The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention has been the flagship event of the Ministry organised 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 10th edition of the PBD was held in Jaipur from January 7-9, 2012. The Convention was organised in partnership with the Government of Rajasthan. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on January 8, 2012 and the Valedictory Address was delivered by the President on January 9, 2012. The President also conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award on 15 distinguished PIOs/NRIs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, was the Chief Guest.
The three-day Convention saw a record participation of 2014 delegates. These included 13 Members of the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council and 3 PIO Ministers, besides Union Ministers and Chief Ministers and other Indian and PIO dignitaries.
The Ministry’s flagship was widely acclaimed as a grand success both for its organizational and substantive aspects as well as for the choice of speakers and the topicality of the themes chosen for deliberations at its various sessions. The three pre-convention seminars on Solar Energy, Water and Healthcare drew enthusiastic participation of all stakeholders and came in for appreciation from several quarters.
Separately, there was a special session on Youth where eminent Overseas Indians shared their success stories with the youth of Rajasthan.
The Convention had four Plenary Sessions:
- Inclusive Growth: Two decades of Economic Liberalisation
- Business session: Partnering for Prosperity
- Shared connectivity: Message of Mahatma Gandhi
- Global Indian: State Initiatives and Opportunities
There were five specific sessions on: Diaspora and Development, Driving Innovation, Meeting with Diaspora Organizations, Town Hall on Youth Connectivity, Conclave on Gender and a session on Gulf. In addition, there were separate State sessions and the PBD Oration by Prof. Kishore Mahbubani of the National University of Singapore.
HIGHLIGHTS of PBD 2012
- Record participation of 2014 delegates
- Attendance by a host of dignitaries from abroad
- Four Plenary Sessions, five Concurrent Sessions and separate State Sessions
- Three pre-convention Seminars on Solar Energy, Water and Healthcare
- A pre-convention Seminar on Youth for the youth of Rajasthan
- Unveiling of the website of the India Development Foundation by the Hon’ble Prime Minister
The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) at the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012 in seeking to help expand the PBD delegates’ engagement with India, conducted business with a difference. The OIFC’s activities at the PBD were: the Market Place Forum which sought to build relationships between OIFC’s Partner Indian States, Knowledge Experts in various domains and PBD delegates in a relaxed environment conducive to business discussions; the publication of a journal ‘Now Returning Indians’ for the benefit of the delegates; a forum for addressing queries from PBD delegates; an OIFC interview survey to understand the expectations and concerns of Overseas Indians; and, a Global INK stall at the Market Place, which bagged the attention of over 1,200 delegates. OIFC also facilitated a high-level interaction of global Indians hailing from Canada with the Gujarat Government and an MoU was signed with Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de La Reunion aimed to expand the economic engagement of the Indian Diaspora in The Reunion with India. In addition, OIFC also connected with over 200 Overseas Indians who participated in the GOPIO International annual conference held in Jaipur on January 6, 2012.
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards (PBSA)
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is conferred on NRIs, PIOs or Organisations or Institutions established and run by NRIs or PIOs, who have excelled in their respective fields and have helped enhance India’s prestige in their countries of residence and who have made: (i) significant contribution towards a better understanding abroad of India and support to India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way; (ii) appreciable contribution to the welfare of the Diaspora; (iii) notable contribution to philanthropic and charitable work and to social and humanitarian causes in India and abroad; (iv) substantial contribution towards building closer links between India and its Diaspora in the economic, cultural and scientific fields; and, (v) for achieving eminence in their skills, thereby enhancing India’s prestige in that country (for non-professional workers). Conferred by the President of India as part of the PBD Convention, PBSA is the highest honour conferred on Overseas Indians. PBSA-2012 was conferred on the following:
1. Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar
2. Mr. Kiran Navinchandra Asher
3. Mr. Hassan Abdulkarim Chougule
4. Mrs. Khorshed Noshir Ginwala-Rustomjee
5. Ms. Kalpalatha Kummamuri Guntupalli
6. Prof. Surendra Kumar Kaushik
7. Mr. Prakash Lohia
8. Mr. S.R. Nathan
9. Mr. Jose Parayanken
10. Mr. Radhakrishna P.K.V. Pillai
11. Mr. Sachchidanand Sahai
12. Mr. Rajesh Kumar Saraiya
13. Mr. Deepak Naraindas Shivdasani
14. Mr. Victor Shahed Smetacek
15. Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce
5th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), Toronto, Canada
PBD Canada, the fifth in the series of Overseas/Regional PBDs, was a resounding success. It was held in Toronto from June 9-10, 2011 at Metro Toronto Convention Center. The Governor-General of Canada, David Johnston, graced the inaugural ceremony on June 9, 2011. The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, also attended and spoke at the inaugural function. Several members of the Canadian Parliament as well as Ministers of the Ontario Government also attended. The Indian delegation was led by Preneet Kaur, Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs. The theme of the Convention was ‘Building Bridges: Positioning Strategies for the Indian Diaspora’. The inaugural session was attended by nearly 1,000 delegates, the largest-ever participation in any regional PBD.