Festival of India, a two-day program celebrating the 50th anniversary of India’s independence, will be held in metro Atlanta Aug. 16 and 17.

      The program, to be held primarily at the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center in Duluth, will feature seminars concerning opportunities for trade, financial investment and tourism.

      Other topics including Indian history, languages, art, ancient medicine and philosophy will be discussed at seminars with recognized authorities in these fields.

      Dewang Mehta, executive director of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASCOM), the leading organization for software and service companies in India, and Jagdish Sheth, a marketing professor at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University, are scheduled to speak the morning of Sunday, Aug. 17.

      Dr. Mehta will begin discussing “Information Technology Trends in 2020,” at 9:30 a.m. and Dr. Sheth will follow with a discussion of the topic “India:  An Emerging Power,” at 10:30 a.m.

      Other speakers who will address business topics include: Beheruz Sethna, president of the State University of West Georgia, and T.N. Srinivasan, a professor of economics and director of the Division of Social Sciences and Economic Growth Center at Yale University.

      Kiran Bedi, special secretary to the lieutenant governor of Delhi and the first woman to be selected to serve in the Indian Police Service, is to speak on “Indian Women Before and After Independence.” Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta and ambassador to the United Nations, is the first scheduled speaker who will address “Unity in Diversity,” the main theme of the conference.

      For directions to the Gwinnett Civic Center, call (770) 623-4966.  To find out more about the conference and its related cultural activities, call Ram Sidhaye at (770) 395-6838.

      A web page featuring the festival may be accessed at http://www.AtlantaIndia.org/foi.htm