Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore, Madhya Pradesh today. The Prime Minister released a commemorative postal stamp ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’ and also inaugurated the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Contribution of Diaspora in Indian Freedom Struggle’.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention 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. 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.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister 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. Welcoming everyone on the occasion on behalf of 130 crore Indians, the Prime Minister said that the event is 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. The Prime Minister mentioned the recently dedicated Maha Kaal Maha Lok and hoped that dignitaries and delegates will be able to visit the sacred place. 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 startup 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 highlighted that India is taking over the G-20 Presidency this year and the responsibility comes with a great opportunity to make the world aware of India’s past experiences to attain a sustainable future and learn from these experiences. “G-20 is not just a diplomatic event but it should be turned into a historic event of public participation where one can witness the sentiment of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’”, the Prime Minister said. He informed that more than 200 meetings will take place as part of the G-20 summit which will take place in different cities in India and said that it will be a great opportunity to establish meaningful connections with the delegates of many countries.
The Prime Minister said that today’ India has the opportunity to become not only the knowledge centre but also the skill capital of the world. He underlined the skill, values and work ethics of Indian youth. “This skill capital can become the engine of global growth”, the Prime Minister added. The Prime Minister noted the enthusiasm among the next generation Pravasi Bhartiya Youth. He urged the gathering to tell the youth about their country and also provide them occasions to visit it. “With traditional understanding and modern approach, these young Pravasis will be able to tell the world about India more effectively. With increasing curiosity about India among the youth, tourism, research and glory of India will enhance”, he said. The Prime Minister said such youth can visit India during festivals or get associated with the events related to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava.
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.
The Prime Minister thanked the Special Guests of Honour H.E. Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and, H.E. Mr Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Hon’ble President of the Republic of Suriname for their remarks and suggestions.
Special Guests of Honour H.E. Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and H.E. Mr Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Hon’ble President of the Republic of Suriname, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Mangubhai Patel, Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar, Ministers of States, Smt Meenakshi Lekhi, Shri V Muraleedharan and Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh were those present on occasion among others.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is the flagship event of the Government of India that provides an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and to enable the diaspora to interact with each other. The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is being organised in partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Government from 08-10 January 2023 in Indore. 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.
A Commemorative Postal Stamp ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’ was also released to underline the importance of safe, legal, orderly and skilled migration. The Prime Minister also inaugurated the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Contribution of Diaspora in Indian Freedom Struggle” to highlight the contribution of our diaspora freedom fighters in India’s Independence.
The PBD Convention will have five thematic Plenary sessions-
First Plenary on ‘Role of Diaspora Youth in Innovations and new Technologies’, chaired by Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Anurag 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, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.
Fifth Plenary on ‘Harnessing the potential of diaspora entrepreneurs towards an inclusive approach to nation building’, chaired by Minister of Finance, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
All the Plenary Sessions will feature panel discussions inviting eminent diaspora experts.
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.