A total of 225,620 Indians have renounced their citizenship in the year 2022, marking the highest ever recorded since the past 12 years. About 1.66 million people gave up their Indian nationality since 2011, according to figures presented by the government in the Rajya Sabha on February 9.
The data was conveyed by external affairs minister S Jaishankar as a response to Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Narain Dass Gupta's question regarding the number of Indians who relinquished their citizenship and the countries whose citizenship they had adopted.
Indian Citizens Contributing To World Economy
The external affairs minister's reply provided year-wise data on the number of Indians who renounced their citizenship from 2011 to 2019. The annual figures ranged between 120,000 and 144,000 before falling drastically to 85,256 in 2020 on account of the pandemic-related travel restrictions. By 2021, as the restrictions eased, the figures doubled to 163,370 and rose further to 225,620 by 2022. Among these numbers, those who renounced their Indian citizenship ranged from 120,923 in 2011 to 225,620 in 2022. S Jaishankar's response also came along with a list of 135 countries whose citizenship was acquired by Indians after renouncing their original citizenship.
In another response to a separate question, the minister of state for external affairs, V Muraleedharan, conveyed that specific data on the number of business people and professionals who settled abroad in the past four years is unavailable. Adding on to this, he specified that "there are no restrictions on Indian nationals regarding travelling to foreign countries for tourism or employment. Some of them settle down in their country of employment and acquire foreign nationality for personal reasons."
Transferring Skills & Knowledge Through Indian Diaspora
While responding to the query at the Rajya Sabha, Muraleedharan conveyed that the government has brought about a major "transformational change" in its engagement with the Indian diaspora around the world. They have put particular emphasis on harnessing and strengthening the diaspora potential, particularly through the transfer of technology and expertise.
Emigrants play a crucial role within the Indian economy as they are the key sources of foreign exchange for any country. While few migrate out of choice, many others do it out of dire necessity, making up a huge population travelling in pursuit of education and work. One of the most welcoming countries for Indian migrants is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), that have a large workforce from India.
While earlier, this country was the destination for helping the lower income groups earn money, now they have several skilled groups like architects, engineers, doctors, management graduates, and accountants, among others. According to a report by Hindustan Times, Jaishankar had mentioned that five Indian nationals had obtained UAE citizenship in the past three years. Indians have built one of the largest diasporas in the world, and the country stands to gain immensely by tapping these networks and utilise their talents productively.
Also Read: Over 6 Lakh Indians Repudiated Citizenship In Last Five Years: Govt