17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2023
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan chaired the fourth plenary of PBD 2023 on 'Enabling Global mobility of Indian Workforce-Role of Indian Diaspora'.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on January 09 every year to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the development of India. January 09 was chosen as the day to celebrate the occasion because on this day in 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. After his return, he led India’s freedom struggle and shaped the history of India. The objective of PBD is to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots. PBD conventions have been held every year since 2003, the first PBD Convention being organised on the 9 th of January 2003. Since 2015, under a revised format, PBD Convention has been organised once every two years. 16 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conventions have been organised till date. During the Convention, selected overseas Indians are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognize their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad
The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention
PBD provides an important platform for the Government of India to engage and connect with overseas Indians and to enable the diaspora to interact with one another. The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention was organized in partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Government from January 08-10, 2023 in Indore. The theme of this PBD Convention was "Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal”. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 different countries registered for the PBD Convention. Furthermore, the three-day convention is significant because it was being held physically after a long four-year period. The last PBD Convention was held virtually in 2021 because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This PBD Convention had three segments:
● On January 08, 2023, the inauguration of the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. H.E. Ms. Zaneta Mascarenhas, Member of Parliament of Australia, was the Guest of Honour.
● On January 09, 2023, the PBD Convention was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The event featured addresses by the Chief Guest, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and the Special Guest of Honour, H.E. Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Hon’ble President of the Republic of Suriname.
● On January 10, 2023, Hon’ble Rashtrapati ji, Smt. Droupadi Murmu conferred Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2023.
Who is the Indian Diaspora?
The Government of India recognises the importance of the Indian Diaspora as it has brought economic, financial, technological and global benefits to India. Today, ‘diaspora’ is commonly understood to include Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), who are citizens of India and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), including Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), who are foreign nationals. PIO and OCI cardholders have been merged under one category OCI in 2015.
India has a large diaspora in the world with over 32 million including over 13 million NRIs and 18 million PIOs spread across the globe, as on December 25, 2021.7 The Indian diaspora is known for their talent, exemplary discipline and hard work, and they have made significant contributions to science, technology, music, literature, politics and business.
Government of India’s Initiative for Overseas Indians
The Government of India is proud of the contributions made by overseas Indians to the development of India. Several steps have been taken to ensure the safety and security of Indians abroad. Indian Missions and Posts abroad are dedicated to the overall welfare including ensuring the safety and security of Indians abroad. India has 202 Missions functioning for the welfare and redressal of the grievances of Indian citizens abroad. Indian Missions and Posts are readily accessible to all Indian citizens within their jurisdiction and maintain close contact with the Indian community.
There is a designated nodal officer in each Mission and Post to deal with emergency situations. In key Missions and Posts, a 24x7 Helpline has been established. A dedicated Community Welfare Wing has also been established in Missions and Posts where there is a sizable Indian community. Indian nationals residing abroad are advised to register with the nearest Indian Mission or Post.