15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas: President Ram Nath Kovind declares January 9 to be celebrated as Indian Diaspora Day

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New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2019 5:19:59 PM

The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was held in New Delhi.

President Kovind also conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman on 30 members of Indian diaspora for their significant contribution.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas on January 22, 2019, in his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. This is for the first time in the history of Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas that the event is being held in Varanasi, the cultural and spiritual capital of India. For the first time, the three-day-long Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention was organised from January 21st to 23rd instead of January 9th to 11th to allow the NRIs to visit the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and later attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

The convention was inaugurated in the presence of Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, the Chief Guest of the event. Around 6,000 non-resident Indians (NRIs) are expected to take part in the three-day event. The 15th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) began formally on January 21, 2019.

President Ram Nath Kovind, while addressing the gathering on the closing day of 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 announced that January 9 will be celebrated as Indian Diaspora Day every year. The decision was taken to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whom President Kovind termed as ‘Greatest Pravasi’. President Ram Nath Kovind called upon Indian diaspora to partner in the development of New India.

He said that the diaspora is commanding global heights today and is our cultural ambassador. The President said, India today, is a land of billion ideas and billion opportunities. He said the country wants to leverage the technology and investment of NRIs to power Central government’s Make in India, Digital India, Clean India and Skill India programmes.

President Kovind mentioned that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, new programmes have been initiated to bring Indians and Indian-origin people living abroad closer to the country. The President added that the government wants more and more of them to connect with their ancestral villages and towns. Focusing on the youth, the President said, they have started ‘Experience the Scientific India Programme’ for the young diaspora scientists. He asked them to become a bridge between India and the world so that they can cross-pollinate and enrich each other. President Kovind also conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman on 30 members of Indian diaspora for their significant contribution.

Key Highlights

• The opening day of the event started with the Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and Uttar Pradesh Pravasi Bhartiya Divas. The young diaspora engaged with its counterparts back home in India.

• Information and Broadcasting Minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated several exhibitions including a digital exhibition on the theme of ‘Ek Bharat Swachh Bharat: Sardar Patel and Gandhi ke Sapno ka Bharat’, intended towards the PBD.

• The event is jointly organised by the Union Ministry of External Affairs in association with the Uttar Pradesh government.

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• The Nodal Officer of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is Deepak Agrawal, Commissioner of Varanasi Division.

• The main convention centre of PBD 2019 is the Deen Dayal Trade Facilitation Centre at Bada Lalpur, Varanasi. The entire campus has been decorated with the theme of ‘Kashi Culture’ depicting famous ghats, temples and the ethos of the most ancient living city.

• The valedictory address and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards will be given away by the President Ram Nath Kovind on January 23, 2019.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

• In India, Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India.

• The day also commemorates the return of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on January 9, 1915.

• The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High-Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora set up by India Government under the chairmanship of L M Singhvi.

• The day was formally established in 2003 and is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

• The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was held in New Delhi.

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