Given the recognition of the diaspora as an important strategic asset that carries with it significant soft power, ARSP has set up a Diaspora Research and Resource centre (DRRC) with the support of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Diaspora studies has become a subject of academic research and scrutiny in recent times. A sizeable body of literature now exists both in the form of fiction and scholarly writings on the historical, anthropological, sociological, cultural, demographic, political and economic aspects. However, there is still a dearth of scholarly work on Indian diaspora even as it needs to be pursued extensively. DRRC has been set up keeping this purpose in mind and to undertake comprehensive and systematic studies on multifarious issues concerning diaspora in an integrated, inter disciplinary and holistic framework.
The priority objectives of the DRRC are as follows:
1. Creation of detailed and interactive online database of institutions/ organisations working on diaspora themes within India and abroad.
2. Outreach and networking including through conferences/seminars/roundtables/exchange of visits etc.
3. Engaging the diaspora youth through focussed programme.
4. Publications/research by way of support for publications of books by reputed authors on diaspora themes and publication of a quarterly research journal.
DRRC has launched a number of sustained initiatives and organized a series of activities to promote interaction and connectivity with the diaspora including hosting KIP delegations, hosting of visiting diaspora delegations, special lectures. It has acted as voice for diaspora to articulate views and opinions and a vehicle of communication with the government of India for articulating the diaspora concern. By hosting youth delegations from diaspora, DRRC generates awareness among the diaspora youth of their shared cultural and civilisational lineage. It also acts as a forum to create awareness about Indian culture amongst diaspora students.
The outreach activities organized by DRRC helped Indian scholars and prominent members of diaspora abroad understand better the various issues impacting India’s engagement with its diaspora, opportunities for their contributions to the nation building and the challenges. These events also resulted in the formulation of specific recommendations for further improving these linkages.
In order to further expand DRRC research and documentation activities, a refereed academic journal titled “The Diaspora Studies and Research Journal” has been launched, which will be dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of the history, culture, social structure, politics and economics of both the traditional diasporas and the new transnational migration which in the past four decades have come to be identifies as ‘diaspora’.