Chapter 4. International Relations Notes for UPSC Mains

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Indian Diaspora

Indian diaspora for UPSC
  • Diaspora’s Benefit – PIO card, Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas
  • Development of India – India Development Foundation , VAJRA
  • Fund – Indian Community Welfare Fund
    • For emergency support
  • Skill – Pravasi Bhartiya Kaushal Vikas Yojana , Skill Banks
  • Pravasi Bhartiya Beema Yojana
  • India US Totalisation Agreement
  • 1.5 crore NRIs today
  • 1.2 crore PIOs
Role of Diaspora
  • Economic
    • India highest receiver of remittance – 70 billion $ annually
    • Direct Trade and Investment ( Vedanta, Essar)
  • Cultural Ambassadors
    • Role in attracticng tourism
  • Political and Soft Diplomacy
    • Prominent role of NRIs in Indo – US nuclear deal
    • Indian Origina Defence Minister of Canada
  • Bring technological and managerial expertise
    • Flipkart
    • Social Enterpreneurship
      • Ashoka Foundation
  • Helps in Nation Building
    • West Indies, Mauritius, Maldives, Middle East
  • Global Capital which benefits everyone – India being a part
    • S&T, Startups in Silicon Valley
India Development Foundation
  • A Trust
  • To help Channelise funds from NRIs and overseas citizen for devleopment of India
  • Will boost Philanthrophy
  • TO be headed by Foreign Minister
  • Foreign Secretary, Home secretary and Economics Affairs Secretary are ex-officio members
  • Also will have social leaders like Sri Sri Ravishankar


  • HIB , Brexit, Protectionism – GATS 4
    • Buy American, Hire American
  • Conflict regions
    • India does not have an evacuation policy – Recommend it
    • Indian expertise and support widely applauded in Operation Rahat and Operation Sankat Mochan in liberating people from countries like Yemen
    • Need for Permanent Pool of Aircrafts
    • Establish chain of commands
    • Training to Embassis and Armed Forces
  • Human Rights
    • Nitaqat, Qatar
  • Relationship
    • Hague Convention
  • Racial Attacks
    • Oz, US
  • Brain Drain
    • India ranked 89th in Global Takent Competitiveness Index
      • Fall of 11 places
      • Topped by Swiss
    • Currently over 1 lakh students studying in the US
      • Indian students largest amongst all
      • Total higher education in US cvalued at 20 billion $
      • Indian (Foreign ) students have to pay around thrice as much as locals
      • Easier to pay student loans by staying in the US – settle permanently
      • Recently schemes announced to retain gifted Masters & PhD students
    • Govt of India at loss which hugely subsidises education here
    • While West gets talented students without any training
    • Also gets the Income Tax
    • Soluions
      • Pacts to share part of the income tax with Indian govt for few years
      • Pay the subsidy in case the student leaves
      • Fix a quota on the no of students going out
      • Long term- Improve opportunities, infrastructure here
    • Govt can’t use draconian measures at the same time beacuse of NRI wealth, remittances,…
    • Green Shoots
      • Rachul Avasthi said brain drain in his time was more 85%
      • Reverse Brain Drain
      • Elaboration required
Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016
  • Minorities of Pak, Ban, Afghan
    • Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists,
    • Minorities escaping persecution from Pak, Ban will no longer be considered as illegal migrants
      • Under Foreigners Act, 1946 or Passport Act, 1920
    • Alsoreduces the period of Naturalisation to 7 years for such immigrants
      • Normal is 12 years
    • Also expands the ground for cancellation of OCI registration
      • If the person violates any law in the country
  • Pro
    • Chakmas, Hajongs of Bangladesh who were displaced by dam and have been refugees for 65 years will now be citizens. Cause has been raised by the apex court too
    • Issue
      • Opposition in Arunachal Pradesh – Acccuses Infringement of its culture and distortion in its political system
  • Issues
    • Article 14
    • Why not Rohingyas of Myanmar who are also facing persecution
      • We are accepting them in tunes with our philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
      • But, granting citizrnship is a more permanent affair, and we believe that the persecution faced by Rohingyas will not be of a permanent nature, unlike countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, whose very foundation lie on the principles of Two Nation Theory
    • Tamils from Sri Lanka who are not making thes cut inspite of having lived for over 14 years
      • We have already granted citizenship to many Tamils, as per the accord with Sri Lanka
Case Study
  • More Sikhs in Canada cabinet than India
  • Foreign ministry’s role in Fiji
    • 49% Indian origins
    • Indian Fiji govt was ousted in 1980s and Indians reduced to 2nd class citizens
    • India applies diplomatic pressure- got Fiji ousted from Commonwealth, pressure at UN
    • Finally democracy restored
  • Prime Minister of Mauritius
    • Bihari
Diaspora issues
#1: Merger of OCI, PIO

Detailed table given in M.Laxmikanth’s Polity book-chapter on citizenship page 6.5 onwards. Following, is just an overview:

OCIPIO (Person of Indian Origin)
If you or your parents were Indian citizen once upon a time.If your parents, grandparents or spouse were Indian citizen once upon a time.
Lifelong visa-travel.Card Valid only for 15 years. (Modi ordinance: this visa given for life-time.)
No need to register at any office. Doesn’t matter how long you want to stay in India.If staying beyond 180 days (6 months) in a single visit, you’ve to register Foreigners Regional Registration or Police station. (Modi ordinance: they don’t need to visit police, even if staying for long term.)
#2: Benefits of OCI card
Can doCan’t do
A multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India.

Doesn’t matter how many days/weeks/months you want to stay in India- you don’t need to register with local police.
  • Can’t vote

  • Can’t compete for parliament, Vidhan sabha elections

  • Can’t normally get sarkaari-naukari.
  • Can’t hold Constitutional posts- President, VP, SC-HC judge etc.
OCI cardholder gets all benefits given to an NRI in economic-financial-educational fields.BUT he can’t buy agricultural land or plantation.
OCI card can be used as an ‘id-proof’ for getting


    • Driving license
    • Pan card
    • Bank account opening.
Pakistani or Bangladeshi can’t get OCI card.
#3: Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2014

Original Citizenship act was made in 1955, but had some lacunas. So, Home Ministry drafted this bill to fix it.

1955 Act2014 Bill
    • If a person OR his parent were Indian citizens previously then he can apply for Indian citizenship…provided that he stayed in India for 1 year.
    • But he can’t leave India for even a single day during that 1 year period.
    • He can leave India for a total of 30 days.
    • And still, if union Government is satisfied he can get citizenship.
Defined the “overseas citizen of India”Expanded that definition to include


    • Minor child of Indian citizen.
    • Spouse of Indian citizen
    • Spouse of OCI/PIO cardholder.
    • Great grandchildren of a person who was Indian citizen at / after commencement of Indian Constitution.
    • Separate provisions of OCI and PIOs.
    • PIO card holders get less benefits than an OCI card holder.
Merged them.
No such provisionGovernment can cancel the OCI-citizenship of the spouse of an OCI citizen IF


    • Court dissolved their marriage
    • Spouse married another party without divorcing from first marriage.
  • 2014, December: Bill presented in Winter session of parliament, but could not be passed due to frequent disruptions.
  • 2015, Jan: Modi got is implemented it through Presidential ordinance.
#4: Visa on Arrival & E-Visa
  • Under Home ministry, this Scheme began in 2010, reformed in 2014.
  • Visa on Arrival: Foreigner has to apply online (3 days before arriving to India)
  • When he reaches India, pays $60 fees, goes through biometric identification and gets the (Tourist) Visa.
  • Validity: 30 days, Cannot be renewed. He must leave after that.
  • Can be used only twice in a year
  • Electronic Travel authorization (e-Visa): announced in Budget 2014, foreigner applies online, gets visa in 5 days.
  • During PBD-2015, Modi announced he has given these two facilities for 43 countries.
  • Although, India is not the first country in world to run such scheme. Japan, Finland, Singapore et al already offer such facility.
Liberalised Remittance Scheme
  • Earlier there was a limit on how much money could be sent outside of India
  • Main reason – to check depreciation
  • LRS introduced in 2004 after these fears allayed
  • Currently forex reserves at 325 billion $, it has been enhanced to 2.5 lakh$ / person/ year