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Overseas Indians and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs

India has the second largest diaspora in the world. The Overseas Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world. Yet, it is difficult to speak of one great Indian diaspora. The overseas Indian community is the result of different waves of migration over hundreds of years driven by a variety of reasons – mercantilism, colonialism and globalisation. Its early experiences make up a saga of trials, tribulations and the eventual triumph of determination and hard work. In the last three decades of the 20th century the character of migration began to change and a ‘new Diaspora’ led by high skilled professionals moving to the western world and semi-skilled contract workers moving to the Gulf, West and South East Asia emerged.

The overseas Indian community thus constitutes a diverse heterogeneous and eclectic global community representing different regions, languages, cultures and faiths. The common thread that binds them together is the idea of India and its intrinsic values. Overseas Indians comprise People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and today are amongst the best educated and successful communities in the world. In every part of the world the overseas Indian community is recognised and respected for its hard work, discipline, non interference and for successfully integrating with the local community. Overseas Indians have made significant contributions to the economy of the country of residence and have added in considerable measure to knowledge and innovation.

The Ministry and its Mandate

The MOIA is the nodal Ministry for all matters relating to overseas Indians comprising Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). The Mission is to promote, nurture and sustain a mutually beneficial and symbolic relationship between Indians and Overseas Indians. To achieve the mission, MOIA is guided by four key principles:

  • Offer customized solutions to meet the varied expectations of the overseas Indian community
  • Lend a strategic dimension to India’s engagement with the Diaspora
  • Tap the investible diasporic community in terms of knowledge and resources
  • Anchor all diasporic initiatives in the States

MOIA has taken up a series of programmes/ initiatives for the betterment of the overseas Indian community.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

9th January is recognised as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatama Gandhi returned to India from South Africa to launch what eventually became India’s successful freedom struggle and inspiration to overseas Indians and people under colonial rule all over the world. The day is celebrated every year as part of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) Convention. The PBD is the flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

The sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference was organized at Chennai on 7- 9 January, 2009 in partnership with the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The Conference included 4 plenary sessions on ‘India as Emerging Power: The Diaspora Factor’, ‘Reflections on Current Economic Crisis-Diaspora concerns’. ‘Diaspora interaction with the States’ and ‘Indian Diaspora: Preservation of language and Culture’. Six Concurrent Sessions on “Building Bridges: Trade & Investment’. ‘Diaspora Philanthropy’, ‘Education & Diaspora Knowledge Network’. Media & Entertainment’. ‘Increased interaction with Diaspora Women’ and Health for All; Role of Diaspora’ and Regional Working Sessions on Gulf, Asia-pacific, Africa, America, Canada, Caribbean and Europe were also held as part of the Conference. Around 1800 delegates participated in the Conference from 54 countries of the world.

The Conference was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh. Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to 13 persons of Indian origin at the Valedictory Session on 9th January. The recipients of the PBSA were selected by a Jury-Cum-Awards Committee chaired by the Ho’ble Vice President of India.

The Vice President of Surinam H.E. Ramdieh Sard Joe was the Chief Guest for Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2009.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA)

The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is conferred as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) conferences that have been organized by the Government of India annually since 2003. PBSA is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.

As per the PBSA guidelines the Award shall be conferred on a Non Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or a NRI/PIO organization/institution who has made:

  • Significant contribution towards better understanding abroad of India and support to India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way
  • Significant contribution for the welfare of diaspora
  • Notable contribution in philanthropic and charitable work and for social and humanitarian causes in India and abroad
  • Significant contribution in building closer links between India and its diaspora in the economic, cultural and scientific fields
  • Eminence in one’s field for outstanding work which has enhanced India’s prestige in the country of residents.


Has achieved outstanding eminence in his skills which has enhanced India’s prestige in that country (for non-professional workers).

Nominations for the PBSA can be made by the Heads of Indian Diplomatic Missions abroad, Chariman of the Standing Committee of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Prominent Overseas associations with nation-wide character (as decided by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs) and past awardees of PBSA.

81 persons of Indian origin and one PIO organization, namely, National Council of Indian Culture, Trinidad and Tobago have so far been conferred with the Award.


A mini PBD titled ‘PBD Singapore’ was organized on 9-11 October 2008 in Singapore in partnership with the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and support of the Government of Singapore. The tagline for the event was “PBD Singapore: Towards a Dynamic Indian Diaspora”. President Mr. S.R. Nathan, Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Long, Deputy Prime Minister, Professor S. Jayakumar, Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister of State, Mr. S. Iswaran of Singapore participated in the event. Prime Minister of Mauritius and senior ministers form Malaysia also participated apart from Cabinet Ministers Shri Kapil Sibal and Shri Vayalar Ravi.

A mini PBD titled “PBD Europe” is being organized in Netherlands on 19th September, 2009.

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme

In response to persistent demands for ‘dual citizenship’ particularly from the Diaspora in North America and other developed countries and keeping in view the Government’s deep commitment towards fulfilling the aspirations and expectations of Overseas Indians, the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005. The Schemes was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2006 at Hyderabad. The Scheme provides for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) of all Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were citizens of India or were eligible to become citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 or thereafter except who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

A registered Overseas Citizen of India is granted multiple entry, multipurpose, life-long visa for visiting India, he/she is exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer or Foreign Registration Officer for any length of stay in India, and is entitled to parity with Non-Resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is empowered to notify grant of further benefits to OCIs. It has since notified that OCIs shall be treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors, within India, entry fees to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India and with Non-Resident Indian nationals in the matter of Inter-country adoption of Indian children.

Around 2, 81,000 persons of Indian origin have been registered as OCIs by middle of July, 2008. Since 5th January, 2009, OCIs have also been granted parity with non-resident Indians in respect of;

  • Entry fees for visiting the 3 national monuments, historical sites and museums in India
  • Practicing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely
    • doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacist
    • advocates
    • architects
    • chartered accountants
  • Entitlement to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts.

Respective Ministries/Departments/agencies of the Government of India have been requested to make necessary provision in their rules and regulations to give effect to the notification.

OCI is not to be misconstrued as a ‘dual citizenship’. OCI does not confer political rights. Detailed instruction and procedures on the OCI Scheme are given in the MHA’s website:

Around 4.56 lakh persons of Indian origin have been registered as OCIs upto 31st July, 2009.

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children

Launched in the academic year 2006-07, the scheme seeks to promote India as a destination of choice for tertiary studies by children of our overseas community and thus develop India as an educational hub globally. At present 100 scholarships are offered to PIO and NRI children for undergraduate courses in Engineering, Technology, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry etc. Over 205 students have benefited so far under the Scheme where the Ministry meets upto 75% of the total institutional economic cost (which includes tuition fee, hostel charges, etc.) within a ceiling of US $3600 per student per academic session. Deserving candidates are selected through a common entrance test conducted by Ed. CIL in forty identified countries with significant diaspora population.

Establishment of a PIO/NRI University

Keeping in view with the recommendations made by the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora (HLCID) and commitment given at the highest level the Govt. has approved establishment of a PIO/NRI University for the benefit of children of overseas Indians. The University will have the status of ‘Deemed University’ under Section 3 of the UGC Act. The University is being set up by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education Trust, Manipal at Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Proposals have also been received for setting up four more PIO/NRI Universities in different cities in India (other than Bengaluru) in response to an advertisement calling for Expressions of Interest for this purpose.

Know India Programme

The Ministry is organizing 2-3 Know India Programmes (KIP) each year. Earlier known as Internship Programme for Diaspora Youth (IPDY); it is an Orientation Programme to acquaint the young overseas Indians, in the age group of 18-26 years, with the developments taking place in India in the industrial, scientific, academic, and other sectors and to expose them to various facets of the way of life in India, composite character of India and to let them interact with youth from different parts of the country. The objective is to bring the young overseas Indians closer to the land of their ancestors and to bond with the contemporary India. Under this Programme, participants are invited from 39 major diaspora countries for a three week programme which also includes calls on the President of India, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports and others. Eight such programmes have been conducted so far. The 11th KIP was held from 21.3.09 t0 12.4.09. 34 diaspora youth from 11 countries took part in it. So far, a total of 235 youth have benefited from this programme.

Trends in Emigration

There are about five million overseas Indian workers all over the world. More than 90% of these workers are in the Gulf countries and Southeast Asia. During 2007 approximately 8.09 lakh workers migrated from India after due emigration clearance, out of these approximately 3.12 lakh, 1.95 lakh, 95,000, 88,000 and 48,000 workers went to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait respectively. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were the leading sourcing states.

Major outflow of emigrant workers in the last few years from India has been to the Gulf countries where about four million workers are estimated to be employed. A vast majority of migrants to the Middle East, including Gulf countries are semiskilled and unskilled workers and most of them are temporary migrants who return to India after expiry of their contractual employment. There has been a consistent and steady increase in the number of persons emigrating for employment abroad from the year 2003 onwards. The number of emigration clearances granted by the eight offices of the Protector of Emigrants has increased from 4.66 lakh in 2003 to 8.09 lakh in 2007. U.A.E. is the main destination for Indian workers followed by Saudi Arabia. Outside the Gulf region, the intake of Indian manpower by Malaysia has shown a significant and consistent increase till 2005. There is considerable decline noticed in 2006 and 2007. Employment for Indian workers in these countries holds a great potential.

Pre-Departure Orientation and Skill Upgradation for Emigrant Workers

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs launched a scheme during 2006-07 to bring the skill level of potential emigrants at par with the overseas labour market requirement and to equip them with a basic knowledge about laws, language and culture of the destination country.

During 2007-08 the scheme has been expanded to include more implementing agencies such as Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and NGOs.

The scheme ‘Operation-cum-Skill Up-gradation Scheme for Potential Emigrants’ has been further modified and per unit expenditure has been increased to Rs.5500/ from the earlier limit ofRs.1350/-. Now as per the modified guidelines, the Scheme is 100% funded by the Central Government. Last year, Rs.5.00 crore was released to State Governments etc. for organising training programme.

Setting Up of Overseas Indian Centres

The Government has approved setting up of three Overseas Indian Centres at Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Washington to provide medical, legal and financial Counselling to the Overseas Indian Workers. Three posts of Counsellor-Community Affairs (Development) have been sanctioned in the Indian Missions at Washington, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as field Organizations of MOIA in those countries. The Counsellor at Washington will look after the interests of the Overseas Indian community in the USA and Canada, the one in Dubai will cover the Gulf countries, and the Counsellor at Kuala Lumpur will look after Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. The Counsellors will be supported by professionals to be appointed locally to provide assistance in the fields of health, legal and financial matters. Based on the experiences of these offices extension of these services to other countries will also be considered. The Counsellor (Communal Affairs) had already taken over the change in Abu-Dhabi and Washington and the Centres have become functional.

Bilateral MoUs on Manpower

The problems of Indians in the Gulf include non-payment or delay of wages, harsh working and living conditions, substitution of contracts, retention of passport, cheating by intermediaries, physical abuse and sexual exploitation etc.

Protecting emigrants against such malpractices require bilateral cooperation in the field of manpower deployment. India had signed labour agreement with Jordan and Qatar in 1980s. An additional protocol to the existing labour agreement between India & Qatar has recently been signed in November 2007 to take care of mutual concerns.

To protect the Indian workers and ensure their well-being the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs planned to sign MoUs with UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Malaysia. Saudi Arabia has not yet agreed to negotiate the MoU.

In General, the following broad principles have been built into the MoUs:

  • Declaration of mutual intent to enhance employment opportunities and for bilateral cooperation in protection and welfare of workers.
  • Statement of the broad procedure that the foreign employer shall follow to recruit Indian workers.
  • A Joint Working Group to be constituted to ensure implementation of the MoU and to meet regularly to find solutions to bilateral labour problems.
  • The recruitment and terms of employment to be in conformity with both the countries.
Bilateral Social Security Pacts

Most of the developed countries have an umbrella social security system mandated by law. It is funded through mandatory contribution in the form of tax from all working people and their employers (in a prescribed ratio) in order to provide multiple benefits like old age pension, survivor’s pension, disability pension, health insurance and employment insurance etc. Typically this social security tax is in the form of the fixed percentage of income subject to a maximum lump sum limit. All expatriate workers are also required to pay social security tax as per the law of that country.

Often the Indian workers who are posted to these countries by their employers in India continue to make social security contribution in India as per the Indian law and yet they are compelled to pay social security contribution in the host country. Indian workers often do not get any benefit from the social security contribution paid abroad after they return to India on completion of the term of contract because most countries do not allow export of social security benefits. Similarly the self-employed Indians working in these countries despite having made contribution throughout their active life are deprived of social security benefits in case they relocate to India in old age, which is often the case. Often the host countries have a minimum contribution period under the law and so the worker does not become eligible to social security benefits. If he stays and pays in the host country for a lesser period, he looses the entire contribution. Another disadvantage is that due to the high rate of social security tax, the Indian companies become less competitive while bidding for projects in these countries.

Bilateral social security agreements can on reciprocal basis protect the interests of such workers by exempting the posted workers from social security contribution under the host country legislation (provided the worker is covered under the home country social security system and continues to pay the contribution under that system during the period of posting abroad) and by proving for exportability of pension for the other categories of workers who have to pay social security contribution under the host country legislation. In order to prevent loss of contribution on account of the minimum contribution period, they provide for totalisation of contribution periods under both the legislations. Such agreements also make companies of both contracting States more competitive since exemption from social security contribution in respect of their employees substantially reduces costs.

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has recently signed a bilateral social security agreement with Belgium. The Indo-Belgian agreement provides for the following benefits to Indians working in Belgium on reciprocal basis:

  • Those posted to Belgium for upto sixty months will be exempted from social security contributions under the Belgian law provided they continue to make social security payments in India.
  • Those who have to contribute under the Belgian law will be entitled to the export of the social security benefits should they relocate to India or a third country on completion of their contract or on retirement.
  • These benefits will also be available to Indian workers posted by an Indian company to Belgium from a third country.
  • Self-employed Indians in Belgium contributing under the Belgian social security system will be entitled to the export of social security benefits should they choose to relocate to India or a third country.
  • Periods of employment in both the countries will be totalised in order to determine the eligibility for pension.
  • Indian companies will become more competitive in Belgium since exemption from social security contribution in respect of their employees substantially reduces costs.

The Bilateral Social Security agreement has also been signed with France and Germany. The Ministry has negotiated and finalized similar agreements with the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Republic of Hungary which will be signed shortly. Negotiations are in progress with Canada, Australia, Denmark and Sweden. The process has been initiated with several other countries. Two rounds of exploratory talks have been held with US too.

Insurance of Emigrants

On the occasion of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2003, the Government had announced the compulsory Insurance Scheme for the emigrants going abroad for employment. In pursuance of this announcement, a compulsory insurance scheme known as Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) 2003 came into force from 25.12.2003.

The PBBY, 2003 has now been upgraded as the Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana, 2006 to provide broader coverage to the emigrant workers. The PBBY, 2006 has come into effect from 01.02.2006. The scheme has been further upgraded to provide more benefit to the emigrant workers vide order dated 28.2.2008. The emigrant workers will now get a minimum insurance cover of Rs.10 lakh (instead of Rs.5 lakh) and the policy will be for the entire period of employment contract. An additional cover of Rs.30,000/- for the legal expenses incurred by the emigrants in connection with their employment has also been included. The scheme also covers medical expenses upto Rs.75,000 and maternity benefit of Rs.25,000.

Indian Council for Overseas Employment

The Ministry has established a Council for Promotion of Overseas Employment, renamed as Indian Council for Overseas Employment (ICOE) which will serve as a think-tank to conduct market studies, identify employment opportunities overseas, develop skills to match the market demand, devise strategies to respond to the dynamic international labour market and enable the Indian workers to reap the demographic dividends of globalisation. The Council has been constituted as a Registered Society under the Societies Registration Act. 1860.

Welfare Fund

The Ministry has set up “Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)” at the disposal of the Indian Missions in all the ECR countries to meet contingency expenditure incurred by the Indian Missions for carrying out the activities related to welfare of Overseas Indian Citizens. Under this scheme, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will provide funding support to the Indian Missions in all the 17 Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) Countries for the welfare of the workers in distress in the host countries.

The proposed fund will be specifically aimed at providing the following services on the means tested basis.

  • Boarding and lodging for distressed overseas Indians in Household/domestic sectors and unskilled labourers;
  • Airlifting of mortal remains to India or local cremation/burial of the deceased overseas Indian in such cases where a sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is unable to meet the cost;
  • Extending emergency medical care to the overseas Indians in need;
  • Providing air passage to stranded overseas Indians in need;
  • Providing initial legal assistance to the overseas Indians in deserving cases.
Labour Mobility Partnerships

A labour Mobility Partnership can lay down an effective framework for bilateral cooperation for maximizing benefits from labour mobility and minimizing its risks. It can also effectively address the concerns of the countries of destination such as irregular migration and integration problems. It provides an opportunity to both partners to jointly develop and implement good practices in labour migration.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is taking earnest steps for forging labour mobility partnerships with key countries of destination in the European Union. Recently an MoU has been negotiated with Denmark to forge labour partnership. The Ministry has initiated the process for negotiating labour mobility agreements with Sweden and France too.

Since India and the EU countries have complementary needs, the proposed Labour Mobility Partnership (LMP) will immensely help both sides. The Ministry is taking steps to negotiate an Indo-EU partnership as well.

Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC)

The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) is a not-for-profit-trust, in partnership with Confederation of India Industry (CII). The Centre serves as a ‘one stop shop’ for the Overseas Indian community and has the mandate to cover two broad areas viz: Investment Facilitation and Knowledge Networking.

The objectives of the Centre are:

  • Promote Overseas Indian investment into India and facilitate business partnership, by giving authentic and real time information.
  • Function as clearinghouse for all investment related information. This would be done by processing information on a real time basis through ICT platform.
  • Establish and maintain a Diaspora knowledge network (DKN) by creating a database of Overseas Indian who would act as knowledge diaspora and whose knowledge resources could be using ICT platform.
  • Assist States in India to project investment opportunities to overseas Indians in the infrastructure and social sectors. The objectives of the OIFC will be to bring the Indian States, Indian Business and potential Overseas Investors on the same platform and to facilitate the investors to identify the investment opportunities.
  • Provide a host of advisory services to PIO and NRIs. These could include matters such as consular questions, stay in India, investment and financial issues etc.

During 2008, OIFC organized a market place in Mini PBD at Singapore. One to one meetings were held with the prospective investors. A similar market place was also organized in Chennai at PBD 2009.

To achieve the objective of bringing investment to India, OIFC planned to organize ‘Investors Interactive Meetings’ in eight regions showing a range of exclusive products and projects from the India Corporate to Overseas Indian investment in real estate wealth management, health care etc. The regions identified are Middle East, South Africa, Australia, UK, Netherlands, Canada, USA, and Malaysia. First such meet was held in November 2008 in Oman. It had positive response on the prospective Investors.

OIFC also brought out updated publications – Hand book for Overseas Indians and compendium on the investment opportunities in India for the benefits of the Overseas Indians.

India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians

Health care India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians, is a not-for-profit trust registered by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India to provide a credible window for Overseas Indian Philanthropy in India’s Social development. The objective of the foundation is to facilitate philanthropic activities by Overseas Indians including through innovative projects and instruments such as micro credit for rural entrepreneurs, self help groups for economic empowerment of women, best practice interventions in primary education and technology interventions in rural delivery

The foundation is at ‘arms length’ from Government and is managed by an eminent Board of Trustees. The mandate of the foundation is to lead Overseas Indians philanthropic capital into India’s Social Sector by forging partnerships between donors and credible non-government and non-profit voluntary organizations working in the Social Sector in India.

The broad objectives of the Trust are:

  • Lead overseas Indian philanthropy into India, facilitate partnerships through single window facilitation and by building public private partnerships.
  • Establish and maintain a ‘Social Capital and Philanthropy Network’ in India that can provide a list of credible institutions, projects and programmes.
  • Function as a clearinghouse for all philanthropy related information.
  • Partner with states in India and encourage credible Indian philanthropic organizations to project social development opportunities to overseas Indians in the sectors that best match national priorities including empowerment of rural women.
  • Promote accountability and ‘good practices’ in Diaspora philanthropy Global- Indian Network of Knowledge (Global INK)

The emergence of significant diaspora across the world has in recent years brought into sharp focus two key facts. First, there is a large expatriate population of skilled people from emerging economies in the developed world. Second, that overseas communities can and do constitute a significant resource for me development of the countries of origin. The movement of the high skilled and low skilled workers from less to more developed economies and back opens several new opportunities for development. While the movement of educated, skilled and trained people was for long seen as ‘brain drain’. Increasingly countries of origin are beginning to recognize that their diaspora represent knowledge in diverse fields and that this knowledge reservoir can be drawn upon as ‘brain gain’.

The focus must be on establishing an institutional framework for sustainable engagement to lead the knowledge, expertise, skills and resources of the vast and diverse overseas Indian community into home country development efforts. Such a framework will pull in the Diaspora as ‘Knowledge’ partners, the institutions in India as ‘Stakeholder’ partners and the Government as a ‘Facilitator’. Towards this end, establishing a ‘Global Indian Knowledge Network’- a dynamic electronic platform for knowledge transfer – supported by a programme of training and visits by the overseas Indian knowledge partners would give a fillip to knowledge exchange between the Diaspora and India. The key objective of this exchange will be to draw upon the eclectic knowledge base of the Indian Diaspora and deploy technology and innovation across sectors and geographies in India through well designed projects with targeted and measurable outcomes.

To meet the above objective Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has undertaken an initiative to develop a Diaspora knowledge network called Global-Indian Knowledge Network of Knowledge (Global INK)

Global Indian Network of Knowledge (Global INK), an electronic platform will connect people of Indian Origin from a variety of disciplines including scientists working abroad, recognized as leaders in their respective fields, not just in their country of residence but globally as well, with knowledge users at the national and sub-national levels in India. The network will serve as a strategic ‘virtual think-tank’. The outcome targeted will be the germination of ideas on development, identification of the key elements in addressing the challenges to development and articulating and mapping out solutions through innovation and technological interventions.

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