The government is working on procedures to enable NRI,s to vote soon. Addressing the curtain raiser press conference of PBD-2011, here today, the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar said that the Parliament has passed the bill on Voting Rights to NRIs into an Act. Two rounds of discussion with Election Commission on procedures for enrolment and methods of votes have been completed. He hoped that around 10 million Overseas Indians, who have Indian Passports, would be benefited from this. The Minister said that around 1300 delegates have registered for PBD-2011 so far from across the world. He announced that the Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Anand Satyanand will be the Chief Guest of forthcoming 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)-2011.

Highlighting the main features of the convocation, Shri Ravi said that the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) and eight North Eastern States will be partner of 9th PBD. A special session focusing on the North East is being held on 7th January, 2011 besides a special plenary session ‘Investment opportunities in North Eastern Region’ on 8th January, 2011. He said that the focus of PBD-2011 will be on the young overseas Indians. In an endeavour to connect with and engage the younger generation of the overseas Indians with emerging India, a plenary session on “Engaging with the young overseas Indian” is being organized. He also informed that two pre-conference seminars on health and education sectors are being organized. The annual PBD oration is being called the C.K. Prahalad Memorial Lecture, which to be delivered by Dr. Gautam Ahuja of the University of Michigan. The PBD-2011 would be web cast online and summary of proceedings put out each day. The interactive website would provide an opportunity for the Diaspora to participate in the conference from any corner of the world, he added.

He said that said the theme of PBD-2011 is “Engaging the Global Indian”. The event will be held from 7th to 9th January-2011 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary, MOIA and Ms. Jayati Chandra, Secretary, DONER were also present in the conference. Addressing the conference, Ms. Jayati Chandra said that PBD-2011 will showcase the essence of North Eastern Region and provide a platform for participant NRI’s to explore North Eastern Region.

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