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Speech by Minister of State for External Affairs at the Inauguration of PBD 2021 Website

December 08, 2020

  • I welcome you all to the occasion of the Inauguration of the website of 16th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD). Pravasi Bharatiya Divas marks the day to celebrate the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
  • The year 2020 has brought some unforeseen challenges for the humankind in the form of a Covid-19 pandemic that no one had anticipated. In light of the importance of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, it was decided to uphold the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Celebrations 2021 in a virtual format with the participants joining the Convention online. In line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat or Self Reliant India, to make India independent against the tough competition in the global supply chain and empower the citizens to become self- reliant, the theme of the 16th PBD 2021 is "Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
  • Since 2015, the format of PBD Convention underwent a change to make it more relevant and outcome oriented. In order to have a continuous and substantive dialogue with the overseas Indian community, PBD Conferences were organized between the successive PBD Conventions to harness the scientific, technical and professional expertise of our Diaspora for the growth and development of India.
  • Therefore, in run up to the 16th PBD Convention, we are organising five PBD Conferences which will be held virtually in 2020-2021. The first four conferences will be held in December 2020 based on themes - (i) "Role of Diaspora in Promotion of Indian Culture” on 09 December 2020, (ii) "Dialogue with Diaspora Business Leaders & CEOs – Targeting US$ 5 Trillion Aatmanirbhar Bharat Economy by boosting MSMEs” on 10 December 2020, (iii) "Regional PBD – GCC- India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference” on 11 December 2020, and the (iv) "Forging Media & Entertainment Partnership to showcase India @75” on 21 December 2020.
  • We are organising the Youth PBD Conference in partnership with Ministry of Youth Affairs on the theme "Bringing together India’s Young Achievers & Diaspora Young Achievers from different walks of life” on 08 January 2021 preceding the main PBD Convention.
  • PBD Convention 2021 would not only provide all Indians to come together and interact but also deliberate on seeking solutions to the socio-economic challenges which India is facing currently. 16th PBD Convention 2021 would be inaugurated by Hon’ble PM of India. During the PBD Convention, selected diaspora individuals of exceptional merit would be honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India's growth.
  • During the event, 2 special plenary sessions would be conducted on topics (i) " Role of Diaspora in Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, and (ii) "Facing Post Covid Challenges - Scenario in Health, Economy, Social and International Relations”, where the experts from India and all across the world would brainstorm and recommend suggestions to provide solutions to the most challenging issues confronting our country.
  • Indian diaspora is known for their talent, exemplary discipline and hard-work and have made significant contributions to science, technology, music, literature, politics and business. Presently, there are nearly 31 million overseas Indians globally, of which nearly 13 million are PIOs and 17 million are NRIs. We warmly invite them to be a part of India’s dynamic and equitable growth, look forward to meaningfully engage them through PBD Convention 2021 and be a stakeholder in the blueprint for India’s success.
New Delhi
December 08, 2020

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