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Diaspora should act as India’s ambassadors: Rijiju

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New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Saturday told a visiting group of 40 Indian Diaspora youths to act as ambassadors of India’s growth story and spread the good word about their experience in this country on their return.

The group from eight countries is in India as part of a 25-day visit under the 49th ‘Know India Programme’ (KIP) being organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with the Andhra Pradesh government.

The KIP is an initiative to engage young Indian Diaspora in the age group of 18 to 30 years and make them feel a sense of connect with their motherland.

Interacting with the participants from Fiji (11), Guyana (6), Myanmar (6), Trinidad and Tobago (6), South Africa (6), Suriname (3), the Netherlands (1) and Sri Lanka (1) here, Rijiju said: “The government recognizes the importance of the Indian Diaspora and has a well laid down policy for engaging with the Diaspora community.”

Rijiju invited the Indian Diaspora youths to avail scholarship programme GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Network), VAJRA Faculty Scheme which aims to bring a strong international connect to the R&D ecosystem of India, Mission Shodh GANGA (Global Alliance for New Generation Acceleration), Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) and Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).

Besides Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, the 25-day tour will also takes them to Agra. They will also meet senior functionaries in the Central and state governments.

Since 2004, the MEA has conducted 48 editions of KIP with participation of 1,612 overseas Indian youths.

–IANS
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Declaration of poll schedule to expedite candidate selection, alliances

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New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) With the Election Commission announcing the Lok Sabha poll schedule on Sunday, political parties are expected to expedite the process of candidate selection as also that of forming alliances in the next few days.

While the Congress has come with its first list of 15 candidates that includes names of party chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party is yet to come up with its first list, which is expected this week.

The opposition parties in Bihar have not yet announced their grand alliance in the state. There has also been no formal announcement of a tie-up in Jammu and Kashmir as also in West Bengal.

In Delhi, though the ruling Aam Aadmi Party has declared its candidates on most of the seats and Congress has declared its intentions to fight separately, there is still speculation of the possibility of the two parties coming together.

The notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls will be made on March 18 and the last date of filing nominations is March 25. The polling of the first phase for 91 seats across 20 states will be held on April 11, almost a month from now.

The political parties are expected to draw out a detailed schedule of campaigning by their top leaders over the next few days as also give final touches to their manifestos.

–IANS
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