Keynote address by Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan, at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2022 youth conference on “Role of Diaspora Youth in Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Innovation and New Technologies”

1. Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog,
2. Shri Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA),
3. Esteemed panelists and friends,


I am happy to deliver the opening speech of this PBD Youth Conference, which focuses on the role of diaspora youth in innovation and technology.

2. First of all, let me start by saying that technology is not only a means of development today, but in these times of pandemic it has become fundamental to our normal functioning. Young people play a key role in determining the direction of our society and the world by bringing about technological changes and using them in innovative ways, especially in the social and development sectors.

3. Today, in the context of technological development, it is indeed a proud moment for India when Indians become world leaders. Our diaspora serves as a living bridge connecting India to the world. It is heartwarming to see how members of our large diaspora, while being well integrated into the countries and societies where they live and work, have continued to maintain deep and lasting ties to their homeland and its rich heritage, traditions and traditions. his culture. Even though they hold esteemed positions, leading head-on in their respective spheres, be it politics, economics, culture, service or technology, they retain and nurture a lasting bond and interest in stay in touch with their roots and defend their traditions, their rites. and rituals, culture, cuisine and language. From Sundar Pichai to Parag Agarwal, from Rajeev Suri to Leena Nair, several luminaries are proof of the leadership of Indian youth on the world stage. Non-resident unicorns (NRUs), building on India’s strength in IT and outsourcing, have become the new buzzword.


4. Indian youth have made great strides in finding innovative solutions to current problems and providing a benchmark for futuristic thinking. Young people, both from India and the diaspora community, have made a remarkable journey in innovation, technology and creativity. All of these talents from around the world need a platform to connect, help each other and also share their respective successes and challenges. This Youth PBD conference is one such platform for sharing experiences, building friendships and finding solutions to present and future challenges. Connecting young people with each other and with India is an investment in the country’s future that can shape the destiny of generations to come. Working with and understanding the youth diaspora better will broaden the reach and effectiveness of India’s engagement with the diaspora.

5. Through this PBD Youth Conference, we strive to further deepen engagement with the rapidly growing members of Diaspora Children who have started to hold prominent positions in various countries around the world. Many of these young people are involved in high-tech fields and new startups, for example in finance, electronic platforms and knowledge-based innovations that constantly disrupt established forms of businesses and markets.


6. India is one of the very few countries to have a broad and evolving policy framework for engagement with the diaspora. The priority of the government led by our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is to forge eternal links with the Indian diaspora around the world. Every time the Prime Minister is abroad we see a great welcome to the leader and a huge shower of love on him. It is in fact the faith of our diaspora, based on India, and their pride in being Indian. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, our approach to the Diaspora has taken on new dimensions and evolved in a certain way, where we are moving towards the concept of “Global Indian”.

7. Various programs have been launched under the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister to connect with the diaspora and collaborate in the field of science and technology. I would like to mention a few.

8. The VAJRA faculty program, launched by the Honorable Prime Minister during the PBD in 2017, brings an international dimension to India’s R&D ecosystem. It harnesses the expertise of international professors / scientists / technologists including NRI and PIO / OCI in highly competitive research and development fields by offering them adjunct / visiting professorships at Indian institutions / universities. It places particular emphasis on the engagement of NRIs / PIOs / OICs in national R&D programs and thus deepens their engagement for added value to various government S&T programs, projects and missions.

9. Another major initiative is called PRABHASS: “Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark – Integrating Indian Diaspora with the Mother Land” is an initiative to develop a database and a virtual platform to integrate the scientific and technological community. Indian World in order to respond to Indian social issues. challenges / problems. The main objective of PRABHASS is to invite and encourage the Indian diaspora to come forward and join with India in helping to solve the challenges facing Indians, thus having an impact on the society as a whole .

10. Under the aegis of PRABHASS, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji inaugurated the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik Summit (VAIBHAV), a virtual world summit of Indian researchers and scholars from overseas and residents on Gandhi Jayanti, on October 02 2020. Approximately 2,600 Overseas Indians have registered for the summit online. Approximately 3,200 panelists and approximately 22,500 academics and scientists from India and overseas participated in this month-long webinar series. These deliberations were aligned with national research goals and priorities in India.

11. VAIBHAV has led the way in establishing research capabilities as an important route to Aatmanirbhar Bharat. It paved the way for the alignment of contemporary research in the country towards a common goal in each area. Resident Indians and foreigners have given an integrated perspective of research and academic capacities to seamlessly contribute to India’s S&T capacity for global good. VAIBHAV created an interactive and easy mechanism in cyberspace, and encouraged collaboration and leadership development.


12. This year is very special for us as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our independence. Not only in India but also in all other countries, our missions and posts celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in a dignified manner. In the specific context of diaspora engagement on thematic concepts and on the special occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the ministry has organized at least three thematic virtual conferences in the past two months. The idea was to engage virtually with the diaspora despite the difficulties encountered due to the pandemic. Topics included “Harnessing the Soft Power of India – Goodwill Through Handicrafts, Cooking and Creativity”, “The Future of Natural Resources (Hydrocarbons, Rare Earth Metals and the Blue Economy)” and “ Grimitya Conference ”.

13. I am confident that this conference will also strengthen the mutual efforts of government and the Diaspora to strengthen the strong ties and ties that have been established over the years.

14. Indian diaspora youth play an indispensable role in innovation and new technologies, globally, and also in designing innovative solutions to local problems in India. I think the focus should also be on short-term, quick-win projects to tackle immediate challenges and deliver results in the shortest possible time. The time has come to dissolve the boundaries between private, public, national laboratories and academic institutions in order to create synergy and align national priorities with delivery-based projects.


15. On this important day of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, I again convey my warmest greetings to all my brothers and sisters across the world, and call on them to reconnect with their homeland in any way possible, to give shape to the vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.


Shirlene J. Manley