21st century will belong to India: PM tells Pravasi Indians

Calvin SaundersJan 10, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reached Bengaluru to inaugurate the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Remittance of close to 69 billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy, the PM said. "Effective steps are being taken to increase the rate of conviction in such cases", he said.

India was fast moving on the path of development, he said, and added: "One definition of FDI is Foreign Direct Investment, while the other is "First Develop India".

He concluded by expressing his confidence, saying, "21st century would be the century of India".

Emphasising that engagement with overseas Indian community was a key area of priority for the government, he said, "We want to convert brain drain to brain gain". PM Modi announced that his government would shortly launch a new skills development programme called "Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana" to provide training for unskilled youth looking for opportunities overseas. It is a matter of pride for us that you all are here to attend this.

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The President conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to thirty Overseas Indians for their achievements and contribution both in India and abroad. He said, Indians staying overseas are respected not only for their strength in numbers but also for the contributions they make. They are true role models for immigration from other backgrounds and countries. The Indian diaspora have contributed their best towards progress in that country.

PM Modi said that those opposing the note ban were "political worshippers" of graft and black money, which had adversely impacted the economy and polity. "We are also taking strict actions against illegal immigrants". "Black money and corruption are making our polity, society and administration hollow gradually", he said at the three-day event, which is being billed as the largest ever.

Speaking about Indians living overseas, Modi said, "30 million Indians overseas are valued not just for strength in numbers but for contributions to India and to countries where they live".

"It is very saddening to see some black money supporters maligning the moves against corruption", he added. Today at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Bengaluru, PM have given a clarity on the deadline for PIO-OCI card conversion to be 30th June.

Modi also spoke of the Girmityas, descendants of labourers in Fiji, Mauitius, Suriname and Carribean islands and said efforts were on, particularly in Suriname, to give them OCI cards.

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With the recent spate of alleged molestation cases here triggering national outrage, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the incidents were being viewed seriously and protecting the dignity of women is his government's top priority.

According to PM Modi, NRIs and PIOs have made an fantastic contribution to their chosen field.

Speaking at the inaugural session Dr Singh said Science andTechnology had helped the Indian diaspora make a good living withtheir high skillsets, be it agricultural workers who migrated todifferent countries centuries ago or technocrats who were nowdriving the fortunes of several advanced countries.

More than 6,000 delegates from across the world registered for the event at India's IT capital.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention is a crucial platform for engagement of the central and state governments with the Overseas Indian Community.

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