Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#NRI: Sushma Swaraj to inaugurate London edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will inaugurate this year's Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas - the annual event that celebrates the achievements and contributions of the Diaspora Indian community, which will be held in London for the first time.

The two-day event will kick off 17 October at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Westminster with hundreds of delegates set to attend from India, the UK and across Europe.

The Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Overseas Indians Day is the Indian government's attempt to engage with the Diaspora community and tap into the vast knowledge and expertise offered by the community: an exercise that has taken on added significance this year following the election of the development-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The UK edition of the event will be held ahead of the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's passage to India - in recognition of the immense contributions made by the British Indian community to India post-Independence.

The programme this year will focus on discussions on a number of different areas, including energy, sustainability, infrastructure development and women's affairs, among other issues, featuring speakers from both the UK and India.

The significance of this particular community is highlighted by the fact that a majority of past recipients of the event's highest accolade - the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award - have been drawn from it, including such distinguished figures as Lord Karan Bilimoria, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Lord Meghnad Desai and Baroness  Sandip Verma.

Launched in 2003, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is backed by the Indian Ministry of Overseas Affairs as well as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), among other public bodies.

For more details and to register to participate at the event, visit www.rpbdlondon2014.co.uk



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