The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is the flagship event of the Ministry – organized every year since January, 2003, with a view to connecting India to its vast Indian Diaspora and bring their knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform.
The 11th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention was held in Kochi from 7- 9 January, 2013. The Convention was organized in partnership with the Government of Kerala. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 8 January, 2013 and the Valedictory Address was delivered by the President on 9 January, 2013. The President also conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award on 15 distinguished PIOs/NRIs. Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag, H.E. President of the Republic of Mauritius was the Chief Guest.
The three day Convention saw a participation of around 2000 persons including overseas delegates, speakers, exhibitors, state government officials, media persons etc. These included 13 Members of the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council and PIO Ministers from different countries like Mauritius and Malaysia, Ministers from
Canada and UK besides Union Ministers and Chief Ministers, PIO dignitaries, distinguished speakers and other noted Indians from diverse fields.
The flagship event of the Ministry was widely acclaimed as a grand success both for its organizational aspects and its substantive aspect, as also for the choice of speakers and the topicality of the themes chosen for deliberation at its various sessions. The four pre-conference seminars of NRIs in the Gulf, Skill Development, Tourism and Pure Sciences drew enthusiastic participation of all stakeholders and came in for appreciation from several quarters. The Gulf session was attended by the Indian Ambassadors to Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Shri E. Ahmed, Minister of State for External Affairs, Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr. K.C. Joseph, Minister for Non-Resident Kerala Affairs and delegates from the Gulf.
The Convention had four plenary sessions:
• India’s Growth: Greater Opportunities
• Heritage and Diaspora
• Engaging Young Overseas Indians
• Investment opportunities in States
The Convention also had four concurrent sessions:
• Innovation and Technology
• Meeting of Diaspora Organizations
• India’s Growing Soft Power
• Overseas Indians and India
In addition, there were separate State sessions and the PBD Oration by PBD Oration on ‘Ghadar Movement’ by Porf. Harish Puri, retired Professor of Political Science and Head, BR Ambedkar Chair Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
Highlights of PBD 2013
- Overwhelming participation by delegates from India and abroad.
- Release of a stamp on the Ghadar Movement by Prime Minister of India.
- Release of publications – (i) India Supports and (ii) Handbook for Emigrants.
- Attendance by a host of dignitaries from abroad.
- Four plenary sessions, four concurrent sessions besides separate States sessions.
- Four pre-conference seminars of NRIs in the Gulf, Skill Development, Tourism and Pure Sciences.
- PBD Oration on ‘Ghadar Movement’.
The Ghadar Movement started in 1913 by Non- Resident Indians in the USA and Canada was an important milestone in India’s long struggle for freedom from foreign rule; the bravery show and the sacrifice made by the “Ghadar Babas” will always find a place in the annals of self sacrifice for mother India. This was the centenary year of their movement. To commemorate the event, and honour the brave individuals involved in the struggle, during the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas at Kochi this year, the honorable Prime Minister announced that the Ghadar Memorial in San Francisco would be converted into a functional museum and library, with a sculpture to honour the Ghadar Babas. The Government of India will appropriately fund the project.
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards (PBSA) 2013
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is conferred on Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin or Organizations or Institutions established and run by Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who have excelled in their fields which has enhanced India’s prestige in their country of residence and who have made (i) significant contribution towards better understanding abroad of India and supported India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way; (ii) significant contribution for the welfare of the diaspora; (iii) notable contribution in philanthropic and charitable work and for social and humanitarian causes in India and abroad; (iv) significant contribution in building closer links between India and its diaspora in the economic, cultural and scientific fields; and (v) for eminence in their skills which has enhanced India’s prestige in that country. It is conferred by the President of India as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention. PBSA is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians. PBSA 2013 was conferred on the following:
Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag
Australia India Society of Victoria
Prof. Dr. Gursharan Singh Chhatwal
Mr. Ashok Shambhomal Vaswani
Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait
Tan Sri Ravindran Menon
Dr. Rasik Vihari Joshi
Dr. Satendra Kumar Singh
Mr. Gilbert Canabady Moutien
Mr. Mohammed Rabeeh Karuvanthodi
Mr. Ismail Ebrahim Ebrahim
Mr. Bava Pandalingal
Ms. Patricia Maria Rozario
Dr. Narendra Ramakrishna Kumar
Mr. Subash Razdan
6th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Mauritius from 27-28 October, 2012
6th Regional/Overseas Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention was organized by MOIA in Mauritius on 27 to 28 October, 2012 to have interaction and discussion with Indian Diaspora to ensure their connectivity with their ancestral motherland as well to know their expectations and concerns. The event was attended by the Prime Minister of Mauritius and the President of Mauritius besides several other Cabinet Ministers of Mauritius. The Hon’ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs gave an address in the inaugural session. Four plenary sessions were held on (i) expectations and aspirations of Indian Diaspora from India (ii) PIO entrepreneurs – success stories: exploring business opportunities in the India Ocean (iii) role of youth in maintaining PIO links and cultural heritage in the modern era and (iv) contemporary and future relationship between Indian Diaspora and India.
Five Regional PBDs have been held earlier at following places so far:
1. New York, USA on 24 September, 2007
2. Singapore on 10-11 October, 2008
3. The Hague, Netherlands on 19 September,
4. Durban, South Africa on 1-2 October, 2010
5. Toronto, Canada on 8-10 June, 2011
7th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (RPBD)
This Ministry organizes Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (RPBD) to allow participation of the Indian diaspora who are unable to attend annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in India. So far, 7 Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas have been held at New York, Singapore, The Hague, Durban, Toronto, Mauritius and Sydney. These have elicited enthusiastic support from the Indian diaspora, and the local Government, and have been highly successful.
7th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (RPBD) Convention was organized by MOIA in Sydney, 10th to 12th November, 2013 to have interaction & discussion with Indian Diaspora to ensure their connectivity with their ancestral motherland as well to know their expectations & concerns. Secondly the guiding spirit of the decision to hold the 7th RPBD in Australia was on account of the sentiments of the Indian diaspora in the region. Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea represent an important region for our diaspora, and the Indian community was taken note of by the leadership of all political parities.
The theme of the PBD Convention in Sydney was “Connecting for a shared Future: The Indian Diaspora, India and the Pacific”. This was appropriate, as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas seeks to reach out to both members of the Indian origin community as well as all those persons who are interested in plugging into India’s growing relationship with Australia and its neighboring countries.
The programme for the event included an inaugural session on Sharing Experiences and breakout sessions on different topics including Bilateral Business Opportunities in Services, Resources, Primary Commodities, Engagement through Culture, Indian Languages, Skills, Infrastructure (Airports, Ports, Road and Construction), Manufacturing, Education, Culture and Youth Dialogue. There will be breakout sessions also on Sharing Experiences: The Indian Diaspora in the Pacific, Honouring the Success Stories, Scientists and Academics, Women in Business and Community, Power of Media in the Asian Century and India Australia Strategic Partnership.
Seven Regional PBDs outside India have been held earlier at following places so far:
- New York, USA on 24th September, 2007
- Singapore on 10-11 October, 2008
- Hague, Netherlands on 19 September, 2009
- Durban, South Africa on 1st and 2nd October, 2010
- Toronto, Canada on 8th to 10th June, 2011
- Mauritius on 27-28 October, 2012
- Sydney, Australia on 10-12th November , 2013