NewsIndiaTimes – that’s all you need to know News India Times January 19, 2018 10 India By StaffWriter undreds of delegates including non-resident Indians and Indian-Americans gathered in Indore, to celebrate at the Friends of Madhya Pradesh Conclave Jan. 3-4. The event was addressed by the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary among other top officials and experts. The Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, who addressed attendees, and posted his thoughts from the Conclave, on Twitter, noted his state’s growth and economic development – Madhya Pradesh is not considered as the BIMARU state now, the state is main- taining 10% average growth from last 10 years with over 20% growth in agriculture, the highest in India. – CM@ChouhanShivraj — #FriendsofMPConclave2018 More than 700 people attended the Conclave over the two days, according to one estimate. Desi Talk publisher Dr. Sudhir Parikh, recipient of India’s Padma Shri award, and other Indian-Americans, were called upon to speak at the event, and dwelt on the need to channel talents from the diaspora to help the state develop. The NRIs pre- sented a large Statue of Liberty model to the Chief Minister to appreciate and rec- ognize the achievements of the state. Parikh was among those who partici- pated with Chouhan and the Mayor of Indore Malini Laxmansingh Gaur, in light- ing the auspicious traditional lamp at the event. Parikh praised the Chief Minister for “maintaining such rigorous standards of impeccable growth,” in the state and praised programs like the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana to provide electrical connections to about 45 lakh families. At a panel on ‘The Role of Friends of MP in Development of Madhya Pradesh’ Chief Secretary B.P. Singh focused on “Growth of MP in last decade,” where he noted a rise in every measurable sector in the state. He also said the ‘Friends of MP’ website would be converted into a portal to facilitate exchange of ideas, and to enable people of Madhya Pradesh resid- ing abroad to redress matters related to their relatives, reported. Other top state government offi- cials who spoke at the event noted they had received positive feedback from abroad and expected those in the diaspo- ra to act as ambassadors of Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Parikh, as well as other NRIs, like Jitendra Muchhal, Ashish Pandya, Sunil Nayak, and Ashish Jain, gave important suggestions, emphasizing their willing- ness to extend cooperation and the need to make time-bound programs for reach- ing objectives, the Central Chronicle reported; They also said development should reach the weakest sections of soci- ety. In his speech during the Conclave, Dr. Parikh, recommended increasing the number of Special Economic Zones in the state, focusing on the agrarian economy, building small scale industries in rural areas, publicizing the diamond and cop- per industries, encouraging youth and women to become entrepreneurs, and strengthening education by cooperating with higher education institutions in the U.S. “I think Madhya Pradesh, with its cen- tral location, bordering states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and excellent highways and train network, H A newspaper article with a photo of the lamp-lighting ceremony held at the Friends of Madhya Pradesh Conclave Jan. 3-4, in Indore. Seen in photo are among others, Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, second from right, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times, center, Mayor of Indore Malini Laxmansingh Gaur, second from left, and Dr. Sudha Parikh, left. Hundreds of non-resident Indians gathered in Indore Jan. 3-4, to discuss contributions they could make to sustain Madhya Pradesh's impressive development Friends of MP Indian-Americans attending the Friends of Madhya Pradesh Conclave Jan. 3-4, in Indore, presented a large model of the Statue of Liberty to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Seen in photo: Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan holding the statue, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh to his left, and Dr. Sudha Parikh, second from right. Photo courtesyFriends of MP Continued On Page12