virginia Republican State Central Committee, served as a financial chair of the Asian American presidential inaugural ball in January, American Bazaar online reported on Friday.
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“The success of our community demands us to be active and participate in mainstream politics. It is our responsibility to strengthen the diversity of our nation,” he said.
“… We should be supporting President Trump and Republican leadership in creating and promoting American jobs with strong emphasis on balanced trade between US-Indo Pacific Region.”
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“We should not lose focus on eradicating terrorism and enemies of democracies,” he added.
Ahluwalia said that he would work to strengthen the Republican Party’s base in Virginia, among other things.
“We will watch our allies’ back and it is important that communities, including the Indian-American community that has benefited most from this great nation, play a pivotal role in the revival process. I had a choice but I chose to stand up and participate in the political process and serve the public of 34th district,” Ahluwalia said.
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“Our nation is at a crossroad where we will take new positive direction as we embark on a journey to make our nation stronger.”
He added: “I have the support of my wife, kids and friends, and supporters and very importantly the leadership of the Republican Party, especially Barbara Comstock.”
A Delhi Public School (DPS) alumni, Ahluwalia heads consultancy and IT businesses in the Washington DC area, along with active participation in the US politics, since 1998-99. (IANS)