Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: As it happened on Thursday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the 13th edition of ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas’ in Gandhinagar.

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: As it happened on Thursday

12:47 pm: Mission to clean Ganga is of great religious and environmental value; key to economic development of 40 percent of India's population, says PM.

12:45 pm: PM says, there is one more issue, for which I am very concerned, ie to clean 'Maa Ganga'. PM Modi invites the NRIs to help in whatever way possible to rejuvenate the Ganga river.

12:42 pm: There is a different strength when we meet our own people and share our joys, sorrows. It is a source of great energy. Everything is not measured in dollars or pounds and the relationship we have with Pravasis is beyond that, asserts PM. 

12:40 pm: I know the problems you faced. That is why visa on arrival facilities are being made available for several nation, PM Modi tells Indian diaspora. 

12:38 pm: PM Modi jokingly says he knows the pain of not getting a visa.

12:35 pm: PIO and OCI have been merged, everyone will get the same benefits, PM Modi tells dispora. 

12:33 pm: When India goes through troubled times, the NRIs staying around the world feel the pain, says PM. 

12:32 pm: We have so much to give to the world. What is needed is the confidence in ourselves, says PM.

12:29 pm: PM says 177 countries supported India's proposal to celebrate International Yoga Divas at United Nations.

12:28 pm: PM describes Indian diaspora as "great capital" for the country and appeals to the community of over 25 million people living in over 200 countries to help transform the nation.

12:27 pm: I am convinced that people of Indian origin are our capital and strength, PM says adding that, if we focus on this segment, we can create a lot of respect for the country globally.

12:25 pm: Indian community is admired all around the world. It is not due to the money but the values the Indian community is living with, asserts PM.

12:23 pm: During my meetings with several world leaders, I have learnt that every country whether rich or poor is looking at India, says PM.

12:20 pm: The more the entire world gets to know about Mahatma Gandhi, it will be better, says PM. 

12:19 pm: PM says world is looking towards India with hope and optimism.

12:17 pm: Speaking to Indian diaspora PM said, there are several opportunities waiting for you in India as times have changed very quickly.

12:15 pm: PM Narendra Modi delivers the inaugural address to the Indian diaspora.

11:23 am: Successful and prosperous diaspora is an asset to India. PM Narendra Modi has taken lead to reach out to the diaspora, says Swaraj.

11:22 am: Swaraj welcomes PM Modi, says without his guidance and leadership the PBD event would not be possible at such a big scale. 

11:20 am: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj begins her speech at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) event.

11:15 am: PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 13th edition of 'Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas'.

9:45 am: The Prime Minister views exhibits at Dandi Kutir in Gandhinagar. Modi went around the exhibits related to Gandhi's life at the Gandhi Kutir and also wrote on the visitor's book.


9:30 am: PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the Salt Mountain, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, built near the Mahatma Mandir complex here, the venue of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).

9:00 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 13th edition of ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas’ in Gandhinagar.

PM Modi arrived in Gujarat yesterday night. He was received by Governor OP Kohli and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel at Ahmedabad airport.

Huge Elaborate security arrangements have been made for PM's visit to his homestate.

In 2003 former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had started the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.

A trade show has also been organised along with the exhibition by the Gujarat Government. While PBD will end on January 9, the trade show would remain open till January 13, coinciding with the Vibrant Gujarat Summit (Jan 11-13).

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday inaugurated the Youth PBD, being attended by hundreds of diaspora youth from across the world.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 2015 Youth PBD, Sushma Swaraj urged the diaspora youth to contribute to the country's development.

"We want you, the Pravasis, to contribute to the development of India. We want you to participate in the vision that Prime Minister Modi has for India's future," she said and enumerated the programmes launched by the government, including Make in India, Smart Cities, Swachch Bharat, and Skill India.

"Atalji started PBD in 2003 as Prime Minister, while Modiji started Vibrant Summit as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Today, after so many years, both these events are taking place almost simultaneously at one place, because we are also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India. There can't be any place better than Gujarat to celebrate it," said Swaraj.

She took a dig at past UPA Governments for not giving permission to hold PBD in Gujarat and credited Prime Minister Modi for brining the event to the State.

Around 4,000 delegates have arrived for the PBD, an annual gathering of Indian diaspora aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages.

There are 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India.

The event is being held in Gandhinagar Jan 7-9 to mark the centenary of the return to the country of India's "sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya" or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa.

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