The 17th edition of the PBD Convention will be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh from January 8-10

The Indian diaspora will play an important role in the country's development trajectory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday in the run up to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2023.

Addressing a special briefing, Secretary (Consular and Diaspora), MEA Ausaf Sayeed said the theme for this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is 'Diaspora: Reliable Partners for India's Progress in Amrit Kal'.

The 17th edition of the PBD Convention will be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh from January 8-10. The convention will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 9.

President Droupadi Murmu will present the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in the valedictory session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations.

According to Sayeed, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2023 has seen an enthusiastic response from the diaspora. About 3,500 registrations have been received from 70 countries.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is held every two years. It is being organised in its physical form after four years due to Covid restrictions.

President of Guyana Mohamad Irfaan Ali will be the chief guest; Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi will be the guest of honour. Both these countries have a considerable Indian population.

According to Secretary Sayeed, ministerial-level delegations from Mauritius, Malaysia, and Panama will also attend the event.

Five plenary sessions have been planned on the themes of youth, healthcare, soft power, the Indian workforce and women. Four of these sessions will be attended by Cabinet Ministers.

A Town Hall has also been planned on the theme of G20 which will be attended by India's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and G20 Chief Coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla.