The Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh chaired the second meeting of the PM’s Global Advisory Council (PMGAC) of Overseas Indians on January 7, 2011 at 7 Race Course Road. Following is a gist of key suggestions that emerged after deliberations at the PMGAC’s meeting:

Higher Education and Social Sectors
• Expediting ongoing initiatives in the higher education sector in India such as ‘Innovation Universities’ and entry of foreign educational providers in India. Promoting inter-disciplinary studies in higher education and focusing on faculty development.

• Strengthening engagement with the overseas alumni of Indian institutions and leveraging their experience and strengths in the areas of Science and Technology, education and other social sectors.

• Establishment of summer schools in Indian art, culture, heritage in order to attract young Overseas Indians in Indian universities / institutions.

• Establishing ‘Special Education Zones’ for imparting higher education in India.

• Leveraging the presence of multinational corporations to promote a culture of creativity and innovation in Indian universities.

• Encouraging a flexible higher education system in India, including developing a model for ‘Globally Trained Students’ by involving institutions in 4-5 countries for imparting quality education.

• Setting up an ‘Institute for Study on India’ at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla.

• Leveraging strengths of overseas Indian community in supplementing Government’s efforts for providing universal access to health and dealing with challenges of urbanization.

In his concluding remarks, Prime Minister thanked all the Council members for a rich and varied discussion and bringing new perspectives to tackle well-known challenges facing India 


Diaspora Engagement, especially young Overseas Indians
• Indian Missions to consider promoting the ‘Next Generation India Clubs’ at Missions abroad to engage with young Overseas Indians, students and professionals around the world.

• Consider introduction of a new channel / media platform on a 24x7 basis for promoting ‘Brand India’ / soft power of India.

• Promoting greater engagement of Overseas Indians through an appropriate institutional mechanism in Indian Diplomatic Missions, including facilitating young Overseas Indians to work in social sectors at the district level in India.

• Re-examination by the Government of India of the issue of dual citizenship, and merger of the OCI and PIO card schemes.

• Consider introducing a programme on the lines of the ‘Commonwealth Youth Exchange Programme’.

• Training of returning young Overseas Indians on how to cope with a changed environment.Philanthropy work in India

• Setting up an e-platform, including through India Development Foundation (IDF), for promoting cause based philanthropy work and enabling better synergy between Overseas Indians and opportunities for philanthropic work in India.

• Creation of institutional mechanisms and identification of areas to engage young Overseas Indians in voluntary social work in India.

Other issues raised
• Voting rights of NRIs.

• Concerns regarding proposed changes in the Direct Tax Code in respect of NRIs.

• Fixation of minimum wages for Indian workers in GCC countries.

• Fixation of minimum wages for Indian workers in GCC countries.

• Setting up of an ‘India-Australia Study Centre’ and ‘Indian Language Study Centre’ in Australia.

• Greater collaboration in the area of alternative healthcare, sustainable approaches to the energy security, and the role of biotechnology in addressing food security concerns.

• Opening up of multi-brand retail sector for foreign direct investment in India.

Prime Minister’s Concluding Remarks 
In his concluding remarks, Prime Minister thanked all the Council members for a rich and varied discussion and bringing new perspectives to tackle well-known challenges facing India. He said that concerns voiced by Council members of inclusiveness, access to education and healthcare, entrepreneurship and quality of Governance in India are engaging the attention of the Government. There are immense opportunities available in India, and we need to revitalize the suitable implementation mechanisms. The discussion in the Council was an essay in mutual comprehension. He assured the Council that there would be a broader representation of Ministers at the next meeting of the Council to interact with members. The Prime Minister thanked all the members for taking time out from their busy schedule which showed their concern for the country of their birth and for sharing their vast experience and wisdom on ways to engage the Overseas Indian community in India’s development efforts. The Government will work on the suggestions made by Council members in the coming months.

Those who attended
• Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister
• Shri S.M.Krishna, Minister of External Affairs
• Shri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs
• Shri T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to PM
• Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary, MOIA
• Dr. Amartya Sen
• Shri. Karan F. Bilimoria
• Shri Swadesh Chatterjee
• Ms. Ela Gandhi
• Shri Rajat K. Gupta
• Lord Khalid Hameed
• Dr. Renu Khator
• Shri Kishore Mahbubani
• Lord Bhiku Chotalal Parekh
• Shri Sam Pitroda
• Tan Sri Dato’ Ajit Singh
• Mr. Neville Joseph Roach
• Prof. Srinivasa SR Varadhan
• Shri Yusuffali M.A
• Shri Ashok Chawla, Finance Secretary - Special Invitees
• Smt Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary - Special Invitees

—For further details please contact Mr Shiv Ratan, Director (FS), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs at or call on +91.11.2687.4249 / 2467.6841

May 2011

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