Pravasi Divas in B'luru to be bigger, better than previous editions

Over 6,000 delegates to attend event starting tomorrow

Pravasi Divas in B'luru to be bigger, better than previous editions

Bengaluru will witness the biggest-ever Pravasi Bharatiya Divas with the total number of registrations to the three-day event commencing from January 7 crossing 6,000.

In the last 14 editions of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the previous highest number of delegates registered was in Gandhinagar in 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the event to his home state of Gujarat.

Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande said the total number of registrations this time has touched 6,346 including 1,500 non-resident Indians (NRIs) from 70 countries. He was briefing reporters after inspecting the preparations for the event with officials of various departments on Thursday.

There have been registrations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The higher number of overseas registrations is from the US, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, South Africa and Mauritius.

The event, scheduled to be held at BIEC, will commence with Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which will have a session on “Problems faced by NRI students in India and Indian students abroad”.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was scheduled to deliver the inaugural address. But, she is unlikely to attend the event on the advice of her doctors as she underwent kidney transplant recently.

The concluding day will witness President Pranab Mukherjee presenting Bharatiya Samman Awards to 30 NRIs in recognition of their services for the development of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Bengaluru on January 7 night and stay overnight at a star hotel near HAL airport. He will heli-hop directly to the venue the next day, according to official sources. Modi will deliver the key-note address at 9.35 am and also interact with the NRIs. He will leave Bengaluru on January 8. As many as nine sessions have been lined up during the three days.

Helipads ready

Security officials have literally left no stone unturned to ensure an incident-free Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held at Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).

Every inch of the four helipads and their surroundings was scanned using ground metal detectors. At one point during the check, the metal detector beeped and the security officials asked the ground staff to dig the particular spot. However, no suspicious material was found.

Customs pavilion

Indian Customs pavilion at the venue will showcase to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) the efforts and measures initiated by Indian Customs to enhance passenger facilitation at airport arrival terminals.

The pavilion will highlight the recently developed multi-lingual mobile app, Indian Customs– Guide to International Passengers, Customs’ achievements in anti-smuggling activities, prevention of narcotics and drugs trafficking, checking of illegal trade in wildlife and endangered species and other aspects.

Mobile ATMs at venue

The organisers do not want the visiting delegates especially those from abroad to face the after effect of demonetisation, cash crunch. As many as four mobile ATM vehicles will be parked at BIEC. Besides, two foreign exchange counters will be open on all the three days at the venue. HDFC, Axis and Canara banks have come forward to instal the ATMs, Deshpande said.

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