International Web–Symposium On India and its Diaspora Across the Globe: Expectations from Each Other Amid and After COVID-19 Pandemic Jointly organsied by The Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives (ODI India), Centre for Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad (UoH) & Diaspora and International Migration Programme (DIMP), CAS-School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi on 12 September 2020 From 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM (Indian Standard Time)
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International Web–Symposium

on

 India and its Diaspora Across the Globe: Expectations from Each Other Amid and After COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Jointly organsied by

Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives (ODI India),

Centre for Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad (UoH)

&

Diaspora and International Migration Programme (DIMP), CAS-School of International Studies,

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi

on

12 September 2020

From 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM (Indian Standard Time)

Registration LINK: https://bit.ly/3lTUcY6

(Registration closes on 11 September 2020, by 5:00 PM Indian Standard Time)

 

Symposium Convenor: Dr. Neha Sinha, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) 

ODI Series Coordinators: Dr. Sushmita Rajwar, Assistant Professor, University of Delhi &

Ms. Aarshi Dua, Doctoral Fellow, CAS-School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Media Coordinators: Mr. Samir Bhattacharya, CAS-School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University & 

Ms. Sarita Nandmehar, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Documentation & Certification Support: Ms. Ivy Handique, Doctoral Fellow, CAS-School of International Studies, JNU &

  Ms. Chandani Tiwari, Doctoral Fellow, CAS-School of International Studies, JNU

 

PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 

 

FIRST SESSION: INAUGURAL

(4:30 PM- 5:25 PM)

4:30 PM- 4:40 PM

(10 Minutes)

Introduction and Moderator

Prof. Ajay Dubey,

Chair, CAS-School of International Studies, JNU; & President, ODI India, New Delhi

4:40 PM- 4:45 PM

(5 Minutes)

Theme Introduction

 

Dr. Neha Sinha

Symposium Convenor & Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Afaairs (ICWA), New Delhi

4:45 PM – 4:50 PM

(5 Minutes)

Special Remarks

Dr. Ajaya Sahoo

Associate Professor, 

Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad

4:50 PM-5:00 PM

(10 Minutes)

Distinguished Guest

Shri Suresh Jain

Organising Secretary,

Bharat Vikas Parishad

5:00 PM- 5:10 PM

(10 Minutes)

Guest of Honour

 

 

Prof. B. Raja Shekhar,

Pro- Vice-Chancellor, 

University of Hyderabad

5:10 PM- 5:20 PM

(10 Minutes)

Chief Guest

Amb. D. M. Mulay

Former Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs & Currently, Member, National Human Rights Commission

5:20 PM- 5:25 PM

(5 Minutes)

Vote of Thanks

Dr. Sushmita Rajwar

ODI Webinar Series Coordinator & Assistant Prof., University of Delhi

Second Academic Session

(5:25 PM – 6:23 PM)

Question by participants and answer by panellist only through Chat Box

5:25 PM-5:30 PM

(5 Minutes)

Moderator

Prof. Kavita Sharma

Immediate Past President, South Asian University & Chairperson, ODI International

5:30 PM – 5:38 PM

(8 Minutes)

Speaker 1

 

Dr. K.M. Mathew

Vice-Chancellor, ISBAT University, Kampala, Uganda 

5:38 PM – 5:46 PM

(8 Minutes)

Speaker 2

Prof. Supriya Singh

Honorary Professor, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

5:46 PM – 5:54 PM

(8 Minutes)

Speaker 3

 

Dr. Michele Lobo

Senior Lecturer, Human Geography, Melbourne Burwood Campus, Deakin University, Australia

5:54 PM -6:02 PM

(8 Minutes)

Speaker 4

 

Prof. Santishree Pandit

Department of Politics &Public-Administration, Savitribai Phule, Pune University, Maharashtra, Currently in the USA

6:02 PM – 6:10 PM

(8 Minutes)

 

Speaker 5

Dr. Upasana Gitanjali Singh

Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Information Systems and Technology, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

6:10 PM-6:18 PM

(8 Minutes)

 

Speaker 6

Dr. Jayati Bhattacharya

Senior Lecturer, South Asian Studies Programme, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, National University of Singapore

6:18 PM-6:23 PM

(5 Minutes)

 

Discussant (No summing up. Only missing points or counter arguments/ facts)

Dr. Bijay Pratihari

Associate Professor, 

Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Third Academic Session

(6:23 PM- 7:13 PM)

Question by participants and answer by panellists only through Chat Box

6:23 PM- 6:28 PM

(5 Minutes)

 

Moderator

Prof. (Rtd) C.S Bhat

Former Director, Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, 

University of Hyderabad

6:28 PM – 6:36 PM

(8 Minutes)

 

Speaker 7

Dr. B.K. Waghmar

Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom

6:36 PM- 6:44 PM

(8 Minutes)

 

Speaker 8

 

Dr. Vibhanshu Shekhar

Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, American University, Washington D.C.

6:44 PM- 6:52 PM

(8 Minutes)

 

Speaker 9

 

Prof. Ruben Gowricharn

Professor, Indian Diaspora Studies, Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

6:52 PM- 7:00 PM

(8 Minutes)

Speaker 10

Dr. Annapurna Devi Pandey

Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz & Former Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

7:00 PM -7:08 PM

(8 Minutes)

 

Speaker 11

Prof. Gaurav Pathania

Sociology, Georgetowm University, Washington D.C. Former Visiting Scholar, University of Massachussets & Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California

7:08 PM-7:13 PM

(5 Minutes)

 

Discussant (No summing up. Only missing points or counter arguments/ facts)

Dr. Rajneesh Gupta

Assistant Professor,

Centre for Diaspora Studies, Central University of Gujarat & Founding Treasurer, ODI India

(7:13 PM- 7:25 PM)

Short Observation and Comments by Invitation

(No questions, only short observations of 2 minutes max. by participants)

Moderator: Prof. (Rtd.) Aparajita Biswas,

 Mumbai University, Vice-President, ODI India

7:25 PM- 7:30 PM

(5 Minutes)

Vote of Thanks

Dr. Bashabi Gupta,

Assistant Professor, Miranda House, University of Delhi & Joint Secretary, ODI India

 

Concept Note

India and its Diaspora Across the Globe: Expectations from Each Other Amid and After COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting millions of livelihoods across the globe and its effects are going to be devasting for various countries and communities globally. The implications of COVID-19 are also going to be seen on the Indian Diaspora globally. The People of Indian Origin (PIO) all over the world are estimated at around 31 million according to the Ministry of External Affairs, India. History is evidence as to how the Indian diaspora has acted as a catalyst in enabling India’s core national interests as well as having an impact in their respective host countries.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s active association with Diaspora has been well represented in his policies in the past few years of his Prime Ministership. During his foreign visits while addressing Indian diaspora he has made many promises and also thanked them by saying “Even if it rains in India, you open your umbrellas to keep us safe” referring to the remittances received by India. In his famous speech at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) 2014 he assured all PIOs that “India will never let you down”. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-sparked crisis has now turned the tables, with NRIs abroad calling on Modi to fulfil his promises and bring them home to safety. The Indian government responded to this and launched Operation Vande Bharat to bring back all stranded Indians from around the world. This leads us to ask questions on the response of Indian Government at the time of crises.

The linkages between Indian foreign policy and Diaspora policy as a part of the larger foreign policy, has both positive and negative implications for India. It requires more investment to upgrade consular services, expanding diplomatic staff and most importantly, better training to conduct future operations. India’s initiatives towards its diaspora are two-pronged. Firstly, the government creates policies to support the diaspora to contribute to India’s development through philanthropy, knowledge transfers, investments in innovation and assistance in other development projects. Secondly, they serve the needs of NRIs and OCIs by providing them with consular services, protection and conduct outreach activities to engage with them. The Modi government has launched a string of initiatives to tackle challenges faced by its diaspora in this time of crisis. The webinar will thus highlight the several measures taken by the Indian government and will introspect the diaspora’s response towards these policies.

India’s Diaspora Diplomacy is also something that requires attention. The strategies adopted by the Government of India towards its Diaspora during the time of pandemic will play an important part in shaping this relationship. The Indian government has in several ways ensured the protection and well-being of People of Indian Origin (PIO). Firstly, the Indian Prime Minister has been very communicative and vocal about the concerns of India towards the diasporic community in most of the countries with Indian Diaspora. PM Modi had personally interacted with several head of the states about a mutually coordinated strategy against the pandemic and has particularly asked for the well-being of Indian Diaspora in those countries. For example, he rang up leaders in almost all Gulf countries to talk about measures taken during the pandemic and the well-being of Indian Diaspora. Secondly, India has been providing medical equipment and medicines to various countries affected by COVID-19 since the month of April, 2020. Various Indian Diaspora Organisations have been helping the Indians who were stranded in their countries. India also responded to the problems faced by stranded Indians during lockdown in various countries. The Vande Bharat Mission which is the world’s largest evacuation mission, started to bring back all stranded Indians abroad. This mission was part of India’s Diaspora Diplomacy during the pandemic.

Today, societies are in turmoil and economies are in a nose-dive. Several countries are struggling with poor public healthcare, and weak infrastructure. Under such scenario it is important that India and its diaspora strives to achieve greater autonomy and ensure that the expectations of diaspora from the government of India is taken care of. This is also a time of retrospection, where India should try to look at these past policies towards its diaspora and attempt to reframe them in order to accommodate the emerging interests and expectations of the diaspora. Thus, thinking along the lines of a post-pandemic Diaspora Diplomacy is also equally important. What will become important now is the directions in which economies, societies and political actors will move after the pandemic, and what effect it will have on India and its diaspora across the globe. This pandemic has also brought out what the Diaspora expects from India. During times of crisis like these, they need security, protection, compassion or comfort even if its is for a short period of time but these are expectations that need to be fulfilled at a priority basis.

The webinar will thus try to highlight some of the important questions that have resulted in the need to discuss new or emerging research agendas to meet expectations of both Diaspora and the Indian government from each other at this time of crisis. It would be interesting to know if there are any differences in terms of role, expectations, challenges and opportunities of the Indian government from the Indian Diaspora. The webinar would also analyse how several Indian missions are reaching out to their people spread across the globe. How has the ground situation changed and how are the Indian missions of that particular country dealing with the changed situation in order to protect the diaspora. It is important to bring a comparison of the diverse experiences of different diasporas in terms of their role during the pandemic and their expectations from their home country.

The themes would focus but not limit the discussion on the following key issues:

  • India’s Diaspora Policy and its Changing Focus During Corona Crisis.
  • Corona Crisis and Emerging Global Challenges: Indian Diaspora and their Host Countries under Crisis
  • New Challenges of Indian Diaspora under Corona Crisis and their Expectations from India
  • Main Features of Indian Responses to Indian Diaspora under Corona Crisis.
  • India and its Diaspora under Emerging Multilateral World Order in Post Corona period.

 

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