Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 In Bengaluru, India

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is one of the annual events that bring home Indian diaspora. In fact, it has been termed one of the principal unions of the Indian diaspora. This year’s event, the 14th edition since its inception over a decade ago, was hosted by Bengaluru.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated on the 9th of January every year to mark the contribution of Indian community abroad to the development of the country. The day is also significant as it commemorates the return of the “Greatest Pravasi”, Mahatma Gandhi, in 1915 from South Africa to champion the nation’s independence struggle.

The event which was inaugurated in 2003 receives sponsorship from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Ministry of External Affairs, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.

The stage set for the inauguration of Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Bengaluru.

The three-day event began in the IT hub of the country on Saturday with a focus on the role of youth in transforming the society. This year had a twist which is the inauguration of the “Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas”. The aim was to connect Indian youths from all over the world.

In attendance was Vijay Goel, the minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Michael Ashwin Adhin, Suriname Vice President, and V.K Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs. Speaking at the event, Singh noted that the diaspora is joined by a common thread and a common history dating back to five millennia with a future of endless possibilities.

“I would like to mention in this youth PDB 2017, about 4 Ts through which you can transform your lives as well as that of India. These are Talent, Technology, Training, and Teamwork.”

Source: The Times of India

Two years ago (2015), it can be recalled that the focus of the event was 3Cs – connect, celebrate, and contribute. Singh said further to the 400 young members in attendance,

“India offers huge opportunities to be part of its growth story and realize your dreams through development programmes.

Source: Financial Express

According to Singh, Skill India, Digital India, Swacch Bharat campaign, Start-Up India, and Smart Cities Mission, where the flagship programs of the Narendra Modi government in an attempt to build a skillful, prosperous, futuristic, clean, and enterprising India.

He also affirmed that a global good is beyond the effort of an individual country. He noted the complex nature of the challenges involved and how the diaspora can strengthen the linking bridge of their motherland with their country of residence.

Vijay Goel
Vijay Goel – Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports

Vijay Goel, the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports echoed Singh’s views in his speech on the ‘Role of Diaspora in the Transformation of India’ when called up to address the young diaspora youths. He encouraged them to take up social projects as a slice of their involvement in the development of their motherland. “We will encourage the young diaspora to undertake social projects in the country. The young diaspora can play an important role in building a modern and prosperous India. We have taken steps to facilitate this process by simplifying rules and procedures for the overseas Indians.”

Source: Financial Express

In attendance for the 2017 PBD were delegates from 72 countries. The initial annual version of the event was ditched for a biennial version last year but the focus remains the same and will see the government engage with the diaspora youths in the areas of education, start-ups, innovation, and tourism.

According to the organizers, there were over 6,300 members in attendance for PDB 2017 and over 1,500 Non-Indian Residents (NRIs) as well as 150 Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) who are paying the country a visit for the Know India programme.

The event was brought to life earlier in the day by a colorful display at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center on the outskirts of the city. The event was held for the first time in Karnataka.

The high point of the event was the dishing out of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards on deserving citizens by President Pranab Mukherjee. He also delivered the valedictory speech at the end of the event on Monday.

The current data shows that there is about 3.12 crore (31.2 million) Indians oversea while 1.78 crores (17.8 million) are Non-Resident Indians and 1.34 crore (13.4 million) of the entire population are Persons of Indian Origin.

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