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Manmohan to inaugurate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Security arrangements have been made for the conclave that seeks to connect India with its 25 mn strong Diaspora.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2006 10:04 IST

The three-day Pravasi Bhartiya Divas begins on Saturday in Hyderabad amid tight security.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the fourth annual conclave that seeks to connect India with its 25 million strong Diaspora spread over 100 countries.

The event, the biggest and possibly the most business-like of those held so far, is being held in Hyderabad amid some of the tightest security seen in the city in the wake of a terror attack in Bangalore in December.

A highlight of the January 7-9 event will be the award of the first set of overseas Indian citizenship to select members of the Diaspora by the Prime Minister, which he had announced last year in Mumbai at the third conclave.

Ahmed Kathrada, the prominent anti-apartheid leader of Indian origin in South Africa and an associate of Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela, is the chief guest at the event being organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Fifteen outstanding members of the Diaspora will be honoured by President APJ Abdul Kalam at the concluding ceremony of the three-day event, which is expected to attract over 1,500 delegates from overseas, the organisers said.

The event -- including cultural programmes, gala dinners with cuisines from various states and interactive seminars with experts -- will also give a unique opportunity to the delegates to engage with chief ministers of 12 states on a common platform.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Oscar Fernandes told a news conference that the country was looking forward to the Diaspora doing their bit for "Bharat Nirman", the ambitious programme launched by the Government to transform the villages.

He said the conclave would also try to build upon the knowledge partnership. "The conference will discuss how NRIs can share their knowledge to develop India."

It will seek to build a Diaspora Knowledge Network to tap their knowledge resources through a dynamic network that connects overseas Indians with the development process in India.

A special session on "Diaspora Collaboration in Healthcare" will seek to establish institutional framework to create and benefit from networks with and among overseas Indians to collaborate in the healthcare sector in India.

Ahead of the event, the Prime Minister said by connecting with overseas Indians at deeper levels and harnessing their talent for the reconstruction of India, the country hoped to make the 21st century as Indian century.

"As a brain bank outside India, the overseas Indians are better placed to invest their human and material resources in India and contribute to the resurgence of their motherland as a major player in the world," he said in a special message.

"The state government participation has been improved, made more effective for this Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. High-level delegations from several states will participate," Fernandes said.

First Published: Jan 07, 2006 09:21 IST