Together we will keep our tryst with destiny:Prez to Pravasis

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today urged overseas Indians to play a proactive role in India's journey to becoming a strong, just and equitable society.

''The time has come for a strong and sustained partnership between India and its Diaspora. The Overseas Indian community should engage proactively in contributing to the growth of India,'' she said in her valedictory address at the sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.

She said there have been some recent initiatives, including partnerships involving overseas institutions and the Indian Diaspora, helping India to further its development goals and invest in its human capital.

''More such partnerships should be established. Linkages between institutions of advanced learning would also be useful.

Overseas Indians could be catalysts and promoters of such linkages given that they represent a reservoir of knowledge, skills, resources and enterprise.'' The President called upon overseas Indians to make use of the Overseas Citizenship of India scheme, which gives them a lifetime free visa to India and also allows them to live and work in India whenever they choose.

''The newly established Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre can be the Diaspora's window to invest in and benefit from India.

It will serve as 'one stop shop'. The government has begun work on establishing a 'Diaspora Knowledge Network' - an electronic platform to enable the Indian Diaspora to transform ideas into individual initiatives and community action in India.'' She urged the overseas Indians to participate actively in the project, saying the soon to be established 'India Development Foundation', would provide them a credible window to contribute to social development causes such as empowerment of women and rural development in India.

UNI AG RL AS2004

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