U.S. law on civil nuclear energy an essential first step
NRIs already making handsome contributionsU.S. law on civil nuclear energy "an important step forward"
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday described the U.S. law on civil nuclear energy as an important step forward in bilateral ties. He thanked the Indian American community for their significant role in highlighting the importance of this initiative in the United States and elsewhere.
Speaking at the Fifth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas an annual congregation the Indian diaspora here, Dr. Singh said India was happy that the U.S. had adopted a legislation that would enable it to cooperate in the field of civil nuclear energy.
"This is also an essential first step that will enable India to engage in cooperation in the civil nuclear field with other countries that are members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This process will increase the range of options available to secure our country's growing current and future energy needs,'' he said. This initiative was, therefore, a vital input to the critical process of enlarging our developmental options.
Dr. Singh thanked the NRI community in West Asia and other parts of the world for the handsome contribution their remittances make to the strengthening of the economy. He called upon them to engage themselves in the "great adventure" of building an India free from the fear of war, want and exploitation.
Pointing out that India had emerged as one of the fastest growing economies creating enormous opportunities for the cross-border flow of trade, capital and technology, Dr. Singh hoped that the overseas Indian community would reach out and invest financially, intellectually, socially, culturally and emotionally.
The Government was examining a proposal to establish an Indian Overseas Facilitation Centre that would offer investment advisory services for investors. This was being done on the understanding that an Indian entity, independent of the Government though supported by it could be an effective instrument to liaise with members of the India diaspora on matters related to investment in India, he said.
Saying that a strategic medium to long-term view of overseas employment opportunities must be taken, Dr. Singh said it was time the overseas Indian workers moved up the wage chain and India perceived as a provider of skilled manpower. Toward this end, the constitution of a Central Council for the Promotion of Overseas Employment has been mooted and is being examined by the Government.
On enhancing educational opportunities for persons of Indian origin for study in India, the Prime Minister said he wanted the Indian universities to be more open to the children of overseas Indians. Referring to the proposal to establish a University for Persons of Indian Origin, announced by him last year, Dr. Singh said the Government envisaged the proposed university as oriented to meet the needs of the overseas Indian community in the most sought after disciplines, including engineering and management.
"Our aspiration would be to impart quality education at par with the best universities in the world. The challenge now is to create the requisite enabling framework that will adequately meet these aspirations. We hope to do his in the coming months.''