Mini PBD to be held in Singapore from October 10

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New Delhi, Jul 28 (UNI) A mini version of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) on the theme "Towards a Dynamic Diaspora" will be held in Singapore on October 10-11 this year.

"PBD Singapore" is the second such convention of Indian Diaspora to be held outside India. The first edition was organised in New York in September last year.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong would deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session of the mini PBD on October 10. The President of Singapore S R Nathan will be the Guest of Honour at the gala dinner being organised the same evening. A separate dialogue session with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is also scheduled.

The concept of mini PBD is based on requests received over the years from various quarters to organise it outside India to let the Indian diaspora in the region benefit from the deliberations. This is particularly helpful to those Indians in several regions who are not able to make it to the annual PBDs held in India.

Last year's mini PBD in New York was attended by over 400 delegates belonging to the Indian American community and others in the region, Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) Ministry sources said here today.

OIA Ministry would jointly host the mini PBD in partnership with the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It would be a regional event with participation mainly from ASEAN, Asia Pacific and East Asian countries, though speakers from other parts of the world are also invited.

The convention would be held at the hotel Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore and the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is the flagship event of the OIA Ministry.

It is celebrated in recognition and appreciation of the constructive, economic and philanthropic role played by the Indian diaspora, on January nine every year. The date has been chosen because it was on this day that Mahatma Gandhi, a Pravasi Bharatiya in South Africa for almost 2 decades, returned to India in 1915.

The next main PBD is scheduled during January 7-9, 2009. But the venue is yet to be announced. The last edition was held in New Delhi.

UNI SH AM HS1353

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