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Let's celebrate our Indianness: Dr Singh
George Iype in Hyderabad | January 07, 2006 13:08 IST
Last Updated: January 07, 2006 16:09 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked overseas Indians to make use of the investment and business opportunities that India now offers and invited them to be active partners of a new India that symbolises development and progress.
Inaugurating the 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of overseas Indians, in Hyderabad, the prime minister said India is a land of opportunities, which places premium on enterprise and creativity.
"Our government is committed to create a hospitable climate for investment and enterprise. We will work hard to improve the quality of governance at all levels and remove barriers to growth and competitiveness," Prime Minister Singh told the gathering of Non-Resident Indians and Persons of India Origin.
He said there are an estimated four to five million Indian workers all over the world. "Every fifth member of the diaspora is thus a worker. They have contributed a great deal to the economic and social empowerment of their families back home, to the development of their communities and to the economic enrichment of our country," the prime minister said.
He said in recent years, remittance inflows have increased impressively, rising from $13 billion in 2001 to over $20 billion in 2005.
"I salute the overseas Indians, the workers and professionals who are contributing with their skills and sweat to the economic development of our country," Dr Singh said.
He said an important demand of the overseas Indian community is to attain access to educational opportunities in India. To this end, Dr Singh pointed out that institutions like the Delhi Public School, Birla Institute of Technology and Science and Manipal Academy of Higher Education have already established a presence in a number of countries.
"As India becomes a stronger economic power, there will be a lot of interest in students all over the world to come and study here for the sheer experience of being in the most happening society in the world," the prime minister said.
Dr Singh invited proposals from NRIs and PIOs to partner educational institutions in India and to create a University of People of India Origin. He said this is the time to think big and think bold.
"This is the time to forget our differences and labels and celebrate our common Indianness. This is the time for all of us to become strategic partners in progress in a 'one-for-all, all-for-one' spirit," he said.
Dr Singh added that annual meets like the PBD would not only give a chance to review immediate plans and projects, but also provide stimulus to strategise and take this relationship to the next logical step.
Complete coverage: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2006