Modi to inaugurate Indian diaspora conclave in Varanasi (Curtainraiser)

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the Indian diaspora conclave, in Varanasi on Tuesday in which at least 5,000 delegates from the overseas candidate community are expected to participate.

“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 January 21 to 23, 2019, instead of January 9,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

“After the convention, participants will visit Prayagraj for Kumbh Mela on January 24,” it stated.

“They will then proceed to Delhi on January 25 and witness the Republic Day parade at New Delhi on January 26.”

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The theme of PBD 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”.

The government had last year announced that the 15th PBD will be organised between January 21 and 23, instead of from January 9 — the day Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa to India — in reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora community to participate in Kumbh Mela and Republic Day celebrations.

“We can see the reflection of the excitement of people in the registration. Because of the two attractions (Kumbh Mela and Republic Day) this time, the number of registration has gone up by 2.5 to three times, with 5,802 registrations so far,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the media during a joint briefing with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow on January 16.

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“Till now, the maximum number of people from a country used to be 50-60, now there are countries from where people are coming in a group of 400,” Swaraj said.

She said the aim of the government was to attract the new generation to the country and tell them about the culture.

Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth will be the chief guest of this year’s PBD and will also address Tuesday’s inaugural ceremony.–IANS

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