USA – 4460000
Saudi Arabia – 3255864
Malaysia – 2975000
UAE – 2803751
Myanmar – 2008690
UK – 1825000
Sri Lanka – 1614000
South Africa – 1560000
Canada – 1016185
Kuwait – 919354
Mauritius – 894500
Oman – 783959
Qatar – 697500
Singapore – 650000
Nepal – 600000
Trinidad & Tobago – 556800
Australia – 496000
France – 456470
Bahrain – 316175
Fiji – 315198
Guyana – 297793
Netherlands – 235000
New Zealand – 200000
Italy – 197301
Thailand – 195000
Germany – 169602
Suriname – 154471
Philippines – 120000
Indonesia – 107500


NRI: An Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport

PIO: A person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/nationality i.e. he/she is holding foreign passport

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder: A person registered as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955


NRI: He/she is an Indian Citizen

PIO: As per section 5(1)(a) & 5(1)(c) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, he/she has to be ordinarily resident in India for a period of 7 years before making an application for registration.

OCI Cardholder: As per section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act,1955, a person registered as an OCI cardholder for 5 years and who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration is eligible for grant of Indian citizenship.

Trends in International Migrant Stock – conducted by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

16 Million: India (Largest diaspora population in the world)
12 Million: Mexico



76 Million: Asia
75 Million: Europe

Countries with largest number of international migrants: Asia (11 countries), Europe (6 countries), Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Northern America (1 each).

*Data from Government of and United Nations resources




The article originally appeared on India Today.

If Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt have banned the practice of triple talaq, then how is banning triple talaq in India an anti-Shariat and un-Islamic activity?

The Triple Talaq Bill or the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 that was passed in the Lok Sabha has divided the political class and Muslim organisations, even if the legal fight against it was spearheaded by many aggrieved Muslim women and their organisations like the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA).

The proposed bill aims to outlaw the practice of Talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq and criminalises the practice, making it a non-bailable and cognizable offence and inviting a jail term of three years for erring husbands. This provision has been objected by many parties and they are demanding its removal.

The government says, doing so was necessary as even after the landmark Supreme Court verdict on August 22, 2017 that banned instant triple talaq, the social malaise continued unabated. The top court in its verdict had put a six month ban on the practice and had asked the government to frame a law on it.

If we see available data, the government stand looks logical, the data which says the Supreme Court ruling has failed to deter the erring Muslim husbands from divorcing their wives by saying ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ in one go.

Before the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in August, 177 triple talaq cases were registered, i.e., 22 cases a month.

The situation has become worse since then. As Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad revealed in the Parliament today, around 100 triple talaq cases have been registered since the Supreme Court verdict, i.e., 25 cases a month.


Data show Muslim women are worst of all social groupings of women in India.

According to the Census 2011, Muslim women at 52 per cent are least educated among the women in India. Among those who are educated, only very few reach the graduation level as the overall share of the Muslim community among graduate students is just 2.75 per cent.

Something that reflects in poor representation of Muslim women in workforce. In 2001, there were just 14.1 per cent Muslim women doing some kind of job which only marginally rose to 14.8 per cent in the Census 2011.

A study by the Indian Institute of Public Administration quoting 2007-08 NSSO data found that there were just 1.5 per cent Muslim women who possessed qualification above higher secondary while majority of them were educated till the upper primary level (around 42 per cent).


Census 2011 also reveals that 13.5 per cent of Muslim women are married before 15 years of age and 49 per cent between 14 to 19 years.

Overall, around 80 per cent of Muslim women are married by the age of 21 and most of them are either illiterate or barely literate to build independent careers.

Also, Census data shows we are staring at a social anathema where more than 50 per cent Muslim girls are forced in underage marriages. It seems as if they are raised only for this exclusive purpose, i.e., get married, become a housewife and spend the whole life under the threat of a husband who can divorce you at his mere whim.

Almost 80 per cent divorced among the Indian Muslims are women, i.e., four divorced Muslim women for every divorced Muslim man, IndiaSpend reports.

Most of them were divorced orally, an instant ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ was spoken to almost 66 per cent of them.

7.6 per cent were sent letters by their husbands proclaiming divorce while 3.4 per cent were given the shock of their life over phone, the data available shows.

Around 1 per cent of Muslim men also used SMS and email to reveal their designs.

95 per cent of these arbitrarily divorced women don’t get any compensation or maintenance from their husbands, a survey by the BMMA reveals. The BMMA survey also says 92 per cent Muslim women want triple talaq banned.

The Supreme Court, while delivering its landmark decision in the Shah Bano case in 1985, that recognised a Muslim woman’s right to alimony, had commented, “Whether the spouses are Hindus or Muslims, Christians or Parsis, pagans or heathens, is wholly irrelevant in the application of the provisions on maintenance given to wife who is unable to maintain herself.”

Though the Supreme Court decision was overturned by the Rajiv Gandhi government within a year by enacting he Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986, the case became a rallying point for women voices from within the Muslim community for their rights.



India’s higher education is facing chronic shortage of manpower, be it the regular university education or the professional education. And when it comes to professional education, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) stand India apart in the world.

But our IITs are going through a rough phase, especially when it comes to the availability of trainers to train future engineers, scientists and tech professionals.

According to a written Lok Sabha reply by Minister of State for Human Resource Development in December last year, the sanctioned faculty strength for the IITs is 5,073. More than half of it, 2,671, are lying vacant.

According to an RTI reply obtained by a newspaper in November 2015, six of the eight old IITs (including IIT-BHU and IIT Dhanbad) are facing teaching manpower shortage, ranging from 33% in IIT Delhi to 53% in IIT BHU.

38.66% – IIT BOMBAY
41.88% – IIT ROORKEE
33.11% – IIT DELHI
53.39% – IIT-BHU

The situation of new IITs is no better, given the fact that most of these institutes have been established in the last decade, starting from 2008 and so they should have less faculty requirement during their initial formative years.

56.67% – IIT-JODHPUR
21.11% – IIT PATNA
14.44% – IIT INDORE

Six IITs, IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Patna, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Jodhpur, IIT Hyderabad and IIT Ropar were established in 2008. 2009 saw IIT Mandi and IIT indore coming into existence.

Six more IITs are upcoming. IIT Palakkad and IIT Tirupati were given go ahead in 2015 while IIT Bhilai, IIT Dharwad, IIT Goa and IIT Jammu in 2016. That makes for 23 IITs in India. When the already existing IITs, the old and new are facing huge manpower shortage, what will happen with the upcoming one. And what will happen to the quality of talent coming out of these otherwise quality institutions.



God is for everyone. God is of everyone. That is the ideal position but something that has been a deep rooted ‘glass ceiling’ phenomenon universally, in almost every religion with different hues, in every society, in every country, including India.

We worship women. In Hinduism, Goddess Shakti is revered like the supreme deity. And it doesn’t end here. I am sure every religion has its own female deities. Yet we deny women the basic right – the right to equality in the places of worship.

And that’s why the court decisions like the one on the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai yesterday or the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmadnagar in April this year allowing women’s entry in the inner sanctum, so far barred for women, are important – away from the debates of such demands being being a mere publicity stunt – like we saw in Trupti Desai led movement that resulted in Shani Shingnapur verdict – or away from the political lethargy we see when the political class refuses to budge from its position keeping equations of the votebank politics in mind and it ultimately comes to the courts, the top custodian of our Constitution.

Court verdicts like these pull our attention to this very important discrimination prevailing in our society that we have so subtly legitimized – again in the name of religion – and have efficiently co-opted women to perpetuate such practices – out of fear psychosis – or emotional bondage – or cultural blackmail. You will find a major cross section of women advocating the women entry ban, be it Shani Shingnapur or Haji Ali. When women activists were planning to storm the Shani Shingnapur temple, women of the Shingnapur village and the nearby villages were preparing to stop them and a multi-layered security around the sanctum sanctorum.

Our scriptures say God is for everyone. They say He knows what is in our conscious and He comes to everyone. They say our faith is as important for God as God is for us. The Bombay High Court while delivering the order observed, “It cannot be said that the said prohibition `is an essential and integral part of Islam’ and fundamental to follow the religious belief; and if taking away that part of the practice, would result in a fundamental change in the character of that religion or its belief.” The High Court further summed up the spirit in its verdict, “There is nothing in any of the verses which shows, that Islam does not permit entry of women at all, into a Dargah/Mosque and that their entry was sinful in Islam.” (From the BombayHigh Court’s verdict)

When we worship our deities of both genders with equal faith and devotion, why do we discriminate between their devotees based on their genders? Why men fear women presence in innermost religious circles? That brings us to this point that religion is one of the most primitive tools to maintain male domination/hegemony in the society.

The court’s verdict on Shani Shingnapur was a slap in the face of orthodox Hinduism the same way as the yesterday’s is on Muslim fundamentalists, especially when women were allowed entry in Haji Ali’s inner sanctum till 2011-12. Haji Ali or Shani Shingnapur, they say the practice to deny women their basic rights in the religious places is not restricted to any particular religion. In fact, women have been historically denied their religious rights – and the problem is acute in religions like Islam or Hinduism or in different tribal sects. There are many taboos humiliating and restricting women rights in our society and this is one of them – a practice that has been made socially acceptable even if it is fundamentally wrong.



Well, that is truly a post-modernist expression that some ultra-modernists folks speak out loud – every now and then.

I heard a character in a movie speaking it last night while I was randomly shuffling channels.

Coffeehouse bullshit catches your attention.

Because all that has been in the name of ‘coffee culture’ or ‘coffeehouse culture’ is simply not bullshit.

Coffeehouse culture has its connotations and nuances, and it has its relevance to the cultures in societies it has had its vibrant presence.

Historians say the coffee culture (or the coffeehouse culture) originated in Turkey around 14th Century and spread in many European countries. As UNESCO puts it – ‘where time and space are consumed, only the bill is in the name of coffee’ – the coffeehouse culture has had a great contribution in European political and cultural revolutions – and in European Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Like it happens even today, you pay for the space and time while sitting in a coffeehouse, spending some quality time, or doing the routine networking. You easily end up paying somewhat 10-20 US$ for two mugs of coffee even in many not so uber cool Delhi outlets. Rationally thinking, these price points are astronomically high for the product but you don’t feel so because you know you are paying for the ‘time and space’ there.

Back then, passing through years, and even now, coffeehouse culture has had that same symbolism – obviously with era-specific modifications/adaptations. People may argue that internet is threatening the discourse culture of coffeehouses.

Well, they miss the point here – internet is reshaping the ‘public sphere’. Its most relevant examples are ‘Arab Spring’, ‘The Occupy Movement’ and ‘massification of Guy Fawkes’ masks in popular culture.

Not all the debates, not all the coffeehouses back then were part of the lore. Same holds true even today. Debates will find their coffeehouses (or their ‘public sphere’). Willing folks will find their outlets.

Those who mattered – stood out and spread. Those who will matter – and those who are willing to matter – will initiate or join the conversation.

Internet has made the exchanges faster and freer. Communication can begin anywhere and its threads can be picked up from anywhere.

All this is not some bullshit!

Obviously, it has some crap quotient. But then that is an inevitable part of a commercial activity where people’s time means money.

Today, the coffeehouse culture is a global phenomenon in democratic countries across the globe – and in countries where the ‘public sphere’ has been crushed – and is being crushed.

Yes, expressivity varies – but then, that is the rule of the game.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Short Story

He was about to leave for his office when it suddenly came to him that he had to make that call.

It was around 9 AM and it was the time.

But he could not proceed in that melee of the metropolitan crowd that had engulfed his life – and life of everyone whom he knew – people like him who had left their roots behind to make a life for them.

Now it is a borrowed life at best.

This ‘important call’ was just one of many prices he was paying for a piece of land in the sky of this big city that he called him home – a home that had started confusing him now.

He could not make it then – the call.

And he was not sure whether it would stay with him to remind him later that he had something important pending to do – a call that was from his personal relations.

When it would happen with him initially, he would feel greatly disturbed.

But with time, that feeling of restlessness gave way to a nonchalant but passable attitude.

He didn’t intend for it. He didn’t ask for it. But he didn’t found himself in the position to say no. It was the life that he had made in this city that forced this attitude in his lifestyle.

He had not come to this big city with dreams of making it big.

And it is the story of millions who are forced to migrate to big cities looking for their threads of life that they fail to get where they are born.

Yes, all they want is a life – not a big pie in the social circles of Metro cities that is both, welcoming and hostile.

All they want is a way to earn their living – that they cannot have where they came from.

They are accepted as they add to the economic spokes of the city but they also become the easy targets whenever the big city faces some human crisis. Millions, who rent out their lives, while living in rented accommodations, are forced to get so much absorbed in their borrowed lives that the feeling of permanence becomes a fleeting expectation that they even do not want to think of.

He used to think deeply on these lines.

But not anymore!

Not because he doesn’t want to.

Because he doesn’t get time to think such things that take many hours away from his daily routine – a routine that gives him sustenance – but doesn’t show him any purpose.

Yes, he knew that he had left thinking on those themes a long ago. ‘Aim of life’, ‘objective’, ‘purpose’, these used to be realistic words when he had come to this city. When they became ‘big’ words he didn’t realise.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –




©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –




©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


The first requirement to decongest Delhi is to draw a roadmap on how to decelerate Delhi’s population growth.

And it cannot be something like what China did while restructuring and developing Shanghai and Beijing, forcefully evicting people out of city precincts.

Delhi is magnate for people from across India because it gives best hopes to people to earn their livelihood when we compare the employment generation capacity of all the metros in India.

And that has been the major reason behind Delhi’s rapid population growth. In fact, if we see the population growth in Delhi without the migrants inflow, it comes out to be lower than the national average.

And they are most welcome. It is their Constitutional birthright to settle anywhere in India that supports their life.

So, what are the options that Delhi can adopt to decelerate population growth here.

The answer, though innovative in the Indian context, is nothing extraordinary. What policymakers need here is the vision to follow the roadmaps being followed with persistence (and patience).

Jing-Jin-Ji or Putrajaya are what India needs to look up to – in terms of what China is doing to decongest Beijing or Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur.

Jingjinji or Jing-Jin-Ji is a planned vision of China where it intends to establish a Megalopolis. China is working to develop Jing-Jin-Ji as an urban complex of superb economic growth.

But the underlying reason behind it is decongesting Beijing.

Jing-Jin-Ji, China’s National Capital Region, is going to be the answer of China’s Beijing woes – an environment nightmare. Beijing, like Delhi, is one of the most polluted cities. In fact, its notoriety precedes Delhi. Emergency alerts on extreme pollution levels have been a common feature of the city.

To tackle it, China is working on a multi-pronged strategy – developing areas in Beijing region to house industries and people – and shifting government offices out of Beijing. In fact, the municipal government of Beijing, that employs thousands of employees, is being shifted to a satellite town.

There will be infrastructure in place for industries and people to relocate, not far away from Beijing, developing the region as a whole. Once this starts happening, it will reduce population and thus the vehicular burden on Beijing.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Like it is happening elsewhere, in hubs of intense economic, and thus social activities, around the world, should it not happen in India, in Delhi?

Experiments like odd-even scheme of traffic rotation or phasing out diesel taxis or putting on hold registration of diesel vehicles, are these really going to work for a city of 1.85 crore people (18.5 million) and some 9 million vehicles?

Can these short-term temporary measures work for a city that attracts some 1000 migrants daily to the city from different parts of India?

Delhi is in a mess. Years of unplanned growth has led to this – that the Indian national capital is now the most the polluted megacity on Earth.

Unplanned growth, because our policymakers never considered what should be the limit to the city’s spread – in terms of its human habitations.

Now, even the geographical extremes of the city are real estate goldmine, with hungry prospectors looking to snatch that last piece of land he or she could have.

When, ideally, for a better quality of life, and for a world class city, our policymakers should have cared for its open spaces.

And a robust public transportation system was the first need.

Well, we all know how pathetic Delhi’s public transportation is.

And its failure led to massive increase in number of private vehicles in Delhi – multiples times of any other city.

These vehicles are now a major contributor in choking Delhi’s air – along with the other major culprit, the construction boom – that is again related to the mindless growth Delhi has seen.

Reducing number of vehicles on roads drastically, as the odd-even scheme intends to do or not allowing further real estate projects or banning diesel taxis or shutting thermal power plants are not going to help until our policymakers come with something practical, that is innovative as well – at least in the Indian context.

Delhi needs to think, talk and act sense on it.

And here Delhi means our policymakers.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –