Pravasi Bharatiya Divas started in 2003 following the recommendation of a high level committee chaired by L. M. Singhvi. PBD was held as an annual event from 2003 until 2015 when it was changed to a biannual event.
PBD is usually held under a theme which captures the government’s interest in India Diaspora for that year. The event is celebrated on the 9th of January and has become one of the viable means through which the government strengthens relationship with oversea Indian community. It is also a time to celebrate achievements and contributions to the country.
Prior to the event, the organizers usually open a portal through which interested participants can declare their interest to attend. The reason for the registration is to make provisions to cater for all the participants. In attendance include People of Indian Origin (PIO), Non-resident Indians (NRI) and delegates from other parts of the world.
The event is declared open by a keynote speech. The keynote speech for the 14th PBD was given by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In his keynote speech, Modi emphasized some of the steps taken by the Indian government to tackle some of the problems faced by the India Diaspora community.
The three-day event usually has a high power delegate as Chief Guest. The Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Luis Santos da Costa was the Chief Guest of the just 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held between January 7th and 9th 2017 in Bengaluru.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is more than money and investment. In a related statement by V. K Singh (Retd), the Minister of State for External Affairs said,
“Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention is organized by the government to strengthen the bonds with the overseas Indian community; to inform them about significant developments in India; discuss issues of concern to the Diaspora and opportunities in India that can be tapped by overseas Indians.”
Source: Maps Of India
Children and youth are usually given the opportunity to showcase their talents and stand a chance to win amazing prizes. From time to time, Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is organized in a city outside India to give Diaspora Indians in that country who could not make it to the now biannual event a chance to connect with their motherland and other Diaspora Indians.
The high point of the event is usually the award of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to deserving Diaspora Indians who have contributed in no small measure to the growth of the country in different fields. The awards are presented on the last day of the convention. In the 13th edition of the PBD convention, 15 oversea Indians were honored with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards for their contributions across different fields.
Modi used the 14th PBD edition to shed more light on the government’s demonetization policy as well as the steps laid down to fight corruption and black money in the country. There was a special session in the 13th PBD tagged “Youth PBD”
This is followed by a valedictory speech from the president or vice president to bring the event to a close. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has a short history but a lot has been achieved through the convention including policy changes.