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8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to Focus on Foreign Investment
Monday, December 28, 2009

At the beginning of the year 2010, the Indian government has planed to woo its diaspora spread across to globe into the mainstream of its emerging economy. A three-day redesigned gala event – 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas – is being organised by the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Delhi government and the Confederation of Indian Industry from January 7. The forum would afford an opportunity not only for the Indian diaspora to take investment decisions in the country but also to resolve the issues relating to their private property.

The newly formed Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of Overseas Indians will meet for the first time on January 7. The body headed by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, consists of the minister for external affairs, SM Krishna, minister for overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, principal secretary to the prime minister, TKA Nair, secretary in the ministry of overseas Indian affairs, A Didar Singh and other notables like Nobel Laureate, Dr Amartya Sen, Prof Jagadish Bhagwati, Karan F Bilimoria, Swadesh Chatterjee, Ela Gandhi, Rajat K Gupta, Lord Khalid Hameed, Dr Renu Khator, Kishore Mahbubani, PNC Menon, LN Mittal, Indra K Nooyi, Vikram Pandit, CK Prahalad, Lord Bhiku Chotalal Parekh, Sam Pitroda, Tan Sri Dato Ajit Singh, Neville Joseph Roach, Prof Srinivasa SR Varadhan, Yusuffal MA. Indian government’s finance and foreign secretaries will participate as special invitees.

Two seminars one on Nano-technology and the other on property-related issues of overseas Indians are scheduled on January 7. The nano-technology seminar will bring together scientists, technologists, policymakers and entrepreneurs from India and abroad on a common platform. The focus of the seminar will be on applications of nano-technology in agriculture, energy and healthcare. The seminar on property related issues of the overseas Indian community will discuss institutional arrangements to safeguard their properties in India as well as the modalities for credible investment avenues in the real estate sector. The conference will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on January 8 and Lord Khalid Hameed of Hampstead CBE DL will be the chief guest.

“There will be three plenary sessions and six concurrent sessions. In the nano-technogy seminar about 141 have so far registered as participants and in the property related seminar about 177 have so far registered as participants. We expect 1000 participants from over 40 countries for the entire Pavasi Bharatiya Divas programme, including 20 participants from the war-torn Sri Lanka ,” said the Union minister for overseas Indian affairs, Vayalar Ravi. In the first plenary session the delegates will have an opportunity to interact with key Indian ministers and policymakers like law and justice minister, Veerappa Moily, road transport and highways minister, Kamal Nath, advisor to the prime minister, Sam Pitroda, President of ICCR, Dr Karan Singh. The finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee will deliver the keynote address.

This session will discuss issues relating to economic recovery, good governnance, technology and innovation and infrastructure development. It would seek to articulate the role the Indian diaspora can play in India’s race to join the league of developed world. The second plenary session will have a panel of ministers and political leaders of Indian origin from different countries like Harinder Takkar from Canada, Mahendra P Chaudhary from Fiji, Dr S Subramaniam from Malaysia, Vasant K Bunwaree from Mauritius, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan from Singapore, Leny K Saith from Trinidad and Tobago. The Indian external affairs minister, SM Krishna will deliver the keynote address while the Indian commerce and industry minister, Anand Sharma and Dato Seri S Samy Vellu from Malasia will be the guests of honour. This session will deliberate on the issues of concern to overseas Indians residing in different parts of the globe.

The third plenary session will be addressed by chief ministers from 14 states and one deputy chief minister and they would focus on the role the diaspora can play in skill development an area of critical importance given the forecasts that India is likely to be confronted with significant skill gaps in a couple of decades if we do not act now. The six concurrent sessions are on themes like returning to 9% growth, leveraging knowledge network, diaspora philanthropy, diaspora women in cross-cultural environments, Indians and the Gulf countries, Future of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and the road ahead.

For the first time, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be webcast in an interactive modeon the websites and This will enable overseas Indians from across the world to not only witness the proceedings of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, session-by-session, but also interact and express their opinion. An annual `Distinguished Global Indian Oration Series’ will be launched and the first lecture will be delivered by by Prof Jagadish Bhagwati of Columbia University on January 8 on the role of the Indian diaspora. The President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address on January 9 and conferPravasi Bharatiya Sammam Awards-2012 to distinguished overseas Indians.

The Indian government has taken several steps to woo overseas Indians like formulation of the Overseas Citizenship of India scheme, establishment of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, conceptualisation of an University for the benefit of overseas Indians, formation of the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin, setting up of the India Development Foundation to attract investments from overseas Indians, enabling Overseas Indian professionals to practice in India and launching of the Global Indian Network of Knowledge (Global-INK).




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