Increasing Engagement with NRIs/PIOs – Presentation at the Regional PBD, Los Angeles, USA, November 15, 2015

Increasing Engagement with NRIs/PIOs – Presentation at the Regional PBD, Los Angeles, USA, November 15, 2015

With about 30 million people of Indian origin living outside India, a new global community of Indian origin has been developed. Most people of Indian origin living in developed countries have become highly successful in business and professions. If their professional expertise and financial resources are to be pooled together, it will benefit not only people of Indian origin but also their countries and India. In addition, people of Indian origin could assume a new role in providing help in case of crisis to their communities around the world. That has been the perspectives of the community leadership in the last in the last three decades.

Of the 30 million, about 50% constitute the first generation immigrants from India and their immediate families, generally termed as non-resident Indians (NRIs). This is the group one should reach out for investments and for business and technology collaborations in India. This group also has taken great interest in India’s developments. Where are these communities? They are spread across the Middle East, USA, Canada, U.K. and other European countries, Australia and Southeast and Far Eastern countries.

Some of the issues of the community are as follows: It is in India’s interest to engage those citizens of India to take an active role in its development. With increasing trend in migration, the NRI/PIO population outside India is likely to increase in future. In this borderless society, India must show its Indian citizens living outside India that they are full participants in Indian democracy.

NRI Voting Process in Indian Elections and Representation in Indian Parliament – Need to develop online voting process for NRIs living outside India so that they can vote in Indian elections.

If we take a step further, for 15 million Indian citizens living outside India, there should be representation in the Indian Parliament, either through direct election for a couple seats in Lok Sabha (which may need a constitutional amendment) or appointment of a couple of MPs in Rajya Sabha. Pro-active Role for Indian Missions to Reach Out and Help Indian Citizens Needing Emergency Assistance

Although MOIA has set up such programs, the Indian Missions abroad must be pro-active by reaching out to the Indian cultural and social service community groups to reach out such people and provide services to them in terms of an emergency assistance.

Many NRIs and NRI organizations have taken major initiatives in supporting their former schools and colleges, some have set up schools and colleges in their villages and towns, while others have been supporting social and environmental causes. However, many face major hurdles in such efforts. Even if we set up a charitable organization in India, we can not send money to that charity until and unless it has been cleared by the Home Ministry which takes a long time. This clearance process time must be reduced. NRIs/PIOs are interested in these initiatives. However, we still need the modalities of involving in such initiatives. These include how we can help in various Indian states in such initiatives.

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