New Delhi, Oct 10 : A mini version of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will begin in Singapore from today.
"PBD Singapore" is the second such convention of Indian Diaspora to be held outside India. The tagline for the event is "Towards a Dynamic Diaspora". ingapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session of the two-day event today.
Singapore President S.R. Nathan has consented to be the Guest of Honour at the gala dinner, which will be organised the same evening.
A separate dialogue session with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is also scheduled to be held during the event.
The concept of mini PBD is based on requests received over the years from various quarters to organise it outside India and to let the Indian Diaspora in the region benefit from the deliberations.
This is particularly helpful to those large numbers of Indians in several regions who are not able to make it to the annual PBDs held in India.
The first mini PBD was organized in New York in September last year. It was was attended by over 400 delegates belonging to the Indian American community and others in the region.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will 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 will 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.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is the flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.
It is celebrated in recognition and appreciation of the constructive, economic and philanthropic role-played by the Indian Diaspora, on the ninth day of January every year.
The date has been chosen because it was on this day that Mahatma Gandhi, a Pravasi Bharatiya in South Africa for almost two decades, returned to India in 1915.
The next main PBD is scheduled on January 7-9, 2009.