Mauritius President to be Chief Guest of PBD 2013

Mauritius President to be Chief Guest of PBD 2013

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Vayalar Ravi

Vayalar Ravi

Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag will be the chief guest at the Eleventh overseas Indians meet to be held at Kochi in January next, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said recently in a press conference.

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 11th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention will be held in Kochi, Kerala from 7-9th January 2013 at Le Meridien Hotel.

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 and will also felicitate 15 overseas Indians with Pravasi Bhartiya Samman.

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. “There are over 5 million non-resident Indians in the Gulf countries and we hope that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Kochi will be a big draw for them. We hope to see at least 2500 participants at the Kochi event for sure. “said Ravi.

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.

Ravi added that “In the forthcoming PBD, there will be pre-PBD seminars related to development issues such as skill development, pure sciences, tourism, youth and NRIs in the gulf and plenary sessions on India’s growth greater opportunities’. ‘Overseas Indians: safe environment’, ‘Engaging young overseas Indians’ and ‘Investment opportunities in States.'” The minister also announced that the Kerala government will be a partner state for the PBD-2013.

Kerala has been chosen as the host for the Convention since Keralites constitute one of the largest expatriate communities of India.

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’. Since we are celebrating the centenary of the Gadar Movement in 2013 and overseas Indians played a vital role to free India from the Bristish rulers.

The eleventh edition of the event, which is organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), usually in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) as its partner along with the Kerala government.

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Somanjana Chatterjee

Somanjan Chatterjee is San Francisco based consulting editor