Over 2,000 delegates to take part in annual diaspora meet

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) Over 2,000 delegates from across the world are likely to participate in the 12th edition of the annual diaspora meet called Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held Jan 7-9, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said Tuesday.

Addressing a media conference here, Ravi said the focus of the upcoming event, to be organised in the national capital, would be on diaspora youth.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the event Jan 8, while President Pranab Mukherjee will deliver the valedictory address and confer Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Samman awards Jan 9, the minister said.

During the three-day event, the government will showcase the investment opportunities available in various sector and encourage Indian diaspora to enhance their economic and cultural engagements with homeland.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated Jan 9 every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community to the development of India. Jan 9 has been chosen to mark the day because the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915 on this day to lead the country's freedom struggle.

In the previous edition of the annual diaspora meet held in Jaipur, Rajasthan, over 1,500 non-resident Indians and person of Indian origin from 54 countries had participated.

Ravi said the theme of the upcoming annual convention will be "Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations".

On the first day of the event Jan 7, there will be discussion on "Aspiration of Diaspora Youth" followed by concurrent session on "Sharing a Common Heritage: The Emotional Connect, Young Achievers" and on "Emerging India in a Dynamically Changing World".

On second and third day of the event also there will be sessions focused on showcasing investment opportunities in different sector and parts of the country.

"There will also be concurrent exhibition showcasing with participation from state governments, corporates, financial institution, NGOs and other sectors," the minister said.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will be the partner ministry for the upcoming event to be organised by the Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs.

The purpose of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is to have meaningful interaction with overseas Indian that would address their issues and concerns.

"The PBD Convention provides a unique platform for overseas Indian to interact among themselves and with the government of India and the government of various Indian states," the overseas Indian ministry said.

"It is a forum where the government of India showcases investment opportunities in India and its potential in various sectors," it said.