The format of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is going to be significantly changed, announced Indian Foreign and External Affairs Minister of India, Mrs Sushma Swaraj.
Started in 2003, every year it is celebrated to mark Mahatma Gandhi's arrival in Bombay from South Africa. However, the 14th PBD to be held in January 2016, in Delhi is going to be a low-key affair with only 150 foreign delegates attending the event. The invited guests will attend and discuss several brainstorming sessions that will tackle pertinent overseas issues including the flagship programme of Modi Government “Make in India”, India's stand in Gulf countries, Digital India and problems faced by PIOs (Person of Indian Origin).
The event will also be held in the new venues or PBD Kendras. A special venue named PBD Kendra has been constructed to host the event, however, the External Affairs Minister stated that this year a smaller event would be hosted in Delhi but the fair or 'MELA' would be held every alternate years in different states. Indian states such as Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have shown interest in hosting the event. This would be a joint collaboration of central and state government.
Apart from the Regional PBDs in India, the event will also be held abroad in Los Angeles, California on November 14-15. The US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to attend the event.
Among other new changes in the format, there will also be a quiz, involving the NRI youths to learn more about India, and winners will be awarded prizes.