Cochin to host next annual Indian Diaspora meet

New Delhi: The 11th edition of the annual Diaspora conclave, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013, will be held in Cochin, Kerala’s commercial capital, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi announced on Tuesday.

Ravi said over 2,000 delegates from across the world are likely to participate in the three-day event to be held Jan 7-9.

In the 10th edition of the annual Diaspora meet held in Jaipur in January this year, nearly 1,800 delegates from more than 50 countries participated.

“On request of the Kerala government, we have decided to hold the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Cochin,” Ravi told reporters.

Ravi said the Prime Minister will deliver inaugural address at the event on Jan 8, 2013, while the President will deliver the valedictory address and confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards on Jan 9.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year Jan 7-9 by the government of India in an effort to reach out to nearly 30 million Indian Diaspora.

The annual Diaspora meet begins annually on Jan 7 to commemorate the day Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa to join India’s freedom movement.

Ravi said at the Cochin meet participation from the Gulf countries is expected to rise sharply because of the large number of Keralites living in that region.

“People will come from all over the world, but we are expecting large participation from the Gulf countries. This is obviously because the event will be held in Kerala,” the minister said.

Asked about the theme of the event, Ravi said it will be focused on increasing connectivity between India and its Diaspora.

However, he said the exact words for the theme have not been decided yet. “Programmes, theme and other details will be finalised soon,” he said.

The theme of the 10th edition of the annual event was “Global Indian – Inclusive Growth”.