[Model Answer QP2023 GS2] Indian diaspora scaled new heights in the west . Describe its economic and potential benefits for India.


The Indian diaspora, comprising over 30 million individuals, is among the largest in the world. The West, especially countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia, has seen significant migration from India over the decades. Many members of the Indian diaspora have scaled remarkable heights in diverse fields, from technology and medicine to politics and arts.

Economic Benefits:

1. Remittances: The Indian diaspora has consistently been a significant source of remittances. According to the World Bank, in 2019, India was the top recipient of remittances globally, receiving over $83 billion. This inflow of foreign currency strengthens the country’s foreign exchange reserves and supports the domestic economy.

2. Investments: Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) often invest in Indian real estate, stock markets, and businesses. These investments not only support capital formation but also lead to job creation and infrastructural development.

3. Technology and Knowledge Transfer: Many diaspora members, particularly those in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs, have established or aided startups in India, leading to technology transfer, skill enhancement, and the growth of India’s own tech ecosystem.  

4. Trade Links: The diaspora acts as a bridge in establishing trade links between India and their resident countries. They often facilitate business partnerships, enhancing exports and imports.

Potential Benefits:

1. Soft Power Diplomacy: The success of the Indian diaspora, especially prominent figures like Sundar Pichai (Google), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), and Kamala Harris (Vice President, USA), enhances India’s image globally. This soft power can be harnessed in international negotiations and to attract foreign investment.

2. Cultural Exchanges: The diaspora plays a pivotal role in promoting Indian culture abroad, be it through festivals, cuisine, yoga, or cinema. This cultural familiarity can boost tourism and deepen people-to-people ties.

3. Educational Collaborations: Many Indian academics and professionals in the West have fostered collaborations between Western and Indian universities, facilitating student exchange programs, research collaborations, and more.

4. Policy Advocacy: The diaspora, being active in the political landscapes of their resident countries, can advocate for policies that are favorable to India, be it in terms of trade agreements, defense partnerships, or global summits.

5. Innovation Partnerships: With many Indians leading R&D departments in global corporations, there’s potential for innovation partnerships that could address India-specific challenges in areas like healthcare, agriculture, and energy.


The Indian diaspora in the West is not just a testament to individual achievements but also a strategic asset for India. As India seeks to play a more prominent role on the global stage, the contributions and potential of its diaspora will undoubtedly be pivotal. Leveraging this potential will necessitate consistent engagement, trust-building, and policy frameworks that encourage collaboration and mutual growth.

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