Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has recently conferred Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (PBS) Awards 2019 to the 30 awardees. The winner of this prestigious award includes Gita Gopinath chief economist of IMF, Nihal Singh Agar, founding president of VHP in Australia and Ramesh Chotai, former president of Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre in Canada.
The awards were conferred during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas being held at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The three day long convention was organized in Varanasi, the cultural and spiritual capital of India.
Importantly, the PBS is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians. The awards are conferred on a Non-Resident Indian (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) or an organization or institution established and run by the Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who has made a significant contribution in the social spectrum. Usually, the Prvasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are conferred by President during the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards.
The PBS event was held between Jan 21 and 23. The opening day on 21st January was marked the Youth PBD with the focus on the generation next especially from Uttar Pradesh. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the PBD on 22nd January with the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnath as the Chief Guest. The valedictory address and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards was conferred by the President Ram Nath Kovind on the 23rd Januray 2019. The theme for PBD 2019 was "Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India".