Pravasi Bharatiyas in Capital for 3-day annual meet
The eighth edition of the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas that got underway on Thursday will see overseas Indians discuss a range of subjects but the most pressing of them — security, pushed to forefront after attacks in Australia — is not on the agenda.delhi Updated: Jan 07, 2010 23:17 IST
The eighth edition of the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas that got underway on Thursday will see overseas Indians discuss a range of subjects but the most pressing of them — security, pushed to forefront after attacks in Australia­ — is not on the agenda.
As many as 1,000 participants, down from last year’s 1,500, will over the next two days hold session on India’s growth rate, women’s issues, and many more issues.
This year’s meet comes on the back of unfulfilled promises made last year.
But Overseas Indians Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi says it is a platform for “arousing the Indian-ness of every Indian abroad… creating an emotional bond”.
Overseas Citizenship of India Card — which acts as permanent visa, promising almost all rights of citizens, except political ones — was conceived as a step towards cementing this bond. So far, 500,000 cards have been issued, he said.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which loosely translates to the day of overseas Indian, is held from January 7-9 and is an attempt to connect with the diaspora. January 9 is the day when Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915.
On Thursday, there were sessions on nano-technology and property matters. Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council, comprising eminent overseas Indians, also met for the first time on the sidelines of the meet to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday.
Some delegates came to the property session sporting ‘Maytas Victims’ shirts. They had invested in flats sold by Maytas Properties, the real estate firm promoted by kin of disgraced Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju.
“We’re in dire straits because flats have not been delivered,” said a delegate from Australia.
Ruling out a bailout, Minister of Corporate Affairs Salman Khurshid said they were looking into it. Ravi said property
disputes were a state subject, but he had written to the chief ministers to consider NRIs’ complaints as FIRs.