Delhi to host fifth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) Issues of social concerns of regional Indian diaspora groups will dominate the proceedings of the three-day Fifth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), an annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA), being held in Delhi from January 7, 2008.

The event, which aims to connect more than 25 million overseas Indians in 110 countries, is designed in a more attractive format this time to bring the expertise and knowledge of the overseas community to India and integrating it into India's development process, OIA Minister Vayalar Ravi told mediapersons.

Though it is a three-day event, the actual programmes are planned for two days from January 7 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the meet, which is likely to be attended by 1200 delegates from 50 countries.

Unlike the first four editions, no business is slated for the first day of the PBD-2008.

Mauritius Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam will be the Chief Guest of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Delhi is hosting the PBD for the third time. It was held in Delhi last year also.

The theme of the fifth edition of PBD is "Engaging the Diaspora: the way forward" with the objective of encouraging overseas Indians to be part of the socio-economic development of India.

''The focus will be on social areas and issues with special emphasis on women, especially those in rural areas.

The diaspora meet would conclude on January 9 with President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the "Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award''.

The focus of discussion at the PBD-2008 would be areas such as education, healthcare, women empowerment and leadership, rural women, knowledge economy, culture, trade and business opportunities.

January 9 would be dedicated to interaction with Indian states represented by various Chief Ministers. The session would give impetus to greater interaction between the diaspora and major Indian states as important investment destinations.

The PBD is organised by the OIA Ministry with the institutional partnership of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

UNI

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