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Friday, 04 January 2013 13:26

Mahen Utchanah – “The 11th PBD will focus on ‘Engaging Diaspora: the Indian Growth Story”

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The 11th edition of the annual diaspora conclave -- Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 - will be held in Cochin, Kerala's commercial capital. Over 2,000 delegates from across the world are likely to participate in the three-day event to be held from January 7 to 9.
In the 10th edition of the annual diaspora meet held in Jaipur in January 2012, nearly 1,800 delegates from more than 50 countries participated.

The Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi told the media that the Cochin meet is being held "On request of the Kerala government.”

The inaugural address will be delivered by the Indian Prime Minister at the event on January 8, 2013, while the President of India will deliver the valedictory address and confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards on January 9.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year from January 7 to 9 by the government of India in an effort to reach out to nearly 30 million Indian diaspora.

This year’s diaspora meeting has a significant meaning for Mauritius as the Pravasi Bharatya samman will be awarded to the President of the Republic.

News on Sunday met the chairman of GOPIO International to gather more news on this very important event in Cochin where more than 25 million of Indian origin around the world will focus their attention as from next week.

The 11th edition of the annual diaspora conclave -- Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 - will be held in Cochin, Kerala. How are preparations going on?
We are fine-tuning the last details. Thanks to the great collaboration between the High Commission of India, the Ministry of Arts and Culture and Gopio International,  more than100 delegates from Mauritius are participating in the event. I visited Reunion Island with Minister Choonee and we gathered support from our friends there. As at now, almost 75 members of Gopio Reunion are making the trip to Kochi.
I take this opportunity to thank the members of the various chapters who are seeing to it that this PBD is a great success. For example, Malaysia is sending 200 persons and Sri Lanka is sending 300 delegates.
In all, the various chapters of the Gopio will contribute around 700 delegates.

Is Mauritius participating fully in the event? What are the main issues which Mauritians would like to discuss at the meeting?
As I said, for the first time, we are taking a delegation of more than one hundred persons to India.  There are many issues that we shall raise in the aftermath of the very successful PBD we had in October 2012 in Mauritius.

We shall reiterate the need for the PIO University and the extension of PIO cards to people from the Francophone disapora.

"Global Indian - Inclusive Growth" was the theme of the 10th meeting, what will be the theme of this January meeting?
The theme of this year is ‘Engaging Diaspora: the Indian Growth Story”. India wants to make sure that its Diaspora participates in its growth. We should not forget that despite the recession that has left many countries suffering, India is witnessing growth rate of 5-6%

What are the conclusions of the mini-Aapravasi held in Mauritius in October? What are the issues which will be taken from this mini-Aapravasi to the Kochin meeting?
We have felt the need for a permanent Secretariat to follow up the discussions that take place in the main PBDs and the Regional ones. This is especially important if we want to make sure that decisions are implemented.

Admittedly, we have made huge leaps up to now, like the PIO card without a permanent institution, but we need to proceed in a systematic way as the World is moving at great pace and there are many challenges but also opportunities ahead.

Have you been informed of the recipients of January 2013 PBD Saaman?
One of the recipients is the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Kailash Purryag

What are the chances that Mauritius hosts the GOPIO university?
The proposal is gathering steam.  However, as I said, the best way forward is through the Secretariat.

What did the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi tell you about this year’s meeting?
The annual diaspora meet begins annually on January 7 to commemorate the day Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa to join India's freedom movement. Vayalar Ravi is mostly excited about participation of Indians from the Gulf countries which is expected to rise sharply because of the large number of Keralites living in that region.

"People will come from all over the world, but we are expecting large participation from the Gulf countries. This is obviously because the event will be held in Kerala," the minister said.

The theme of the 10th edition of the annual event was "Global Indian - Inclusive Growth"; and this year’s theme will be “Engaging the Diaspora-the Growth Story. We want Indians abroad to participate in the economic development of India.”

What is on the agenda for this year’s Aapravasi Bharatya Divas?
I give you the whole programme. I must add that this is an exclusive information I am sharing with you which is not even posted on the official PBD website. As you can see the subjects to be debated are of extreme importance not only to Indians but to the Diaspora also. I should also inform you that a 10-member artistic group of various Mauritian denominations will participate in the cultural programme of the 11th PBD. It will be an opportunity for our artists to showcase our cultural diversity and emphasise on Mauritius as a rainbow nation.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
‘Engaging Diaspora- The Indian Growth Story’
7-9 January, 2013, Kochi

Monday, 7th January, 2013
1000-1600 hrs
Seminar on issues of NRIs in the Gulf
Speakers :
  • HMOIA CM, Kerala, E. Ahmed, MOS, MEA
  • Shri Issac Thomas, President, Kerala Pradesh Pravasi Congress
  • Shri Hibi Eden, MLA, Eden Garden
  • Shri K.C. Joseph, Minister of NORKA & Culture
Government of Kerala
  • Shri M.I. Shanavas, M.P. CMD, Air India
JS (Gulf), MEA, JS (Foreigners), MHA, NORKA Minister, Kerala

1500 hrs onwards  
Seminar on tourism
Keynote Speaker :
  • Shri Chiranjeevi, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism
Speakers :
  • Minister for Tourism, Kerala
  • Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO and MD, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation
  • S. Krishna Kumar, Taj hotels

1500 hrs onwards  
Seminar on Pure Sciences
Keynote address :
  • Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Former Director General, CSIR Moderator
  • Shri T. Ramsamy, Secretary, DST
Speakers :
  • Prof. P. Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science
  • Shri Mustansir Barma, Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  • Thomas Abraham
  • Dr. S. Ayyappan, ICAR Speaker from Pune Institute
  • Shri P.C. Chacko, M.P., Chairman, Privileges Committee (Lok Sabha)

1500 hrs onwards  
Seminar on Skill Development
Key Note Address :
  • S. Ramadorai, PM’s National   Council on Skill Development
  • Speakers :
  • Secretary, Ministry of Labour
  • P.N.C. Menon
Indradev Curpen

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