High expectations from Modi’s UK visit: Focus on smart cities, investments

As the euphoria builds up around India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s November trip to the United Kingdom, Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid is in India to firm up the visit for the visit. This will be the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the UK in more than a decade. The last visit was by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2001.

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Modi to overseas Indians: Embrace new opportunities in India

It’s a song of India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows how to chant, and enchant the captive audience of overseas Indians with his projection of India as the land of opportunity and a beacon of hope in the world.
“India awaits you with opportunities,” Mr Modi told around 4,000 overseas Indians in his inaugural speech at the 13th annual get-together of the Indian diaspora in Gujarat’s capital on January 8.
“I welcome all of you and say that there are several opportunities waiting for you in India. Times have changed very quickly. The world is looking at India with hope and anticipation,” he said in eloquent Hindi.
Modi exhorted NRIs and PIOs to return to the country, and leverage their formidable talent, experience and expertise to transform India into a self-assured, powerful nation.
“From the world’s richest countries to the poorest of the lot, the whole world has its eye turned on India. They want to embrace India. They want to walk together with India,” he said to applause from the audience.
“There was a time when professionals in India went to distant lands to explore new possibilities. Now India awaits you with opportunities. I want to tell you that India is full of opportunities now,” he told the delegates.

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A new C3 mantra for young global Indians: Connect, Celebrate & Contribute

Connect, Celebrate and Contribute –- this was the 3C mantra that resonated among young global Indians who gathered in Gandhinagar, a satellite city named after Mahatma Gandhi, in what External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called the celebration of the 25-million strong Indian diaspora and India’s soft power.
In a pioneering exercise, the annual gathering of overseas Indians called ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ kicked off on January 7 with a hymn to the power of youth and the first-ever youth PBD that provided a platform for young NRIS and PIOs to connect with their ancestral land and contribute their bit in the ongoing transformation of the motherland.
Enthusiasm was palpable among young expats who has come to the city that embodies the spirit of Gandhi, the exemplar pravasi, as they were reminded of the glory and the grandeur that was India and the unfolding miracle that is India.
Sushma Swaraj encapsulated the animating ethos of the PBD as she inaugurated the three-day diaspora fest on a bright resplendent morning on January 7. This year around, the PBD is special as it celebrates the centenary of the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India as the liberator of the nation.

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PBD 2015: Serenading NRIs, on home turf, Modi-style

Madison Square Garden, New York. Allphones Arena, Sydney. After dazzling and ravishing NRIs in high visibility rock-star like shows in foreign lands, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to turn on all his charm to serenade over 3,000 NRIs and PIOs on home turf in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. On January 8, Mr Modi is expected to perform a new improvisation of his ‘Song of NRIs’ and will seek to enlist them as proactive stakeholders in the reignited India growth story.
The annual jamboree of overseas Indians looks set to have a new shine next year as India toasts the centenary of the homecoming of Mahatma Gandhi, the most famous NRI, and seek to leverage myriad talents and resources of expat Indians for the larger project of national resurgence. The Modi government, which has made a proactive engagement with the 25-million strong Indian diaspora scattered across countries and continents a key feature of its foreign policy, is bursting with ideas to put its own stamp over the 13th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) that will be held in Gandhinagar January 7-9.
In the age of visuals, the PBD promises to be a captivating show. It will be a 3D performance in ways more than one. Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s historic salt march, a new high-tech museum built inside a giant salt mound will illumine the father of the nation in a 3D image. Prime Minister Modi, on his part, will have his own 3D mantra of Democracy, Demographic Dividend and Demand, with which he charmed the rapturous crowds at Madison Square Garden in New York on a bright Sunday morning.
Get ready for the 3D show in Gandhinagar.

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Celebrating Indian diaspora, in London

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t be present when the eighth Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (RPBD) convention kicks off in London, on October 17. But his shadow will certainly loom large in a gathering of hundreds of members of the Indian diaspora in the British capital.
Forging a closer bond with the Indians diaspora isn’t the only objective behind holding RPBDs across the globe. The intent also is to strengthen bilateral ties with the country where a RPBD is held. Fittingly, the London convention will be jointly inaugurated by India’s Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Mr Modi’s keenness to engage with the diaspora was also evident when he, as the Gujarat chief minister, proposed that the 2015 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas be held in Gujarat to mark the 100th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from Africa. His dream became reality after he was sworn-in as PM. His state’s capital, Gandhinagar will host the event next January.

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