PM invites Indians worldwide to return home
Noting that he prefers the term ''brain gain'' to ''reverse brain drain'', Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday thanked the Indian-American community for their contribution in building bridges between India and the United States and invited Indians worldwide to return home.
Prime Minister Singh highlighted the Five Es - economy, energy, environment, education and empowerment that forms a critical part of the "next phase" of the relationship between the two countries.
"In the past few years we have already experienced what has been called a 'reverse brain-drain'. I would prefer to call this 'brain gain' or, indeed, a meeting of minds," he said during his integration with prominent members of the Indian-American community.
"Let me take this opportunity to extend an invitation to all Indian Americans and non-resident Indians who wish to return home to India in one capacity or another," Singh said at the event on the evening before he leaves Washington after being hosted by US President Barack Obama in the First State Visit of his administration.
The Prime Minister further noted that Indian-Americans no longer had to make a choice about whether to work in India or America. "Modern technology and our flexible policies have opened possibilities of working in both places," he noted.
Singh noted that both nations could be described with metaphors like 'salad bowl', 'melting pot', 'rainbow' and shared values and interests would make it easier for Indians and Americans to work together.
"This is what makes it easy for Indians to adapt themselves to the US and, dare I say, for Americans to adapt themselves to India," he said. "I hope you will be the bridge that will continue to connect our two nations and societies."
Singh described his visit as "stimulating" and "fruitful" while laying out the five Es that would take their relations forward over and above the existing agenda of defence, security and counter-terrorism.
"We are establishing new directions in the next phase of our relationship that will enable us to meet the challenges of the 21st century," Singh said. "Our relationship will see a new emphasis on five Es – economy, energy, environment, education and empowerment."
The Prime Minister also underlined that the relationship between India and the US was not born out of "crisis" but carried the potential of being mutually beneficial, which made it long-lasting.
"Our relationship is not born out of a crisis or any one concern; nor does it exist in the context of any other relationship," he said. "It derives its vitality from recognition of the enormous potential for mutually beneficial cooperation."
A prominent Indian-American, who has been here for 42 years and now heads the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, said that the community viewed the Prime Minister's trip as a historical benchmark in Indo-US relations.
"President Kennedy started it, Carter expanded it, the Clinton administration nurtured it, Bush put a seal on it and Obama will take it to new heights," said Shah who attended the State Dinner on Tuesday.
"After Bush there was a lot of speculation whether the Obama administration would remain committed after this trip all those doubts have been eliminated," he added.
A noted lawyer and Senior Policy Adviser in the Obama administration, Preeta Bansal, described Singh's visit as a "success".
"These State visits are about building personal relationships and it is these relations that are invaluable," she said.
A director of policy in the US Department of Agriculture, Rajen S Anand, noted that out of the several State Dinners that he has attended in the past, the one on Tuesday was, "best in terms of decorations, entertainment and grace of the first lady."