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Pravasi Divas to draw 1,000 delegates
BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi | December 29, 2003 09:53 IST
The second Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is expected to attract at least 1,000 delegates from 57 countries.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, a convention of Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin, is being organised by the government in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Republic of Guyana, will be the chief guest at the convention, which begins on January 9. Prominent among the members of the Indian Diaspora expected to attend the convention are Ispat International's L N Mittal, Nobel laureate VS Naipaul, eminent economist Meghnad Desai, Dipak Jain of Kellogg's Management School and Rana Talwar of Sabre Capital.
The event assumes significance as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is expected to announce dual citizenship for PIOs in 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Portugal, Italy, Australia, Canada and Israel.
Vajpayee had promised dual citizenship for PIOs at the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas last January. The Parliament recently passed and amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, to permit dual citizenship in the hope that the Indian Diaspora will contribute to national development.
Personal laws across the globe relating to marriage, divorce and maintenance, NRIs in the Gulf and the youth of the Indian Diaspora will be the focus of the convention.
International laws had been added to the discussions in response to the thoughts expressed in the last convention regarding the problems faced by women who marry PIOs or NRIs, LM Singhvi, chairman of the organising committee for the event, said.
The key highlights of the event include a session with External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha on policies for productive engagement, a session on globalisation with Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, and a session on a vision for the India Diaspora in 2020 to be addressed Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.
Diaspora hubs and global markets, knowledge-based industries, tourism, branding strategies for India and international trade are also expected to come up for discussion at the meet.
"We want to create a web-like relationship with Indian Diaspora," JC Sharma, secretary, ministry of external affairs, said.
The meet would cost Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million), with the Centre chipping in with Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million) and the rest being raised by Ficci, mostly through sponsorships, Sharma said.