India will host the first-ever conference of serving Members of Parliaments and mayors of Indian origin from across the globe on 9 January to further strengthen its diaspora connect.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate ‘‘PIO Parliamentarians’ Conference’’ on the day earmarked to celebrate the return of the most respected Pravasi Bharatiya ~ Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa in 1915.

As many as 141 PIO lawmakers and mayors of 23 countries will participate in the conference, where representatives from each country will share their experience and expectations of the
India connect, senior officials of the External Affairs Ministry said at a media briefing on Friday.

The first thematic session will focus on ‘PIO parliamentarians ~ journey of struggle to Parliament’ with former minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor as special guest.

The second session will be on ‘Resurgent India ~ role of PIO parliamentarians’ with minister for parliamentary affairs Ananth Kumar as special guest.

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will address the valedictory session while Sushma Swaraj will host dinner for delegates.

“In the long term we will see how this diaspora family could contribute to furthering bilateral relations and people to people ties,” said Dnyaneshwar Mulay, secretary, Consular Passport
Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs.

Guyana with 20 MPs and 3 mayors will have the largest representation, followed by Trinidad and Tobago with 16 MPs and 4 mayors. Fifteen lawmakers and one PIO mayor from UK and 5 MPs from Canada will also attend the conference.