Initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Clean Ganga’ and economic reforms of the BJP-led government will be highlighted at the 13th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of the Indian diaspora, to be held in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar in January next year. Also, the non-resident Indians (NRI) getting voting rights will be announced at the event.
“Election Commission is working on it, there are two suggestions — proxy voting or the electronic voting machines (EVMs) be kept in embassies or they may come and vote. They will soon come up with a solution,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said while addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday.
The three-day annual event beginning January 7 has a special significance this year as it will also commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conclave on January 8 while President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished overseas Indians on January 9.
“Ministers related to flagship programmes run by the government in these six months will come here and speak and will also welcome Pravasai Bharatiyas to participate in it. It includes Navami Ganga, Swachh Bharat, Kaushal Vikas -Skill Development, Urban Planning-Smart Cities and Tourism,” Swaraj said.
“Another new plenary session is Achievers of Indian Diaspora in which we will choose speakers from those Indians who have achieved something in their field in the world and have represented India there,” she added.
Highlighting the events to be organised on the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD), she said: “For the first time we have organised four concurrent sessions on January 9. One is for Indians in PIO countries-the ones, who were ‘endangered labour’; who went abroad on an agreement. And another session is for Indians in gulf countries in which we are also calling gulf ambassadors. Then there is also a session on French speaking Diaspora called Francophone.”
January 9, has been chosen for the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas because it’s the 100th year since Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. The event will highlight Mahatma Gandhi’s achievements after coming to India.
A Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been organised for January 7 in which kids of PIOs and NRIs will come to India and participate in it on the first day.