3 Jan 2024 : Indian Express

1. Voting with their visas

Topic: GS2 – International Relations- Indian Diaspora 

This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of recent migration trends, both legal and illegal, and the changing dynamics of Indian migration

  • The number of Indians detained for trying to enter the US illegally increased significantly between November 2022 and September 2023, totaling 96,917.
  • This increase is in stark contrast to 2019–20, when 19,883 people were apprehended, suggesting a marked increase in desperation among individuals looking for opportunities outside of India.

Government Jobs and Wealth Disparities:

  • People in the nation generally believe as reported that getting a government job is dependent on connections or financial support.
  • Many Indians have left the country in search of possibilities overseas, preferring low-paying work in the US or Canada to fighting to make ends meet at home due to frustration with the dearth of well-paying private jobs.

Impact on Wealthy Individuals and Professionals:

Golden Visas and Citizenship Purchases:

  • The practice of affluent people, known as “high net worth individuals” (HNIs), obtaining golden visas in order to relocate abroad has become more widespread.
  • According to reports, 7,500 high net worth individuals (HNIs) departed India in 2022 to obtain citizenship and residency abroad, and between 2014 and 2018, an approximate of 23,000 Indian millionaires moved their primary residences outside of India.
  • Rich people are choosing to become citizens of other nations more often, thanks to welcoming conditions in the host nation and permissive outward remittance rules.

Out-migration Dynamics:

  • The tendency of out-migration is not exclusive to those who are economically challenged; it also includes professionals, the wealthy, and the impoverished.
  • Those in poverty who attempt to migrate illegally are often taken advantage of by touts and middlemen.
  • Experts use their credentials to obtain work permits, but affluent people go straight to the source and apply for foreign citizenship.
  • Today, there are around 30 million Indians living abroad, with more than 20 lakh of them relocating each year.

Changing Dynamics and Government Response:

Renunciation of Indian Citizenship:

  • The number of Indians giving up their citizenship has increased dramatically;
  • In 2022, 2,25,260 people gave up their Indian citizenship, up from 85,256 in 2020.
  • A total of 16,63,440 people gave up their citizenship between 2011 and 22. In just the first half of 2023, 87,026 people did the same.
  • The trend is attributed by the administration to Indians looking for convenience abroad.

Government Perception and Challenges:

  • Although the Indian diaspora’s involvement by religious radicals is one area where the government has acknowledged concerns, the government once considered overseas Indians as a resource.
  • Spending money on retirement communities is becoming more common among families whose children are studying overseas.
  • Managing the effects of an expanding diaspora as well as keeping talented people in the workforce present difficulties brought on by this development.


  • The shifting patterns of Indian migration, from wealthy people obtaining foreign citizenship to desperate people entering the country illegally, highlight the complex issues the nation faces.
  • The affluent use direct ways to increase their global mobility, whereas those from less fortunate backgrounds travel overseas in search of better chances due to limited resources and economic considerations.
  • The government must adopt sophisticated policies and methods to effectively handle the twin responsibility of addressing the problems and expectations presented by the changing migration landscape. 
PYQ: Indian diaspora has scaled new heights in the West. Describe its economic and political benefits for India. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2023)
Practice Question: Evaluate the socio-economic factors driving diverse sections of the population to seek opportunities abroad. (150 words/10 m)

2. Why the West endures

Topic: GS2– International Relations 

This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of contemporary geopolitical dynamics, addressing ongoing conflicts, political polarization, and power shifts, which are essential topics 

  • Significant changes are occurring in the geopolitical scene, as evidenced by the military standoff in Ukraine, the rising hostilities in the Middle East, and China’s assertiveness in Asia.
  • The stability of the US-led international system is called into question by these events.
  • With the United States’ political divisions becoming more intense and the prospect of Donald Trump winning the presidency in the near future, there is a rising belief that the West is in trouble and about to enter a period of decline.
  • This analysis reviews the narratives surrounding the collapse of the West, investigates historical perspectives, and critically examines these geopolitical patterns.
  • It also takes into account India’s position in this changing international environment, highlighting the difficulties of international relations and their possible effects on India’s strategic alliances.

Assessment of Current Geopolitical Trends:

  • The military standoff in Ukraine, growing hostilities in the Middle East, and assertive Chinese actions in Asia seem to be challenges threatening the US-led global order.
  • These elements support the idea that the West’s long-standing domination is in jeopardy.

Political Polarization in the US and Potential Return of Trump:

  • There is a growing perception that the West is in decline, especially in light of the growing political polarisation in the United States and the possibility of Donald Trump’s comeback in the 2024 elections.
  • The US’s capacity to continue leading the world is called into doubt by its internal conflicts.

Triumphalism in the East and India’s Perspective:

  • Some factions of the political elite in the East exhibit triumphalism, seeing recent defeats by the West as a turning point in world affairs.
  • Even with its favourable contemporary relations with the West, India is not exempt from this mindset, which is indicative of a change in the balance of power in the world.

Historical Resilience of the Concept of the West:

  • The idea of the West as a geopolitical concept has persisted despite frequent discussions about the West’s downfall throughout the past century.
  • While the West remains relevant, other ideologies such as pan-nationalism and international communism have faded.

Challenges to Western Primacy:

  • The rise of the Sino-Russian alliance is a serious threat to the dominance of the West.
  • Nevertheless, in spite of their assertiveness, China and Russia aim to make concessions to the West.
  • This implies that the idea of decline is complex and that important actors in the world still find the West to be appealing.

Global Responses to Regional Hegemons:

  • Russia’s and China’s activities are pushing neighbouring countries to side with the United States in both Europe and Asia.
  • Notwithstanding obstacles, the United States’ distant power is seen as an important check on local hegemons.

BRICS and Non-Western Institutions:

  • There are conflicts inside the BRICS group and Argentina’s refusal to join, which makes the organization’s position as a counterweight to the West difficult.
  • Internal conflicts among non-Western institutions, such as the SCO, are brought to light by the tensions between China and India.

Economic Weight and Technological Leadership:

  • Even if the G7’s economic influence has decreased, the US still accounts for a sizable portion of the world economy.
  • With the help of strong institutions and cultural influence, the West remains at the forefront of scientific knowledge and technological innovation.

India’s Stance and Strategic Partnership:

  • Even if ties between India and the West are more cordial, India is still committed to improving its standing internationally.
  • Delhi strikes a balance between constructive engagement and conflicts, understanding the importance of a strategic cooperation with the West.


  • Proclaiming the end of the US-led global system is not without its difficulties, but it is important to proceed cautiously.
  • Given its lasting impact and flexibility in responding to geopolitical changes, the West is likely to continue playing a significant role in determining the nature of the world order in the future.
  • India’s practical strategy illustrates how intricate the dynamics of world power are. 
PYQ: The newly tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2021)
Practice Question: Analyze the historical resilience of the West in facing geopolitical challenges and assess the narratives surrounding its decline. Discuss India’s strategic position amid these global shifts, considering its evolving partnerships and the complexities of international relations. (250 words/15 m)

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