Rajnath hails diaspora as India’s indomitable spirit

Gandhinagar : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday praised the contributions of the Indian diaspora, saying India is proud of them and they are an example of India’s indomitable spirit.

He addressed the final day events at the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here.

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Singh said that 25 million Indian diaspora live in different countries and “with your hard work, dedication and skill you have created a place for yourselves. I want to say that we are proud of you, you are an example of India’s indomitable spirit”.

“We cannot forget your immense contribution,” he said.

He reminded how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of merging the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards has been fulfilled.

“He (Modi) said that you had to go to police stations during your India visits and he promised that he will remove the discrepancies. I am happy to say that the president has signed the ordinance to that effect,” the home minister said.

He said when veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the prime minister, he had to deal with the problems of shortages in the economy and was successful in transforming the economy “from an ‘economy of shortages’ to an ‘economy of surplus’ “.

Singh said that the Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign “is a mission to transform this country from an importer of manufactured items to an exporter of manufactured products”.

The event is being held in Gandhinagar Jan 7-9 to mark the centenary of the return to the country of India’s “sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya” or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa.

Guyana President Donald Ramotar, chief guest at the 13th PBD, will be honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Friday evening.

The government also announced a list of 15 NRIs who would be conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards for 2015. The list includes Satyanarayana Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.