THE HEADLINES,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention at 10 AM today.

Prime Minister interacts with leading economists on charting economic agenda for post Covid world.

DGCA issues guidelines for Airlines to transport Covid-19 vaccines.

New Delhi says terror outfits banned by United Nations act as proxies for Pakistan government to fulfill its anti-India agenda.

US President-elect Joe Biden names two Indian Americans in National Security Council of White House.

And, India were 193 for 4 against Australia in third Cricket Test at Sydney, a shortwhile ago.

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As the nation fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps —

· Wear a face mask.

· Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.

· Focus on hand and face hygiene.

And now, the news:

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The 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention will be held today through virtual mode. The convention will commence at 10 AM in the morning and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the inaugural session, President of the Republic of Suriname and Chief Guest, Chandrikapersad Santokhi will address the participants. The Valedictory Address will be delivered by President Ram Nath Kovind. The theme of the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. More details from our correspondent:

“Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Indian Government and it is also an endeavour which reconnects them with their roots. This year due to the pandemic, the convention is being held in a virtual mode, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The inaugural session will be followed by the two plenary sessions where discussions between eminent diaspora experts will be held on themes which include Role of Diaspora in Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and Facing Post Covid Challenges. India is proud of its largest diaspora across the globe which consists of nearly 31 million people. External Affairs Minister, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, recently said that the Indian government values it’s vast diaspora enormously as they are the image of the country in the world. India is also the country with the highest foreign remittances in the world which amounts to over 80 billion US dollars. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has time and again said that the Indian diaspora is the living root bridge between India and the world. He believes that the success of our diaspora has changed the perception of both India and Indians across the world. In the political sphere as well, people of Indian Origin are in prominent positions across the world. Kamala Harris, Priyanca Radhakrishnan , Pravind Jugnauth, Leo Varadkar, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Priti Patel, Preet Bharara and Pramila Jayapal are few such names in the long list. The growing prominence of Indians in both business and politics abroad is raising the profile of the country and will further encourage future trade links. Huge number of participants have registered this year to participate in the convention where 30 eminent diaspora members will be honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards. Fifteen winners of the Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz will also be announced in the convention who would be later invited for a pan-India tour after the Covid-19 pandemic. Anand Chaturvedi, AIR News, Delhi.”

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All India Radio, Delhi will broadcast live the inaugural session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention on its FM Gold and Indraprastha channels from 10.05 AM onwards.

Air, Delhi will also broadcast live President Ram Nath Kovind’s valedictory address to be delivered on this occasion from 05.00 PM onwards on the same channels i.e. FM Gold & Indraprashta.

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Talking to AIR, Dr Bharat Butaney, Former President of Indian Business & Professional Council, thanked, the Government for organising Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas even during the COVID-19.

“I salute PM Narendra Modi and his government for upholding the tradition of celebrating PBD, even in the challenging times of Covid outbreak. This reflects the importance given to NRIs by the PM & his government.

Indian diaspora community, which constitutes over a third of UAE’s population, is hailed by the UAE rulers and the government for its contribution to nation building. The contribution of NRIs to the economic growth of UAE is one of the strongest pillars of India-UAE relations.

Gitesh Desai, President of SEWA International Houston Chapter said the diaspora plays an important role in promoting India-US relations.

Mr Bhav Dhillon, a resident of Auckland in New Zealand, said, Indians abroad are the living bridges between foreign countries and Bharat.

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The Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has said that India is going to be the global source of skilled manpower by 2022. Speaking at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference on ‘Bringing together Young Achievers from India and Indian Diaspora, he noted that Skill India programme is aimed towards making the country ready to become the skill capital of the world by then. Our aim is to not just export ‘manpower to the world, but to export skills, he said.

The Minister said, our programme on Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana aims to enhance the skills of Indian youth who seek overseas employment which will not only lead to better image of India in the developed world but will also lead to better salaries and better remittances, thus raising India’s GDP further. He said the government has initiated a spate of reforms in the economic and financial sector which has immensely opened up India”s investment regime.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with India’s leading economists on charting the economic agenda in the post covid world. The interaction was organised by the NITI Aayog yesterday. All the attendants agreed that high frequency indicators are showing signs of a strong economic recovery and that too earlier than expected.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the inputs received from the participants and highlighted the crucial role such interactions played in setting the national development agenda. He highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent management threw up new professional challenges for all those involved. Mr Modi underlined that together with a fiscal stimulus, the government also tried reform based stimulus, which was seen through historic reforms in agriculture, commercial coal mining and labour laws. The Prime Minister explained his vision behind an Atmanirbhar Bharat, where Indian companies are integrated in global supply chains in a manner not seen before. He underscored that the faith shown by foreign investors in India’s growth story, with foreign direct investment growing by 11 per cent between April and October, despite a global recession. Mr Modi highlighted the economic potential set to be unleashed by the National Optical Fibre Network, providing internet connectivity to some of India’s most remote, areas.