Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, January 9, 2012

The `Pink Conference City' of India

Monday, January 9, 2012: Today was the last day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. In the afternoon I met Sir Goolam Kaderbhoy Noon (picture) over tea and then attended the President's valedictory session.

In the evening I went to City Palace and had a dinner with the Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy (picture), Parvez Dewan (picture below), Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India, and others.

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2012 has opened the doors for Jaipur to establish itself as the ideal `Conference City' of India. Rajasthan is already a tourist hub and, over the past decade, also emerged as a much sought after destination for the high-voltage big fat Indian weddings. The city and the state has a good infrastructure and support services to handle large number of visitors at one go. The Government of Rajasthan should promote Jaipur as the `Pink Conference City' of India on the lines of Finland's capital – Helsinki – which hosts over 100 international conventions attended by an average of over 100,000 tourists and delegates each year. Incheon and Geneva are also 100 per cent conference cities that have spurred local economy in the immediate hinterland of Republic of Korea and Switzerland. Jaipur's proximity to Delhi is a great advantage as is Rajasthan's picturesque setting.
I think the non-resident Indians (NRIs) attending this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas are doing so because of emotional reasons and feeling towards their country rather than for reasons economic or business. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas delegates are the guests of the country and we should take care of these guests and welcome them as per our age-old cultural values and without any expectations. Let there be and there are different roadshows and conferences to woo them for business and investment opportunities. 
I also welcome yesterday's announcement that medical certificates of abroad would be honoured in India. This means that the doctors who are practising abroad can now practice here. This was a long standing demand of many doctors and the Indian health sector only stands to gain from this.
The demand of the Nepali delegation (picture below) to open a Rajasthan Foundation chapter in Nepal could also be looked into seriously as the Foundation has played an important role bridging non-resident Rajasthanis (NRRs) and Rajasthan by organising 2000 Rajasthani sammelans till date.
At the VIP lounge of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas I has a brief meeting with the Nepali delegation of Mr Bimal Kedia, MP, and Binod Chaudhary, member of constituent assembly and parliament. Mr Chaudhary is also the President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI). In fact it was he who initiated this meeting in which the role and future activities of Rajasthan was discussed. Mr Haridas Kotawala, President of Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA), joined in the meeting.
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