Chennai: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to focus on the steps taken to combat terrorism when he inaugurates the seventh edition of the two-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, annual convention of non-resident Indians, beginning Thursday amid tight security.
The Prime Minister will inaugurate the event at the Nandambakkam Convention Centre which has been brought under a tight security blanket since last week following an e-mail terror threat sent to CII purportedly by Indian Mujahideen.
The convention assumes significance as it is the first major international event to be held in the country after the 26 November terrorists strike in Mumbai.
It is for the first time that Chennai will host the divas which was shifted from Delhi to the city considering its ‘safe atmosphere’ and also due to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s keen interest on conducting the event as it will encourage more economic development.
Besides the Prime Minister, a host of union ministers, including External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Ministers of states including Kerala, Gujarat and Sikkim, and many from the Indian diaspora across the world will discuss issues concerning non-resident Indians and their contribution to the country.
The main theme of the convention would be “Engaging the Diaspora: The Way Forward,” Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, organiser of the event, said.
The 1,500-odd delegates from 40 countries are also slated to discuss such topics as “India as an Emerging Power-The Diaspora Factor”, “Reflections on Current Economic Crisis-Diaspora Concerns”, “Diaspora Interactions with the States”, and “Indian Diaspora: Preservation of Language and Culture.”
While plenary sessions to be chaired by various union ministers including Mukherjee, Anbumani Ramadoss and Mani Shankar Iyer have been scheduled, an exclusive session for the media will see popular actor Kamal Hassan address the participants.
The Tamil Nadu police have left no stone unturned on the security front assuring “maximum protection” to the venue and hotels where the participants are staying.