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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
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on "New Indian Migrants' and 'Indentured Diaspora': Emerging opportunity for Indian Foreign Policy" 3-4 November, 2016 Venue: Rabindra Bharti Unversity, Kolkata
Interactive Lecture on "India and Indian Diaspora in East Africa: Past Experiences and Future Challenges by Dr. Gijsbert Oonk, Erasmus University, Holland 2 December 2015 at Conf. Hall 2 at IIC
International Conference organized by ODI on Indian Diaspora in Development of Home and Host Countries: A Comparative Perspective at Kadi University, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, 10th-11th January, 2015
OD Conference at Columbia University on A Foot in Each World: South Asian Diaspora Communities in the United States and their Interactions with their Homeland October 17, 2014, 2.00–5.00pm Altschul Auditorium, International Affairs Building (SIPA)
International Conference on "Women in the Indian Diaspora" organised by ODI in collaboration with IIC and CAS-Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on 10-11 January 2014, at India International Centre, New Delhi
Conference on "Diaspora in India's Foreign Policy and National Security:A Comparative Perspective" on 6-7 November 2013 at New Delhi
International Conference on “India and its Diaspora: A Comparative Perspective” on 29-30 March 2013 at IIC
Books on Diaspora by ODI & its Members
Published in Collaboration with ODI
International conferences of ODI on Diasporas
Organised in India
Interaction and Talks organised by ODI
Collaborations with Academic Institutions
International Conference on �India and its Diaspora Engagement: Comparative Global Practices� organized by Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, (ODI) New Delhi in Collaboration with Dias


International Conference


"India and its Diaspora Engagement: Comparative Global Practices" 

organized by

 Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, (ODI) New Delhi

in Collaboration with

Diaspora and International Migration Programme (DIMP) of CAS-Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

at Bangalore

on 10-11 January 2017

 Concept Note

Diaspora engagement policy by home countries is not a new phenomenon. The imperial diaspora engagement of Britain, as reflected in case of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and its diaspora engagement in Canada, Australia, USA existed since long time. Italy had a third chamber of parliament to engage its diaspora. However, twentieth century also witnessed emergence of this practice in other parts of the world as in China, for different purposes. The advent of globalization gave it a further boost to diaspora engagement as an economic network and a heritage capital. Under globalization diaspora emerged as a non-sectarian resource that grew very fast by utilizing the porous boarders, cheaper means of communication, like internet and media, faster and cheaper civil aviation means and borderless identity of capital. China in 1980 mobilized FDI through support of its Diaspora, which for many years constituted over 60 percent of its total FDI inflow. Newly liberated countries, after collapse of Soviet Union, like Poland soon started aggressive policy of engaging their diaspora. As diaspora engagement policy became global, secular and important instrument of foreign policy, it was used for different economic, political and strategic purposes of state. 

India too has a large diaspora numbering over 25 million people. The bulk of its diaspora was formed during colonial subjugation when Indians were hired as indentured worker to replace the slave worker overseas. This legally dressed form of slavery and the mistreatment of these contract workers, generated sharp reactions within nascent Indian nationalist movement. The Indian National Congress (INC) soon orgsnised several visits to different countries to report on their exploitation and slave like treatment. It agitated in India on this issue and petitioned to British colonial government, invited Royal commissions and ultimately forced discontinuation of Indentured system in early 20th century. A powerful group of INC led by Annie Besant, Shrinivas Shastri, MN Kunjuru,  wanted INC to aggressively engage diaspora during independence movement and to have a diaspora engagement programme after independence. Nehru whose decision was crucial in India foreign policy, opted for variety of reasons, to have a policy of diaspora disengagement. The subsequent Congress government in India followed the same policy till globalization forced drastic changes in domestic and foreign policy options of India.

In early 1990s India took a U turn on its Diaspora engagement policy. It started dialogue with its diaspora whose dissociation it had trumpeted. The policy of engagement was systematized when Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) came to power in mid 1990s. It launched several initiatives, instruments, programmes and policies to effect diaspora engagement in top gear. The motivation for this engagement kept changing from dollar deposits to investment, from philanthropy to soft power and strategic support. The successive non-BJP governments added several initiatives and programmes to strengthen this engagement. The special focus of current BJP government has given diaspora engagement a further boost. Indian engagement with its diaspora is now seen as one of the most successful example of engagement effected in a very short span of time.

However, as India diaspora is very diverse in ethnic, religious, linguistic category; located in diverse regions, Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, Arabic, and Dutch speaking countries; with different strengths and potentials- from high and super skilled persons to low skilled and unskilled workers; the diaspora engagement of India cannot be of uniform pattern. Different countries of the world have engaged their diasporas of different composition for different purposes. They maintain their engagement for the mutual benefits of all, home countries, the diaspora and the host countries. It is proposed to organize a conference to examine the possible road maps, best global practices, role and impacts of different stake holders and to identify the existing gaps in diaspora engagement practices of India in a comparative and global context. This international conference will be organized on 10-11 January 2017 at Bangalore. There will be no registration fee and the organizer will provide local hospitality to national and international participants (three-night modest guest house accommodation, free seminar kits and conference meals) whose abstracts will be accepted and whose draft paper of 5000 words are submitted by due date.  Abstracts (250 words) are invited on the subthemes given below, though not strictly confined to them by 15th October 2016 and the draft paper is to be submitted by 15th of November 2016 addressed to Prof Ajay Dubey, at  ,  copy marked to  .  

The subtheme:

1. Theoretical papers on diaspora engagement.

2.  Historical experience of diaspora engagement and best experiences at global level.

3. The historical pattern of Indian diaspora engagement

4.  Indian diaspora engagement under globalization: policy and practice

5.  The diaspora engagement: economic opportunities and experiences

6.  The diaspora engagement: political, diplomatic and lobbying experiences

7.  The diaspora engagement: liabilities and threats

8. The diaspora engagement: role and task for civil society organisations

9.  The diaspora engagement: role of and impact on women

10. Diaspora engagement in higher education

11. Diaspora engagement: best global practices

Date: 05-Oct-2016
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