The first biannual edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) held in the IT hub of the country in the city of Bengaluru. The spotlight of the event was the potential of India to play the role of ‘Vishwa Guru’ again as well as the role of Indian youths in the transformation of the country. The three-day event marked the first celebration of PBD as a biannual event.
The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is marked as the largest meeting of Indian Diaspora. Its attendance by far surpassed that of other years (over 7,000 participants declared interest to attend through the website). The 14th PBD attracted nearly 400 oversea Indian youths with another 150 People of Indian Origins (PIOs) who visited the country as part of the “Know India Program”.
The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas drew nearly 1,800 Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from about seventy-two countries. There was a series of events put together to keep the visiting NRIs and PIO engaged with their motherland.
Lately, PBD Conventions have seemed to be a repetitive event without remarkable outcomes. This prompted the government under the management of Honorable EAM to revamp the program giving it a new format.
The 14th PBD was organized in close collaboration with the government of Karnataka. Unlike the previous PBD Conventions, the first day (7th of January 2017) of the 14th PBD was used by the Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen V. K. Singh, and the Minister of State Independent Charge for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Vijay Goel, to inaugurate the Youth PBD.
The highlight of the Youth PBD was a session on innovations and start-ups which were expected to have a social impact on the start-up ecosystem of Karnataka and on the nation at large. The government of Karnataka also hosted a cultural evening with a focus on dance and music peculiar to the state.
The next day (8th of January 2017) was the inauguration of the PBD Convention by the Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The Prime minister also delivered a keynote address when he emphasized some of the steps taken by the government to solve some of the problems faced by Diaspora Indians as well as encouraged them to stay connected with their mother land.
Dr. Antonio Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal was the Chief Guest for the PBD inaugural function. Special guests for the functions included the Minister of Health and Mauritius Minister, Mr. Prithvi Raj Singh Roopun, Special Envoy of the Government of Malaysia for Infrastructure, Dato’ Seri Dr. S Subramaniyam, and Minister from Malaysia Samy Vellu.
The last day (9th January 2017) of the PBD convention was the day for several plenary session to deal with issues pertaining to Indian Diaspora including the role of diaspora organizations, immigration to ECR countries, the community of Indians in Girmitiya countries.
The valedictory speech was delivered by the president and honored 30 oversea Indians (twice the number honored in 2015) with Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award (PBSA). Subsequently, there will 30 PBSA awarded to deserving oversea Indians for their contribution to different fields and ultimately to the growth of the nation.
One of the unique features of the 14th PBD was the logo which was selected through an open competition organized through a government website. There will be a regional PBD in 2018 in Singapore.