Surge of expectation for clean governance, says Manmohan Singh

President Pranab Mukherjee will deliver speech on concluding day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

By Denisha Sahadevan

KOCHI: The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, talked about the security of Indian citizens, residing within India as well as those overseas, addressing the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, after he formally inaugurated the three-day Diaspora meet on its second day.

Panelists at the Engaging Young Overseas Indians session on the second day of the Pravasi Bhaatiya Divas in Kochi
Panelists at the Engaging Young Overseas Indians session on the second day of the Pravasi Bhaatiya Divas in Kochi

In his pointed address, Singh said the government is determined to turn any setbacks into an opportunity to improve the legal and regulatory frameworks in the country.

“There is now a surge of expectation from an increasingly empowered and articulate public, for more responsive, transparent, participative, clean and efficient governance,” commented Singh, in a nod to the increasing outcry to violence against women in the country.

Despite the primary responsibility of the safety and the security of the overseas Indian community being in the hands of the host countries, Singh said India would take necessary and prompt steps to ensure the welfare of its citizens.

“When needed, as was the case, last year in Libya, [the Indian] Government will provide prompt and necessary assistance,” he said.

According to Singh, the government will advocate NRIs to have closer connection to their roots, to make India stronger. He urged them to be a participant in the social and economic development of India.

Singh also released a commemorative postage stamp on the Gadar Movement, and two books: “India Supports,” and “Hand Books for Immigrants.” A welcome speech was delivered by the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, followed by a speech by the President of Mauritius Rajkeswur Purryag.

The Pravasi meet continued on the second day with an array of panel discussions, including a session on engaging young Indians overseas, who are to be tomorrow’s ‘influencing diaspora.’ Amongst those present were Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal, Member of Parliament Madhu Goud Yaskhi, Canadian politician Ruby Dhalla, Chairman and CEO of Hampshire Hotels and Resorts Sant Singh Chatwal, Minister of Arts and Culture of Mauritius Mookeshwar Choone, Managing Trustee & Director General of Kerala International Centre T.P. Sreenivasan, and President of Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce Naval Bajaj.

A session entitled ‘India’s Growth: Greater Opportunities,’ focused on the potential of the Indian economy. According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report of 2012, India stands as the third most favored destination for investors, thus offering an immense opportunity for developing new synergies. Speakers on the panel included the Minister of Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath, and the Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma.

A session on Heritage and Diaspora shed light on the Indian heritage, the legacy of the Indian culture and its civilization, as it binds people of Indian origin across the world. The Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr. Shashi Tharoor was the moderator of the session, with a keynote address delivered by the former Governor General of New Zealand Anand Satyanand.

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, will address the meet tomorrow, on a one-day visit to Kerala to deliver the Valedictory Address, to conclude this year’s summit.


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