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Diaspora conclave to focus on India’s development challenges

December 2006
Diaspora conclave to focus on India’s development challenges

The economic strength of the Great Indian Diaspora is, by any measure, formidable and its influence far-reaching. There are now over 25 million Non Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin spread across perhaps 110 nations. NRI remittances to India, according to a recent J.P. Morgan report, have gone up by 150 percent in the last decade to reach the current level of $21 billion. Unsurprisingly, the Indian government has a keen interest in these global desis. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), for instance, is a yearly conclave that not only honors the diaspora's achievements, but also attempts to harness its considerable talent for the benefit of India. Catalyst, a magazine put out by the New York-based Association for Human Development, is focusing on the contributions of NRIs for its upcoming issue, which will be released at the 4th PBD in Delhi next month. Seems quite appropriate, since a primary objective of the magazine is to share the best practices that will promote a stronger NGO movement in India. At the PBD, Professors Amartya Sen and C. K. Prahalad, Sam Pitroda, and Lord Bilimoria, among others, are expected to address the theme "Meeting India's Development Challenges." The Indian diaspora is considered so important that the government created a separate ministry, currently headed by Vyalar Ravi. A publication called Pravasi Bharatiya was launched at the PBD in Hyderabad this year. With the phrase ‘rooting for roots' as a guiding principle, the monthly focuses on the progress and potential of Indian communities and also on the problems faced by them in various parts of the world. Apart from English, the publication is currently available in nine Indian languages.

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