- Diaspora is a generic term to describe people who migrated from territories that are currently within India and their descendants. Official classification of Indian Diaspora includes Overseas Citizens of India and Non-Resident Indians.
- India’s has a large diaspora with over 31 million including 13 million NRIs and 18 million OCIs.
- Indian Diaspora has broadly been classified into Old and New Diaspora.
- Old Diaspora: They left India during colonial rule as indentured labourers. They are found in countries and regions like Caribbean Islands, Mauritius, Seychelles, Fiji etc. Due to their long past association with India and the duress under which they left the country, they have weak familial relations with India. However, cultural ties survive. There are large number of twice migrants from the old diasporas (both free and forced migrants) to the Europe and USA.
- New Diaspora: They migrated from India after the post-Independence period. There are two broad classes among the New Diaspora
- Less educated, working-class people who migrated in search of manual and less wages paying jobs. Vast majority of such people migrated to Middle Eastern countries, South-East Asia etc. They have gone to these countries mostly for work and come back to India.
- Highly educated, skilled working professionals who have migrated to developed countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Australia and EU etc. They have gone to these countries have taken up leadership roles in various large corporates.
Ministry of External Affairs is nodal ministry for Diaspora issues.