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December 2007 - January 2008


Political News

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2008

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is the annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The event aims to connect more than 25 million overseas Indians and to bring the expertise and knowledge of the Indian overseas community to India and integrating it into India’s development process.

The forthcoming 6th PBD is being organized with the institutional partnership of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi is the Partner State.

The forthcoming PBD includes a two-day convention featuring diverse themes with eminent speakers; trade and Industry exhibition, business networking and cultural evenings.

Theme of the Sixth edition of PBD is `Engaging the Diaspora : the way forward’ with the objective to encourage Overseas Indians to be part of the socio-economic development of India. The focus will be on social areas and issues. The Union government and State governments will be fully involved in the sessions so that participants can directly interact with government representatives and address their concerns and have exposure to the government programmes for the common man and how they could be involved in these.

The focus area are

Education
Health
Women Empowerment & Leadership
Investment & Infrastructure
Knowledge Economy
Trade & Business Opportunities
Culture

Diaspora Philanthropy : Empowerment of Rural Women

During PBD 2007, a new initiative was to provide a platform to discuss concerns of regional diaspora groups. This was a huge success and based on the feedback from delegates, we will continue with parallel sessions of different regions with significant number of overseas Indians. The regional sessions planned for PBD 2008 are on:

Gulf & Middle East
Asia & Pacific
Africa
Americas
Europe

Based on the feedback from various stakeholders, delegates, speakers, etc, the programme structure for PBD 2008 has been made more compact, with fewer number of sessions. The sessions have been planned to provide more time for interaction.

One of the special highlights of PBD 2008 is a `Market Place’ being organized by Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC). The Market Place will be a side event and will involve providing B2B partnerships and answering queries to overseas Indians by eminent Knowledge Partners of OIFC. This will be a unique opportunity to find a one stop shop for answering queries of overseas Indians specially in the following sectors :

Real estate
Wealth management
Taxation.

The Prime Minister of India will once again inaugurate the Convention on 8th January and Rashtrapatiji will confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards at the Valedictory session on 9th January 2008.

The second day of the convention would be dedicated to interaction with Indian States represented by various Chief Ministries. The session would give impetus to greater interaction between the diaspora and major Indian States as important investment destinations.

The session will consist of experts both from India and overseas as well as representatives from Central and State Governments. Opportunities will be given for longer interactive sessions with the delegates.

last year the Prime Minister made three announcements during his Inaugural Address:

- The PIO University
- Council for Overseas Employment Opportunities,

and

- Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC)

Ministry has fulfilled all these three commitments.

The other highlights of the last PBD 2007 include:

1200 delegates from over 50 countries

4 publications of the Ministry were released in the conference

28 sessions on a wide and inclusive range of topics

5 overseas Ministers attended the conference

175 speakers, 44 of them from overseas

29 Indian Ministers, 4 Chief Ministers and 7 Members of Parliament addressed the conference.

In addition, the first PBD overseas – was held in New York on 23 September. The New York PBD saw large participation from the US, Canada and the Caribbeans and we were most encouraged by the participation and the several suggestions made.

The PBD 2008 will give an opportunity to interact with Indian Leadership and will also give a better opportunity to understand in what way India is moving ahead.

The forthcoming PBD is moving away from numbers to more substantive issues, hence the theme, “Engaging the Diaspora : the Way Forward “ The programme is now over 2 days from the earlier 3. We have re-formatted the structure of each Plenary session with few speeches but more on dialogue mode and with time for discussion with delegates.

Therefore, this next PBD will be different and we hope that with the focus on engaging the Diaspora, we will see a lot more participation by overseas Indians in our infrastructure projects and, more importantly, in our softer issues like health, education, empowerment of rural women.

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