PM Narendra Modi At Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Says Want To Turn Brain-Drain Into Brain-Gain: Highlights

"Strong links with our diaspora is of vital importance for us," PM Narendra Modi said

Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas In Bengaluru today. The 14th edition of the three-day event began in the country's IT hub yesterday with the spotlight on the role of youth in transforming the society and India's potential to play the role of a 'Vishwa Guru' again. Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa was the chief guest of the meet. The session was also attended by Suriname Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh.

Here are the highlights of PM Modi's speech:
  • It is a great pleasure for me to welcome all of you on this 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas
  • Thousands of people are attending this, while millions more are connected through the internet.
  • This day is a celebration to mark the return to India of one of the greatest Pravasis
  • Engagement with the overseas Indian community has been a key area of priority
  • Pravasi divas a tribute to a great pravasi, Mahatma Gandhi
  • The true identity of this event is you, the overseas Indians. It is a matter of pride for us that you all are here to attend this.
  • There are over 30 million overseas Indians living abroad. They are not just respected for their numbers, but for the contributions they make
  • NRIs and PIOs have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields
  • They are role models for immigrants from other backgrounds and countries…. They take our values and culture wherever they go.
  • The Indian diaspora have contributed their best towards progress in that country.
  • Remittance of close to sixty nine billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy
  • When people spoke of brain drain, it was believed that the brighter people went abroad seeking employment opportunities… but we are converting that brain drain to brain gain
  • The welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is our top priority
  • For those workers who seek economic opportunities abroad, our effort is to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has particularly been proactive and prompt in reaching out to distressed Indians abroad using social media
  • We don't see the colour of passports, but the relations
    written by blood. (Hum Passport ka rang nahi dekhte hain, khoon ka rishta dekhte hain)
  • Will launch skill development programme, Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojna for Indian youth who seek employment overseas
  • I urge PIO card holders to convert their PIO cards into OCI cards
  • Starting with Mauritius, we are working to put in place procedures so that descendants of Girmitiyas could become eligible for OCI Cards
  • We remain committed to addressing similar difficulties of PIOs in Fiji, Reunion Islands, Suriname, Guyana and other Caribbean States.
  • Indians have been abroad for many generations now…. I complement the way they have adjusted to make the best of both cultures… They make us proud.
  • I welcome all young Pravasis… You must stay connected with India and return over and over again. This is your home.
  • We wish to establish closer ties with the young overseas Indians
  • For me FDI has two definitions. One is 'Foreign Direct Investment' and the other is 'First Develop India'
  • You all must have seen and heard that we have taken action against corruption and black money…. These have been corroding our system from within…. India needed to take a stand and so we have… 
  • We will no longer have any space for corruption and black money to exist. Our diaspora has supported the Government's moves against corruption and black money, and I thank you all for your support.
  • Last year 5000 Indians participated in know India quiz. This year I want to see 50,000. Are you with me? 
  • Know India programme started to reconnect PIOs with the country. 160 of them are here 
  • No matter where we are around the globe, it is our common cultural bond that brings us together
  • We have extended the deadline for PIO card conversions to OCI from 31 December 2016, until June 30, 2017 without any penalty.
  • From 1st of January this year, beginning with Delhi & Bengaluru, we have set up special counters at immigration points for OCI cardholders
  • We want it to become a symbol of global migration, achievements & aspirations of the Diaspora
  • A special welcome to the young Pravasis – I hope that on returning to your respective countries, you will remain connected with us
  • Whether knowledge, time or money, we welcome your contributions that strengthen India's partnership with overseas community