According to IndiaSpend, a data-driven, not-for-profit public interest journalism platform, more Indian passport holders were stationed overseas in 2017. An estimated 17 million NRIs were living in various parts of the world, up from seven million in 1990. IndiaSpend analysed data culled from reports of the United Nations Department of Economic Affairs.
During the corresponding period the per capita income in India witnessed a rise of 522 per cent (from USD 1,134 to USD 7,055). With more disposable income in hand, a larger number travelled abroad in search of employment opportunities that they were otherwise not able to find at home. Our cover story focuses on this shift in skilled employment overseas.
The Indian diaspora is in focus in this issue. From the Reunion Island we have an interview with the Maloya musician Maya Kamaty, four-time winner of the Music of the Indian Ocean prize. She provides an overview of changing world music, her fascination with traditional forms of Indian music and her love for the native Creole language. In Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Indian community to invest in India while continuing to maintain cultural ties with its motherland. There are about 27,000 Indians that have made Japan their home.