Addressing the valedictory session of the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, Patil said India has lifted tens of millions of its people out of abject poverty but the country still has a "very long way to go."
"Health, education and skill development were key areas of the strategy of inclusive development in India's 11th Plan, and they will continue to be focus areas in the 12th Plan. We must ensure that these sectors receive adequate resources and to ensure that resources are spent to achieve maximum efficiency in terms of outcomes," she told over 1,900 delegates from 60 countries across the globe.
"We also need to harness private investment in these areas at a time of economic uncertainty and profound change in the world. We will continue to actively engage with the overseas Indian community as partners in the development and progress of India," she said.
The President also presented Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to 15 eminent overseas Indians, including to the Chief Guest of PBD 2012 and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. PBD is celebrated every year from January 7 to 9 to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi after his "successful struggle" against apartheid in South Africa, she said.
Patil also said efforts to promote greater exchanges between the youth as an important aspect of forging linkages and maintaining the tradition of close bonds should be maintained. Lauding the contributions of overseas Indians, Patil said the footprints of the Indian Diaspora are wide-spread and its presence felt in every continent.