Virtual 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on January 9

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@hcikl
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@hcikl

The 16th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 9. A flagship event of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, PBD 2021 will be held virtually due to the ongoing pandemic. 

“Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is the flagship event of the Ministry of External Affairs and provides an important platform to engage and connect with the overseas Indians,” said a press release by the MEA.

“In view of the sentiments of our vibrant diaspora community, the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, is being organized on 9th January 2021, despite the ongoing Covid pandemic. The Convention will be held in virtual format, as were the PBD Conferences held recently in the run up to the Convention,” the release added. 

The theme of the PBD Convention 2021 is "Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat".

The Convention will have three segments beginning with the inauguration by PM Modi with a keynote address by the Chief Guest, H.E. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname. 

The inaugural session will also see the announcement of the winners of the online Bharat ko Janiye Quiz for the youth. Bharat ko Janiye Quiz was launched in 2015-16 in order to strengthen the engagement with young overseas Indians and encourage them to know more about their country of origin. The first edition of the online "Bharat ko Janiye" Quiz was organized for young overseas Indians and foreigners of 18-35 years of age in 2015-16. This was followed by the second edition of Bharat ko Janiye Quiz in 2018-19. This year, the third edition of Bharat ko Janiye Quiz 2020-21 has been held virtually from September 30 to December 28 2020. Fifteen winners of the Bharat ko Janiye Quiz will be announced during the PBD convention and will be invited for an India Tour (Bharat ko Janiye Darshan) at a later date.

This will be followed by two Plenary sessions. The first Plenary on Role of Diaspora in Aatmanirbhar Bharat, will feature addresses by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. 

The second Plenary on Facing Post Covid Challenges – Scenario in Health, Economy, Social and International Relations, will be addressed by the Minister of Health Dr Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for External Affairs  V. Muraleedharan. 

Both Plenaries will feature panel discussions inviting eminent diaspora experts.

Also read: MEA launches Global Pravasi Rishta Portal to connect with Indian diaspora ahead of PBD 2021

The finale would be the Valedictory Session where the President of India Ram Nath Kovind will deliver his Valedictory address to mark the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The names of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees for 2020-21 will also be announced. These awards are conferred to select Indian diaspora members to recognize their achievements and honour their contributions to various fields, both in India and abroad.