4000 delegates attending Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 13th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 8 at Gandhinagar's sprawling Mahatma Mandir complex. In his inaugural address to some 4000 delegates from over 58 countries, Modi said the world is looking at India with hope and optimism, and several opportunities await NRIs who will be welcomed warmly. Modi praised the diaspora and said the world admires the Indian community because of the values they live by. He acknowledged the problems NRIs face and reiterated the convenient facility of the visa upon arrival that is being extended to several countries. Others expected to address the event include Vice President Hamid Ansari, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other senior Cabinet Ministers, as well as prominent NRI personalities. The PBD is hosting four special sessions – on issues of Labour and Employment in Gulf countries; a session on Girmitiyas; a session on the Francophone diaspora; and The Role of Indian Diaspora Organisations. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is being held in Gandhinagar to mark the centenary of India's foremost diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi's, return to the country from South Africa. The meet aims at connecting India to its vast overseas diaspora and bring their expertise and skills to a common platform. The PBD is the flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. 25 million people of Indian origin now live outside India which is the single largest recipient of remittances from abroad at $70 billion.