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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

  • 11 Jan 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.

  • On the occasion, several events such as PBD Convention, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award and Bharat ko Janiye Quiz are organised.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • 9th January was chosen as the day to celebrate PBD since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
  • PBD Conventions: These are held once every two years.
    • PBD 2021: The 16th PBD Convention was held virtually in New Delhi. The theme was "Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat".
    • Chief Guest: President of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
    • Highlights:
      • Response to the Pandemic:
        • Despite dependence on critical things like PPE kits, masks, ventilators or testing kits, India developed its capabilities not only to become self-reliant but started exporting many things.
        • India’s drugs regulator has approved the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.
      • Use of Technology:
      • Recent Initiatives:
      • Initiatives for Indian Diaspora:
      • 75th Anniversary of India’s Freedom (2021):
        • The Prime Minister asked the members of the diaspora and people in Indian Missions world over to prepare a portal, a digital platform where contribution of the Pravasi Bharatiyas in the freedom struggle of India can be documented.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award:
    • It is the highest honour conferred on a Non-Resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin; or an organisation or institution established and run by Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who have made significant contribution in better understanding of India abroad, support India's causes and concerns in a tangible way, community work abroad, welfare of local Indian community, philanthropic and charitable work, etc.
    • During the PBD convention, select eminent Indian diaspora members are awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards in the presence of the President of India.
    • 30 Winners of the 2021 Award: Including Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Curacao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath and New Zealand minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan.
  • Third Edition Bharat ko Janiye Quiz (2021):
    • It was launched in 2015-16 in order to strengthen the engagement with young overseas Indians (18-35) and encourage them to know more about their country of origin.
    • The first edition was held in 2015-16 and the second one in 2018-19.
    • Fifteen winners of the Quiz were announced during the PBD convention and will be invited for an India Tour (Bharat ko Janiye Darshan) after Covid.


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