PM to launch Pravasi Divas today

Sushma calls on pravasis to join endeavour to transform India

PM to launch Pravasi Divas today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take his engagement with Indian diaspora to a new level on Thursday, when he will inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015 at the capital of his home state Gujarat on Thursday.

With the Modi government keen to make ‘Global Indians’ partners in transformation of India, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday called upon the young Indians and Indian-origin people around the world to contribute to the set of programme launched by the new regime of late – ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’, ‘Make-in-India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart Cities’.

“We want you, the Pravasis, to contribute to the development of India. We want you to participate in the vision that the prime minister has for India’s future,” Swaraj, who also holds the External Affairs portfolio, said, while inaugurating the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gandhinagar.

The Youth PBD was held to especially to connect with young Indians and Indian-origin people living around the world a day before Modi, who has stepped up India's engagement with its Diaspora after taking over the top office in May 2013, inaugurates the main component of the PBD 2015.

With the government keen to underscore its claim to governance, efficiency, accountability, transparency, and speedy decision making before the Indian Diaspora, the External and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister said that the new administration in New Delhi has been working in mission mode to implement all its newly launched programmes.

“You can contribute to them and become an active partner in these ventures. Our government is fully committed to good governance, efficiency, accountability, transparency, and speedy decision making,” said Swaraj.

She listed manufacturing, infrastructure development, education, health, skills development, science and technology, research and innovation, knowledge economy and youth development as the areas, where young overseas Indians or Indian-origin people from around the world could join the endeavours of the Modi government.

This year’s PBD coincides with 100th anniversary of homecoming of Mahatma Gandhi, whom Swaraj on Wednesday referred to as the “greatest Pravasi Bharatiya”. The historic event is also the central theme of the conclave, which is being held at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar and being attended by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Recalling Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa on January 9, 1915, Swaraj said that India of 2015 was very different from the India that Mahatma had come back to in 1915.
“No longer does the world consider it as a country mired in poverty and underdevelopment.

Today, India is seen as a rising power, and appreciated across the world for the way it has converged strong democratic institutions with rapid development,” the Minister for External and Overseas Indian Affairs said.

Suggestions
The youth PBD on Wednesday had a two sessions on Wednesday – Bharat Ko Jano (Know India) and Bharat Ko Mano (Respect India).

The Bharat Ko Jano was intended to make the young Pravasis aware about India, its traditions and its art and culture, while “Bharat Ko Mano” told them about the remarkable strides that modern India has taken, especially in the fields of science and technology.

“Bharat ko Jano will tell you that zero and the decimal system were India’s gift to the world. The value of ‘Pi’ was first calculated by Budhayana in the sixth century. The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC.

The earliest school of medicine known to humans was Ayurveda which was consolidated by Charaka, the father of medicine, some 2,500 years ago,” said Swaraj.

“The nation which gave the world the concept of zero, has also mastered the nuclear cycle, sent expeditions to Antarctica and even unmanned missions to the moon and Mars,” she added.

She also referred to non-violence, tolerance and respect for diversity and difference as ideas India bequeathed to the world.

“India is today hailed as the world’s largest democracy where 1.25 billion people are reaching for their destiny through the medium of pluralist politics,” she said.

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