The stage is set for the 15th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD), the high-profile convention of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) -- that will begin here today with the Youth PBD.
For the first time, the PBD is being held in Varanasi, described as the cultural and spiritual capital of India.
The three-day event will features scores of sessions, talks by experts, cultural shows and visits by the delegates to various important places in the city.
The theme for PBD 2019 is "Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India". Several world leaders of Indian origin will share their insights into the role of Indian diaspora for a New India.
The Youth PBD will focus on the generation next, especially from Uttar Pradesh. Young diaspora will engage with their counterparts in India.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore will participate in the event along with Member of Parliament (MP) from New Zealand Kanwal Jeet Singh Bakshi and MP from Norway Himanshu Gulati, among others.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate PBD 2019 tomorrow, with Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnath as the chief guest at the ceremony.
Several plenary sessions will be held on issues ranging from challenges and opportunities to sustainable development , artificial intelligence and cyber capacity at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade Facilitation Centre-TFC, the main venue of PBD at Bada Lalpur of Varanasi.
Mr. Modi will also host a lunch for the Heads of states and over fifty selected Pravasi Bhartiya delegates and leaders.
The Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award (PSBA), the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians, will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 23 to selected NRIs, PIOs, organisations and institutions who have made significant contribution to various fields both in India and abroad.
In the run-up to the PBD, several exhibitions including a digital exhibition on the theme of 'Ek Bharat Swacch Bharat: Sardar Patel and Gandhi ke Sapno ka Bharat', has been put up among others. These exhibitions are being organised at TFC Bada Lalpur, Banaras Hindu University and the Tent City.
The Ghats of Ganga have specially been decorated to welcome the guests. Several of the delegates are staying with local families under the Kashi Atithya Yojana.
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