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Inaugural Session: Role of Diaspora youth in the transformation of India
Vote of Thanks:
The Session directed focused attention on how young Indians overseas could play a catalytic role in India’s growth and development. The canvas for their engagement is broad, straddling the economic, social and cultural sectors.
Mr Dnyaneshwar M Mulay, Secretary (OIA & CPV), Government of India, in his welcome address stated that the convention had drawn the participation of over 7,200 delegates from across 72 countries. Terming the youth as invaluable resources of India, he said the Youth PBD is aligned with Government of India’s pioneering programmes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, among others.
Mr R V Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries, Government of Karnataka, said that Bengaluru, known as the technology and startup capital of India, is an ideal city to host this convention. Noting that India is slated to become the youngest nation in the world by 2025, the minister said the emigration of the Indian youth to different parts of the world is no longer perceived as brain drain. Instead, in a globalised, inter-connected world, the global Indian youth is brain gain for India.
Mr Deshpande said that other than the tangible benefits the Diaspora bring to India, they also contribute significantly in regard to the country’s global image, goodwill, and promotion of peace and harmony worldwide.
India is extremely proud of the stupendous achievements of the Indian Diaspora in different countries, in particular the youth. Stating this in his keynote address, Mr Vijay Goel, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, urged the young Indians overseas to put forth their recommendations and suggestions on how the youth power can be best leveraged to drive India’s growth and development.
Mr Goel urged the Diaspora to invest in social projects in India and assured the gathering that his ministry would extend every support to ensure the success of such initiatives. He encouraged the youth to take up causes like the conservation and preservation of Indian heritage and monuments that would lend spurs to the Indian tourism industry.
He also stated that matters like reservation for children of PIO and NRI families in Indian educational institutions would receive the attention of Government.
Mr Michael Ashwin Adhin, Vice President of Suriname, who was the Special Guest at the Youth PBD, said that India should look to work closely with the Indian Diaspora to further the rise of emerging economies. He pointed to the catalytic role of the Indian Diaspora in the development of Suriname economy and urged Indian investors to consider the investment opportunities that Suriname offers. Mr Adhin also spoke about the Indian concept of dharma, cultural ethos and values that hold key significance to the world today.
Gen. V K Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, in his address referred to the limitless opportunities for the young Indian Diaspora to engage with India in diverse sectors. He mentioned that Government of India has revamped the scholarship scheme that is extended to the Indian Diaspora, and is now available to the Diaspora in 66 countries.
Detailing the avenues for India’s deeper engagement with its Diaspora, Gen. Singh mentioned 4 Ts, namely, Talent development and engagement, Technology, Training and Teamwork. He also referred to the success of the ‘Know India Programme’ and the online ‘Bharat Ko Jano’ quiz programme that have given many young people among the Indian Diaspora the opportunity to visit India and learn about the country.
Dr A K Dubey, Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India delivered the vote of thanks.
Following were the key recommendations made at the session: