Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the seventh edition of the
annual convention for NRI's, will be held here between January 7 and
9, 2009. The convention, to held in Chennai for the first time, will
discuss issues facing the Indian diaspora as India emerges as an economic
power. It will also look at concerns relating to the current economic
crisis. "This is a platform for overseas Indians to interact with
government of India officials and others and discuss matters of mutual
interest. It will be a platform for trade and investment, education,
development and philanthropic activity. India's is one of the less affected
economies in the global slowdown and the country presents an opportunity
for everyone," K Mohandas, minister for overseas Indian affairs,
Organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu government
and the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII), the convention is expected
to attract more than 1,500 participants. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
is slated to inaugurate the event, with President Pratibha Patil likely
to grace the valedictory session. The Tamil Nadu tourism department
plans to cash in on the event to promote the state as a tourist destination
among expatriates and foreigners. Tours have been planned for participants,
to Mamallapuram, Puducherry, Tirupati, Kancheepuram, Vellore and Yelagiri.
The Mamallapuram dance festival will be an added attraction. The tourism
department has prescribed a minimum set of guidelines for all hotels.
"We have prescribed minimum set of guidelines for all hotels and
have also provided commando-force protection for foreigners staying
there," M Rajaram, tourism commissioner said.