New Delhi, Oct 2, 2016: On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the brain drain can be converted into “brain gain” if the nation started looking at the 27-million strong Indian diaspora spread across the world as a strength rather than numbers.
Modi said after inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, a state-of-the-art complex dedicated to overseas Indians that “Brain drain worries can be converted into brain gain if we see the Indian diaspora as a strength rather than counting them just as numbers.”
He said the world was keener now than earlier “to engage with India”.
“In such times ‘fear of unknown’ can be an obstacle. Our diaspora can help overcome this. They just have to tell the world that we belong to India,” he said.
While praising the nation, Modi said “India has never coveted any territory, never attacked another country. Yet thousands of Indians gave their lives in the World War I.”
“In the last two years, you have seen how the government rescued people from conflict situations, not just Indians but foreigners too.”
Modi’s remarks came amid deteriorating India-Pakistan ties and escalating border tension after the September 18 terror attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers.
The Prime Minister also stressed on the need to connect with the diaspora and hailed his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee who “coined idea of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and it has been continued since then”.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra located in south Delhi’s Chanakyapuri will serve as the focal point of the institutional framework to benefit from networks with and among overseas Indians.
The centre is expected to develop into the hub of activities for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding economic, social and cultural engagement between India and its Diaspora.