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PM launches Diaspora Knowledge Network

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January 07, 2006 15:30 IST

India on Saturday announced that it will set up a Diaspora Knowledge Network to enable improved connectivity between People of Indian Origin and to allow the large number of overseas Indians to partake in India's growing 'knowledge economy'.

The Diaspora Knowledge Network was a slew of major initiatives that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced to ensure that millions of overseas Indian workers and professionals become symbols of global connectivity and globalised activity in order to capture the face of a new India.

Addressing the conclave of overseas Indians in Hyderabad during the 3rd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Dr Singh said the Diaspora Knowledge Network will provide a dynamic framework within which the users and providers of knowledge can discover each other and work together.

"Knowledge itself needs to be widely defined to include operational and management expertise," he pointed out.

Apart from such a network, the prime minister said India's ability to tap the expertise of overseas Indian professionals will depend on 'our ability to forge partnership with them'. He said the government's utmost priority is to improve the efficiency of financial and consular services.

Towards this end, the prime minister announced the following initiatives:

  • Creation of an easy-to-use remittance facility that is affordable and efficient. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has partnered with the UTI Bank to develop an electronic, integrated remittance gateway.
  • The government to launch a more liberal insurance scheme for NRIs called the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana with effect from February 1, 2006 to provide enhanced benefits to workers. Competition from a number of insurance providers will ensure that the premiums remain affordable.
  • The government to work with international and other agencies to streamline and modernise the process of emigration and to create awareness among the workers about their rights and obligations.
  • The government will support initiatives to develop the skills of workers and set up credible mechanisms for certification of those skills so that over the years India is to reposition itself as a source of skilled, rather than unskilled labour.

Complete coverage: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2006

George Iype in Hyderabad