New Delhi–The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday announced that the annual overseas Indians’ gathering — “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas” — will be held from January 7-9 in Bengaluru.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) on January 8 in the presence of Prime Minister of Portugal Dr Antonio Costa, the chief guest at the convention.
On the opening day of the three-day convention, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen V.K. Singh (retd) will inaugurate the PBD exhibition, along with the Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah.
At a media briefing here on Monday, Secretary for Overseas Indian Affairs Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay said: “The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention is a very important platform for engagement of the government of India and the state governments with the overseas Indian community.
“The Pravasi Divas had traditionally been held on January 9 every year to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as ‘Pravasi’ from South Africa to India.”
Currently, there are 3.12 crore overseas Indians globally, of which 1.34 crore are Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and 1.7 crore Non-Resident Indians (NRI).
Speaking on the decision to hold the convention once in two years, Mulay said the convention is becoming somewhat repetitive in nature, and therefore, the format has changed and now it would be held once in two years.
The theme for the upcoming convention, being organised in association with the government of Karnataka, is “Redefining engagement with Indian diaspora”.
During the convention, on January 7 the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held, which will be inaugurated by Vijay Goel, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports.
The idea behind the move is to reconnect the diaspora youth with their roots and enhance their awareness about Indian culture.
More than 4,000 delegates are expected to attend the PBD convention.