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Home > News > Report

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: Not everyone is happy

Vicky Nanjappa in New Delhi | January 09, 2008 18:42 IST

The sixth session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas comes to an end today. Non Resident Indians from across the globe have participated in the two-day affair being held at New Delhi.

While the PBD acted as a forum for the Indian Diaspora to interact with each other, the event didn't cater to certain key aspects.

The students who attended the PBD were an unhappy lot. Over 80 students attended the PBD as part of the Know India programme, and several students complained that there was no proper forum for them to interact with each other.

Most of them found the seminars boring. The students, who wanted to know more about the various educational opportunities in India and the different institutions, had no interest in speeches about infrastructure etc.

However, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi claimed that this year's PBD marked a huge improvement compared to last year's event.

In 2007, said Ravi, the PBD had only hosted 20 students. The minister promised that more interactive programmes for the youth will be introduced in next year's PBD.

Narayan Krishneil, a student from Fiji, said that this was his first visit to India and he was really impressed with the country. Krishineil, a biology student, felt that there should have been more emphasis on youth oriented programmes at the PBD. Hardly any topics concerning the youth were discussed at the PBD and hence the event really did not make much sense, he said.

Krishneil added that the students were looking for more information about education in India, and the PBD should have focused on this aspect also.

Hari Shankar Sharma, a professor from Sweden, is participating in PBD with wife Aruna Sharma. While he was drawn to the event by the session on knowledge economy, he expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the seminar was conducted. "We need to have more prolific speakers and the Indian government could do better in the future by identifying this problem," he said.

Sharma, a first timer to the PBD, said that he may not come back for next year's event unless such issues are sorted out. He accused the organisers of not being completely transparent and honest while selecting speakers for the event.

When queried about the participants' complaints, Ravi said he was aware of them and steps would be taken to ensure that there are no complaints in the future sessions of the PBD.