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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: All you need to know about its historical past

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On the ocassion of 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the world was looking at India with immense hope and optimism.Here's all you should about this day:

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: All you need to know about its historical past

What is Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas and why is it celebrated?

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on January 9 each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.
  • This day is also known as ‘Non-Resident Indian Day' as it commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on January 9, 1915.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated over three days from January 7-9.
  • It is organised by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and is well supported by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region of India.

When was it started and how is it celebrated?

  • Established in 2003, it is sponsored by MOIA, FICCI, CII and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.
  • The event has been organized every year since 2003, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), initially sponsored by FICCI.
  • A celebratory event is held on 7-9 January each year in an Indian city.
  • Issues concerning the Indian Diaspora are discussed by a forum.
  • At the event Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are also given.
  • The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High Level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora.
  • This committe was set up by the government of India under the chairmanship of L M Singhvi.
  • After receiving the report of the Committee, former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 8, 2002, announced that the "Pravasi Bharatiya Divas"(PBD) will be celebrated on January 9 that year.
  • The occasion is marked by special programs to recognize the contributions of NRI/PIO individuals of exceptional merit.
  • NRI/PIO individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field/profession are felicitated with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.

Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas 2015

  • This time PBD is more important as on January 9, 2015 India will celebrate 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India.
  • It will mark the centenary of India's "sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya", or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi's return to the country from South Africa.
  • It will also be the first time that this day will be celebrated under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ‘Make In India' and ‘Digital India' campaigns are also there.
  • The 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is being organized at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • Guyana President Donald Ramotar, was the chief guest of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations. He will also be presented the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman', the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and people of Indian origin (PIOs).
  • South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will also attend this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
  • There also will be a separate function for the youths as Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj will inaugurate the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
  • Gujarat-origin NASA astronaut Sunita Williams is also expected to attend the mega event.
  • After the inauguration, a plenary session on ‘Bharat Ko Jano & Bharat Ko Mano‘ (Know India, Believe India), followed by a talk on ‘Thoughts of Gandhi in 21st century referring to youths'.
  • During this session, the youth will be told about India's ancient culture, traditions and hospitality.
  • It will also tell them about the modern India and its innovations, like Mangalyaan mission.
  • The officials heading projects in the Make in India, Swachch Bharat, Skill India, Clean Ganga, etc will tell more about the schemes.
  • More than 4,000 delegates have arrived for the 13th PBD, aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages.
  • There are 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India.

PM Narendra Modi on PBD

  • "The world is seeing India with immense hope and optimism. The rich and the poor nations are looking at India...," Modi said in his inaugural address at 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the world's largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin.
  • "There are several opportunities waiting for you in India. Times have changed very quickly," Modi said, adding that it is the responsibility of the Indians abroad to use this opportunity for the betterment of humanity.
  • The Prime Minister said the love being shown by the world was not because of the affluence of the Indian diaspora in the countries they have adopted but because of their "value system and cultural inheritance".
  • "Now it is our responsibility to prove equal to the expectations of the world with confidence which Mahatma Gandhi showed even while sweeping the streets, popularising Khadi and doing other services to the nation as he led the freedom movement," Modi said.
  • "There used to be a time when you left your beloved country to explore opportunities in different parts of the world...Now I want to assure you that lot many possibilities are awaiting you as time is changing rapidly and India has risen with new strength," Modi told around 4,000 delegates at the event.

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