“PM’s interactions have increased diaspora confidence”

Dr D.N. Mulay who has overseen the preparations of the 15th PravasiBharatiya Divas Convention in Varanasi spoke to India Empire Magazine’s Editor and Publisher SayantanChakravarty on a range of issues concerning overseas Indians. This is the second PBD in a row under his charge as Secretary in the MEA ...

People who come to us, we are helping them to connect with the state Governments who we want to take up a more proactive role in terms of helping identifying land for projects offered, providing concessions required to build schools, and granting permissions in an expeditious manner. All this is being done through our Department in the Ministry.

In the last four years, the Prime Minister has had vast interactions with the Indian diaspora, starting with the one at the Madison Square Garden. He has had significant interactions in San Jose, Wembley, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tokyo, Germany and also several countries. What have been the primary gains from this type of engagement?

One of primary gains I’d say is that the confidence level of our diaspora has increased. It has also improved trust and helped gain the respect of the host nations in Indian communities. These, of course, cannot be quantified but are reflected in the image that India now has in these countries. Our view is that the more you empower the diaspora, the more the diaspora empowers India, and vice versa. We’ve seen that after 1992 when economic reforms were introduced, the first wave of philanthropy happened with Indians started contributing to research by way of announcing grants. Later they started bringing in investments and gradually the interest levels in India went up. When ShriAtalBihari Vajpayee became PM, he introduced another booster dose, both in terms of economic reforms as well as diaspora interactions. Today what you see is the cumulative impact of all the efforts put in by various PMs.