Pravasi Bharatiya Divas – A celebration of NRIs
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on 9th of January every year, to acknowledge the contribution of NRIs to the development of India. The day also commemorates the arrival of Mahatama Gandhi in India from South Africa.
It is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs of the Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). A celebratory event is held between 7th-9th January each year in an Indian city. The event is graced by some of the most powerful bureaucrats of India including the Prime Minister and the President.
The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High Level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora set up by government of India under the chairmanship of L. M. Singhvi. The then Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Bajpayee after receiving the report of the Committee at a public function at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on 8 January 2002, announced the “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas”(PBD) on 9 January that year. The day was chosen to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915.
The occasion is marked by special programs to recognize the contributions of NRI/PIO individuals of exceptional merit, felicitate NRI/PIO individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field/profession (Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Hindi: NRI/PIO Award)) and provide a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the diaspora. The event has been organized 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 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas took place on 7–9 January 2010 and was webcast live at the official Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs website, also covered live on social media via live blogging and live tweeting at Pravasi Bharatiya, an online platform powered by Kotak Mahindra Bank. An investment facilitation platform for overseas Indians, the Overseas Indians Facilitation Center, was launched by India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, with a view of strengthening ties with the diaspora for partnering in India’s growth story on the occasion.
The 2012 Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held from 7–9 January 2012. The venue was Jaipur, Rajasthan. Chief Guest of this event was the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The 2013 Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held from 8–9 January 2013 in Kochi, Kerala. Chief Guest of this event was the President of Mauritius, Rajkeshwar Purryag. The 2015 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held in Ahmedabad celebrating 100 years of Mahatma’s return to India. Chief guest was Mr. Donald Ramtar, President of Republic of Guyana. The theme for this was “Apna Bharat Apna Gaurav” “Connecting Generations”.