Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore, Madhya Pradesh On January 9. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, commemorated annually on January 9, is the flagship event of the Government of India that provides an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and enable the diaspora to interact with each other.
THEME OF 2023
The theme of this PBD Convention is ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal’. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 different countries have registered for the PBD Convention.
Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 different countries have registered for the PBD Convention.
Inaugurating the occasion, Modi remarked that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is taking place in all its glory after a gap of four years and highlighted the significance and joy of personal interaction.
He said that the event was taking place on the land of Madhya Pradesh which is known as the heart of India and famous for the holy waters of Narmada, the greenery, the tribal culture and spirituality. Talking about the host city, Indore, the Prime Minister said Indore is a city as well as a phase, “It is a phase that walks ahead of time while preserving its heritage.”, He also mentioned the culinary fame of Indore and its achievement in the Swachata movement.
The Prime Minister remarked that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is special in numerous ways as India completed 75 years of its independence only recently. He also informed that the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ has also been organised which brings the glorious era to the fore once again. Highlighting the significant role of Pravasi Bhartiyas in the next 25 years of the journey of Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister stated that India’s unique global vision and its role in the global order will be strengthened by them.
Mentioning the Indian philosophy of treating the entire world as one’s own country and considering humanity as our brothers and sisters, the Prime Minister said that our ancestors laid the foundations of India’s cultural expansion. Speaking about the world of today, the Prime Minister highlighted that Indians have traversed all parts of the globe while living among different cultures and traditions and yet found ways to unlock the gates of prosperity through business partnerships. The Prime Minister observed that when we look at crores of Pravasi Bhartiyas on the global map, myriad images emerge simultaneously which paint the picture of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the feeling of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat comes to the fore when two Pravasi Bhartiyas meet on any foreign land. “ The feeling of pride in being the mother of democracy increases manifold when Pravasis are talked about as the most democratic, peaceful and disciplined citizens in different parts of the world”, the Prime Minister remarked. The Prime Minister stated that he calls every Pravasi Bhartiya a national ambassador of India as they echo the voice of a powerful and capable India when the world evaluates their contributions. “You are the Rashtradoots (national ambassadors) of India’s heritage, of Make in India, of Yoga and Ayurveda, of India’s cottage industries and handicrafts”, Shri Modi continued, “At the same time, you are also the brand ambassadors of India’s millets.” He mentioned that 2023 has been declared the International Year of Millets and appealed to everyone to take some millets products back home.
The Prime Minister remarked that the Pravasi Bhartiyas have another important role to play in addressing the world’s desire to know more about India. He said that the world is watching India keenly with great curiosity and highlighted the extraordinary achievements of the nation in recent years. The Prime Minister gave the example of the Make in India vaccine and the record inoculation figures of more than 220 crore free doses to Indians. He also mentioned India’s emergence in the global economy during the current period of instability and becoming the 5th largest economy in the world. The Prime Minister also gave examples of the rising start-up ecosystem and Make in India in the electronics manufacturing sector. He highlighted Tejas fighter planes, aircraft carriers INS Vikrant and nuclear submarine Arihant and said that it is only natural for the people of the world to be curious about India. The Prime Minister also mentioned India’s cashless economy and fintech and said that 40% of the world’s real-time digital transactions are being done in India. Speaking about space technology, the Prime Minister said that India is creating multiple records of launching hundreds of satellites at once. He also threw light on the software and digital technology industry of India and said that its capability is only increasing with time. “The message of India has its distinct importance”, the Prime Minister said as he remarked that the strength of the country is only going to get a boost in the future. He urged everyone present on the occasion to enrich their knowledge not just about India’s culture and tradition but also about the nation’s progress.
The Prime Minister suggested that there should be a sustained effort to document the lives, the struggle and the contributions of Pravasi Bharatiyas for their respective countries through universities and research institutions. The Prime Minister said that each and every Bharatvanshi carries the entire India with him or her. “In the last 8 years, India has tried to strengthen its diaspora. It is India’s commitment today that wherever you are the country is for your interests and expectations”, he said.
2023 SPECIAL GUESTS
Cooperative Republic of Guyana president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and President of the Republic of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi
PRAVASI DIWAS HIGHLIGHTS
First Plenary on ‘Role of Diaspora Youth in Innovations and new Technologies’, chaired by Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, AnurAnurag Singh Thakur.
Second Plenary on ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in promoting Indian Healthcare Eco-system in Amrit Kaal: Vision @2047’, chaired by Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya and co-chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh.
Third Plenary on ‘Leveraging the soft power of India – Goodwill through craft, cuisine & creativity’, chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi.
Fourth Plenary on ‘Enabling global mobility of Indian workforce – Role of Indian Diaspora’, chaired by Minister of Education, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan.
Fifth Plenary on ‘Harnessing the potential of diaspora entrepreneurs towards an inclusive approach to nation building Nirmala Sitharaman.
All the Plenary Sessions will feature panel discussions inviting eminent diaspora experts.
DATE OF CELEBRATION
9 January commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915. To mark this day, the tradition of celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) started in 2003. 1st PBD Convention was organised on 9 January 2003 to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India. Since 2015, under a revised format, PBD Convention has been organised once every 2 years.
The 17th PBD Convention holds significance as it is being organised as a physical event after a gap of four years and the first after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last PBD Convention in 2021 was held virtually during the Pandemic.
PRAVASI BHARATIYA SAMMAN AWARD
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honour conferred on a Non-Resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin; or an organisation or institution established and run by them.
The award is to commemorate the contribution of Indian diaspora to create a better understanding of India abroad, support India’s causes and work for the welfare of the local Indian community.