New Delhi: The 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas will be held in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi from January 21-23 and the Indian diaspora attending the event will also have the opportunity to participate in Kumbh Mela and attend the Republic Day parade. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, while announcing the details of the event here, said the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is held on January 9 every year to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India in 1915, but this year it is delayed keeping in mind requests from members of the Indian diaspora to attend the Kumbh Mela and the Republic Day Parade.
Singh, at a media briefing, said Uttar Pradesh will be the partner state for the event and a novel feature this year will be the concept of ‘Varanasi hospitality’ under which local people will host the Indians living abroad at their homes as “family guests”. The Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas will be the highlight of the first day, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part in the official inauguration on January 22. The chief guest for that event will be Mauritius Prime Minister Praveen Jugnauth.
On the third day of the event, President Ram Nath Kovind will award the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. After that the participants will be taken by road to the Kumbh in Prayagraj and from there by train they will come to Delhi on January 25 to attend the Republic Day Parade the next day. “The scale of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is very large this time with 5,000 registrations by Indian diaspora from across the globe till now,” he said.
Two chief ministers — Uttarakhand’s Trivendra Singh Rawat and Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar — have confirmed their participation while invitations to all chief ministers have been sent out and many of them are expected to attend, he said. Asked about the benefits the event has brought in terms of investments and other tangible outcomes, Singh said it had resulted in unprecedented outreach to the Indian diaspora across the globe.
He said there will be 30 awardees this years who have been selected by a jury headed by the Vice President. Singh said the UP government will also hold a Pravasi Bhartiya Divas of its own during the event.