Government announces major changes to Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

This post was originally published on 12 October 2015.

In a major departure from the past, the government of Indian has announced a “paradigm shift” in the format of the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), its engagement with the diaspora.

The mega jamboree will be held every alternate year and an event “focused on outcomes” will be held every other year.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is also minister of overseas Indian affairs, announced the changed format of India’s engagement with its diaspora at a press conference.

Scaled-down event with invited guests

In January 2016, a much scaled-down event will be held with the participation of just 150 specially invited foreign delegates.

The invited diaspora guests will be experts who would attend various sessions to brainstorm on issues, including the problem of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf, on the government’s flagship programmes like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, and problems that Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) face, she said.

The January event will be held in the newly constructed PBD Kendra, which is ready.

Smaller events in Delhi, Bigger event in different states

The “smaller events” of the PBD would be held in the Delhi office every alternate year, while the major “mela” would be held every two years in a different state in partnership with that state government.

Regional PBDs to be held abroad

Regional PBD, which is held abroad, will be held this year in Los Angeles, US, on November 14-15.

Mini Regional PBDs in two places

In addition, “mini regional PBDs” would be held in two places where the Indian origin populace is less concentrated in order to increase their sense of involvement with their country of origin.

Honours to more achievers

She also announced that instead of honouring 15 diaspora achievers at the Delhi PBD, the government would honour an additional 15 diaspora at the mega PBD to be held every two years.
The Indian missions would suggest the names of the Indian delegates to attend the PBD.

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