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PBD reaches out to young NRIs as three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas gets under way
January 7, 2014, 12:10 pm

Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Mr. Vayalar Ravi,, today exhorted the young Diaspora and the Indian youth to come together in developing strong networks to forge partnerships in trade, industry, entrepreneurship and social work. This will lead to the creation of wealth and employment, which will benefit the masses at large. "Our goal should be to build a strong global connect of youth for this purpose," the Minister said while inaugurating the Pre PBD event 'Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014' organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of Youth Affairs as partner and coordinated and managed by FICCI.

He said, "MOIA has been in the forefront in engaging the youth Diaspora residing in various countries by introducing various schemes and projects like Know India Programme (KIP); Study India Programme (SIP) and Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC). These schemes and programmes have benefitted the Diaspora youth as well as the growth and development story of their mother country. It is our endeavor to further enrich and expand these programmes so that our young Diaspora continues to benefit and stay connected to their mother country."

On the occasion, the Minister released a report on youth by FICCI 'Realizing the Dream of a Progressive and Inclusive India - A Youth Perspective'.

Mr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports and Minister of State for Defence, announced that the Government of India was in the process of introducing a new National Youth Policy with a view to empowering the youth of the country to achieve their full potential. The new youth policy will focus on developing the youth into a productive work force by providing them the right education and skills and promoting entrepreneurship; developing a strong and healthy generation through effective healthcare and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and sports; promoting social values and spirit of community service; effectively engaging with the youth and facilitating their participation in governance process and inclusive policies to take care of disadvantaged sections of youth and the youth with special needs.

Mr. Singh said, "The Government of India through the new National Youth Policy, also intends to promote 'social entrepreneurship' as an attractive employment proposition and to create an enabling policy regime for setting up of venture funds and provide angel investment that the social entrepreneurs require. This would facilitate setting up of social ventures in India by the overseas Indians."

In the context, he said, the two youth volunteer networks created by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, with pan-India presence, namely, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS) can play a very crucial role. NYKS currently has about 8 million non-student youth volunteers enrolled through about 2.80 lakh youth clubs across rural India. NSS has about 3.25 million student volunteers in senior secondary schools and colleges all over the country. These networks promote social values and the spirit of community service.

The report released earlier seeks to explore three distinct domains in which the resident and NRI youth are forming partnerships to create sustainable models of growth that can confront global challenges in the socio-economic sphere. The paper looks at how the Indian labor market is transforming into one which is far more educated and better skilled and how the reversal in migration trends are adding to the experience and expertise available in this market. Further, it explores how Indian youth is increasingly looking at entrepreneurship as a career choice and how a number of experienced NRIs are now returning home to setup niche businesses. It also looks at how a fair chunk of these businesses are based on innovative models and are being founded with a large social footprint. The paper also examines how the Indian youth are partnering with NRI youth to develop not-for-profit institutions that are looking at ensuring that development transcends the limits defined by the economy and translates into improved social upliftment.

Mr. Prem Narain, Secretary, MOIA, said that the proposed e-Migrate Project will transform the emigration into simple, transparent, orderly and humane  process. It would result in significant improvement in the quality of services to emigrant workers since it would simplify different processes in the emigration cycle and improve effectiveness. He added that social security agreements are also being worked upon with the various host countries to safeguard the interests of the Indian workers going abroad.

He said that India is a country with a young and vibrant population having a large number of youth Diaspora, hence the Youth PBD is of great significance, as it gave the youth an opportunity to connect and engage with each other to open new avenues of investment and trade opportunities.

While delivering the vote of thanks, Mr. Rajeev Gupta, Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, said that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is set to emerge as a strong platform to provide opportunities to Indian youth to meet and interact with their overseas counterparts.

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