Mauritius president to be chief guest at overseas Indians meet

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 16, 2012 10:00 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag will be the chief guest at the 11th overseas Indians meet to be held at Kochi in January next, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here Tuesday.

Unveiling the website for the 2013 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), Ravi said Purryag will be among the prominent overseas Indians attending the meet, which will focus on 'Engaging Diaspora: The Indian Growth Story'.

"The chief guest for the PBD at Kochi, to be held from Jan 7 to 9, 2013, will be Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag," Ravi said here after releasing the brochure for the annual event.

PBD-2013 will have Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurating it Jan 8. President Pranab Mukherjee will be the guest at the valedictory of the event on Jan 9.

He also noted that there would be 2,000 delegates from 60 countries participating at the PBD-2013. A similar number of delegates had attended the event in January this year at Jaipur too.

PBD is a platform established by the Indian government to strengthen the Indian diaspora engagement and to provide them an overview of how they could participate in the country's growth story.

"The PBD provides an invigorating platform for the overseas Indians to network and exchange views and perspectives and to enhance linkages and synergies for diaspora across the economic, social and cultural sectors," Ravi said.

With an estimated 25-million diaspora, it is said to be the second largest diaspora population in the world.

"At the PBD, we will discuss issues that the overseas Indian population may like to raise before the government and find solutions to them. Such discussions are good for the government, as it helps us to know what they want from us and what we have to do for them," Ravi said.

The minister also announced that the Kerala government will be a partner state for the PBD-2013.

A major highlight of the three-day meet would be the 'PBD Oration' which would be delivered by a prominent historian on the 'Gadar movement', an effort by overseas Indian to free India from the British rule.

Among the issues that are expected to come up for discussion at the meet are India's growth and greater opportunity for investment, safe investment environment for overseas Indians, and engaging the youth diaspora. There will be special discussion on issues concerning the Indian diaspora living in the Gulf countries.

One of the sessions in the PBD would focus on states, with several chief ministers participating and interacting with the overseas Indians to pitch their states as good investment destinations.

At the valedictory, Mukherjee will present this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (overseas Indian awards) to 15 eminent overseas Indians.

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