NRO Ministry is the Need of the Hour in Odisha

nronaveenBhubaneswar: About 10-12 percent of Odias live outside Odisha. Out of them about 2 % of Odias live outside India. Roughly the Non Resident Odias constitute about 1.5 million. Though traditionally many of them are from labour class, there is also growing number of professionals in recent years leaving Odisha for better greener pasture abroad.
Though it is difficult to restrict the movement of people in a globalised world, it is very important to engage them meaningfully in the Development of Odisha. Many of them can contribute to the motherland in many ways: knowledge, finance, investment, skill development etc. Several countries such as China, Phillipines, Australians, Bangladesh have benefitted from their expatriates. Even in India we have witnessed a significant contribution of expatriate Keralites, Punjabis, Gujaratis, Tamilians to the economy of their state. All these states have special cells and institutional mechanism such as Ministries to engage the expatriates in the homeland development. Kerala had had received Rs. 75,883 crore remittances from its non resident Keralites in 2013 which constitute about 40% of the state GDP. The non Residents of other states have also played varied role in the state’s development in the past. The software boom in Bangalore and Healthcare investment in Hyderabad and different parts of India was largely possible due to the contribution of NRI. Realising this, the Central Government have made a Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs which made a significant progress in promoting the relationship with Indian diaspora.
Scholars like Dr. Sadananda Sahoo, faculty at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi says: “the potential of Odia diaspora is highly underutilised and underestimated”. The wealth of Odisha is not just its natural resources but rather its human resources. Dr. Sahoo who is a diaspora scholar and founder convenor of Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism, an international academic and policy think tank based in Delhi also says “as economies across the globe are getting more and more knowledge driven today, no state can ignore its human resource anymore. Skilled and professional people who are migrating to other places generally acquire better skills and knowledge and can contribute better way to trigger development. They must be given platform to play a greater and meaningful role in Odisha”.
Odisha people those who living abroad and outside Odisha are very keen to participate in the development. However, the main roadblock is the institutional arrangement backhome to support them meaningfully to translate their ideas, vision and other resources into reality. The new Government with the dynamic leadership of Naveen Patanaik that got a more popular mandate and good will of Non Resident Odias must take the initiative to establish the new Ministry only to accelerate the development of Odisha.
Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Spirit!
The hard working Odias slowly emerging as entrepreneurs outside Odisa. The state seriously needs entrepreneurial spirit in all the sectors. NRO ministry can play as an important nodal agency to facilitate the enterprising NROs to find suitable avenues to set up their enterprise in Odisa. Various sectors such as education, technical areas, IT can flourish with the partnership with NRO and with the support of Ministry.
Creating Brand Odisha
Who can be better brand ambassador than their own people who have emotional, cultural and familiar links with the Odisha. There are several cases of NROs engaging in philanthropy and other forms of activities in Odisha. They can be a great ambassador and image builder of Odisha at national and global level. They must be given platform to build the image which is the need of the hour.

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