Sir Anand to attend Delhi Diaspora meet

Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand will be the Chief Guest at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) scheduled to be held in Delhi from January 7 to 9, 2011.

Although there is no official communication available here, Indian Newslink understands that he had accepted an official invitation from the Indian Government to attend what is described as the largest international meeting of the Indian Diaspora.

The three-day event will bring together more than 1500 people of Indian origin from many parts of the world.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the Ninth edition of the PBD at Vigyan Bhavan and President Pratibha Patil will deliver the closing address and present the Bhartiya Samman Awards to at least 12 persons who had distinguished themselves in their field of activity.

An Indian Government notification described Sir Anand as ‘The First Governor General of New Zealand with Indian and Pacific ancestry.’

“He has had a lengthy career as a Lawyer, Judge and Ombudsman and has contributed to many community, professional and sporting groups,” it said.

Sir Anand had attended the first PBD held in Delhi in January 2003 in his personal capacity.

The annual event in January 2011 will showcase investment opportunities in India’s remote eight North Eastern States including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

These States are among the sponsors of the event along with the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said PBD 2011 would provide an opportunity to generate at least $US 500 billion as inbound investment over the next five years.

“International investors see India as the most attractive destination for investments and we are keen to engage more directly with the Indian Diaspora,” he said.

Mr Ravi said that the Indian Parliament had approved a legislation according rights to Non-Resident Indians holding Indian passports the right to vote in general elections, and that the first such opportunity would be in 2014.

“The Government is also planning to establish the ‘India Community Welfare Fund’ in 18 countries to support the Indian community,” he said and added that details of the scheme will be announced in due course.

As a part of its efforts to promote the education sector, the Government has introduced to Parliament the ‘Entry of Foreign Education Provider Bill,’ which will facilitate overseas educational institutions, he said.

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