Over 1,300 delegates from 54 countries to participate
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar will be the chief guest at the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) events, scheduled here from Saturday. More than 1,300 delegates from 54 countries are expected to participate in the multi-layered activity in which Ministers of Indian origin from eight countries, 10 Central Ministers and an equal number of Chief Ministers of Indian States and their Ministers will also take part. The theme of PBD-2012 is ‘Global Indian-Inclusive Growth'.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate this annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs on January 8 while the valedictory address will be delivered on January 9 by President Pratibha Patil. She will also confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished persons of Indian origin on the occasion. A high-level delegation from her country is accompanying the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister to India.
The PBD-2012 is being held in partnership with the government of Rajasthan on the request of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Mr. Gehlot first moved the proposal to hold the event in Jaipur before Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, during a meeting of the Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) in New York two years ago. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the institutional partner to the mega event.
After reviewing preparations for the event, Mr. Ravi said in Delhi on Thursday that the PBD Oration this year would be given by eminent economist and management expert Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. The Minister also announced that the event would be webcast online and a summary of its proceedings released every day. The interactive website would provide an opportunity for the diaspora to participate in the conference from any part of the world.
The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre will organise a marketplace for business delegates.
Mr. Ravi announced a plan to lay the foundation for the Pravasi Bhawan for Rajasthan during the event. At present, six States have such centres while three more centres, including the one in Rajasthan, would be opened soon, he said.
Three pre-conference seminars are being organised, on ‘Solar Energy-Investment and R&D,' ‘Social Entrepreneurship-Water' and ‘Health,' besides a session on tourism and concurrent session on ‘Enhancing Rural Energy Access'.
At the plenary session on Sunday, Union Finance Minister Pranab Kumar Mukherjee would deliver the keynote address on ‘Inclusive Growth: Two decades of liberalisation'. At that session, moderated by Mr. Ravi, Union Ministers C.P. Joshi and Jayanti Natarajan will also speak.
The keynote address at the plenary session on ‘Partnering prosperity,' will be by G. Mohan Gopal, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies.
The other speakers at the session, to be moderated by Shashi Tharoor, will include Members of Parliament Sitaram Yechury and Anantha Kumar, besides Gopinath Pillai, Ambassador at Large, Singapore, and Dato Seri S. Vellu, Malaysia's Special Envoy to India.
Another plenary session titled ‘Shared connections; Messages of Mahatma Gandhi', will be chaired by Rajasthan Governor Shivraj Patil and moderated by Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information and Innovations.
A rich fare of programmes, reflecting India's diverse culture, will be depicted in the evening performances arranged for the delegates. The cultural programmes on Saturday will be hosted by the External Affairs Minister, Sunday's programme by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and the grand finale on January 9, by the Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs.