The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is observed and celebrated on 9 January across our nation. A person is considered to be a non resident Indian when he/she resides out of India. An individual is deemed to be a resident, if (A) Individual has resided in India in that year for 182 days or more or (B) Having within the 4 years preceding that year been in India for 365 days or more and is in India for 60 days or more in that year.
It is a day to acknowledge and mark the contribution of the Indian community staying abroad in the development of the country. Besides, it’s a day dedicated to the overseas Indian community and celebrated once every two years.
Aim of the celebration
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated grandly to strengthen the engagement of the Government of India with the overseas Indian community. The main idea behind this event is to reconnect the Non-Resident Indian community with their original roots.
The convention allows NRIs to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities.
In 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa on this day. Following his return, the father of the nation began and headed India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of millions of Indians forever. That is why, 9 January was picked to celebrate the occasion.
However, since 2003, the PBD Convention has been organising this Divas from 7 to 9 January every year in the national capital. The PBD holds the event with a vast overseas diaspora to let them share their knowledge, skills and expertise on a common platform.
Later on, in 2015, the format was revised to mark and observe the PBD convention once every two years. The organisers further decided to hold theme-based conferences with participation from policymakers, stakeholders and overseas diaspora experts.
This day plays a significant role as the residents’ overseas Indian community gets a shared platform to get themselves engaged with the government and the native people of the land.
About the celebration
The occasion is marked by special programs to recognise the contributions of NRI/PIO individuals of exceptional merit, felicitate NRI/PIO individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field/profession and provide a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the diaspora.
The event has been organised every year since 2003, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), initially sponsored by FICCI.
The theme of the 16th PBD Convention 2021 is ‘Contributing to Atma Nirbhar Bharat’. Announced on 12 May 2020, Atma Nirbhar Bharat is a vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the aim of making the country independent against the tough competition in global supply chain and empowering citizens to become self-reliant.
The five pillars of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ are stated as economy, infrastructure, technology-driven systems, vibrant demography and demand. A wide number of leaders took to social media to share their thoughts about Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu shared a series of tweets extending his greetings. He tweeted, “My greetings on Pravasi Bhartiya Divas! Our NRIs carry the fragrance of this ancient land to far away places and with their hard work, enhance India’s reputation overseas.”
Further, the Vice President added that the NRIs bring new ideas, good practices and investments, thus contributing significantly to the growth of the country in multiple ways.