To connect India to its vast overseas diaspora and bring their knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform, the PBD Convention - the flagship event of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India is organized from 7th - 9th January every year since 2003.
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 also 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 to discuss key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is an interactive ministry, dedicated to the multitude of Indian Nationals settled abroad. Established in May 2004 as the Ministry of Non-Resident Indians’ Affairs, it was renamed as the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in September 2004. Driven by a mission of development through coalitions in a world without borders, MOIA seeks to connect the Indian Diaspora community with its motherland.
Positioned as a ‘Services’ Ministry, it provides information, partnerships and facilitations for all matters related to Overseas Indians (comprising Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) .
The Ministry is headed by a Cabinet Minister. It has four functional service divisions to handle its diverse scope of services:
· Diaspora Services
· Financial Services
· Emigration Services
· Management Services
The Ministry focuses on developing networks with and amongst Overseas Indians with the intent of building partnerships with the Diaspora. Besides dealing with all matters relating to Overseas Indians, the Ministry is engaged in several initiatives with them for the promotion of trade and investment, emigration, education, culture, health and science & technology.
Partner State – Gujarat
The Land of the Legends, stands bordered by Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north east, Madhya Pradesh in the east, and Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the south. The Arabian Sea borders the state both to the west and the south west.
The State took its name from the Gujjars, who ruled the area during the 700’s and 800’s. Stone Age settlements around Sabarmati and Mahi rivers indicate the same time as that of the Indus Valley Civilization while Harappan centres are also found at Lothal, Rampur, Amri and other places.
Rock Inscriptions in the Girnar Hills show that the Maurya Emperor Ashoka, extended his domain into Gujarat in about 250 BC. With it’s fall, the control of the region came under the Sakas or Scythians. During the 900’s the Solanki Dynasty came to power and Gujarat reached its greatest extent.
Then followed a long period of Muslim rule where Ahmed I, the first independent Muslim ruler of Gujarat, found Ahmedabad in 1411. The Mughal Emperor Akbar conquered Malwa and Gujarat in 1570s. The British East India Company set its first footsteps in Surat in 1818 and the State came in control of their rule.
Gujarat was divided into princely states. After the Indian Independence in 1947, all of Gujarat except Saurashtra and Kutchh became part of Bombay State until May 1, 1960, when the Government split Bombay state into the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Ahmedabad became the chief city of the new State and housed the State Government Offices. They remained there until they were transferred to Gandhinagar in 1970.