Prime Minister to inaugurate 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention in Varanasi on 22 January, 2019

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh tomorrow on 22 January, 2019. 
For the first time, the three day long convention is being organized in Varanasi from 21-23 January, 2019. The theme of PBD Convention 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”. 
In reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora to participate in Kumbh Mela and Republic Day celebrations, the 15th PBD Convention is being organised from 21 to 23 January 2019 instead of 9th January. After the Convention, participants will visit Prayagraj for Kumbh Mela on 24th January. They will then proceed to Delhi on 25th January and witness the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi on 26th January 2019. 
Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Jugnauth will be the chief guest of the PBD convention. Mr. Himanshu Gulati, Member of Parliament of Norway, will be the Special Guest while Mr. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Member of Parliament of New Zealand will be the Guest of Honor at the 15th edition of PBD. 
Key events of this edition include- 
21 January, 2019- Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. The event will provide opportunities for the young Diaspora to engage with New India. 
22 January 2019 – Inauguration of PBD convention by Prime Minister in presence of Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth.
23 January 2019 – Valedictory Session & Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards by the President of India. 
Various plenary sessions are also scheduled during the event. The evenings are marked with cultural programs. 
The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) was taken by the former Indian Prime Minister, late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The 1st PBD was celebrated on 9th January, 2003 in New Delhi. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate PBD as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, had returned to India from South Africa.
PBD now celebrated once in every two years, provides a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and reconnect with their roots.  During the Convention, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is conferred on the selected overseas Indians for their significant contributions to various fields both in India and abroad. 
14th PBD held during 7–9 January 2017 at Bengaluru, Karnataka was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The theme for the 14th PBD was “Redefining engagement with the Indian diaspora”.  In his address, Mr. Modi had said that Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values and are respected for their contributions. He underlined the importance of a continuous engagement with the overseas Indian community as a key area of priority for the Government.

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