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Fifteen NRIs have been presented with the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ awards
at Closing Day on Jan 09, 2007

New Delhi, Jan 09, 2007
Col. Har krishan
NRI press

Dr. Kalam exhorted, President request NRIs to work closely to create a better India


The Three Day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas meet drew to a close here this evening with the presentation of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman to fifteen distinguished overseas Indians by the President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

In his valedictory address the President Dr. Kalam exhorted overseas Indians to work closely to create a better India in the future. Unveiling his ideas for close networking and connectivity, Dr. Kalam mooted ‘World Technology Platform – A Mission’ which would integrate the core competences of partner countries to develop knowledge products and also enable joint design, development and cost effective production and marketing of knowledge products of various domains. Detailing his vision for India to become a developed nation by 2020, the President envisaged the creation of two global human resources cadre – one constituting youth with high quality education and research while the other with world class skill-set for gainfully employed in the manufacturing and services sector. Congratulating the Overseas Indians, Dr. Kalam said that PBD-2007 integrates the 25 million overseas Indians who are constantly maintaining their umbilical connectivity with their motherland.

Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi announced the setting up of a single window Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre for investment advisory services. Promising to have this Centre in place before PBD-2008, the Minister also announced the launching of Central Council of Overseas Employment in the context of overseas Indian workers. Welcoming the new ideas that would constitute initiatives in the field of health, education, agriculture, as well as approaches to address the issues pertaining to the youth and women, Shri Ravi said that the Ministry would soon finalise the policy framework for establishing a PIO University in a Special Economic Zone under the UGC Act.

Observing PBD-2007 as an effective institutional platform for constructive engagement of overseas Indians with India, Shri Vayalar Ravi underlined the need for exploring partnership opportunities for overseas Indian communities for effectively pooling in their knowledge, experiences and resources in India’s development effort.

Fifteen overseas Indians who have distinguished themselves in different walks of life have been presented with the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ awards. The details of the awardees are as follows. Mr. Gopal Raju, USA (Media), Lord Diljit Rana, UK (Business), Mr. Dave Sukhdip Singh Hayer, Canada (Public Affairs), Dr. M. Anirudhan, USA (Business), Mr. Billy Nair, South Africa (Public Affairs), Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee, Kenya (Community Affairs), Mr. Nirmal K. Sinha, USA (Community Affairs), Tan Sri Dato Dr. K.R. Somasundram, Malaysia (Public Affairs), Mr. Kenneth S. Benjamin, Jamaica (Business), Mr. Sibabrata Roy, Germany (Community Affairs), Mr. Syed M. Salahuddin, UAE (Business), Dr. B.R. Shetty, UAE (Business), Sir Moti Tikaram, Fiji (Public Affairs), Dr. Abdool Magid Abdool Karim Vakil, Portugal (Business) and Dr. P. Jayaraman, USA (Culture).

This year’s edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is the 5th in its series, which bringing together about 1500 overseas Indians as delegates from 50 different countries. Those present in the dais include Prof. S. Jayakumar, Dy. Prime Minister of Singapore, Shri A. R. Kidwai, Lt. Governor of Delhi, Shri Nirmal Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and Shri Seshasayee of CII

Montek Singh Ahluwalia invite NRI experts for 11th Five Year Plan

The Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia today invited the experts in Indian diaspora to form a working group and give inputs for finalizing the 11th Five Year Plan. Addressing the delegates at "Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2007" here, Ahluwalia said India's planning process could benefit from such inputs. "There are many experts in Indian diaspora from which we can get fresh and workable ideas. If there are good ideas in any part of the world we are ready to take it," he said.

Highlighting the importance of public expenditure, Ahluwalia said, "The public sector could play a significant role in setting up various projects in backward areas where private sector may not reach."

The 11th five-year plan has identified four major areas of focus-agriculture, infrastructure, health and education. "A great deal of scope exists for bringing huge investments in the infrastructure by the private sector," he said. "There is a need to introduce structural changes in the agriculture. It has not done well. "The water crisis is more serious than the energy crisis," he added. Improving agriculture growth in water stress condition is going to be a major challenge.