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Centre for Indian Diaspora Studies

About the Centre

Population movement across countries and continents has been an integral part of studies and research on international relations. Human resource mobility is an essential feature in the era of globalisation which has integrated world markets, networks, and technologies. They contribute to the increasing movement of various groups, such as labourers, students, professionals, and families, for multiple purposes. Here the important phenomenon is that the migrants of today are the Diaspora of tomorrow – and those of yesteryears, that of today. In Post-independence India, overseas Indians have served as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between India and host countries. Many factors and actors have contributed to the changing dynamics of human mobility throughout history. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges to human mobility with its attendant consequences for the lives of migrants across the world. The CIDS deserves particular importance in this context. It is one of the inter-disciplinary Centres of Area Studies, and Innovative Research set up by the School of International Relations and Politics (SIRP), Mahatma Gandhi University, in 2008, as part of the expansion program of the School.

Chairman: Dr. Lirar Pulikkalakath

The CIDS, SIRP intends to focus on the following objectives:

  1. To study the history of migrations from India over the centuries to the present.
  2. To examine the patterns of migration and the factors necessitating them.
  3. To prepare a database on people of Indian origin abroad.
  4. To encourage the preparation of recorded experiences by migrants and migrant groups.
  5. To examine the potential of the Diaspora to contribute to India’s economic well-being and political influence.
  6. To provide inputs to governments in framing policies with regard to the Diaspora.

In order to achieve the above objectives, the Center envisages the following activities/ plans.

Short-term plans

  1. Organise seminars and conferences on Diaspora in general and the Indian Diaspora in particular for students, teachers, and the general public at regional, state, and national levels.
  2. Publish the proceedings of these academic events and make them available to the public.

Medium-term plans

  1. Provide intensive two-week certificate courses annually in collaboration with institutions and centers specialised in migration studies in India and abroad.
  2. Conduct workshops on different themes related to population movement, particularly for scholars specialising in international migration and for students of social science in general.

Long-term plans

  1. Conduct studies on different aspects of the Indian Diaspora and prepare a database and annual report on people of Indian origin abroad, particularly on (Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) abroad.
  2. Develop a Master’s program in International Migration and Diaspora Studies.
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