According to data released by the Government of India, nearly 1 percent of India’s population lives in foreign countries. The data was part of the Centre’s reply in the Lok Sabha, suggesting that in the past five years (between 2017 and 2021), around 6.08 lakh Indians have abandoned their Indian citizenship. This data was collected till September 30, 2021.
The data was tabled by the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in response to a question in the Lok Sabha of Parliament. Over 1.33 crore Indians are living abroad currently, as per the data submitted by the government. It also revealed that 10,646 individuals from 87 countries applied for Indian citizenship during the last five years. 4,177 individuals were granted Indian citizenship during this period.
Of the 10,646 who filed pleas to switch their nationality to Indian since 2016, a maximum number were filed by people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United States of America. 7,782 people from Pakistan, 795 from Afghanistan, 227 from the US, and 184 from Bangladesh applied for Indian citizenship over the course of the past five years. Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals had formed the bulk of over 21,211 foreigners who acquired Indian citizenship in the past 10 years.
Bangladesh excelled in the list with 15,176 people, followed by 4,085 Pakistanis, who became Indian citizens between 2011 and March 2020.
According to a Global Wealth Migration Review report, in 2019, India came second after China when it came to high net worth individuals (HNIs) leaving the country. As many as 7,000 HNIs left India in 2019.
The high numbers of Bangladeshis as compared to Pakistani was due to India granting citizenship to 14,864 Bangladesh nationals following the signing of the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, the data stated. Under the swap agreement signed in June 2015, 111 enclaves spanning across 17,160.63 acres were transferred by India to Bangladesh, while India got 51 enclaves and around 7,110.02 acres from Dhaka.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai replied to a query from MP Hibi Eden on whether the government is considering the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the updates made on the two counts. Nityanand Rai said,” The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was notified on 12.12.2019 and has come into force w.e.f. 10.01.2020. The persons covered under the CAA may apply for citizenship after the rules are notified CAA. The Government has not taken any decision yet to prepare National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) at the national level.”
Source: India Today, The Hindu