International Conference on Indian Diaspora from North East and other parts of the Country: Comparative Journeys, Identity and Challenges of India Connect. It is being jointly organised by NERRRC, Miranda House, University of Delhi & Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, India (ODI India) on 24-25 October 2024 via dual mode. Offline at India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi and Online Via Zoom Platform.
Conference Announcements
International Conference on �India and its Diaspora Engagement: Comparative Global Practices� organized by Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, (ODI) New Delhi in Collaboration with Dias
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International Conference


Indian Diaspora from North East and other parts of the Country: Comparative Journeys, Identity and Challenges of India Connect


jointly organised by


NERRRC, Miranda House, University of Delhi




Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, India (ODI India)



Date: 24-25 October 2024


Dual Mode Conference


Offline at India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi and


Online Via Zoom Platform



For any query please email it at




In the 21st century, the country that tells the better story wins, rather than the country whose army can prevail on the battlefield. That ability to attract others, persuade and set the agenda, soft power, plays an increasingly important role in international relations and Indian foreign policy. The impact of diaspora communities as drivers of soft power in our current global environment cannot be underestimated. Nations recognise the potential of their diaspora populations in shaping international relations, leading to a growing need to examine and compare the soft power strategies employed by different countries in leveraging their diaspora networks. This conference explores the comparative perspective of diaspora soft power in the emerging global order, shedding light on the diverse approaches and impacts across nations. Joseph Nye Jr.'s concept of soft power elucidates the potential for cooperation among states, political actors, and diaspora communities. Soft Power, according to Nye, is the ability to affect others and obtain preferred outcomes by attraction and persuasion rather than coercion or payment. As countries deal with the complexities of the global landscape, it is important to examine the role of soft power, especially within diaspora communities. Soft power, rooted in cultural attraction and shared values, offers avenues for influencing global dynamics beyond traditional mechanisms like military or economic coercion.

India's unique position in this area provides valuable insights for studying diaspora soft power, demonstrating its relevance beyond the Western world and presenting a formidable competitor to established powers. India's soft power can emanate from its vibrant Bollywood industry, burgeoning Silicon Valley, ancient tradition of yoga, and accomplished individuals like Sundar Pichai. Harnessing the web's multiplicity and the diaspora's reach presents opportunities to amplify India's influence on the global stage. By exploring the interplay between diaspora communities and soft power dynamics, this conference aims to shed light on the evolving role of diaspora soft power in shaping the global landscape.

The post-Cold War era has brought about a new global paradigm characterized by increased interdependence among nations and globalization, underscoring the limitations of traditional power dynamics.

In this context, perceptions and narratives significantly impact a world defined by communication and cultural interconnectedness. As communication strategies become more important, the results of international affairs are increasingly influenced not only by military victories but also by the ability to create compelling narratives and build meaningful relationships. In this context, diaspora communities play a crucial role, acting as conduits for soft power projection and cultural exchange on a global scale.

The Indian diaspora from the North-Eastern region adds a unique dimension to India's soft power narrative. They have historically been marginalized and often overlooked, though contributing to a diverse cultural landscape demonstrating remarkable resilience. Despite facing socio-economic obstacles and cultural assimilation pressures, the North Eastern Indian diaspora contributes significantly to India's soft power through its trade, cultural expressions, culinary diversity, and artistic contributions. Their stories show the intricate relationship between identity, belonging, and the power of cultural heritage in shaping international perceptions of India. By recognizing and amplifying the voices of the North-Eastern diaspora, India can further enhance its soft power narrative, showcasing the country's inclusive ethos and celebrating its diverse cultural landscape.

The definition of diaspora, as proposed by William Safran in 1991, which required the existence of a migratory group for it to be acknowledged, has been a subject of prolonged discussion, analysis, and reinterpretation. While some scholars have expanded the concept of the diaspora to a global level, others have emphasized the hybrid identity of diasporans and their existence in the "in-between" or "Third Space." Furthermore, some have raised doubts about the validity of contemporary diasporas, as compared to "classic" ones, due to their extensive conceptual expansion, which has resulted in a lack of density and substance for the diaspora. The conference aims to look into the processes of 'diasporic homing' and how diasporans may or may not negotiate their cultural affiliations in the diasporic space, sets to explore modalities through which diasporans re-consider 'home' by gradually becoming part of a de-diazotisation process. Through comparative analysis and dialogue, this conference seeks to clarify the role of diaspora soft power in the emerging global order, providing valuable insights for policymakers, scholars, and practitioners alike.

Sub Themes:

1. Comparative analysis of historical experiences and best practices in diaspora engagement between India and other countries, specifically from North East India.

2. Policies and practices of India's diaspora engagement, with a focus on the Northeast in the context of globalisation: a comparative approach.

3. Economic opportunities and challenges in leveraging India's diaspora as a strategic resource and soft power.

4. Experiences of Indian Diaspora in adopted countries-the history of their trial and tribulation.

5. A comparative analysis of the roles and responsibilities of civil society organizations, including those representing the Northeast, in India's diaspora engagement.

6. Comparative examination of the role and impact of women in India's diaspora engagement and its counterparts in other countries.

7. Diverse Identity issues of the Indian diaspora, specially those from North East India, and its major challenges in adopted countries

8. Comparative study of cultural preservation efforts within the Indian diaspora, with a focus on the unique contributions and challenges faced by communities from the Northeast.

9. Exploration of legal and advocacy frameworks established by the Indian diaspora, with considerations for the representation and advocacy efforts diaspora groups on issues such as human rights and social justice.

10. The journey, identity, and local situations of global Indian Diaspora and their diverse challenges of India connect.


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