A High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, headed by Shri L. M. Singhvi, had recommended in January 2002 that the Government must renew and strengthen linkages of overseas Indians to their place of origin and with each other. The committee recommended that a Pravasi Bharatiya Bhavan should be set up to emerge as the focal point for networking between India and its overseas Indian community; and as a suitable place which would commemorate the trials, tribulations, the evolution and achievements of the Indian Diaspora. Taking this recommendation forward in January 2004, at the second Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) organized in Delhi.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003. It is sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs of the government of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.
These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields.
During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth. The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.
Recently, the 14th PBD Convention held from 7 to 9 January, 2017 in Bengaluru in partnership with Karnataka on theme “Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora.”
Youth PBD seeks to reconnect young overseas Indians with their Indian roots and enhance their awareness of both contemporary India and the culture and heritage of India.