India's Minister for overseas Indian affairs Sushma Swaraj called on the diaspora youth gathered at Gandhinagar for the 2015 Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to "come, connect, celebrate and contribute" to be part of the "momentous transformation taking place in India".
Speaking at the inauguration function, Sushma Swaraj urged the diaspora youth to contribute to India's development. She said the Narendra Modi government has taken several measures to ease the business environment, including by rationalising rules and identifying obsolete laws. The minister said the clear focus of the Modi government is on infrastructure development and the government is moving towards a transparent policy.
Earlier, welcoming hundreds of youth delegates, Sushma said it was a special joy to interact with the youth "who share a special bond of heart with India". She said the PBD is a platform to connect the diaspora with the motherland and promote the concept of a global Indian family.
Modi's world tours, initiatives helped boost India's global image: Sushma
Crediting Prime Minister Modi’s “whirlwind tours” and “out-of-the-box initiatives” for bringing about a sea change in India’s global image, Sushma Swaraj said even softer powers, like yoga, Indian curry and Bollywood songs, have contributed to enhancing the “image of a new India”.
Addressing a gathering of young NRIs Sushma said, “India’s soft power has been spreading around the world. Be it Californians doing yoga or Britishers eating Indian curry or Egyptians dancing to Hindi songs; they all are contributing to the image of a new India.”
Crediting Modi for the improvement in India’s global image, the minister said, “The intensity of India’s international engagement has also increased manifold. This can be seen from the calendar of high-level visits both to and from India. Prime Minister Modi’s out-of-the-box initiatives and whirlwind tours have raised India’s global profile.” She also reminded the gathering of the forthcoming visit of American President Barack Obama, who is scheduled to grace the Republic Day celebrations.
Describing India as a nation gave the world the concept of “zero”, mastered the nuclear cycle, sent expeditions to Antarctica and an unmanned mission to moon and Mars, the minister said, “What excites the world today is the Indian economy which is the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity. India is showing new dynamism under the present NDA government. Though we have been in office for less than eight months, we have been able to effect a complete transformation of the business sentiments vis-a-vis India.”
Swaraj did not fail to impress upon the youngsters that the India’s Mars orbiter, costing approximately $25 million, was “cheaper than the budget of the Hollywood film 'Gravity.' The minister also told the gathering that the people of Jammu & Kashmir voted “overwhelmingly for a peaceful change” last month. She also highlighted all the initiatives launched by the Modi government, including Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat Campaign, Make in India programme, Digital India and Smart Cities project.
“Efforts are on to identify obsolete laws and regulations which need to be repealed,” the minister said, adding that the NDA government was trying to enhance ease of doing business by taking multiple steps to simplify procedures, rationalise rules and increase use of technology for efficient and effective governance. She also called upon the NRI youth to join in the country’s progress. “There are tremendous opportunities today for you to join us, especially in the fields of manufacturing, infrastructure development, education, health, skill development, science and technology, and others,” she said, asking the young NRI brigade to become “ambassadors of the new India”.