Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2020: History, Significance and Key Facts

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) is observed on 9 January once in every two years to increase the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and also focus on reconnecting them with their roots. Let us have a glimpse of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and its significance.
Jan 8, 2020 11:54 IST
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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas January 2019: History, Aim, Date and Facts
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas January 2019: History, Aim, Date and Facts

This day has its significance as it is the day when Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915. No doubt, it provides an ideal platform for the government to interact with the diaspora community who reside in several parts across the world. 

Let us tell you that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Non-Resident Indian Day is observed on 9 January every year by the Union Government till 2015 and now it is celebrated once in every two years to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. 

In January 2019, it was celebrated at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to acknowledge the Indian Diaspora of Indian origin to share their experience, knowledge which can help in the development of the country.

Why is 9 January decided to celebrate NRI Day?

On 9 January,1915, Mahatma Gandhi came to India from South Africa and became the greatest Pravasi who led India's Freedom Struggle and made India free from British or colonial rule. He not only changed the lives of Indian's but also created an example that if a person's dreams and desires are clear, he or she can achieve anything. As a Non-Resident Indian or Pravasi, he is presented as a symbol of a change and development that could bring into India.

According to the Indian Government NRI has global exposure in terms of business and development strategies around the world. If some opportunity is provided to them they will contribute to the developmental process by infusing their ideas and experiences on their motherland i.e. India.

Do you know that the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Non-Resident Indian Day was celebrated on 9 January, 2003 and was observed annually till 2015? In 2016, the Ministry of External Affairs decided to make the event biennial and since then it is celebrated every second year. In 2019, Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held on 21-23 January in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or NRI Day January 2019: Theme

The theme of PBD Convention 2019 was "Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India".

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or NRI Day January 2019: Chief Guest

The Chief Guest of the Convention was Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius. Also, Mr. Himanshu Gulati, Member of Parliament of Norway, was the Special Guest and Mr. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Member of Parliament of New Zealand was the Guest of Honour at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on 21st January, 2019.

Let us tell you that the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians. This award is conferred by the President of India as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conventions which was organised since 2003.

Note: Person of Indian Origin or an organisation or institution established and run by the Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who has made a significant contributions.

Some interesting facts about PBD or NRI Day

- Most of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention held at New Delhi that is in the years 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014.

- Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is organised outside India. To give chance to link up those Indian Diaspora who cannot travel to India for the main event. It has been organised in 8 different cities.

- The 2015 year marked 100 years or a century of the return of Mahatma Gandhi. So, the 2015 celebration of PBD was a symbolic one.

- No doubt PBD plays a huge role in the development of India. Because Diaspora Indians will share their knowledge and experiences that they have gained from other countries.

- Usually, the Chief Host of the PBD is a Foreigner.

- With a specific theme, PBD is celebrated by the Union Government.

- As we have discussed above also that now PBD is not an annual event since 2015.

- At the convention of PBD, awards are given to the deserving Indians.

- PBD's main aim is to connect the Indian Diaspora.

- PBD is celebrated as the commemoration of the return of the Mahatma Gandhi.

Therefore, we can say that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or NRI Day is celebrated to link up the Indian Diaspora to commemorate the achievements of the individuals of Indian origin in their respective fields and also persuade them to bring their knowledge and expertise to their motherland.

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