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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9 January every year to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government, reconnect them with their roots and celebrate their achievements and contributions. PBD is celebrated on January 9 as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa to lead Indiaâ€™s freedom struggle.
In 2015 the Government of India revised the format of PBD and re-energized its engagement with the Indian Diaspora to enable sustained and more substantive engagement. Following the review, the PBD Convention will be held once in two years in a city outside Delhi. In the intervening year, smaller, outcome-based PBD Conferences will be organized in New Delhi on issues of concern to the Indian Diaspora. It was decided that Indian Missions and Consulates will also celebrate PBD every year.
Through the first series of PBD Conferences which commenced in February 2016 the Government is proactively engaging with the Overseas Indians in an issue-based dialogue.
As a run up to PBD 2017, 10 PBD Conferences (panel discussions) have been held in 2016 on issues of importance to the Indian Diaspora. Domain experts from the Diaspora, and stakeholders and policy makers based in India have been invited for day-long deliberations on various topics. Their recommendations have been submitted to the Government of India for consideration. At the 14th PBD Convention in January 2017, each PBD Conference will present their recommendations, and the Action Taken Report to PBD delegates for their suggestions and comments.
The 14th PBD Convention January 2017:
PBD 2017 which will focus on the theme â€œRedefining engagement with the Indian Diasporaâ€ will
Background for Plenary Session IV (ii)
This session on â€œRole of Diaspora in Transferring Knowledge and Encouraging Innovationâ€ aims at developing a strategy to make India one of the top five global scientific powers and evolve a roadmap to strengthen the existing institutions through PPP and be in the forefront of knowledge and technology revolution with the diaspora playing a leading role to provide innovative solutions to challenges faced by the Indain economy.
Under the PBD 2016 Conference titled â€œRole of Diaspora in Transferring Knowledge and Encouraging Innovation (Science and Technology, Education, Start-up India)â€ organised on 30th July 2016 in New Delhi, 25 domain experts from the diaspora, stakeholders and policy makers discussed strategy for developing Indiaâ€™s technological prowess, harness diasporas collective energy and knowledge-base for Indiaâ€™s development.
Chairperson, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Honâ€™ble External Affairs Minister re-emphasised Indiaâ€™s aim to be one of the top 5 scientific powers globally. She called for a roadmap involving public private partnership, strengthening and expanding existing institutions of excellence and incentivizing research in India and the need to be in the forefront of the knowledge and technology revolution.
Some important recommendations made by the participants were:
The recommendations of the PBD Conference were submitted for consideration and follow up.
The Plenary Session at the 14th PBD will focus on engaging Indian diaspora in innovation and enhancing human capital. It will address the high drop-out rates; development of meta-skills for innovation and building linkages between Innovation & start-up ecosystem.
The session will also discuss how to create avenues for crowd-funding, enabling innovation and start-up clusters across various metro cities and exploring opportunities for awards to Diaspora for contribution to innovation, technology and research.
The key areas of discussion would include the following: