Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: PM Modi woos young NRIs, talks of ‘brain gain’ and fight against graft | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: PM Modi woos young NRIs, talks of ‘brain gain’ and fight against graft

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to deliver the keynote address at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru on Sunday. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Union ministers Ananth Kumar and Gen VK Singh, and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah will also speak on the occasion. The three-day event concludes on Monday, with President Pranab Mukherjee delivering the valedictory address.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2017 23:10 IST
HT Correspondent
PM Narendra Modi addresses the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru on Sunday. (External affairs ministry/Twitter)
PM Narendra Modi addresses the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru on Sunday. (External affairs ministry/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru on Sunday. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the chief guest, too spoke on the occasion. Union ministers Ananth Kumar and Gen VK Singh, and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah were in attendance.

The three-day event concludes on Monday, with President Pranab Mukherjee delivering the valedictory address. The convention is an important platform for engagement with the overseas Indian community.

Catch the highlights here:

* The 21st century belongs to India, says Modi, concluding his speech.

* Your dreams are our determination, Modi tells the gathering.

* ‘Black money ke kuch rajneetik pujari’ dub the initiative anti-people, says Modi.

* We have launched a big campaign against black money, corruption, says the PM, apparently referring to his government’s demonetisation exercise.

* We welcome all your efforts seeking to strengthen India’s partnership with NRIs, says Modi.

* FDI has two definitions --- foreign direct investment and first develop India, says Modi.

* “Are you ready to work with me”, Modi asks the crowd, which replies ‘yes’.

* Modi talks of Know India Programme that helps young Indians living abroad to connect to their “motherland”.

* For us, all Indians living abroad, including the youth, are precious, says Modi.

* The Prime Minister announces a scheme for scientific communities abroad to conduct research in India.

* We will shortly launch a skill development programme (Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana) targeted at unskilled youth who seek jobs abroad, says Modi.

* PM Modi talks about steps to safeguard migrant workers, vows strong actions against illegal recruitment agents.

* For those workers who seek economic opportunities abroad, our effort is to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience, says Modi.

* Modi highlights his government’s efforts to rescue Indians in conflict-hit countries. “The security of Indian nationals abroad is of utmost importance to us.”

* We are there for you when you need us, Modi tells the Indian diaspora.

* The welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is our top priority, Modi says, listing out the government’s step in this regard.

* Once there was this buzz of brain drain, but our government wants to change it to brain gain, says Modi.

* Remittance of close to 69 billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy, says Modi.

* There is a new energy among the diaspora to connect to India’s social and economic landscapes, Modi says.

* Engagement with the overseas Indian community has been a key area of priority, Modi says.

* Indians abroad are not valued just for their numbers, but for the contribution to India and other societies where they live, says PM Modi.

* Modi welcomes the diaspora, thanks Siddaramaiah’s Congress government for assistance in organising the event.

* This day is a celebration to mark the return to India one of the greatest ‘pravasis’, Mahatma Gandhi, says PM Modi.

* Modi pays tributes to Mario Soares, the former Portugal president who is widely seen as the father of the country’s modern-day democracy. Soares died on Saturday aged 92.

* Modi starts his address amid a huge round of applause.

PM Narendra Modi and Portugal PM António Costa at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru on Sunday. (External affairs ministry/Twitter)

* Costa stresses the role of the Indian community’s contribution in Portugal.

* Portugal and India have centuries-old relationship, says Costa.

* Costa focuses on strategic partnership and development of India and Portugal.

* The Portugal government is focusing on better framework for investment, says Costa.

* We want to attract foreign direct investment, says the Portuguese Prime Minister, stressing his country’s geographic advantage.

* I want to rely on this dynamic diaspora for the development of these two nations (India and Portugal), says Costa.

Demonetisation watch

A day ago, Modi asked BJP leaders to welcome criticism and remain unfazed by allegations, in remarks seen both as defending his government’s demonetisation move as well as rebutting Opposition charges of “personal corruption” against him.

The government has faced a barrage of criticism over the scrapping of 500- and 1000-rupee banknotes -- a surprise move announced exactly a month ago. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi last month accused Modi of accepting bribe from two corporate houses when he was the Gujarat chief minister.