Investment promotion and sharing of knowledge and expertise will be among the main themes of the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held here from January seven, where the diaspora will get an opportunity to directly raise issues of concern with Union Ministers.

The three-day high-profile annual convention will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January eight and President Pratibha Patil will deliver the valedictory address on January 9.

The eighth edition of the flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has been structured differently this time with a view to provide the delegates with an opportunity to interact with Union Ministers.

The delegates will be able to raise with the Union Ministers issues concerning overseas Indians including matters related to two-way trade and investment.

The interaction will provide the dignitaries an opportunity to convey directly their expectations from the Indian government, officials said.

There will be interactive sessions with Chief Ministers also so that issues related to the states could be addressed by their governments on priority basis to help NRIs contribute to the country of their origin.

The congregation of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and NRIs will have four concurrent sessions on investment, knowledge sharing, philanthropy and gender issues.

The PBD conventions, held for some seven years now, provide the largest platform to the PIOs and NRIs for exchange of views and networking on matters of common interest and have been successful in linking overseas Indians to country of their origin.

The event will also see the launching of an annual lecture series under the overarching theme of ‘India and its Diaspora: Everlasting Bonds of Togetherness’.

On the cards is also a golf tournament and seminars on nano-technology and property related issues of NRIs/PIOs.

The event is being organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with Delhi Government. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) would be the institutional partner.

Officials in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs said online registration would start from September 15. All the details related to online registration and the main event would be available on the website of the Ministry

Among the decisions taken by the Government of India as a result of wider consultations held at these conventions, include formulation of the Overseas Citizenship of India, establishment of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, conceptualisation of PIO University and setting up of the India Development Foundation.

More than 1,500 participants from over 40 countries had attended the last Pravasi Bhartiya Divas held in Chennai earlier this year.

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