Photo Credit: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas website
A special regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held early next year in Singapore. The event will commemorate 25 years of partnership between India and Singapore and build a stronger bond between the two countries.
The event is scheduled to be held on January 6-7, 2018 at the Marina Bay Sands Conventions Centre ahead of the India-ASEAN Summit that will be held in New Delhi at the end of the month.
“The choice of Singapore was obvious. It is at the heart of ASEAN,” Jawed Ashraf, the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, told Connected to India. “It has been in some sense our gateway to the East, has an extraordinary, vibrant Indian diaspora. So, it reflects both Singapore’s centrality of our engagement with ASEAN and the emergence of very talented community of Indians here. The event will highlight the ancient bonds between India and ASEAN and how the diaspora will be part of a new journey in the 21st century.”
Ashraf, who also spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s positive endeavors in connecting with Indians abroad and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s digital diplomacy to interact with overseas citizens, pointed out that the upcoming event will deepen the connections among the Indian diaspora community of Singapore. The occasion will focus on encouraging the youth and make them the driving force in the fields of innovation, technology and start-ups.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was launched by the Vajpayee government in 2003 to connect overseas Indians all over the world. It was organised as an annual event until 2015, after which the government decided to make it biennial. The 2017 chapter was held in Bengaluru. It is celebrated on January 9 to mark the day when Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa.
The Ministry of External Affairs also organizes Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas periodically outside India to connect with the Indian diaspora in specific regions, familiarize them with the policies and programmes of the government, enable them to contribute to India’s development and growth, and address their concerns.