Over 2,000 delegates to attend annual diaspora meet

New Delhi, Jan 6 : Over 2,000 non-resident Indians (NRIs) and people of Indian origin (PIOs) from all across the world are likely to attend the 12th edition of the annual diaspora meet beginning here Tuesday.

The focus of the three-day event - which began in 2003 - will be on engaging the youth diaspora in different sectors.

"The event is expected to open new horizons of a strong network of young overseas Indians to contribute to India's engagement with youth in all sectors," Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said Monday.

The event is organised every year by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa. This is an effort to connect with the nearly 25 million Indian diaspora living across the globe.

Addressing a media conference here, Ravi said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the diaspora meet Wednesday, while President Pranab Mukherjee will deliver the valedictory speech on Thursday.

Ravi said over 2,000 delegates from the heterogeneous and diverse overseas Indian community spread across the globe are likely to take part in the event.

The 11th edition of the annual convention was held in Kochi in partnership with the Kerala government.

Malaysian Minister of Natural Resource and Environment Datuk Seri G. Palanivel will be the chief guest.

According Ravi, the purpose of the annual event called "Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)" is to have a meaningful interaction with overseas Indians in order to address their issues and concerns.

Several states as well as the central government departments will also be pitching for investments from Indian diaspora participating at the meet.

Chief ministers of different states including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Goa Chief Minister Manohan Parrikar and Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh are scheduled to address the meet and seek investments for their respective states.

On the first day of the event, there will be sessions directed at youths. In fact, the first day will be called "Youth PBD", Ravi said.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will coordinate and manage the event, while the federal ministry of sports and youth affairs will be the partner ministry for the event.

There will be a concurrent exhibition with participation from the state governments, corporates, financial institutions and non-government organisations at the event.

--IANS (Posted on 06-01-2014)

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