January 2015 \ Interviews \ Interview—MOIA
"We will use technology for constant dialogue with Pravasi Indians"

Mr Sunil Soni, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, speaks to India Empire's Editor and Publisher, Sayantan Chakravarty on a range of issues concerning the Indian Diaspora and the PBD 2015

By Sayantan Chakravarty

The Government is recognizing the importance of the Francophone diaspora by giving it special sessions this time…

What you say is absolutely correct. We also get somebody from MEA who is a good interpreter of French to English. So whatever they say, in case we can’t understand we can have an official translator to help us to understand. So it is a good session, and we should make the best of it.

Will you be announcing the venue for the next PBD soon. This will help in better preparations, like it has been the case for the Gujarat PBD…

I don’t think so we are ready to announce it this time. But certainly we will not be allowing the announcement to be happening late. In 2015, we will be announcing much earlier. I will like to start on the new PBD immediately after this is over. Because I do not like doing things at the last moment, it just does not seem the right way. I must tie up my sessions and speakers at least two months in advance. And then start the registrations. This is not the way we can hold international conventions, they must be announced 8 – 9 months in advance, and dates must be known. Very frank, when I was in the earlier post, in the BIS, and we have two major events, they have a calendar announced till 2022. Two years in advance the country is announced officially. Nowadays people have to plan their travels 2 to 3 months in advance, especially international travel, they have to book their hotels, travel, plan their holidays. They plan something else, so short notice is not the right way to do things. Better to give people enough notice for it. Concurrence with states is involved, it is decided at a political level. Every event we should try to ensure that we announce the next event in the last event. We should announce which are the states that are willing to do the event, and from there on announce the state.