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Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas: ‘Will Ease Visa Norms, Work Is On To Issue Chip-Based E-Passports’, Says PM Modi

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| January 22 , 2019 , 14:26 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 15thedition of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, the Indian diaspora conclave,  in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on Tuesday. The theme of the 15th edition of PBD was the role of Indian Diaspora in Building new India.

While addressing the delegates PM Modi talked about easing both passport and visa norms, “ Our Embassies & consulates across the world are being connected with Passport Sewa Project. It will prepare a centralized system for passport related services for all. Now taking a step forward, work is on to issue chip-based e-passports.”

He further said, “Today, India is in the position to lead the world in several subjects. International Solar Alliance (ISA) is one such platform. Through this medium, we want to take the world towards One World, One Sun, One Grid.”

Modi urged the NRI’s to encourage people to visit India. He said, “In whichever part of the world you live, I request you to encourage five families around you to visit India. This will give a major boost to India’s tourism industry.”

 “In the last four years, India has made huge progress and left its mark in the world. Earlier they said India can’t change, we have reversed the situation.”

Targeting the opposition he said, “A former prime minister had once said only 15% of what is released from the Centre reaches the villages. He identified the problem, however, never treated it.”

He further said, “We ended loot in 4 years, which the Congress identified it but lacked to will to find a solution. In the past 4.5 years, our government has given around Rs. 5 lakh 78 thousand crores directly to people through different schemes. We have transferred it to their bank accounts.”

The PBD was postponed to January 21 this year, instead of Jan 9, “in reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora to participate in Kumbh Mela and Republic Day celebrations”, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

At least 7,000 people had registered for the event. After the convention ends on Jan 23, participants will visit Prayagraj for Kumbh Mela on January 24 and then go to Delhi to witness the Republic Day parade on January 26.

Many dignitaries like UP CM Yogi Adityanath, his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, and Uttarakhand counterpart Trivebdra Singh, External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her deputy minister VK Singh along with Mauritius’ PM Pravind Jugnauth, who is the chief guest of conclave were present during the event.

Sushma Swaraj while addressing the gathering said that it is the migration of educated that has brought laurels to India.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said, “I’m glad we postponed the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention on delegates’ request. For the first time, NRIs will have the opportunity to witness and be part of three major events, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Republic day parade, and the Kumbh Mela.”