35 participants from 12 countries i.e. Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, UK and Zimbabwe
5th January 2011
The 16th Know India Program started with all the participants arriving on time on 5th January. Their accommodation was arranged at Hotel Africa Avenue, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi. Interaction of participants took place.
The first leg of the official program started early with breakfast and a briefing session. Later participants were taken to India Habitat Centre, Jacaranda Hall to attend a link seminar to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebrations, on “Engaging Young Overseas Indians for India’s Development” organized by the Global Young Indian Professionals and Students (GYIPS) & CII. The seminar focused on different ways for the diaspora’s participation in India’s social and economic development by leveraging their experiences of studying and working abroad. The event concluded with the lunch hosted by the organisers. Later, the participants enjoyed shopping at the Sarojini Nagar market. The day ended with dinner at the hotel.
7th January 2011
Breakfast at the hotel was followed by the departure of the participants to Vigyan Bhawan to attend the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of DONER and Confederation of Indian Industry, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Participants attended the first seminar of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on “Health Services: Role of Diaspora”. After the seminar the participants met Mr. Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). The participants interacted with the Minister and discussed the objectives behind the Know India Program. After the interactive session with the Minister the participants went to the exhibition area in the Vigyan Bhawan complex where they got to see the stalls put up by the different states of India. Most of the states had displayed exhibits showing their rich culture and resources utilized for the development of the states. Lunch was arranged for the participants along with the PBD delegates. In the evening, the participants attended a Cultural Evening cum Dinner at Hotel Taj Palace on the occasion of the PBD. The programme commenced with a cultural program organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR) which showcased the 7 classical dances of India. The cultural evening was followed by the dinner hosted by Mr. S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs.
8th January 2011
The participants attended the second day of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Vigyan Bhawan. They attended the inaugural ceremony and the address by Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Post inaugral sesson the participants attended the plenary sessions one after the other which comprised of :
Session I Engaging young overseas Indians at Plenary Hall, Session II Opportunity India, Interaction with Union Ministers, Session 3 : Investment opportunities in North Eastern region. At the request of the participants, a visit to India Gate was organized. In the evening the participants attended a cultural programme organized by Ministry of Development of North East (DoNER). There were presentations of local folk dances and songs of all the seven North-Eastern States.
09th January 2011
The participants attended the last day of the PBD 2011, and attended the Plenary Sessions of Interaction with Chief Ministers on Inclusive Growth and the PBD Oration by Prof. C K Prahlad memorial lecture on “ Inclusive Growth for the Bottom of the Pyramid”. The participants then attended parallel interactive sessions of different states of India – with most of the participants choosing Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Thereafter they attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award -2011 to distinguished PIOs/NRIs and the Valedictory Address by President Mrs. Pratibha Patil. This was followed by their attendance at a musical extravaganza arranged in connection with the PBD.
10th January 2011
A visit to the ICCR was organized for the participants. Director General ICCR S.K. Goel, gave the welcome address and explained the objectives of the ICCR in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes relating to India’s external cultural relations. The address was followed by a study and performance on Kathak and Bharatanatyam dances. After lunch the participants were treated to a presentation “Journey of Indian Cinema” which included information about Raja Harish Chandra the first silent film made in India in 1913, and Alam Ara the first Indian film with sound which was directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke. The presentation was followed with a musical performance by Routes2Roots. Routes2Roots, a Delhi based Non Profit organization, which is involved in preserving and bridging the distance between India and SAARC countries through music and art. The participants then attended the ‘NRI Awards Night ‘sponsored by a monthly magazine India Empire. The theme of the award was a recognition of the wealth of excellence, purpose and achivements of the Overseas Indian Community. Chief Minister Mrs. Sheila Dikshit was the chief guest at the function .
11th January 2011
The participants started the programme for the day with a lecture by Director ICCR Dr. Mishra, about Indian architecture and history. In the afternoon the participants visited the Humayun’s tomb. In the evening a visit to a mall at Priya Complex was organized for the participants.
12th January 2011
Interaction with Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) was organized. The participants attended a workshop on “Democracy and Diplomacy in Emerging India”. They were addressed by Ambassador S T Devare, Director-General, ICWA, followed by the first session on Structure of Indian Polity and Governance presented by Mr. M R Madhavan, PRS Legislative Research,New Delhi. He explained about the Constitution of India and Indian Political System. The next address was by Ambassador Shyam Sharan, (Former Foreign Secretary and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister ) on India’s Foreign Policy. Session three was on Globalisation and India’s Economy presented by Mr. Mohit Bhasin, Ernest & Young, New Delhi. After a lunch break the participants listened to Ambassador J C Sharma, (Former Indian Ambassador) who spoke on the topic Indian Diaspora. This speech was followed by session four on India and Modern India by Mr. Tarun Basu, Director, Indo – Asian News Service (IANS) and the fifth session India through the prism of Gandhi and Tagore presented by Avijit Dutt, Director, Yatrik Theatre, Delhi. The session concluded with an address by Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary, MOIA.
13th January 2011
The participants paid a visit to the Amity Business School, Noida. Post lunch a visit to Confederation of Indian Industries ( CII) where a session on Indian economy was organized.
14th January 2011
The next part of the Programme was arranged in the partner state of Bihar. The initial meeting took place with Bihar Institute of Public Administration (BIPAD) where Mr. Balaji Prasad; Director BIPAD gave a brief introduction to Bihar, its administration, its infrastructure, flora, fauna and weather.
15th January 2011
A visit to Bodhgaya was arranged for the day. At Gaya the participants were met by Shri Vivek Kumar Singh, Comissioner Gaya and Minister Urban Development Shri Prem Kumar. The places for sight seeing included the Buddha statue and Mahabodhi . The group was then taken to Rajgir.
16th January 2011
At Rajgir a visit to the Jain Museum was organized. This was followed by a visit of the team to Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Stupas) and Sonebhandar . Sonebhandar is a cave. Post lunch the group was taken to ruins of Nalanda 19 kms from Rajgir. Nalanda, a legendary center of Buddhist learning came into prominence around 5th Century BC and was a flourishing university town with over ten thousand scholars and two thousand teachers, It had splendid architecture, and an extensive library housed in a 9-story building. In the evening, the participants were taken to Nepura village famous for silk products.
17th January 2011
The team travelled back to Patna and visited a Japanese temple on the way. The participants were taken to Gol Ghar, from the height of which they could have a bird’s eye view of the city. In the evening the group was treated to a cultural evening organised by Bihar’s Departmment of Art Culture and Youth and Bihar Foundation. The group also visited the Bharatiya Natya Kala Mandir where they were introduced to several dance forms by Ms. Vibha Singh – namely, the Jat-Jatin dance of the Mithila region, the Holi dance and the Dhamar.
18th January 2011
The participants were taken to see the river Ganges. After lunch the group visited the Chandragupta Institute of Management where they interacted with the Indian students.
19th & 20th January 2011
A visit to Bihar School of Yoga at Munger was organized where the participants could imbibe the spirit of yoga in its pristine form.
21st January 2011
An official meeting with the Deputy Chief minster of Bihar Mr. Sushil Modi was organized for the group. A visit to the local market followed by a dinner hosted by Department of Road and Highway Construction.
22nd January 2011
A presentation on Women Empowerment was arranged by the Women Development Corportion/ JIVIKA at Soochna Bhawan. The participants were addressed by Smt. Irina of JIVIKA on the subject. This was followed by a visit to a makhana factory, Shakti Shuda Industry, where the manufacture of products from raw makhana was
exhibited. The group then had an interview session with the India News channel.
23rd January 2011
Return to Delhi.
24th January 2011
The participants were taken to meet President Mrs. Pratibha Singh Patil at Rashtrpati Bhawan. The group were also shown the Mughal Garden.
The team then travelled to Agra.
25th January 2011
A visit to Taj Mahal was followed by the participants shopping for souveniers.
26th January 2011
A visit to Lotus Temple was organized for the participants. This was followed by the departure of the group as per their individual flight schedule.
27th January 2011
Departure of Group.