Every year, January 9 is celebrated as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of the nation. This year, amid the COVID-19 surge, Non-Resident Indians (NRI) across the globe are coming together to celebrate the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in a virtual format. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 16th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is the flagship event of the Ministry of External Affairs and provides an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been celebrated every year since January 9, 2003. However, in the year 2015, its format was revised to celebrate the PBD once every two years and to hold theme-based PBD Conferences during the intervening period with participation from overseas diaspora experts, policymakers and stakeholders.

History of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:

On January 9, 1915, Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa. The ‘Father of the Nation’ led India’s freedom struggle from British rule which us Independence and gave birth to a new republic.

To mark this day of Bapu’s return, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or Non-Resident Indian Day is celebrated.

Significance of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas holds a great significance as the day not only reconnects NRIs with their roots but celebrates their achievements. This day also acknowledges the difficulties faced by Indian expatriate workers living abroad.

PBD Conventions help in creating a network of NRIs in all the countries of the world and connecting the younger generation with immigrants so that they can evolve and contribute significantly to the development of the country.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2021 theme:

The theme of the 16th PBD Convention 2021 is “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. On this day, the government focuses on reconnecting overseas Indians with their roots and create a network of NRIs in all the countries of the world to connecting the younger generation with immigrants.

On January 8, Youth PBD was celebrated virtually on the theme “Bringing together Young Achievers from India and Indian Diaspora” anchored by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman:

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are conferred by the President of India to NRIs or, PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) or an organization established by NRIs or PIOs to recognize their achievements and honour their contributions to various fields, both in India and overseas, as per Jagran Josh.