India to train youth seeking jobs abroad


Our Special Correspondent

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking to Indian diaspora’s biannual convention in Bengaluru on Sunday.

NEW DELHI, January 8: India will soon launch a skill development programme to train young men and women seeking employment abroad. This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today at the 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).

The event is being attended by about 6,000 people of Indian origin living across the globe—-touted as the largest convergence of the 31.2-million-strong Indian diaspora.

He said the government’s effort is to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience for those workers who seek economic opportunities abroad.

Emphasising the role played by overseas Indians in the country’s development, Modi said they have made an "invaluable contribution" to the Indian economy by investing about US$ 69 billion annually. This is an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy, Modi said.

"For me, FDI has two definitions — one is ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ and the other is ‘First Develop India’," he said. "I can say with full confidence that 21st century belongs to India," he declared.

Portugal’s Indian-origin Prime Minister Antonio Costa was the chief guest at the convention. Suriname’s Vice-President of Suriname Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin (36) is among a large number of prominent leaders of Indian origin attending the event.

Noting that the Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values and is respected for its contributions, Modi said the welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is his government’s "top priority".

"The security of Indian nationals abroad is of utmost importance to us...Security of all Indians abroad is a top priority," he said.

Emphasising that engagement with overseas Indian community is a key area of priority for the government, he said: "We want to convert brain drain to brain gain".

"We welcome all your efforts that seek to strengthen India’s partnership with the overseas Indian community," he said.

PBD aims at providing a platform to overseas Indians to engage with the government on issues of concern to the diaspora and to explore opportunities for investment in India and contribution to the country of their origin.

The event also provides an opportunity to overseas Indians to network with other overseas Indians residing in various parts of the world.

The convention, being held biennially for the first time instead of earlier annual versions, aims at redefining India’s engagement with its diaspora in diverse spheres, including innovation, start-ups, tourism and education.

President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards on January 9, the concluding day of the event, being attended by Chief Ministers of several states including Siddaramaiah of Karnataka, partner to the event, and central ministers.

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