Press release

Foreign Office to host major celebration of UK Indian diaspora

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

On Friday 17 October, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will host a UK Government reception celebrating the UK’s Indian diaspora community.

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The reception will mark the first ever regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event – the Indian Government’s flagship diaspora convention – to be held in the UK.

The Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, will open the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas diaspora convention (taking place from 17–18 October) alongside the Indian Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj.

At the reception, the Deputy Prime Minister the Rt Hon Nick Clegg will present the very first UK-India Dadabhai Naoroji Awards to the 2014 winners. Speaking before the event, he said:

The UK-India relationship is going from strength to strength, as I saw in August when I visited Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The Indian diaspora community is an integral part of British life, contributing to every aspect of our society and helping to strengthen ties between Britain and India.

The Dadabhai Naoroji Awards celebrate individuals and their contribution to the UK-India relationship, and I was proud to launch them during my trade mission to India in August. I am really looking forward to meeting the winners, and hearing their inspirational stories.

Ahead of the diaspora convention, the Prime Minister’s UK Indian Diaspora Champion, Priti Patel MP, said:

I am immensely proud that the UK is home to such a talented and ambitious Indian diaspora. We are absolutely delighted that the UK – home to 1.5 million members of the global Indian diaspora – has been chosen as host nation for this first diaspora convention under the new Indian Government.

Building ties between our two great nations – the UK and India – isn’t just an activity for governments. Every member of the UK Indian diaspora community plays a part. This reception will celebrate their rich contribution both to the UK itself and to making the UK-India relationship even stronger.

As the Prime Minister’s Indian Diaspora Champion, I am honoured to be an advocate and an ambassador for the UK’s Indian diaspora at the heart of government. It’s a unique role that is unmatched anywhere in the world.

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Published 15 October 2014