Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs announced a paradigm shift in the format of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, its engagement with the diaspora, that is to be held every alternate year.
The January 2016 event will be scaled down with the participation of just 150 specially invited foreign delegates who will be invited to attend sessions to brainstorm on issues such as the problems of the diaspora in the Gulf as well as the government’s programmes – Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, and the problems PIOs face. The January event will be held in the new PBD Kendra.
Sharma said the smaller events will be held in the Delhi office and the major mela will be held every two years in a different state. Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have shown interest in hosting the event. Apart from this the Regional PBD that is held abroad will be in Los Angeles, California on November 14-15. US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to attend.
Among other new changes in the format, a quiz was also announced that will involve diaspora youth in learning about India, and winners will be awarded prizes.