Pravasi Bhartiya Divas to Become Biennial

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (File)

The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) conference will be held biennially instead of every year….reports Asian Lite News

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (File)
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (File)

The Indian government has decided to organise PBD on every second year. But the government said it would now hold two ‘mini’ Regional PBDs annually. The yearly events will be held from January 8-10, but on a smaller scale with around 150 delegates. It will be followed by the biennial mega conference in association with states.

The India government has asked its missions to identify experts among overseas Indian communities on various subjects with a focus on areas like the flagship programmes of the NDA government such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Clean Ganga Mission’.

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is celebrated on January 9 every year. The conference, which will be held from January 8 to 10 next year, will also see deliberations on difficulties faced by Indian workers in the Gulf countries.

Elaborating on the changes made in the annual PBD meet, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who also holds the charge of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOA), said the event will now take place in a biennial format in association with partner states in 2017.  The government is planning to invite around 150 experts from around the world and every team will have 7-8 foreign experts and 2-3 three Indian experts.

Swaraj said that the government has also decided to start mini-Regional PBD conferences every year in countries which have an Indian diaspora, but not as big as the ones in the United States and United Kingdom.

The US has the largest number of People of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and this year’s Regional PBD conference will be held in Los Angeles on November 14 and 15.

The minister said that as per the Prime Minister’s announcement at the PBD Conference in 2015, the government will also hold a quiz competition for PIO and NRI youths between 18 to 35 this year in three rounds.

The first round of the competition will be organised on November 12. Winners of this competition will be get a tour across India show-casing the country’s culture.

The Quiz will be open to everyone but only NRIs and PIOs between 18 – 35 years will be eligible for prizes. The 20 finalists – 10 NRIs and 10 PIOs each will be brought to Delhi for the final round of the Quiz and 3 + 3 winners each will be felicitated in the PBD Conference 2016. Besides the above, there will be other prizes and benefits to be given to the 20 finalists of the Diaspora Quiz, such as certificates of appreciation and mementos of the occasion. A separate Know India Programme for this category would be organized so that they are given an opportunity to see the country.

The Quiz will be online from 12th November 2015. The Social Media campaign is to start from October 7.