Following is the transcript of Pravasi Bharatiya
Divas 2017: Curtain Raiser Briefing (January 2, 2017)
Official Spokesperson, Shri Vikas Swarup:
Good evening friends and welcome to the first press briefing of
2017. Let me take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you
a very happy and peaceful 2017.
Today as you know we have gathered to give you a
briefing on the forthcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017. This is
going to be the first PBD to be held under the new format about
which External Affairs Minister had briefed you in her press
conferences. So we are here to tell you more about this very
important event which really marks the engagement with the diaspora
I have with me a very distinguished panel, Secretary
Overseas Indian Affairs and CPV, Shri Dnyaneshwar Mulay. Then I have
with me Commissioner Industrial Development from the Government of
Karnataka, Shri Gaurav Gupta and of course Mrs. Vani Rao Joint
Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs too.
The way we will handle this is Secretary OIA will
give you a broad understanding of the program of the Pravasi
Bharatiya Divas and what we expect from it and then Shri Gaurav
Gupta will brief you on the Bengaluru specific and rather the
Karnataka specific details. After all there is a particular reason
why we chose to partner with the government of Karnataka this time
so he will brief you in greater detail on that aspect. With that I
give the floor to Shri Dnyaneshwar Mulay.
Secretary (CPV & OIA), Shri Dnyaneshwar Mulay:
Good afternoon friends. The Ministry is organizing the 14th Pravasi
Bharatiya Divas Convention from 7 - 9 January in Bengaluru,
Karnataka. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is a very
important platform for engagement of the government of India and the
state governments with the overseas Indian community. PBD has been
held traditionally on 9th January every year to commemorate the
return of Mahatma Gandhi as a Pravasi from South Africa to India.
Presently there are nearly 3.12 crore i.e. about 31.2
million overseas Indians settled globally, of which nearly 1.34
crore i.e. 13.4 million are Persons of Indian Origin and 1.78 crore
i.e. 17.8 million are Non Resident Indians.
The first PBD was held in January 2003 in New Delhi. So far 13
editions of the PBD Convention have been held, the last in
Gandhinagar, Gujarat in January 2015 which coincided with the 100th
anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa.
The PBD is often held in cities outside Delhi in
partnership with states which have large diaspora populations
outside Delhi. PBD Conventions have traditionally seen participation
of a large number of Overseas Indians, however the convention was
becoming a repetitive event without significant outcomes therefore
the PBD format has been revamped under the guidance of Hon’ble EAM.
The Government has therefore decided that the PBD Convention will
henceforth be held once in two years. As per this decision in 2016,
ten PBD Conferences were held in New Delhi on subjects of relevance
to both overseas Indian community and the Government of India. To
each of these conferences we invited overseas Indians who are domain
experts in their respective fields, policy makers and stakeholders
in India, enabling a direct dialogue between the overseas Indians
and stakeholders in India.
The 14th PBD Convention will be held from 7 to 9
January, 2017, in Bengaluru in partnership with the State of
Karnataka with the theme "Redefining Engagement with the Indian
Diaspora.” We have been working closely with the government of
Karnataka and the representative here today, to organize the event
and we appreciate the cooperation and assistance which we are
receiving from the state government and various departments which
are involved on their behalf.
I will now run through some main program elements of
the 14th PBD Convention. First, the Youth Pravaasi Divas. On January
7, the Youth PBD will be inaugurated by Shri Vijay Goel, Minister of
State Independent Charge for Youth Affairs and Sports and Minister
of State for External Affairs Gen V K Singh. Vice President of
Surinam Mr. Michael Ashwin Adhin who is just 36 years old, will be
the Special Guest.
Youth PBD seeks to reconnect young overseas Indians
with their Indian roots and enhance their awareness of both
contemporary India and the culture and heritage of India. The
inaugural session will be about the theme "Role of Diaspora Youth in
the Transformation of India.” Youth PBD will see participation of
160 Indian origin youth visiting under four of our "Know India”
programs, 250 graduate and postgraduate students from the National
Service Scheme and 200 students from Bengaluru colleges. This has
been arranged so as to have a wider representation.
Highlight of the youth PBD will be sessions on
start-ups and innovations which have a social impact in India and
start-up ecosystem in Karnataka. The Karnataka government will host
a cultural evening focusing on their State’s music and dance forms.
On 8 January, the PBD Convention will be inaugurated
by the Hon’ble Prime Minister who will deliver the keynote address.
Prime Minister of Portugal Dr. Antonio Costa will be the Chief Guest
for the inaugural function. Ministers from Malaysia Dato’ Seri S.
Samy Vellu, Special Envoy of the Government of Malaysia for
Infrastructure, Dato’ Seri Dr. S Subramaniyam, Minister of Health
and Mauritius Minister Mr. Prithvi Raj Singh Roopun will also
participate in the PBD as special guests.
The Union Minister of HRD Shri Prakash Javadekar,
Minister of Culture and Tourism Shri Mahesh Sharma, Minister of
Health Shri J P Nadda, some ministers from the state governments and
several Members of Parliament will also participate.
This will be followed by the Chief Minister's
session. We invited all the Chief Minister to participate as the PBD
is an excellent opportunity for them to connect with the diaspora
and also showcase their respective States. Eight Chief ministers
have so far confirmed including Karnataka, Assam, Chhattisgarh,
Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry. There
will be plenary sessions after lunch, the day culminates with a
cultural evening hosted by the Minister of External Affairs to give
a glimpse of India's varied forms of dance and music.
On January 9, i.e. the last day of the PBD convention
there will be several plenary sessions on issues which are of
significance to the Indian diaspora such as immigration to ECR
countries, role of diaspora organizations, the Indian community in
the Girmitiya countries etc. The Hon’ble President will deliver the
valedictory address and confer the prestigious Pravaasi Bhartiya
Samman awards on 30 Overseas Indians in India and abroad. From 2017
there will be 30 PBSA awards in each PBD convention as the awards
will now be granted once in two years.
On January 9, 2017, Indian missions and consulates
all over the world will also celebrate PBD in their respective
jurisdictions with participation of the overseas Indian community. I
would like to highlight some unique aspects of the PBD Convention
The logo, you might have seen it already, the logo of
the PBD was selected through an open competition launched in
www.mygov.in earlier this year. We developed a portal
www.pbdindia.gov.in which gives program and highlights of the
convention and is being updated regularly. Delegate registration is
also through this portal. All sessions in PBD 2017 will be in
plenary format and there will be no concurrent sessions. This has
been done to ensure good attendance in all the sessions. All
sessions will be interactive to enable a direct dialogue with the
delegates through a designated Q&A session during which Overseas
Indian delegates can convey their suggestions and comments. All
sessions will be live streamed globally.
One of the attractions at the PBD is an exhibition
which will give an opportunity to delegates to know more about the
government's ongoing programs and see the vast strides that the
nation has taken in various sectors and states. For the first time
the PBD exhibition will have five specific themes and zones i.e.
Flagship programs of the Government of India, Schemes and programs
for NRIs and PIOs, Opportunities in states for Business Investment
Tourism, Incentives for NRIs and PIOs etc. then Indian Handicraft
and Cultural Bazaar including sale and demonstration by artisans and
finally Corporate Sector, where it will feature the Indian corporate
sector and PSUs etc.
The highlight of the exhibition is again a pavilion
about India's top 20 social innovators which will feature 20
start-ups selected on the basis of nationwide contest organized by
the Ministry of External Affairs. The contest which was organized on
mygov portal, call for applications from start-ups and innovators
who had a social impact in India. The winner will be awarded a
certificate and cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh. There will be a designated
B2B meeting lounge in the exhibition area, this is being done for
the first time. We have launched a B2B platform online www.pbdb2b.in
through which delegates can pre-arrange meetings with each other,
exhibitors, corporate sector and government official who are
participating in the PBD.
To enable enhanced participation of young Indian
diaspora, registration fees for this segment have been reduced
substantially. The registration fees for group registrations have
also been rationalized so that Indian associations, Community
organizations and Indian Professional organizations abroad can
participate in good numbers. Our Missions and Consulates abroad will
also celebrate PBD on 9th January.
More than 4000 delegates are expected to participate.
We have very good registrations so far and we are hoping that there
will be more registrations in the coming days, particularly from the
overseas participants. We look forward to welcoming diaspora groups
from Malaysia, Mauritius, UAE and Qatar which are sending groups of
Overseas Indians to the PBD. Qatar is in fact sending one of its
largest delegations of Overseas Indians to the PBD, nearly 140
persons. We look forward to welcoming all of them at the PBD in
A mobile app for convenience of delegates has been
introduced for the first time. The app PBD 2017 is available in
Google Play and Apple App Store and can be installed free of cost.
The app will update the delegates about program and other highlights
of PBD 2017 and will give real-time updates of the event. Coupled
with the fact that the venue will have free Wi-Fi, the app is
expected to prove to be a useful tool for delegates on the go. The
app is also eco-friendly and in keeping with technology of the day.
We hope that the Convention will enable the
government to continue our engagement with Overseas Indian
Community, address some issues which pertain to them, take on board
their suggestions and feedback. We will also celebrate at PBD, the
achievements of the Indian diaspora and take pride in their success.
With this I would conclude my opening remarks, if you have any
questions I will be happy to take them. Thank you.
Official Spokesperson, Shri Vikas Swarup:
I would like to thank Secretary, OIA, for giving this comprehensive
briefing on the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. I now turn to our
representative from the Government of Karnataka Shri Gaurav Gupta, a
senior IAS officer, to brief you on the Karnataka specific aspects
of the PBD.
Representative of Karnataka Govt. Shri Gaurav Gupta:
Good afternoon and happy New Year to all of you.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention organized by Ministry of External
Affairs as a flagship event to connect India to the vast diaspora is
being organized 7 - 9th January every year and this time Bengaluru
has been chosen as the venue and Karnataka is the host state.
The main events related to Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
are, 7th January, the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, with
participation of young Indian origin youth. 8th January, the
inauguration of PBD by Hon’ble Prime Minister, session with Chief
Ministers of various states and the other plenary sessions and 9th
there will four plenary sessions and conferment of Pravasi Bharatiya
Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre has been
finalized as the venue for conducting the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
This venue has been visited a number of times. There has been an MoU
which has been signed between the Ministry of External Affairs and
Government of Karnataka. As part of this, it is decided that the
cost of hiring the venue is borne by the State government, the
preparatory work and additional infrastructure at event venue is
being taken up by the event manager appointed and paid for by
Ministry of External Affairs.
Other responsibilities specified in the MoUs are
being carried out by the State Government. In particular, issues of
media, publicity and the outdoor branding etc. are being taken up by
the State Government on the basis of creatives being provided by
Ministry of External Affairs. State Government has also provided for
budgetary support towards the venue cost, advertisement & media,
cultural programs, food, transportation, accommodation etc. and
Government has released the necessary funds for this purpose.
Hon’ble Minister for Large and Medium Industries and
Infrastructure Development, Government of Karnataka has held several
meetings, seven meetings to be precise, with the senior officers of
all departments concerned. The Ministry of External Affairs has also
been present through its representatives in these meetings and
beside that there are various committees that have been constituted
for successful organizing of Pravaasi Bharatiya Divas. This includes
Coordination committee under the chairmanship of far Hon’ble
Minister, Monitoring committee under the chairmanship of Chief
Secretary to Government of Karnataka and sub-committees are chaired
by Additional Chief Secretaries to the Government.
The State Government is also organizing two sessions
and their responsibility has been given to us. 7th January session
to showcase start-up ecosystems in Karnataka which is titled
"Fuelling Growth Through Disruptive Innovations,” knowing fully well
that Karnataka and Bangalore are the start-up centers for India. So
"Fuelling Growth Through Disruptive Innovation” is being organized
by the Department of Information Technology, Bio-technology and
Science & Technology.
Another session will showcase investment
opportunities in Karnataka which is titled "Innovate, Invent and
Invest in Karnataka.” We all know that Karnataka is one of the major
recipient states for foreign direct investments and we look forward
to engaging the diaspora for investments and investment
opportunities in the State of Karnataka.
Karnataka Government will also be arranging cultural
programs on 7th January which will be choreographed and presented by
the Department of Culture. This will be followed by dinner for the
Yuva Pravasi Bharatiya Divas delegates, again hosted by the State
Government. We are also providing for university students
participation in the Youth Pravasi Divas programs on the 7th of
On the 9th, lunch is also being hosted by the State
Government. State Government is also organizing industrial visits on
7th and 10th January. These industrial visits are to various
locations of interest, I will specifically mention visit to
Information Technology Park Ltd in Whitefield organized by
Department of Information Technology and Biotechnology, visit to
IAMAI Mobile accelerator NASSCOM 10k start-up warehouse, NASSCOM-IoT
Centre of Excellence in Diamond district Domlur organized by
Department of Information Technology and visit to the Electronics
City Association and Bangalore Bio-innovation Centre Bangalore
organized by Department of Biotechnology, Government of Karnataka.
And also the fourth visit to High-tech Defence and Aerospace Park
Devanahalli. This will be organized by the Karnataka Industries
We are also organizing a number of sightseeing tours
which are being organized by the Department of Tourism, Government
of Karnataka, which includes day-sightseeing tours around Bangalore.
Mysore, Kabini and such other places by Karnataka State Tourism
Development Corporation on payment basis. I would also like to
mention that the State Government has been allocated one thousand
square meters of exhibition space at the PBD Exhibition for
showcasing the policies, and progress of State Government and public
The design and execution of this Karnataka pavilion
is also being taken up by us. We also are organizing the media &
publicity through newspapers, hoardings, airport hoardings, bus
shelters and bus branding and through skywalks, gantries and metro
pillars etc. Newspaper advertisements will also be taken up on 8th
and 9th January by the State government on the basis of the list
forwarded by Government of India.
We are organizing a number of liaison officers for
assisting the guests and also arranging for protocol. The list of
speakers, the MPs of Parliamentary Committees and External Affairs,
Chief Ministers of 9 states, Chief Guest and Special guest for Youth
Pravasi Divas who are invited and this list of liaison officers has
been shared and we have also held one session to brief them about
the arrangements required.
Shuttle services are also being provided between the
city and the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre, the venue is
about the 15 to 20 km away on the Tumkur road and the commute time
will be typically about one hour.
As regards to security, a lot of effort has gone into
this. Traffic management plan and security plan for the
participating dignitaries has been prepared by the Home Department.
Additional CCTV cameras and baggage scanners sought by the police
department are being arranged and regarding parking space outside
the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre and across the
National Highway 4 on Tumkur road have been blocked. The NHAI has
been asked and they have agreed to remove the median opposite the
venue on the event day so that we can have smooth flow of traffic.
Toll free exclusively lanes for movement of PBD
delegates during the event days has been arranged. Fire and
emergency services are in place. The work of asphalting of four
helipads and connecting road to BIEC has been initiated and this
will be over soon. 2000 Souvenirs Mysore inlay work on Rosewood is
being prepared by Kanaka Handicraft Development Corporation for
presentation to the delegates. Karnataka tourist guidebooks are
being arranged by the Department for insertion in the delegate kits.
City beautification works have been initiated by the
Municipal Corporation of Bangalore i.e. Bangalore Development
Authority and Horticulture Department. Action has been initiated for
setting up the dispensary & emergency health services in the venue
premises. Disaster management plan, a detailed disaster management
plan is in place and also there have been special permissions issued
by the Commercial Tax Department for transport of goods to and from
the venue for the exhibition participants.
Temporary TIN numbers for exhibition participants who
wish to sell items is also being arranged. Facilitation desk for
dignitaries and delegates is arranged in the airport for
coordination between the logistics partner of MEA and the
International airport in Bangalore. There are other works which are
relating to infrastructure in the city, a road over-bridge near the
venue has been completed, uninterrupted power supply is being
provided and arrangements have also been made for issue of passes
for the registered delegates in consultation with MEA. MEA is
printing the passes and the distribution will be taken care of by
us. We were providing a center for this purpose. The details of
several other programs are with me and as and when required I will
share with you.