India will play a larger role in world affairs in response to the wishes of leaders and the international community, the country’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said.
“The world expects India to play a more important role in the management of global polity and economy. India’s rise as an emerging nation is seen as a positive factor in international relations,” he said, inaugurating the Ninth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the International Conference of the Indian Diaspora in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan on January 8, 2011.
His remarks were significant as India entered the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term as a Non-Permanent Member on January 1.
India will play its due and commensurate role in international bodies and promote what is good for India and the world at large, Dr Singh said.
“Our contributions, whether among the G20 Nations or in the Climate Change Conference held recently in Cancun (Mexico) were noteworthy and derived from our unique experience of tackling the challenge of developmental challenges, our emphasis on values and our tradition of building consensus among different sections and interests,” he said.
Dr Singh said increasing ‘soft power’ was increasingly becoming an important element in the country’s expanding global footprint.
He said his Government would establish new cultural centres in Australia, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia and the US.
The richness of India’s classical traditions and the colour and vibrancy of contemporary Indian culture were making waves around the world and that the proposed centres would reinforce the country’s rich heritage.
He urged the Indian communities in these countries to patronise the Centres so that they could become effective instruments for projecting the diversity and splendour of composite Indian culture.
Conceptualising the Cultural Centres, Dr Singh inaugurated the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra’ at the Conference venue.
According to Dr Singh, India’s economic recovery was on track, with the rate of growth over the past two quarters recorded at 8.9%.
“We expect the annualised growth rate at 8.5% for 2010, reaching up to 10% over the next two years. This growth is vital to fund our ambitious social development programmes and create employment opportunities for our young population. It will also create new bonds of interactions and connectivity between India and the overseas Indian communities,” he said.
The picture (by our Delhi Correspondent Balaji Chandramohan) here shows Dr Manmohan Singh lighting the traditional lamp to mark the inauguration of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2011 watched by Sir Anand Satyanand (left), Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi (partially hidden, right) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on January 8, 2011.