New Delhi, Dec 21 The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the annual gathering of people of Indian origin, will for the ninth consecutive year be held in the first week of January 2011 and this time it will have a special focus on the northeast and the youth among the large Indian diaspora.
"We are expecting nearly 1,300-1,500 delegates to come for PBD," Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said at a press conference to announce the annual event.
He expressed satisfaction that the PBD had become an important event of the annual calendar, which attracts important members of the Indian diaspora from around the world.
The three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in the capital Jan 7-9, 2011. The event will be officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Jan 8 and New Zealand governor-general Anand Satyanand will be the chief guest.
With a special focus on the northeast in 2011, the event is being held in partnership with the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region and the state governments of the eight northeastern states.
There will be a special plenary session on investment opportunities in the northeast, which will be addressed by the chief ministers of all the eight states in the region.
"We have great hopes from PBD," said Minister of Development of North Eastern Region B.K. Handique.
Besides, efforts were being made to rope in other chief ministers for the three-day function. "I am writing to all the chief ministers. I hope to get confirmations soon," said Ravi.
Union ministers including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad have confirmed their participation for interaction with members of the diaspora.
There will also be a plenary session to look at ways to engage with the younger generation of the Indian diaspora, and involve them in the evolving India story.
During the event, the annual C.K. Prahalad memorial lecture will be delivered on the subject of 'inclusive growth' by Gautam Ahuja, chairperson, Corporate Strategy and International Business group, University of Michigan Business School.
President Pratibha Patil will deliver the valedictory address Jan 9 and confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards at the closing session.
Besides the prime minister's global advisory council, comprising members like steel magnate L.N. Mittal, Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, will meet in Delhi Jan 7.
After the three-day event, there will be another milestone in the history of Indian diaspora, when a memorial will be inaugurated at Kolkata port to commemorate the thousands of indentured Indian labourers who left the shores of India for distant British colonies over the years.
"This is a long standing demand of people of Indian origin... We have to decided to unveil the memorial in Kolkata on January 11," said Ravi.