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London to host regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas this month


India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has decided to hold the 2014 regional Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention in London over two days in October (16 – 18), given the size and importance of the Indian diaspora in the UK.

This will be the eighth convention, but the first in the UK.

The last regional PBD was held in Sydney. Regional PBDs are organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with the collaboration of the host government, the Indian Mission, Prominent Overseas Indians (POIs) and organisations catering to the needs of the Indian Diaspora.

The objective is to reach out to those members of the community who have been unable to participate in the annual PBD in India and to provide a platform for the Indian community in the region to contribute to the relationship between countries of the region and India.

There will be plenary and parallel sessions on various themes, including aspirations and expectations of the Indian Diaspora.

Participation in the event is expected from all over the UK and also from other countries in Europe.

This convention is not only for the Indian community, but for all persons who are interested in plugging into India’s growing relationship with the UK.

It is expected that more than 700 individuals will participate in the conference.

The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) will be a partner of the Regional PBD Meeting in London.

A business round table and B2B meetings will be organised by OIFC and the CII.

The programme of the event will feature discussions on enhancing India-UK business partnership including trade and investment, energy, infrastructure, skills and education, technology, youth and entrepreneurship.

Speakers at the event will include prominent dignitaries from the UK and India, prominent members of the Indian community, British and Indian business representatives and academicians and media persons.

The programme of the Regional PBD will be broadly based on the following themes:

  • Present and future relationship between India and the Indian diaspora
  • Aspirations and expectations of the Indian diaspora from India
  • India-UK collaborations in trade and investment including in third countries;
  • Role of diaspora in India-EU trade
  • Role of NRI/PIO businesses in European countries
  • Contribution of the Indian diaspora to the British/European and Indian societies and economies
  • Role of youth in widening the scope of engagement between India and the diaspora, including through cooperation in education, culture and skill development.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister and Member of Parliament, ShaileshVara, has been awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in 2014.

Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) 2015 will be held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat in January 2015.

As the year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the return of the greatest ‘Pravasi’ of all, Mahatma Gandhi, from South Africa, PBD 2015 would be celebrated in a grand way. A detailed pogramme of the event will be finalised in due course.

PBD conventions have been held every year since 2003. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking.