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Bengaluru, Jan 9  India on Saturday wooed its young diaspora to be part of its growth story by tapping emerging opportunities in the country.

“India offers huge opportunities to be part of its growth story and realise your dreams through development programmes,” Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen V.K. Singh (retd.) told the diaspora on the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.

He said the Smart Cities Mission, Digital India, Skill India, Start-Up India and Swacch Bharat campaign were the Narendra Modi government’s flagship programmes for building a prosperous, skilful, enterprising, clean and futuristic country.

Asserting that global good could not be achieved by one country alone, as the challenges were complicated, eh said the Indian diaspora had to strengthen the bridges that connect it with the motherland.

“You can transform your lives and that of India through four Ts — talent, technology, training and team work — as the Prime Minister’s vision will make India the skill capital of the world by 2022,” the minister told about 400 young members of the Indian diaspora.

Echoing Singh’s call, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel invited the young diaspora to take up social projects as part of its contribution to the motherland.

“We will encourage the young diaspora to undertake social projects in the country,” he said in a keynote address on the ‘Role of Diaspora in the Transformation of India’.

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Goel said his ministry would open single-window clearance to allow the diaspora implement social projects in any state or city at the earliest.

“The young diaspora can play an important role in building a modern and prosperous India. We have taken steps to facilitate this process by simplifying rules and procedures for the overseas Indians,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the three-day international event got off to a colourful start at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre on the city outskirts, with the young diaspora connecting with their motherland.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate the event on Sunday and deliver the keynote address in the presence of Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the chief guest.

Suriname Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin also addressed the gathering on the occasion.

Being held for the first time in Karnataka, the mega event has drawn about 1,800 NRIs from 72 countries.

The Pravasi Divas had traditionally been held on January 9 to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as ‘Pravasi’ from South Africa to India over a century ago (1915).

President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards and deliver the valedictory address on Monday.

Currently, there are 3.12 crore overseas Indians globally, of which 1.34 crore are Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and 1.7 crore NRIs.

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