This post was originally published on 7 January 2015.
Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday called on the diaspora youth to “come, connect, celebrate and contribute” to be part of the “momentous transformation taking place in the country”.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 2015 Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), Sushma Swaraj, who is also the external affairs minister, urged the diaspora youth to contribute to the country’s development.
She said the Narendra Modi government has taken several measures to ease the business environment, including by rationalising rules and identifying obsolete laws.
The minister said the clear focus of the Modi government is on infrastructure development and the government is moving towards a transparent policy.
Earlier, welcoming hundreds of youth delegates, Sushma Swaraj said it is a special joy to interact with the youth “who share a special bond of heart with India”.
She said the PBD is a platform to connect the diaspora with the motherland and promote the concept of a global Indian family.
NRIs from over 58 countries are expected to participate in the three-day convention, which marks the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the country’s development. The event aims at connecting India to its vast overseas Diaspora and bring their knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform.
2015 is the centenary year of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to his motherland from South Africa on January 9, 1915, from where he led freedom struggle against the British.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the main event on January 8 where Foreign Minister of South Africa, Maite Nikoana-Mashabane will be the guest of honour and President of Guyana Doland Ramotar the chief guest. Ramotar will also be presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and people of Indian origin (PIOs).
The event will have a battery of speakers including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Narendra Modi, senior Cabinet ministers, besides prominent NRI personalities spanning the fields of education, politics and business.
On the last day of the event, chief ministers of various states will try to seek investment from NRI delegates in their respective states.
Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, the convention venue in Gujarat’s capital, is all decked up to welcome the Indian diaspora, who are arriving in hundreds from countries across the world, for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
PBD is the world’s largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages. There are an estimated 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India.
India is also the single largest recipient of remittances from abroad at USD 70 billion.