PIO Students



Between April 28 and May 18, 2011 a total of 24 participants, including 17 girls, from 7 countries participated at the 17th Know India Programme (KIP) organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). The participants came from Fiji, France, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA. A report

Participants at the 17th KIP meet with Indian President Pratibha Patil. Third from left is Secretary MOIA Didar Singh. At right (top) the participants spend time with MOIA Minister Vayalar Ravi

The KIP is organized by the MOIA with the basic objective of familiarizing the Indian diaspora youth with the development and achievements in India. Also the programme aims to provide them with a closer perspective on the land of their ancestors.

The participants were in the age group of 18-26 and were selected based on nominations received by Indian missions and posts. They are provided with full hospitality and are reimbursed 90 per cent of the economy class air-fare from their respective countries to India and back.

Participants visit Golden Temple at Amritsar, and also Anantpur Sahib and Chandigarh

The content of the programme broadly includes:

(a) Presentations on the country, the constitution, political process.
(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 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 lasted between April 28 and May 3, 2011. It 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, sessions at the studio of All India Radio, academic discussions at the School of International Studies, African Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University and exposure of yoga, ayurveda, Indian philosophy and culture at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi.

The second leg of the programme took place with the Partner State of Punjab between May 4 and 10, 2011. The KIP participants visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the Gobindgarh Fort, Wagah Border, Kapurthala, Rail Coach Factory, Hoshiarpur 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. The visit included a meeting with H.E. Governor of Punjab.

The third leg of the programme took place between May 11 and May 18. Participants met Chief Election Commissioner and President of India. A series of meetings, discussions and interactive sessions were held at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA). Chief Election Commissioner of India met with KIP Participants on May 11 and informed them about the role of Election Commission in conducting legislative and parliamentary elections in India, the biggest democracy in the world. KIP Participants had meeting with President of India Pratibha Patil on May 16 in Rashtrapati Bhawan. She highlighted the importance of connectivity of diaspora youths of Indian origin with their ancestral country India. 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 interests of anyone of Indian origin visiting India. She threw light on different aspect of emerging contemporary India.

KIP participants visited other historical monuments and important places during the 3rd leg of the programme in and around Delhi. They visited Doordarshan Kendra, Delhi on May 17 for recording on youth diaspora related issues. The Director General, News briefed KIP about the nuances of the news room as well as its pan-Indian set up. Dr. Ved Nanda, Director, International Legal Centre, Denver University, Colorado, USA was special invitee in the studio for a recording with KIP participants on the issue of connectivity of Youth Diaspora of Indian Origin with their ancestral motherland.

On May 16, the KIP participants met with Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Shri Vayalar at a function held at Akbar Bhawan, New Delhi. He welcomed overseas participants and stated that Know India Programme (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 & technology, communication and information technology and culture. Minister Ravi 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, Minister highlighted the role of the Ministry in linking ‘Youth Diaspora’ with their country of origin.

Between May 14 and 15, KIP participants visited Agra to see the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort. They also held a meeting with Respect Age International, an NGO for old persons.

—M.K. Pandey and Lalita Joshi

June 2011

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