Modi inaugurates 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore
New Delhi, January 9, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India had the opportunity to become not only the knowledge centre but also the skill capital of teh world.
Inaugurating the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention -- the government's flagship event for overseas Indians -- in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, he underlined the skill, values and work ethics of Indian youth. “This skill capital can become the engine of global growth," he said.
The Prime Minister released a commemorative postal stamp "Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen" and also inaugurated the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav - Contribution of Diaspora in Indian Freedom Struggle".
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) provides the government an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and enable the diaspora to interact with each other.
The theme of this year's PBD Convention is ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal’. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 countries have registered for the PBD Convention.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister pointed out that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taking place after a gap of four years.
Highlighting the significant role of Pravasi Bhartiyas in the next 25 years of the journey of Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister stated that India’s unique global vision and its role in the global order will be strengthened by them.
Mentioning the Indian philosophy of treating the entire world as one’s own country and considering humanity as brothers and sisters, he said that earlier generations laid the foundations of India’s cultural expansion.
Indians have traversed all parts of the globe while living among different cultures and traditions and yet found ways to unlock the gates of prosperity through business partnerships. “When we look at crores of Pravasi Bhartiyas on the global map, myriad images emerge simultaneously which paint the picture of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the feeling of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat comes to the fore when two Pravasi Bhartiyas meet on any foreign land," he said.
“The feeling of pride in being the mother of democracy increases manifold when Pravasis are talked about as the most democratic, peaceful and disciplined citizens in different parts of the world,” he added.
The Prime Minister stated that he calls every Pravasi Bhartiya a national ambassador of India as they echo the voice of a powerful and capable India when the world evaluates their contributions. “You are the Rashtradoots (national ambassadors) of India’s heritage, of Make in India, of Yoga and Ayurveda, of India’s cottage industries and handicrafts.
“At the same time, you are also the brand ambassadors of India’s millets,” he said referring to the year 2023 declared as the International Year of Millets. He appealed to everyone to take some millet products back home.
The Pravasi Bhartiyas have another important role to play in addressing the world’s desire to know more about India. The world is watching India keenly with great curiosity and the extraordinary achievements of the nation in recent years, he said.
He gave the example of the Make in India vaccine and the record inoculation figures of more than 220 crore free doses to Indians. He also mentioned India’s emergence in the global economy during the current period of instability and becoming the 5th largest economy in the world.
He also gave examples of the rising startup ecosystem and Make in India in the electronics manufacturing sector. He highlighted Tejas fighter planes, aircraft carriers INS Vikrant and nuclear submarine Arihant and said that it is only natural for the people of the world to be curious about India. Modi also mentioned India’s cashless economy and fintech and said 40% of the world’s real-time digital transactions were being done in India.
Speaking about space technology, the Prime Minister said India was creating multiple records of launching hundreds of satellites at once. He also threw light on the software and digital technology industry of India and said its capability was only increasing with time. “The message of India has its distinct importance,” the Prime Minister said as he remarked that the strength of the country is only going to get a boost in the future. He urged everyone present on the occasion to enrich their knowledge not just about India’s culture and tradition but also about the nation’s progress.
Modi said India had taken over the G-20 Presidency this year and the responsibility comes with a great opportunity to make the world aware of India’s past experiences to attain a sustainable future and learn from these experiences. “G-20 is not just a diplomatic event but it should be turned into a historic event of public participation where one can witness the sentiment of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava'," he said.
He informed that more than 200 meetings will take place as part of the G-20 summit which will take place in different cities in India. It will be a great opportunity to establish meaningful connections with delegates of many countries.
He urged the gathering to tell the youth about their country and also provide them occasion to visit it. “With traditional understanding and modern approach, these young Pravasis will be able to tell the world about India more effectively. With increasing curiosity about India among the youth, tourism, research and glory of India will be enhanced,” he said.
He added that such youth can visit India during festivals or get associated with the events related to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava.
The Prime Minister suggested that there should be a sustained effort to document the lives, the struggle and the contributions of Pravasi Bharatiyas for their respective countries through universities and research institutions. “Each and every Bharatvanshi carries entire India with him or her. In the last 8 years, India has tried to strengthen its diaspora. It is India’s commitment today that wherever you are the country is for your interests and expectations,” he said.
The Prime Minister thanked the Special Guests of Honour Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the President of Guyana, and Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname for their remarks and suggestions.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Ministers of State Meenakshi Lekhi, V Muraleedharan and Rajkumar Ranjan Singh were among those present.
The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is being organised in partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Government from January 8-10 in Indore. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 different countries have registered for the event.