New Delhi, Nov 11 : About 1500 delegates from across the world are expected to take part in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), 2009 to be held in Chennai from January 7-9.
The 7th Indian Diaspora convention is being organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The theme of PBD-2009 is 'Engaging the Diaspora - The way forward'
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the PBD convention on January 8, 2009. President Prathibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address on January 9. She would also confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards for 2009. Several Central Ministers and Chief Ministers are also scheduled to address the delegates.
The preparations for the PBD 2009 were reviewed at the first meeting of the organising committee of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi.
K. Mohandas, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, informed that the President of Singapore is likely to be the Chief Guest at the event.
Mohandas pointed out that the PBD-2009 has assumed greater significance in view of the global economic crisis that created a need for increased interaction between India and the 'persons of Indian origin' abroad.
He said that the PBD is likely to create more interest in view of the fact that Indian economy is doing better compared to the situation across the world. He expected substantial business to take place during the convention and several joint plans of action to emerge.
At least 19 States and Union Territories have confirmed that they will take part in the mega event.
The focus topics for discussion include "Indian Diaspora : Preservation of Language and Culture", "Role of Diaspora Youth in the 21st Century India" and "India as an Emerging Power : The Diaspora Factor". So far, Malaysia has confirmed the highest number of participation in the convention followed by Singapore.
A special Trade and Industry Exhibition with participation from the Corporate, Financial Institutions, State Governments, NGOs and others will form part of the event. The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) will set up a market place at the venue to facilitate business and investment.
PBD Conventions provide a platform for exchange of views and networking to the Persons of Indian Origin on matters of common interest. These Conventions enable the Government of India to better understand the expectations of the Overseas Indians from the land of their ancestors and to acknowledge their role in India's all-round development.