Identifying education and business as areas of reconnecting with Indian diaspora, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday invited them to undertake a "pilgrimage" to the "new creative India" and be active partners of the country's development and progress by making use of investment and business opportunities.
He said India, whose education system was once an envy of the world, had "lost ground" over last three decades and his government was committed to correct the situation.
Addressing a reception for Indian community at Port of Spain soon after his arrival from Washington, Singh told them that India is on the move and is reaching out to the world with confidence and in a spirit of live and let live.
Reaching out to People of Indian Origin, he said, "You are, for millions of Indians, the most visible symbol of our own globalization process... For us, globalization is a natural means of linking up with the international community of Indians."
Education and business are the "two major areas through which we are reconnecting with the people of Indian origin worldwide," he said in the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, whose almost half of 1.3 billion population is of Indian origin.
Noting that India seeks to tap the wellspring of Indian creativity and enterprise from around the world, Singh said his government was committed to cementing a "new bond of mutually-beneficial collaboration" between India and the people of Indian origin around the world.
"Our ability to do so will depend on our ability to forge partnerships, on the one hand, and our ability to provide the proper environment for the flowering of such partnerships at home," Singh said at the event attended by Indian-origin Ministers, MPs and business leaders of Trinidad and Tobago.
"I want all those people of Indian origin who have never been to India to make a pilgrimage and discover the new creative India that is in the making. I invite you to make use of investment and business opportunities that India now offers," the Prime Minister said.
Referring to the education sector, Singh said there was time when the Indian gurukul system and universities at Takshila, Nalanda and Nagarjuna were the envy of the world.
"Even after independence, Indian colleges and universities continued to attract students from all over the world. In the last 20 to 30 years, we have lost ground both because both because we failed to incentivize our institutions to become global players and foreign universities became more aggressive in marketing," he said.
"I invite you to be active partners of a new India and walk with us in finding new pathways of development and progress. I invite you to feel the love and affection of Mother India and feel the warmth of her embrace," Singh said.
He said the cornerstone of India's interaction with its diaspora remains its shared culture -- both ancient and modern -- and that he would like to see children of people of Indian origin get opportunities wherever they are living to learn classical Indian dance and music.
"At the same time, we must expand modern means of satellite-based communication so that Indian film, music and television can reach your homes even though you may be distant from India physically," he said.
"As I have often said, if there is one phenomenon in the world over which the sun truly never sets, it is the phenomenon of the global community of people of Indian origin," the Prime Minister said.
Observing that the 21st century would be the "knowledge century", he said India was proud of its inheritance in this respect and in overseas Indians have played an extremely important role in global brand building in this respect. PTI