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Union minister Jaishankar invites diaspora to be part of India's efforts to build stronger capabilities


New Delhi, Jan 09: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Saturday invited the Indian diaspora to be part of India's endeavour to build stronger capabilities in diverse areas as part of broader efforts to deal with challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic.


In an address at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, Jaishankar said the uncertainty triggered by the pandemic has created a global demand for "shorter, more trusted and resilient" supply chains. The external affairs minister said India has responded to the situation through the larger framework of the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) to enhance its capacities at home to make a larger contribution abroad.

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"We, in India, have responded through the policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat, building stronger capacities at home to make a larger contribution abroad. It is natural that we seek to involve our diaspora in that process, as they have a well-earned reputation as high achievers," he said.

"Their emotional attachment to India surely encourages their desire to contribute to the nation's rejuvenation," he added. The external affairs minister also mentioned various efforts by India to reach out to those who needed help in the wake of the pandemic.

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"This gathering takes place, as all events currently do, against the backdrop of the devastating Covid pandemic. Even as we muster up our inner strengths to combat it effectively, let me emphasise that these unprecedented difficulties have only further strengthened our bonds with Pravasis," he said.

"This was expressed in the Vande Bharat Mission that brought more than 3.5 million of our people home. It was equally visible in the support we provided for the return from India of those of other nationalities, to 120 countries," Jaishankar said.

He also mentioned that India sent medicine supplies to 150 nations, many with large Indian communities, in the wake of the pandemic. Jaishankar also talked about various initiatives taken by India in the last few years to strengthen its bond with the diaspora community.

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    "In the years that have passed, these initiatives have been strengthened by a range of other activities. And even more, transformed by the very unique bonding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has established with the diaspora," he said.

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