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10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Article. Current Affairs January 2012. The 10th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held in the pink city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The event is held annually between 7th to 9th January

Feb 13, 2012 16:40 IST
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The 10th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held in the pink city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The event is held annually between 7th to 9th January to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa to join the Indian Freedom Struggle. The annual event provides a platform to the 28 million overseas citizens to connect with their motherland and the root of their culture and tradition. Investment is only a bi product of such an event. What is the importance of PBD in general for India. Why we need PBD? Mention the vision behind this. Analyse the highlights of this year PBD. How it adds up to that vision?This year saw the participation of 1800 citizens from 50 different countries. The theme of the event was Global Indian – Inclusive Growth and the chief guest of this year was Indian-origin Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad Bissessar.
The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Monmohan Singh and the President addressed the valedictory session. It was attended by over 10 Union Ministers and more than 10 Chief Ministers of various states.

Some of the highlights of this year’s events are as follows:
•    Launch of a new pension and life insurance fund for overseas Indian workers by the government. The scheme will encourage, enable and assist overseas workers to voluntarily save for their return and resettlement in their old age. The scheme will be particularly relevant for the Indian workers in the Gulf countries. The scheme is voluntary and any overseas worker can opt for it. Under the scheme, the government will co-contribute Rs 1,000 annually for all subscribers who contribute between Rs 1,000 and Rs 12,000 per year. Women overseas workers will enjoy a special additional co-contribution of Rs 1000 a year.
•    Ethnographic study of the vast and diverse body of people of Indian origin across the world would be conducted through the think tank Indian Council of Overseas Employment
•    The ministry of overseas Indian affairs proposed a scheme for skills development. It is aimed to train over 10 million youth over the next two five-year plans and enable workers to move up the value chain and access better jobs overseas
•    The government has also initiated to merge the existing People of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India schemes. This will rectify some problems and overlaps between the two. Foreign spouses of overseas Indian cardholders will now become eligible for the overseas citizen of India cards
•    The government reiterated its commitment that non-resident Indians will be allowed to vote in the Indian elections though they will have to be physically present on the day of polling as the postal ballot or online voting will not be available as of now
•    An office of the Protector of Emigrants will be set up in Jaipur. This will enable workers from North India specially from Rajasthan to complete the immigration formalities without travelling to Delhi. The city will also have a migrant resource centre to provide support to overseas Indians and emigrating workers. The government has also unveiled a new e-migrate scheme to provide end-to-end online solutions for the emigration system. This will link semi-skillled and unskilled workers, offices of the protector of emigrants, recruiting agencies, immigration officials, employers and Indian missions abroad.
The social security and labour mobility partnership agreements are being expanded to cover students, academics and professionals, besides skilled workers. More pacts are being negotiated with countries like Netherlands, France, Australia and EU.
Going Forward
•    India should actively engage the young diaspora community in the country's growth and also creating awareness among them about the rich and diverse culture of India.
•    India should sign bilateral agreements with the Gulf countries to curb exploitation of Indian labours in the region and ensure a decent working environment for its diaspora
•    Indian government should proactively work for its six million diaspora living in Gulf and West Asia which has witnessed violent protests in the recent months
•    The government should make investment climate conducive for the diaspora for them to invest in energy, health care and infrastructure
Last but not the least, the government will have to work towards removing the red tapism that has frustrated the NRIs in the past and dampened their spirits.

 

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