Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 2 (IANS) The 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held in Kerala's Kochi city Jan 7-9 is expected to see more than 2,000 participants from around 70 countries, a state minister said Wednesday.
Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph told IANS that by now 1,600 delegates have registered for the PBD-2013. "We are certain the total will cross the 2,000 mark," Joseph said.
"The role of the state government in this event is that of a facilitator, as the programme is being run and managed by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs," Joseph added.
Six state chief ministers and a good number of central ministers will take part in the annual diaspora conclave, Joseph said.
It's for the first time that the PBD is being held in Kerala. The prime minister will inaugurate this annual flagship event of the government Jan 8, while the president will deliver the valedictory address Jan 9 and present the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards to the winners.
A special "Gulf Session" will be organised on the first day of the three-day event. Among the participants in the session will be Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Joseph.
"The delegate fee for the three-day event has been fixed at US$ 250 and the participants will have to pay Rs.1,000 additionally for the Gulf Session," Joseph said.