AsiaIndiaPBD2015Southern Asia

Come, connect, contribute, Sushma tells Indian diaspora youth

Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat
Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat

Gandhinagar, Jan 7 Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj Wednesday called upon the diaspora youth gathered here to “come, connect, celebrate and contribute” to be part of the “momentous transformation taking place in the country”.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 2015 Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), Sushma Swaraj, who is also the external affairs minister, urged the diaspora youth to contribute to the country’s development.

“We want you, the Pravasis, to contribute to the development of India. We want you to participate in the vision that Prime Minister Modi has for India’s future,” she said and enumerated the several programmes launched by the government, including the Make in India, Smart Cities, Swachch Bharat, and Skill India.

She said the government has been working in mission mode to implement all these programmes. “You can contribute to them and become an active partner in these ventures. Our government is fully committed to good governance, efficiency, accountability, transparency, and speedy decision-making.”

The minister, addressing the diaspora youth at the Mahatma Mandir complex, said there are “tremendous opportunities today for you to join us, especially in the fields of manufacturing, infrastructure development, education, health, skills development, science and technology, research and innovation, knowledge economy and youth development as part of our effort to realise India’s full potential”.

Describing the diaspora as “the most significant example of India’s soft power”, Sushma Swaraj said the diaspora has “retained a bit of India” in their hearts. Though living thousands of miles away, you have “kept the spirit of Bharat alive”.

The minister said the PBD is “an occasion to reflect upon your heritage, and to touch base with a country which will always consider you as one of its own, regardless of the colour of your passport or the land of your citizenship”.

She said the PBD is a platform to connect the diaspora with the motherland and promote the concept of a global Indian family.

The minister said, “India is today hailed as the world’s largest democracy where 1.25 billion people are reaching for their destiny through the medium of pluralist politics.”

Referring to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections, she said, the people “voted overwhelmingly for peaceful change by braving the bullets of the separatists to register the highest voter turnout in 25 years”.

On the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Mars Orbiter Mission Mangalyaan, she said it was recently named among the best inventions of 2014 by TIME magazine.

“The spacecraft, which took just four years from feasibility study to arrival at Mars orbit, cost approximately $25 million, less than the budget for the Hollywood film ‘Gravity’. India also became the first nation to reach Mars orbit in its very first attempt.”

She spoke of the “intensity” of the Modi government’s diplomatic initiatives and added that “Prime Minister Modi’s out-of-the-box initiatives and whirlwind tours have raised India’s global profile. In a few days from now President Obama will grace our Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest”.

“What excites the world most about India today is the Indian economy which is now the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity and is showing new dynamism under the NDA government.

“Our government was elected on the platform of pro-people good governance. And though we have been in office for less than eight months, we have been able to effect a complete transformation in the business sentiment vis-A-vis India,” she added.

She said the Modi government has “addressed both policy and regulatory issues, which have resonated well with global rating agencies and major financial institutions which are projecting increased economic growth in India after two years of depressed

Sushma Swaraj said to enhance ease of doing business, the government has taken multiple steps to simplify procedures, rationalise rules and increase use of technology for efficient and effective governance.

“Efforts are on to identify obsolete laws and regulations which need to be repealed. Skilling our people, particularly the young, is also a priority.”

The Modi government is focusing on infrastructure and several steps have been taken to enhance financing of infrastructure, she added.