Connecting with Indian Diaspora: Karnataka looks forward to 14th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in January

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An Indian Child (representative image), VOA

New Delhi, Jan 6, 2017: The 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will take off on 7th January in Bangalore wherein Karnataka will get to showcase its strengths. Karnataka Industries Minister RV Deshpande gave an insight of the event while talking to a news agency. The event will take place for over three days.

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Resident Indians (NRIs) generally try to highlight issues related to them and this is a platform where the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responds to them directly. We (Karnataka government) is only a facilitator by holding the event in Bengaluru.”

According to The Hindu report, the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas will be a huge success in terms of participation as it has witnessed more than 3,900 registrations from 61 countries. Deshpande says, “We are expecting eight or nine chief ministers and many states are sending ministers. So far, 14 states have confirmed their participation. The Portuguese Prime Minister will be the chief guest.”

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Deshpande, who had given a statement in the 2015 Pravasi Bhartiya Divas saying that Bengaluru is the most happening city in the country with 50,000 dollar millionaires residing here, reasoned his words saying,”Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is not an investment event. This is a platform for connecting with the Indian diaspora. Here we try to understand their needs.

However, for the first time in the history of Karnataka, we are holding the event. I don’t expect investments to flow in. But I’m trying to showcase Karnataka to the PIOs and NRIs who are coming from across the world and also to the people from all over India. I’m trying to showcase its strengths and potentials. Yes, while showcasing the state, we will be highlighting as to why 50,000 dollar millionaires are residing in Karnataka.”

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On asking about the investment angle, Deshpande said, ” As per the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) statistics on investment proposals cleared in the country till November 2016, Karnataka tops the list with ₹1.49 lakh crore, followed by Gujarat at ₹50,000 crore.”

Bangalore is leaving no stones unturned in the process of prepping up for the event. However, the recent New Year fiasco of mass female molestation has left a black patch on the IT city. However, R V Deshpande had a different opinion regarding this.

He said,”That’s very sad. It’s unfortunate that it occurred in Bengaluru and I strongly condemn it. But it has nothing to do with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. As for Bengaluru’s image, I don’t think it was affected. Bengaluru has its own brand and own respect.”

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks