All About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019, Significance and Indian DiasporaWishesh Special

January 21, 2019 12:30
All About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019, Significance and Indian Diaspora

(Image source from: ScoopWhoop)

The Government of India will mark the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Indian Diaspora Conclave in Varanasi between January 21 and 23.

The event, beginning today, will be attended by Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and many prominent personalities. The theme this year is 'Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India'.

Beginning in 2003, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was usually celebrated on January 9, however, this year there was change a in the dates since many expatriates wanted to attend the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj this time, according to Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

"In reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora to participate in the Kumbh Mela and Republic Day celebrations, the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention is being organized from 21 to 23 January 2019 instead of 9 January," the MEA had said in a September 2018 communique.

However, many consulates, embassies, and overseas Indian communities did mark 9 January as Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.

Significance of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Indian Diaspora Conclave is observed in order to mark the exceptional contributions of Non-Resident Indians/Persons of Indian Origin in their chosen field or profession.

The entitled NRI/PIO individuals will be granted Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (NRI/PIO award) and provided a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the diaspora.

The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), initially sponsored by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

This year, the event will be held between January 21 and 23 and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The concluding session will see the presence of President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

A tent city has as well been created in Varanasi to host various dignitaries and diasporas from several countries.

About 4,500 NRIs from 85 countries have registered themselves for the 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas. While most of the participants are from the United States, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, 2,254 Indians will also attend the convention.

According to the list of participants, 449 NRIs from the U.S., 395 from UAE, 202 from Malaysia, 153 from Qatar, 109 from Oman and 104 from the United Kingdom will take part in the three-day event. In addition, participants from about 80 other countries will also visit Varanasi.


A temporary NRI office has been created at the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade Facilitation Centre in Bada Lalpur area of Varanasi where all major events of the convention will take place.

Contribution of Indian Diaspora to India

The Indian diaspora is the second largest in the world, with over 31 million people.

The NRIs have come forward with several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in India helping in the arrangement of developmental, educational and social projects. The large number of NRIs is actively taking part in several welfare programs in India.

The Diaspora’s scientific achievements, in virtually every field, have not just enhanced India’s image in the world, but then, they have also led to a direct and mutually-reinforcing synergy between Indian science abroad and at home.

Indian Diaspora has also emerged as an important factor in India’s foreign policy, economic development and knowledge transfer. According to the World Bank report, India is likely to have received $80 billion in remittances till December 2018.

-Sowmya Sangam

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