New Delhi: Nearly 1,300 overseas Indians will participate in the ninth edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention staring here Friday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the event.
"Even without much effort on our part, 1,300 delegates have confirmed participation. We are expecting an enthusiastic participation," Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here Wednesday.
The convention will be held Jan 7-9 in Delhi, with the theme of "Engaging the Global Indian".
The prime minister will inaugurate the function formally Saturday, with the New Zealand Governor-General Anand Satyanand as the chief guest.
As ministry for development of north eastern region is a partner in this edition of the (PBD) convention, there will be a special focus on the northeast Friday and Saturday. Chief ministers from the region would attend the discussions on these days.
Ravi said that besides the northeastern states, the organisers have got the confirmation of participation from chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
He said that there would also be an emphasis on "connectivity of young overseas Indians" with the country.
"These young people are born and brought up outside, but there is always a bit of India in all Indians. I want to arouse that feeling," said Ravi.
He added that he hoped to establish a link with the young Indians with the help of popular Indian films and TV products.
On the issue of voting rights for non-resident Indians, Ravi said that talks were going on between his ministry, external affairs ministry and the election commission. "The point is how will this enrollment and verification be done," he said.