Bengaluru, Jan 7: With over 7,100 delegates and more registrations, the first day of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was a hit with Non Resident Indians. With representation from over 72 countries, the largest contingents were from USA, Malaysia and Qatar.
Concerns of NRIs including demonetisation, voting during Indian elections and ease of business in India found space in the debates and addresses on the first day. The inaugural session of the Pravasi Bharathiya Divas being hosted in Bengaluru was filled with praises for achievements by NRIs across the globe.
Youth being the focus of the first day's events, Union Ministers Vijay Goel and Gen V K Singh and Prakash Javdekar applauded NRIs for their work while entrusting them with the responsibility of taking India's legacy forward in the world stage.
"Be it the Silicon Valley or Everest's pinnacle, our youth have contributed to strengthening India. Over 30 men and women of Indian origin have made it to the Forbes list of 'Super Achievers'. I urge the dispora to carry forward the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and make India a world leader," Vijay Goel said. He invited NRIs to invest in social causes in India and assured that his ministry would ensure a hasslefree clearance.
One of the highlights of the event was Dnyaneshwar Mulay, secretary, External Affairs Ministry stating that the election commission is working out a mechanism to allow voting facilities to Indians living abroad.
"The issue of allowing NRI voting during Indian elections and simplifying the same is on. Means of Internet voting are being worked out. The election commission has made some suggestions in this regard to the government," he said.
Minister of State Gen V K Singh highlighted 4 Ts, Talent, technology, Training and teamwork that need to be optimised by the youth as part of the inaugural session. The BJP ministers didn't miss the opportunity to hail Narendra Modi's demonetisation move that was already being looked at as a masterstroke by many NRIs. They also took the opportunity to urge the Indian youth across the world to take India's history and culture to the rest of the world.
Special guest for the inaugural event, Michael Ashwin Adhin, the vice president of Suriname invoked India's spiritual and cultural inheritance that gives it a unique status and urged for it to be a stronger and super power. Karnataka Ministers R V Deshpande and Priyank Kharge were part of the inaugural team.
The event is being held biennially instead of the regular annual affair. Prime Minister Modi is expected to address the largest congregation of Non resident Indians on Sunday as he delivers the keynote.
The event is an attempt to connect with 3.12 crore strong diaspora from across the globe in various fields of tourism, social work, entrepreneurship, education and technology.