Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non Resident Indian Day)
The Union Government of India celebrates Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Non Resident Indian Day on 9th of January each year, to commemorate the achievements of the individuals of Indian origin, in their respective fields; and also to persuade them to bring their knowledge and expertise to Indian soil.
The day also marks the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa on 9th January 1915 and he is presented as a symbol of a change and development a Non Resident Indian could bring into India. Mahatma Gandhi inculcated his experiences of 21 years as a Civil Rights Activist in South Africa into India’s freedom struggle; finally freeing her from the clutches of British Empire.
The Government of India believes that a NRI has a global exposure in terms of business and development strategies around the world; therefore, if provided with an opportunity they will infuse those ideas and experiences on their mother land, contributing to her development.
The first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was celebrated on 9th January 2003 and was observed annually till 2015. A decision to make the event biennial was taken by the Ministry Of External Affairs in 2016, since then it is celebrated every second year.
Highlights of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019
The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was celebrated with great zeal and zest in the holy city of Varanasi from 21st January to 23rd January 2019.
Following were the major highlights of the event:
- Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi and PM of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth officially inaugurated the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event on 22nd January at 10:00 AM in Varanasi and addressed the delegates.
- Pravind Jugnauth visited Sri Kashi Vishwanath temple and also took part in the Ganga Aarti on 22nd Overseas Indians also visited Sarnath and other historical places in Varanasi.
- Actress Hema Malini presented a dance drama based on ‘Journey of Ganga’ in the PBD convention on 22ndJanuary, Tuesday.
- The event was concluded by the President of India’s address in which he appealed the Overseas Indian to play a vital role in the development of India. He also conferred the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ to 30 Overseas Indian on 23rd
- IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, Norway’s MP Himanshu Gulati and South Africa’s diplomat Anil Sooklal were amongst the 30 awardees of the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’.
- Youths in Varanasi welcomed the delegates by showcasing the historic culture of Varanasi by paintings the walls of city exhibiting the journey of Varanasi from ancient history to the modern technological developments.
- A tent city was setup for the delegates of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in the holy city of Varanasi at the Trade Facilitation Center near River Varuna. Each tent was equipped with the most modern facilities with attractive interiors. Apart from continental dishes the guests were served the regional mouthwatering delicacies of Varanasi.
- IRCTC served local cuisines and seasonal fruits like paneer masala, mixed vegetables, ‘gajar ka halwa’, Allahabadi Guava, gulab jamun, chikkis etc to the delegates on the journey from Prayagraj to New Delhi.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 Held In
The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held in Varanasi from 21st January to 23rd January 2019. For the first time the dates for the functions were changed, conceding to the demands of Indian Diaspora to attend the Mahakumbh at Prayagraj on 24th January and Republic Day Celebrations in Delhi on 26th January.
The first day of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was dedicated to the youth; marked by interactive sessions between Indian youth and young Indian Diaspora. This gave an opportunity to young Indian aspirants to connect with considerably young NRIs or PIOs (People of Indian origin) who have made it big in the field of science, technology, education, politics etc. It also provided them to know the developments around the world in their respective field of interest.
On 22nd January the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was inaugurated by the Chief Guest followed by an opening speech by the Prime Minister of India. The last two days of the event were marked with many sessions based on issues like- Cyber capacity of India, Opportunities and challenges in giving back to India, cultural programs solar power, global warming, development, artificial intelligence etc.
Dinners were hosted by Indian Ministers in the honor of Indian Diaspora and other invitees.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 in Varanasi
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 which was held on 21st to 23rd January, 2019 was actually a week of events for the invitees; including the Mahakumbh at Prayagraj and Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi. Date wise activities with the time of the events is given below-
The official website for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 was launched on 15th September 2018. The registrations were opened till 15th November 2018. Any individual or groups could register to witness the events by paying required fee.
Day 1: 21st January 2019, Monday
The Day 1 of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was observed as the Youth PBD or the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Uttar Pradesh State PBD.
Chief Guest of PBD 2019, Mr. Pravind Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of Mauritius arrived in New Delhi on 20th January to take part in the PBD enclave.
Time 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Event: Inauguration of Youth PBD
The Youth PBD and the Uttar Pradesh Youth PBD was jointly inaugurated by lighting the lamp by the Hon’ble External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Sri Yogi Adityanath.
Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, Sri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Member of Parliament from New Zealand, Mr. Kanwal Jeet Singh and Himanshu Gulati, MP from Norway also shared the stage on the occasion.
CM Yogi Adityanath addressed the overseas Indian community and welcomed them to witness the grand religious celebration at Kumbh and the grandeurs of the Republic Day celebration at Rajpath.
Time 11:30 AM To 13:00 PM
The dignitaries interacted with the younger members of the Indian Diaspora and gave the opportunity to them to connect with their roots.
Time 13:00 PM to 14:30 PM
Lunch for the guests was hosted by Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Time 14:30 PM To 21:00 PM
The ‘Young Indian Diaspora’ interacted with the students of the B.H.U. (Banaras Hindu University) and exchanged their views on several issues; followed by the dinner hosted by the Shri Chetan Chauhan, Minister of State for Sports and Youth Welfare.
Time 06:00 PM – 07:00 PM
A cultural programme was organised which showcased the rich cultural heritage of Uttar Pradesh through music and dance performances.
From 07:00 PM Onwards
CM Yogi Adityanath hosted the dinner for the delegates of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and interacted with them on various topics.
Day 2: 22nd January 2019, Tuesday
Time 10:20 AM – 11:50 AM
- Inauguration of 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention-2019
- Address by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs
- Address by Shri Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
- Address by the Chief Guest , H.E. Shri Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius
- “Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz” Award Ceremony
- Address by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
- Vote of Thanks by Gen. (Dr.) V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs
Time 12:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Lunch for the dignitaries and delegates
Time 03:00 PM – 04:30 PM
Plenary II: ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in capacity building for an affordable solar power’
Time 04:45 PM – 06:15 PM
Plenary Session III: ‘Giving Back to India: Opportunities and Challenges’
Time 07:00 PM – 08:20 PM
Cultural Programme were organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations
Time 08:30 PM onwards
Dinner was hosted by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs
Day 3: 23rd January 2019, Wednesday
Time 09:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Plenary Session IV: ‘Indian Community Organizations working for Indian nationals in distressed Situation’
Time 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Plenary Session V: ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in Capacity Building for Affordable Waste Management’
Time 12:00 PM – 01:15 PM
Plenary Session VI: ‘Indian Diaspora’s Role in Capacity Building of Artificial Intelligence in India’
Time 01:30 PM – 02:45 PM
Lunch was hosted by Shri Ram Naik, Hon’ble Governor of UP
Time 03:00 PM – 04:15 PM
Plenary Session VII: ‘Developing cyber capacity of India’
Time 05:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Valedictory Session and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards Ceremony
Welcome address by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs
Remark address by CM Yogi Adityanath
Conferment of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards and Valedictory Address by Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind,
Vote of Thanks – by Gen. (Dr.) V.K Singh, Ministry of State of External Affairs
Time 08:00 PM onwards
Dinner – Hosted by Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations
Day 4 – 24th January 2019, Thursday
The guests willing to witness the Mahakumbh at Sangam, Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) were transported to Prayagraj in special Volvo buses, and the arrangements for their stay were made in well equipped and comfortable tents as per their choice. Arrangements were also made for the guests to take a dip into the holy Sangam.
Day 5 – 25th January 2019, Friday
After attending the Kumbh Mela, the participants travelled to New Delhi by special trains in 2 tier A.C. coaches.
Day 6 – 26th January 2019, Saturday
The delegates of the PBD 2019 were given special passes to witness the 70th Republic Day celebration of India.
History of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
A high level committee under the chairmanship of L.M. Singhvi was appointed in September 2001 by the Union Government of India to look into the matters of Non Resident Indians and the people of Indian origin who have migrated to other parts of the world.
The committee presented its report to the then Prime Minister of India Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 8th January 2002 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. In its report the committee recommended establishing dialogues and interaction with Indian Diaspora abroad to address their issues as well as to gain from their knowledge and expertise. The Prime Minister announced the observation of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on 9th of January from the next year. The date was chosen to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa on 9th January 1915.
The recommendations of the Committee were aimed at addressing the issues those concern India’s own children residing outside, and also to commemorate their effort towards spreading the Indian culture and values to other parts of the world. A decision was also made to felicitate those who have made commendable achievements in their respective fields; by conferring to them “Pravasi Bharatiya Samman”.
The Need for Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
There had been huge migrations from Indian soil, both before independence as well as after India gained Independence; which has continued till today. India has the world’s largest overseas population, with over 16 million NRIs residing in other parts of the world.
There is an Indian community in every part of the world; so much so that the sun never sets on it. These people have become an integral part of their country of resident; but still retain their Indian culture and values. They represent an India outside India and it is the Government of India’s responsibility to look into the matters concerning them.
Apart from felicitating individuals for exceptional achievements, the celebration also provides a dais for addressing the issues concerning the Indian Diaspora. Issues like the consular difficulties they face during their visit to India, the reception they get in their own motherland or the courtesy they think should have been extended to them by the government and other organizations.
Indian Diaspora has a high potential for bringing scientific, cultural and economical development in India. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is an event where they can interact with the Government of India and chart out a future plan for the development of their motherland; be it in science & technology or infield of education.
The basic idea behind the organization of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is to address the difficulties NRIs face while visiting India or even in their respective country of resident; and, in return to persuade them to bring back their experiences and ideas to contribute into the development of India.
Since 2016, the Government of India has also introduced the “Overseas Citizenship of India”, a limited dual citizenship for the people of Indian origin residing outside India in an attempt to provide them easy access to their motherland and contribute to her development.
Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (RPBD)
The Ministry of External Affairs of India organizes the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas outside India to interact with the Indian community there and familiarize them with Government’s policies and decisions, also addressing the issues of their concern; in a bid to encourage them to contribute to India’s development.
Till 2018, 10 Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas have been organized by the Ministry of External Affairs-
- First RPBD was held in New York, USA on September 24th
- Second RPBD was held in Singapore from 10th to 11th October 2008.
- Third RPBD was held in Hague, Netherlands on 19th September 2009.
- Fourth RPBD was held in Durban, South Africa, from 1st-2nd October 2010.
- Fifth RPBD was held in Toronto, Canada from 8th– 10th June 2011.
- Sixth RPBD was held in Pailles, Mauritius from 27th to 28th October 2012.
- Seventh RPBD was held in Sydney, Australia from 10th to 12th November 2013.
- Eighth RPBD was held in London, UK from 16th to 18th October 2014.
- Ninth RPBD was held in Los Angeles, USA from 14th-15th November 2015.
- Tenth RPBD was held in Singapore from 6th to 7th January 2016.
The Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas addresses a large number of issues like- culture, science & technology, economy; as well as the issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.
Previous “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas” – Venue & Chief Guests
The Union Government of India had celebrated 15 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas till 2019; the last Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh from 21st to 23rd January 2019. Below is the list of previous Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in India with dates and venue –
- 1st Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 9th to 11th January 2003.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth; Prime Minister of Mauritius was the Chief Guest for the occasion.
- 2nd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 9th to 11th January 2004.
Shri Bharrat Jagdeo; President of Guyana was the Chief Guest for the occasion.
- 3rd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Mumbai, Maharashtra from 7th to 9th January 2005.
Shri J.R. Ajodhia, Vice President of Suriname was the Chief Guest for the occasion.
- 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Hyderabad (Now in Telangana) from 7th to 9th January 2006.
Shri Ahmed Kathrada; political activist from South Africa was the chief guest of the occasion.
- 5th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 7th to 9th January 2007.
Professor S. Jayakumar; Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 6th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 7th to 9th January 2008.
Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam; Prime Minister of Mauritius was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 7th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Chennai from 7th to 9th January 2009.
Dr. Ramdien Sardjoe; Vice President of Suriname was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 7th to 9th January 2010.
Dr. Khalid Hameed; Chairman of the Alpha Hospital Group, UK, was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 7th to 9th January 2011.
Sir Anand Satyanand; Governor General of New Zealand was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Jaipur, Rajasthan from 7thto 9th January 2012.
Hon. Kamla Persad Bissessar; Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Kochi, Kerala from 7th to 9th January 2013.
Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag; President of Mauritius was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at New Delhi from 7th to 9th January 2014.
Sri G.Palanivel; Federal Minister for Natural Resource and Environment, Malaysia, was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 7th to 9th January 2015.
Mr. Donald Rabinderanauth Ramotar; President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held at Bangalore, Karnataka from 7th to 9th January 2017.
Dr. Antonio Costa; Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
- 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh from 21st to 23rd January 2019.
Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of Mauritius was the Chief Guest on the invitation of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.
Events of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Celebration
The celebration is a three day affair, arranged by the Ministry Of Overseas Indian Affairs, which was merged with the External Affairs Ministry in 2016; in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers Of Commerce and Industry. If organized outside Delhi the concerned state government plays as the partner in the function.
Indian Diaspora across the world is open heartedly invited to share their concerns as well as thoughts and ideas about the scientific, political, economical development of India. Non Resident Indians who have made commendable contribution in their respective fields are felicitated and encouraged to contribute in whatever way they can, to the development of India.
During the three day long observation, various programs are organized where the Indian Diaspora interacts with the Ministers and Officials of India and other important business personalities of India. Issues like trade, education, investment, emigration, culture, health, science and development are discussed with the Indian Diaspora; in a bid to persuade them to impart their expertise in India’s development.
Themes of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
The recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas have been themed. The themes of the respective years are given below-
- Theme of 2014 “Engaging Diaspora: Connecting across generations”.
- Theme of 2015 “Apna Bharat Apna Gaurav: Connecting Across Generations “.
- Theme of 2017 “Redefining Engagement with Indian Diaspora”.
- Theme of 2018 “Ancient Route, New Journey”.
- Theme of 2019 “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India”.