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'Need to have two-way flow of information'
George Iype in Hyderabad | January 09, 2006 15:52 IST
Will the Diaspora Knowledge Network that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has mooted connect the millions of overseas Indians with the country?
Will the Network help them partake in India's growing knowledge economy?
A number of delegates, speakers and participants at the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas had the following to say on the proposed Network.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission: India needs the knowledge, expertise and skills of Indians living abroad for a meaningful and mutually beneficial contribution to the development of the country. I think creation of the Diaspora Knowledge Network is the best means to connect with all of them. All need to be networked through information and communication technologies. It helps the overseas Indian workers and professionals become symbols of global connectivity to capture the face of a new, changing India.
Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General (Communication and Information), UNESCO: The knowledge resources of overseas Indians and its significance in the context of India's march to becoming a developed economy and society are well known. The principles of knowledge societies are freedom of expression, universal access to information and knowledge and respect for culture. A key opportunity for India is to find ways and means to leverage the knowledge, expertise and skills of Indians abroad. Today's world is enabled by information and communication technologies; and it offers the opportunity to tap India's Diaspora knowledge resources through the Diaspora Knowledge Network.
Ravi Seethapathy, corporate director of Engineers Without Borders, a charitable organisation says: The Diaspora Knowledge Network is an important step in the right direction, because it can be a dynamic platform for exchange of knowledge between India and its Diaspora. Already there are over 50 knowledge networks to connect expatriates among themselves and with the country of origin to promote exchange of skill and knowledge. If everyone can come under one platform, it would be the greatest idea.
N S Rajendran, a business man from Malaysia: There are a large number of Indian expatriates in Malaysia, and this year the largest contingent of delegates have come from Malaysia. I think it is a good idea that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has proposed to set up the Diaspora Knowledge Network. There is an urgent need to have two-way flow of information between India and Indians living abroad. It helps us and it helps in the development process of the country of or origin.
Priyanka Patnaik, a delegate and a student of English and Communication born and bred in Ottawa, Canada: This is my second participation at the PBD. And I am enjoying my every trip to India. Yes, we need to establish a network of the Indian Diaspora so that everyone is well connected with India. I do not know what platform they use; we need to be in touch with this country of boom.
Adinarain Hutchamah, Secretary, Mauritius Telugu Cultural Centre Trust: For generations spanning 200 years, my family has been in Mauritius. But I can speak good Telugu. I love India, because it is the country of my great grand parents. I want to network with all the Indians across the globe, and this PBD has helped a lot. We need a great network of the Indian Diaspora for our efforts to become the world's best nation.
Complete Coverage: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2006