The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) organised the 17th Know India Programme (KIP) from 28th April to 18th May, 2011. In all 24 participants (17 girls and 7 boys) took part from 7 countries (Fiji, France, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and USA). KIP is organised by the MOIA with the objective of familiarizing the Indian Diaspora Youths with the development and achievements made by the country and bringing them closer to the land of their ancestors. The participants, in the age group of 18-26 years, are selected based on nominations received from Indian Missions / Posts abroad. They are provided with full hospitality and are reimbursed 90% of their economy class air-fare from their respective country to India and back.
The content of the programme broadly includes the following:
(a) Presentations on the country, the constitution, political process etc.
(b) Interaction with faculty and students at a prestigious University / College / Institute.
(c) Presentation on the industrial development and visit to some industries.
(d) Visit to a village to better understand the typical village life.
(e) Exposure to Indian media and Film Industry.
(f) Interaction with NGOs and organizations dealing with women affairs.
(g) Visit to places of historical importance / monuments.
(h) Taking part in cultural programmes.
i) Exposure to yoga.
(j) Call on high dignitaries.
The first leg of the program in Delhi from 28th April to 3rd May, 2011 has covered an entire day’s Interactive Session at the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), visit to Gandhi Smriti, Delhi Metro, South Delhi Select City Mall, Akshardham Temple, Multi State Cuisine in Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon, Haryana, session in studio of All India Radio, academic discussion in School of International Studies, African Centre, JNU and exposure of Yoga, Ayurveda, Indian Philosophy and Culture in Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi.
The second leg of the programme was with Partner State of Punjab from 4th to 10th May, 2011. KIP participants visited Amritsar Golden Temple, Gobindgarh Fort, Wagah Border, Kapurthala, Rail Coach Factory, Hoshiyarpur Village, Bhakra Dam, Nangal, Kisan Haveli, exposure of folk music, Anandpur Sahib, Gurudwara Shri Keshgarh Sahib, Khalsa Heritage Complex, Anandpur Sahib, Punjab Bhawan, Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and meeting with H.E. Governor of Punjab.
During third leg of the programme from 11th May to 18th May, KIP participants met Chief Election Commissioner and Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil. There were a series of meetings, discussions and interactive sessions in Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA). Chief Election Commissioner of India met with KIP Participants on 11.05.2011 and informed them about the role of Election Commission in conducting legislative and parliamentary elections in India, the biggest democracy in the world. Hon’ble President of India highlighted the importance of connectivity of diaspora youths of Indian origin with their ancestral country India. Hon’ble President stated that the variety, contrast and variation of art, culture, history, heritage, food, language, people and places of this country is multi-dimensional and evoke interest of anyone of Indian origin visiting India. Hon’ble President threw light on different aspect of emerging contemporary India.
Between 14th to 15th May, 2011 KIP participants had already visited Agra to see Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort including meeting with Respect Age International, NGO for old persons. KIP Participants visited other historical monuments and important places during 3rd leg of the programme in and around Delhi. They visited Doordarshan Kendra, Delhi on 17th May, 2011 for recording on youth diaspora related issues where Director General, News addressed KIP Participants about functioning of the News and its all India set-up. Dr. Ved Nanda, Director, International Legal Centre, Denver University, Colorado, USA was special invitee in the studio for special recording with KIP Participants on the issue of connectivity of Youth Diaspora of Indian Origin with their ancestral motherland.
On 16th May, 24 participants of 17th Know India Programme met with Shri. Vayalar Ravi, Hon’ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs in a function held at Akbar Bhawan, New Delhi. Hon’ble Minister welcomed overseas participants and stated that KIP of the Ministry is a three-week orientation programme for diaspora youth conducted in partnership with one or two State Governments with a view to introduce India to them and promote awareness on different facets of Indian life and the progress made by the country in various fields e.g. economic, industrial, education, science and technology, communication and information technology and culture. Hon’ble Minister stated that this programme provides a unique forum for students and young professional of Indian origin to visit India, share their views and to bond closely with contemporary India. On this occasion while addressing KIP participants, Hon’ble Minister highlighted the role of the Ministry in linking ‘Youth Diaspora’ with their origin country.
States of Karanataka and Himachal Pradesh were States partners of 12th KIP programme from 24.09.2009 to 16.10.2009 having participation of 36 participants from 11 countries.13th KIP was organized in partnership with the States of Kerala and Rajasthan from 28th December, 2009 to 20th January, 2010. 40 participants from 16 countries participated in it. 14th KIP in partnership with the States of Haryana and Maharashtra was organized from 28.03.2010 to 17.04.2010 having participants of 40 Indian Diaspora Youths.
During 15th KIP organised from 9th – 19th September 2010 involving participation of 28 Participants (22 girls and 6 boys) from 9 countries (South Africa, Canada, Australia, Fiji, Israel, Iran, Malaysia, Trinidad and UK), Partner States were State Government of Assam and Meghalaya. During 16th KIP organised from 5th to 27th January, 2011 involving participation of 35 participation (22 girls and 13 boys) from 12 countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Peru, Suriname, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, UK and Zimbabwe), the Partner State was State Government of Bihar.
18th KIP is proposed to be held during December, 2011 – January, 2012 with Goa as the Partner State and synchronise with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
|STUDY INDIA PROGRAMME
The MOIA has recently invited Expression of Interest (EOI) from eligible Universities / Deemed Universities / Institutions for the conduct of an annual 4-week Study India Programme (SIP) for Overseas Indian youth in the age group of 18 – 26
To enable Overseas Indian youth, i.e. foreign citizens of Indian origin and NRIs in the above age group to undergo short term courses in the nature of “summer school” to familiarize them with the art and culture, heritage, history, social and economic development of India. The Scheme as envisaged will be implemented in partnership with select Indian Universities / Institutions etc. of repute. The SIP is expected to be held twice a year, i.e. during summer and winter vacations and it will have a strength of 30 participants per Programme. The course would include:
(a) Academic content:- which would facilitate understanding of contemporary India and its development, political and financial systems, economic, social and administrative structures;
(b) Cultural content:- which would help the participants to understand the Indian experience with exposure to Indian mythology, history, arts, handicrafts, dance, music, cuisine, languages and through interaction with Indian students.
(c) Visits:- which will be organized to different institutions and industries of importance as also rural visit to allow the participants to gain first hand exposure to India.
The EOI outlines that preference will be given to those Universities / Deemed Universities / Institutions that have experience in the following areas:
(i) At least five years quality experience in organizing short term courses / internship programmes / vacation study programmes for Overseas Indian students of Indian origin or foreign students.
(ii) The University / Deemed University/ Institutions should essentially have sound infrastructure and logistics in terms of accommodation, food, transport, recreation, medical facilities, high teaching standard etc. to support the Programme.
(iii) The academic credit line and professional excellence of the University / Deemed University / Institutions will be one of the criteria for selection.