New Delhi: The first limited edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, an annual event to mark contribution of the Diaspora to India’s development, will be held here on Saturday during which government is likely to pitch for deeper engagement with the community in diverse areas.
The event is being organised for the first time by the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) in the wake of government’s decision to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with it.
Last year, the government had decided to hold larger version of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) after every two years and that limited version of the event will be organised in the intervening year.
The 13th edition of the PBD was held in Gujarat last year.
The event today will be addressed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her address will be webcast by almost all Indian missions and posts abroad. This will be followed by video conferencing with select Indian Missions.
The government is likely to seek deeper engagement of Indian Diaspora in the country’s overall growth and development.
January 9 was chosen as the day for PBD as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the “greatest Pravasi”, returned to India from South Africa and led India’s freedom struggle.
PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003. During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth.
The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian diaspora. The government has directed all Indian Missions to
celebrate the PBD in an appropriate manner.