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Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Mr. Kapil Sibal launches PIOUS network for information on Indian diaspora

New Delhi
January 16, 2008
(Press Information Bureau)

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Mr. Kapil Sibal today launched a portal www.piousnetwork.com for information on the groups of professionals of Indian origin based in the USA. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi today the Minister said that there was a crying need to systematize, diversify and scale up the disparate information available on the groups of professionals of Indian origin based in the USA. He said the idea of developing and continuously maintaining a dynamic, interactive portal giving accurate and up-to-date information of professionals of Indian origin was conceived by him while interacting with the Indian diaspora during his visit to the USA in October, 2006.

Majority of the Indian diaspora is based in the United States of America. Their dominant position in the US knowledge sector is legendary. In the Silicon Valley alone, nearly 5 lakh Indian professionals are now working. They are well represented in all walks of life - be they Professors, Scientists, Technologists, Doctors or Lawyers. Their median income is higher than that of the average Americans. It is also estimated that around 50,000 Scientists, Engineers and Technologists of Indian origin working in the USA hold senior and key positions in various Universities and R&D Laboratories there.

The forces of globalization based on connectivity, mobility and interdependence offer unprecedented opportunity to the diaspora for playing key roles in the development of the countries of their origin. In today’s world, no firm, no organization and even no nation can go ahead of its own – there is need for businesses and organizations to be embedded in and be part of complex system of networks. Some forms of networking do exist among the Indian diaspora based in the USA. PanIIT, TiE, Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association, Worldwide Indian Network, International Associations of Scientific and Engineering and Technologists of Bharatiya Origin are some examples. Admittedly these associations have narrow focus and are of limited utility.

The portal developed by M/s Phoenix Rose LLC, Columbia, Maryland under a project sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India through the Indian Embassy in Washington DC entitled www.piousnetwork.com is a dynamic and interactive portal.

The details of more than 200 groups of professionals have already been collected. Information has also been collected on more than 20,000 records of innovations and patents in last few years that include large number of professionals of Indian origin. This data will be useful to identify innovators and their technologies to build partnerships.

The members joining this initiative on voluntary basis will have the benefit of interacting with the professionals in their areas. Each user would be provided an exclusive password so that they could update their data as and when they feel so.

The portal incorporates the search facility using predefined key words. Thus, it is possible to get information on professionals as desired – field wise, city wise or as per the specialized areas of their profession. The members are to provide information on their expertise, patents generated, technologies and other know-how developed. The information so made available can be accessed not only by the Indian professionals in USA but also by professionals working in various fields in India so that the expertise and services of PIOUS could be used for the development and growth of S&T and other fields in India. The portal also incorporates the feature which allows the members to post their feedback, inputs, raise queries and interact with other members through instant chat between the members.

In addition, the news features have been provided as an incentive to the members to visit the site more often. This would be maintained by providing information on topics of current interest to the members both in United States of America and in India.

The portal will also help in providing timely information to the members on important happenings and events in their professional fields both in India and USA. It would also help in social networking of professionals of Indian origin. This is expected to be achieved by way of sending timely communication on social activities organized by the professionals of Indian origin. The portal aims at collecting the data of more than 10,000 professionals of Indian origin in USA to begin with.