In addition, “mini regional PBDs” would be held in two places where the Indian origin populace is less concentrated in order to increase their sense of involvement with their country of origin. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is also minister of overseas Indian affairs, announced the changed format of India’s engagement with its diaspora at a press conference here.
Sushma Swaraj said that in January 2016, a much scaled-down event will be held with the participation of just 150 specially invited foreign delegates.The invited diaspora guests will be experts who would attend various sessions to brainstorm on issues, including the problem of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf, on the government’s flagship programs like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, and problems that Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) face, she said.
Swaraj announced that the “smaller events” of the PBD would be held in the Delhi office every alternate year, while the major “mela” would be held every two years in a different state in partnership with that state government.She said Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have evinced interest in hosting the diaspora event. Swaraj said the forthcoming PBD in Delhi would be more “academic”.She announced a quiz competition “Bharat ko Janiye” in order to involve the diaspora youth in learning about India.The 20 winners — 10 from PIO countries and 10 from countries with NRIs — would be awarded at the PBD.Announcing the competition, Sushma Swaraj said diaspora Indians between the ages 18-35 could apply to join the quiz, in which there would be two rounds. She also announced that instead of honoring 15 diaspora achievers at the Delhi PBD, the government would honour an additional 15 diaspora at the mega PBD to be held every two years.