[Diplomacy] 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013: Highlights, issues, awards

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Majid Hussain
  1. Indian Diaspora: overview
  2. Remittances
  3. What is Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)?
  4. Why is PBD celebrated on 9th January?
  5. What happens during PBD?
  6. 10th vs 11th: Themes, location, chief-guest
  7. What did Mohan say?
    1. #1: Invest in India
    2. #2: Safety for Indians abroad
    3. #3: Social security Deals
    4. #4: Ghadar Stamp
  8. What did President Pranab say?
  9. What did Purryag say?
  10. Criticism against Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)
    1. #1: Travel problems
    2. #2: Voting rights
    3. #3: Other problems
  11. Air Kerala
  12. Awards: (PBSA)?
  13. How are Award winners selected?
  14. Mock questions

Overview of Indian Diaspora?

  • Indian Diaspora is second largest in the world after China.
  • About 25 million people spread across 200+ countries.
  • 5 million of them in gulf region.
Nobel Winner Indian Diaspora
Name field
  1. Dr. HarGobind Khorana
Medicine
  1. S. Chandrasekhar
Physics
  1. Venkatarama Ramakrishnan
Chemistry

Remittances

  • Remittance= Indian person working abroad, and sends money back to his family in India.
  • According to World Bank report, the remittances received by India is higher than China. (despite the fact the size of Chinese diospora >> Indian).
Country China India
Remittances in billion dollars (2012) 66 70

What is Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)?

  • Every 9th January. Since 2003.
  • Organized by Ministry of Overseas affairs.
  • This day is celebrated to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
  • It provides an interaction platform for overseas Indians to address their issues and concerns to Indian Government.

Why is PBD celebrated on 9th January?

What happens during PBD?

  • It is usually a three day event (7 to 9 January).
  • Delegates from various countries participate in seminars, conferences.
  • Speeches made by by PM, President.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards given to meritorious people.
  • This convention also helps in “networking” among the overseas Indian community. So they can share their experiences in various fields, make business deals etc.

10th vs 11th: Themes, location, chief-guest

10th (Jan.2012) 11th (Jan.2013)
Location Jaipur Kochi
Theme Global Indian: Inclusive Growth Engaging diaspora – the Indian growth story’
Chief guest Kamla Persad Bissessar (PM of Trinidad and Tobago ) Rajkeswur Purryag (President of Mauritius)
  • About 2,000 Non-Resident Indian delegates from 44 countries participated in the 11th CBD.

What did PM say?

#1: Invest in India

  • In last four years, Two financial crisis emerged from the developed world.
  • Between
  • 2004-10, our GDP growth rate was 8%, but in 2011-12 it has came down to 6.5%.
  • But we are confident that things will be back on track.
  • So NRIs, please be partners of India’s growth (=you fellas invest money in India so we can develop).
  • We need new approaches to address challenges in infrastructure, education, energy, water and agriculture.

#2: Safety for Indians abroad

  • Indian expatriate community has developed a more global presence.
  • And in the process, they’ve also become more vulnerable to economic crises, conflicts, civil unrest or just senseless hate crimes.
  • We are concerned about the safety and security of overseas Indians. (in individual hate crimes, and in national crisis such as Arab spring, Libya etc.)
  • We want not just “physical” safety but also social + emotional well-being of Indians living overseas. Therefore:
  1. We’ve launched an insurance scheme for workers.
  2. We’ve established welfare funds in embassies for distressed Indians.
  3. We’ve created mechanisms to help vulnerable women abroad.

#3: Social security Deals

  • We’ve signed four new social security agreements with Finland, Canada, Japan, and Sweden, to provide provide exemption from double payment of social security.
  • Very soon we’ll also sign two more agreements with Austria and Portugal
  • We’ve also negotiating such agreements with GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.

#4: Ghadar Stamp

  1. We’ve launched this Rs.5 Ghadar Stamp
  2. We’ll upgrade of the Ghadar memorial in San Francisco into a functional museum and library
  3. We’ll also install a sculpture in that memorial, to honour Ghadar patriots.

Ghadar Movement stamp released

Gadar Stamp

  • In 1913, the Punjabis in USA and Canada founded Ghadar Party to liberate India from the British rule.
  • Prominent leaders of Gadar Party= Sohan Singh Bhakna and Kartar Singh Sarabha.
  • 2013 = 100 years passed since formation of Gadar Party.
  • Therefore, Mohan released a five rupee stamp during Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to commemorate the Ghadar Movement Centenary

Criticism

  • Image on the postal stamp shows a few hands with torches.
  • Scholars feel this image doesn’t relate to the Ghadar movement; the stamp should have been more specific.

What did President Pranab say?
To attract Overseas Indians to invest in India, we’ve

  1. Allowed QFI to Invest in Indian Capital market.
  2. Foreign Currency Non Resident account Banks (FCNR) scheme.

To help Overseas Indians easily travel in India, we’ve

  1. Overseas  Citizenship of India (OCI) cards
  2. Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards

What did Purryag say?

  • Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag, was the chief guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. He said
  • India wants a permanent seat @ UN Security Council, and we (Mauritius) totally support India for this.
  • We look forward to

Criticism against Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)

  • Leaders and rich NRIs meet for wine-n-dine.
  • Only lip service.
  • No concrete action.
  • So far 11 PBDs have been held, yet following problems are not solved.

#1: Travel problems

  1. Air India doesn’t have enough flights.
  2. For NRIs it is very difficult to return home during festival season because All airlines intentionally increase the ticket price. A ticket to ticket from Dubai to Trivandrum that usually cost Rs 15000 is suddenly increased to Rs.75000!

#2: Voting rights

  • While Government amended the Act to give voting rights to NRIs. But problem= they’ve to come back to India to cast their vote. Now who has the time and money to do that?
  • NRIs want online voting facility or some other arrangement like voting at the Indian embassy in their respective country.
  • But Government is not serious about implementing it. So the whole “NRI voting” = #EPICFAIL.

#3: Other problems

  1. Colleges charge way too high fees for NRI quota admissions.
  2. For NRIS, the Pravasi Bharatiya registration fees was $250. So participation is limited to only the “elites” among the NRIs.
  3. Indians languishing in foreign prisons even without trial or after the completion of terms. Yet no legal and financial assistance is given to them by Indian embassies.
  4. Lack of rehabilitation/finance facilities for those NRIs who returned home after recession in USA  and elsewhere.
  5. Gulf returnees are harassed @customs.
  6. plight of the aged and sick parents back home
  7. Psychological problems of the children who grow up without proper affection or guidance of their parents.

Air Kerala

  • During PBD-2013, the CM of Kerala announced that Kerala Government is planning to setup its own “Air Kerala”
  • because Air India gives step-motherly treatment to Kerala workers in Gulf countries. (e.g. not enough flights, very high ticket prices during vacation and festivals).

Awards: (PBSA)?

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.
  • Total 15 awards given.
  • Two Important names (for exam) are:
Who Patricia Maria Rozario Dr. Rasik Vihari Joshi
Contribution to Music Sanskrit literature
Country UK Mexico.
Why important for exam? Because she is the only woman among Diaspora winner of 2013. Because from 2009-12, no awards were given in literature category.
PBD Awardees

Rasik Joshi, Patricia, President Purryag (Left to Right)

Other awardees

Name Country Field
  1. President Rajkeswur Purryag
Mauritius Public Service
  1. Subhash Razdan
US
  1. Professor Gurusharan Singh Chatwal
Germany Science
  1. Ashok S. Vaswani
Guinea Community service
  1. T.S. Ravindra Menon
Malaysia
  1. Dr. Satendra K. Singh
New Zealand
  1. Bava Pandalingal
UAE
  1. Gilbert. C. Moutien
Reunion Island Business
  1. Mohammed R. Karuvanthodi
Saudi Arabia
  1. Ismail E. Ebrahim
South Africa
  1. Dr. Narendra R.Kumar
US Health care. specializing in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery)
  1. Australia-India Society
Victoria welfare of Indian diaspora.
  1. Indian Doctors Forum
Kuwait

How is a person selected for PBD award?

  • Indian embassies across the world, send nominations.
  • If a person won this award previously, he can nominate one person.
  • All nominations go to the five-member jury. (Appointed by PM.)
  • Jury decides who’ll get award.
  • Award is presented by the President of India.

Mock questions

Q1. Correct statements

  1. Pravasi Bharati Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January because on this day Gandhi went from India to South Africa.
  2. PBD is organized by Ministry of External Affairs.
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both
  4. None

Q2. Incorrect Statements

  1. In terms of diaspora population, China is ahead of India.
  2. In terms of remittances, China is ahead of India.
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both
  4. None

Q3. Correct Statement

  1. PBD was started in 2003.
  2. 2012’s PBD was held in Chennai with theme “Global Indian: Inclusive Growth”.
  3. 2013’s PBD was held in Kochi with theme “Engaging diaspora – the Indian growth story”.
  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

Q4. Incorrect Match

  1. Dr. HarGobind Khorana
Chemistry
  1. S. Chandrasekhar
Physics
  1. Venkatarama Ramakrishnan
Medicine
  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

Descriptive

  1. Write 20 words (2 marks)
    1. Komagata Maru incident
    2. Sohan Singh Bhakna
    3. Kartar Singh Sarabha.
    4. Gadar Party
    5. Patricia Maria Rozario
    6. Dr. Rasik Vihari Joshi
  2. Discuss the role of Ghadarites in the freedom struggle of India. (6m)
  3. Briefly list the problems faced by Overseas Indians and the initiatives taken by Government of India to address them. (15m)
  4. Write a note on the role of Overseas Indians in the growth story of India.(25m)

Essay

  1. The sun never sets on the Indian Diaspora.

Interview

  1. Do you agree with the criticism that PBD is mere a “talking-shop”? if yes, what steps should be taken to make this Event more meaningful?
  2. Suppose “Air Kerala” is setup. What precautions should be taken to ensure it doesn’t become another white elephant like “Air India”?
  3. Why are the Indians increasingly becoming victims of hate crime? What role can/should Indian Government play to address this problem?
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45 Comments on “[Diplomacy] 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013: Highlights, issues, awards”

  1. Gandhi returned from India from South Africa. Please correct this :-)

  2. When you install a software called PDFCreator, available at http://www.pdfforge.org/, you can print to pdf from any browser, not just chrome. From the available printers in the printer dialog box select the ‘PDFCreator’ option and click ‘Print’. In my opinion PDFCreator is better than using ‘Save as PDF’ in Chrome browser, it failed many times with me.

  3. great …awesome work mrunal ji

  4. Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag broke dwn wen he was in bihar caling bihar his second home was a bit touching :-)

  5. Want to add one more point.

    The celebration of PBD is started on the recommendation of ” India diaspora high level committee” headed by Dr. L.M.SINGHVI

  6. It was very nice approach.

  7. Please provide reference to Remittance numbers claimed for and for which year?

  8. God bless you Mrunal!

  9. The PBD 2014- new delhi

    Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Y B Datuk Seri Palanivel, chief guest.
    This year’s theme is “Engaging Diaspora: Connecting across Generations”

    Overseas Citizen of India Scheme, voting rights for NRIs and the scholarship program for Diaspora youth have been introduced

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