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Stage set for Pravasi Bharatiya meet

The sixth edition of PBD will formally be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2008 03:12 IST
Srinand Jha
Srinand Jha
Hindustan Times

The sixth edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) - seeking to engage the diaspora in developmental programmes - will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

The event will provide a platform for interaction on a wide range of issues including social development challenges in India in the health and education sectors, "knowledge economy" and issues relating to the empowerment of rural women.

"Engaging the Diaspora - the way forward" is the theme of the annual congregation. The Prime Minister of Mauritius Naveenchandra Ramgoolam will be the chief guest. It will culminate with valedictory address and conferment of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by President Pratibha Patil on 9 January.

The conference will try to generate discussions on developmental issues relating to the areas of health care and education. The forthcoming event includes a two-day convention featuring diverse themes with eminent speakers, a trade and industry exhibition, business networking and cultural evenings.

Discussions have been scheduled on themes including trade and business opportunities; the developmental challenges of the states and the issue of diaspora philanthropy vis-à-vis empowerment of rural women.

The combined wealth of 25 million non resident Indians is estimated at one trillion USD - and a very small fraction of this has come into India by way of investments.

However, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vyalar Ravi, is optimistic that the situation will improve. He feels that the state governments in particular should view the event as a major investment opportunity.