The 12th edition of PBD (Pravasi Bhartiya Divas or Indians living abroad ) will have political parties engage with Indian delegates from abroad on matters of youth, healthcare, investment opportunities and the plight of Indians in the Gulf.

The convention will have more than 700 delegates from 50 countries in attendance in Delhi between 7-9 January, to mark the day when Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1914.

Federal Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said, "The PBD convention provides a unique platform for overseas Indians to interact among themselves and with the government of India and or various states."

There are more than 25 million people of Indian origin living outside India and they form an influential global community.

This year’s theme is to engage with the diaspora and bringing youth into the fold and also discuss healthcare.

Ravi said nearly 50 percent of the working population falls between18-35 years and India is emerging as a youthful nation.

The convention will also discuss the plight of working conditions of Indians living and working in the Gulf countries.

There are 5 million overseas Indian workers across the world and 90 percent are in the Gulf countries and in South East Asia, according to the Indian government statistics.

The chief guest is Datuk Seri G, Palanivel, president of the Malaysian Indian Congress party and member of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s cabinet.

Political parties

The PBD is seen as an opportunity for Indian political parties to engage with the influential members of the global Indian community.

Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, will inaugurate the event and the President Pranab Banerjee will deliver the valedictory address on the last day.

However, federal minister Ravi could not confirm the participation of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in the session with the youth while other political parties will be in attendance.

The opposition BJP party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will attend the event besides other state chief ministers to attract investments for their states from the Indian expatriates.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also been invited to the event.

Source: Al Jazeera