The Magazine Covering All Aspects of The Indian World
Editorial Business Forum Political News Dispatches & Reports Letters Spotlight Lifestyle Spiritual Travel Health India Sport Scene
February - March 2005
NRI Institute Celebrates Pravasi Day
Invest, invest, invest please- was the underlying message of the 3rd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference which was held in Mumbai from 7th to 9th January 2005. The Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Chief Ministers of some states urged the NRIS to invest in various projects in India. The Finance Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, in his speech to the plenary session asked the NRIS to invest in projects rather than leaving funds in bank deposits. He suggested that Non Resident Indians should now become Non Resident Investors.
Over 1500 delegates from 61 countries participated in the 3rd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference. Inaugurating the conference at Admiral Kohli stadium in Navy Nagar, the Prime Minister, Mr Man Mohan Singh appealed for massive investments in infrastructure and education so that the annual economic growth of 7 to 8 per cent can be achieved. Mr Singh also aannounced that the Government will grant dual citizenship to all overseas Indians who migrated post 26 January 1950 provided it is permitted under the laws of their home nations. One simple user friendly application form will replace the existing cumbersome 3 pages application form. There will be improved format of registration certificate. Smart cards for registration will be considered, he added. He assured the delegates that the airports will also be improved.
On the second day, there were parallel sessions hosted by various states. The Chief Ministers of Gujerat and Chhatisgarh were amongst those who addressed the meetings and answered the delegates’ questions.
On the final day, the President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam told the NRIS to enrich the nations where they live, not only in financial terms, but also with their knowledge and dignity. The title of his talk was: “Your Prosperity is our Happiness.”
Reminding the NRIS that the greatest Pravasi was Mahatma Gandhi, he said that Nelson Mandela had pointed out to him that India sent M.K. Gandhi to South Africa and South Africa sent back Mahatma Gandhi to India.
He also urged the delegates to establish overseas Indian Research Centres which could help develop technology to predict natural disasters like recent tsunami. Inspired by the President’s speech, a number of delegates pledged their support to the idea. The President outlined his vision for India saying that he would like to improve the life of 260 million people who now live below the poverty line.
All the entertainment programmes and receptions were cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims of tsunami disaster .
Jagdish Tytler, Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs who had
organised the conference in collaboration with Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry, was present on all three days and
mingled with the delegates, answering their questions from time to
time. He devoted one session only to organise relief and rehabilitation
for tsunami victims.
The NRI Institute, the forum for Indians, Non Resident Indians and People of Indian Origin held its 31st International Conference, "Pravasi Indians" at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Delhi, India on the 11th January 05.
The occasion was a magnificent success and was attended by over 500 guests. Sir Michael Arthur, The British High Commissioner to India hosted the reception with his wife, Lady Arthur. Chief Guests included Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister Of Delhi and Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister Of State for Science & Technology and Ocean Development. The function included many dignitaries and guests of honour such as Shri Surinder Singla, Minister of Finance, Planning and Banking for the Government of Punjab, Shri Naranbhai J Rathwa, Union Minister Of State For Railways, Shri Tarlochan Singh, MP, Chairman, National Minorities Commission, Shri Madhu Goud Yaskhi, NRI Member of Parliament, Shri Muzaffar Hussian Baig, Minister of Finance, Law and Planning and Development of Jammu & Kashmir, Karan Bilimoria, CEO of Cobra Beer.
Mr Rami Ranger, Mr. APS Chawla, prominent businessman in the UK were honoured with awards for their work in promoting India in the UK, Mr Subodh Kant Sahai, The Minister Of State For Food Processing Industries, presented the award to Mr. Rami Ranger; and Mr. Jagdish Tytler, Minister for Overseas Indians, presented an award to Mr. APS Chawla.
theme of the evening was to increase cooperation with Non Resident
Indians and all ministers present assured the NRI’s would be
eligible for dual nationality soon, there would not be any discrimination
against them in any way and that they would be Indians forever. Just
because they had moved abroad did not mean that they had lost their
connection with their motherland, they were in fact to be praised.
There were many tributes made to the NRI’s for travelling abroad
and working hard in foreign countries, brining success and pride to
their motherland India.