North-East States, Youths To Be Focus Of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas

NEW DELHI, DEC 21: Nearly 1,300 delegates will gather here for Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, the annual conclave to connect with Indian Diaspora from January 7, with focus on showcasing Northeast as an attractive investment destination and engaging young overseas Indians in development process.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the ninth edition of the three-day conclave on January eight while President Pratibha Patil will deliver the valedictory address on January nine.

Top businessmen, economists and scientists will be among 1,300 delegates from over 40 countries who will participate in the event.

The flagship event of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will also provide the Diaspora an opportunity to interact with Union Ministers including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the Northeastern states will be the partner states for the event and government will try its best to showcase investment opportunities in the region.

“Northeastern states have a huge potential for investment and we will try our best to showcase the region as an attractive destination for the investors,” Ravi told reporters.

Complimenting Ravi for deciding to focus on Northeastern states during the prestigious event, Minister for Development of Northeastern Region B K Handique said they are hoping that the region will attract the massive investments needed by it.

“Northeast is a huge virgin land looking for investment. We have great hope from the event,” he said at a joint press conference with Ravi.

The conclave will also have a plenary session on “Engaging young overseas Indians”, besides two other sessions on education and health care services.

Ravi said the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council comprising 20 top global business leaders and economists of Indian origin including Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, steel magnate L N Mittal and Pepsi chief Indra Nooyi will meet on January seven.

The Minister said during the last Pravasi Bhartiya Divas earlier this year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised that Indian passport holders living abroad could get voting rights and that promise has almost been fulfilled.

“The Parliament had already passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to allow NRIs to exercise their franchise in Indian elections. The Election Commission is now in the process of finalizing modalities for enrollment of names of Indian passport holders living abroad,” he said.

Anand Satyanand, the Governor General of New Zealand, has been invited to the event as the chief guest.

(Courtesy: Outlook India)


Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2011 To Focus On North-East, Youth

NEW DELHI, Dec 21: The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the annual gathering of people of Indian origin, will for the ninth consecutive year be held in the first week of January 2011 and this time it will have a special focus on the northeast and the youth among the large Indian Diaspora.

‘We are expecting nearly 1,300-1,500 delegates to come for PBD,’ Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said at a press conference to announce the annual event.

He expressed satisfaction that the PBD had become an important event of the annual calendar, which attracts important members of the Indian Diaspora from around the world.

The three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in the capital Jan 7-9, 2011. The event will be officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Jan 8 and New Zealand governor-general Anand Satyanand will be the chief guest.

With a special focus on the northeast in 2011, the event is being held in partnership with the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region and the state governments of the eight northeastern states.

There will be a special plenary session on investment opportunities in the northeast, which will be addressed by the chief ministers of all the eight states in the region.

‘We have great hopes from PBD,’ said Minister of Development of North Eastern Region B.K. Handique.

Besides, efforts were being made to rope in other chief ministers for the three-day function. ‘I am writing to all the chief ministers. I hope to get confirmations soon,’ said Ravi.

Union ministers including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad have confirmed their participation for interaction with members of the Diaspora.

There will also be a plenary session to look at ways to engage with the younger generation of the Indian Diaspora, and involve them in the evolving India story.

During the event, the annual C.K. Prahalad memorial lecture will be delivered on the subject of ‘inclusive growth’ by Gautam Ahuja, chairperson, Corporate Strategy and International Business group, University of Michigan Business School.

President Pratibha Patil will deliver the valedictory address Jan 9 and confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards at the closing session.

Besides the prime minister’s global advisory council, comprising members like steel magnate L.N. Mittal, Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, will meet in Delhi Jan 7.

After the three-day event, there will be another milestone in the history of Indian Diaspora, when a memorial will be inaugurated at Kolkata port to commemorate the thousands of indentured Indian laborers who left the shores of India for distant British colonies over the years.

‘This is a long standing demand of people of Indian origin… We have to decide to unveil the memorial in Kolkata on January 11,’ said Ravi.

(Courtesy: IANS)

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