New Delhi: In a major revamp, the government on Tuesday announced a “paradigm shift” in the format of the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), its engagement with the diaspora, with the mega jamboree to be held every alternate year and an event “focused on outcomes” to be held every other year.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is also minister of overseas Indian affairs, announced the changed format of India’s engagement with its diaspora at a press conference.
Sushma Swaraj said that in January 2016, a much scaled-down event will be held with the participation of just 150 specially invited foreign delegates.
The invited diaspora guests will be experts who would attend various sessions to brainstorm on issues, including the problem of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf, on the government’s flagship programs like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and problems that Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) face, she said.
The January event will be held in the newly constructed PBD Kendra, which is ready.
Sushma Swaraj announced that the “smaller events” of the PBD would be held in the Delhi office every alternate year, while the major “mela” would be held every two years in a different state in partnership with that state government.
She said Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have evinced interest in hosting the diaspora event.
Besides, she announced that the Regional PBD, which is held abroad, will be held this year in Los Angeles, US, on November 14-15.
She said US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he would attend.
In addition, “mini regional PBDs” would be held in two places where the Indian origin populace is less concentrated in order to increase their sense of involvement with their country of origin.
Sushma Swaraj said the forthcoming PBD in Delhi would be more “academic”.
She also announced a quiz competition “Bharat ko Janiye” in order to involve the diaspora youth in learning about India.
The 20 winners, 10 from PIO countries and 10 from countries with NRIs, would be awarded at the PBD.
Announcing the competition, Sushma Swaraj said diaspora Indians between the ages 18-35 could apply to join the quiz, in which there would be two rounds.
After the second round, 10 successful candidates each from the PIO nations and with NRI population would be selected.
They would be invited to the summit where they would have to participate in the third round.
The first three winners would be awarded at the plenary of the PBD.
The 20 youth would be taken on a “Bharat Darshan”, she announced, with the aim to acquaint them about Indian art, culture, heritage and also modern India.
She also announced that instead of honoring 15 diaspora achievers at the Delhi PBD, the government would honor an additional 15 diaspora at the mega PBD to be held every two years.
The Indian missions would suggest the names of the Indian delegates to attend the PBD.
Digital India Project will boost the development process and will help the citizens to engage themselves in a hassle-free way
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital Media program to push the use of technology
The Ministry of Tourism has taken up the initiative of implementatingTourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)
Digital India initiative has been launched by the government of India to increase digital connectivity and make governance more transparent. The initiative includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge and universal phone connectivity across the country. Under the digital program, the government plans to introduce Public Internet Access Program, Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity and much more. These all platforms will boost the development process and will help the citizens to engage themselves in a hassle-free way.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital Media program to push the use of technology to connect and empower people in areas relating to health, education, labour and employment, commerce, etc. The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. The initiative is to bring big investments in the technology sector and this will further help in creating a participative, transparent and responsive government.
Here are some key initiatives which form a part of Digital India week:
SWATCH BHAARAT app
The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. The program has turned into a national campaign with citizens becoming active participants in cleanliness drive across the nation.
The dream of Mahatma Gandhi of a ‘Clean India’ is being realized with millions of people across the country joining the cleanliness initiatives of the government departments to make India clean as a part of this ‘Jan Andolan’.
PRADHAN MANTRI JAN-DHAN YOJANA (PMJDY)
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is a financial inclusion plan comprising an integrated approach to bind all the financial transactions of all the citizens. The plan contemplates universal access to banking facilities at least one basic banking account in every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility.
The scheme proposes of channelling all Government benefits (from Centre / State / Local Body) to the beneficiaries’ accounts and pushing the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme of the Union Government.
3. GOODS AND SERVICE TAX NETWORK (GSTN)
The GST System Project is a remarkable and complex IT initiative. It is for the first time that a uniform interface is established for the taxpayer and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and States.
The platform is a trusted National Information Utility (NIU) that will help in achieving a reliable and efficient IT backbone for the smooth functioning of the Goods & Services Tax system. It enables economic agents to leverage the entire nation as one market with minimal indirect tax compliance cost.
Website: h ttp://www.gstn.org/index.php
4. FARMER PORTAL
The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector through information and communication technologies. It will help in supplementing the existing delivery channels provided for by the department.
Farmers’ Portal is an initiative to create a one-stop window for meeting all informational needs relating to Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries sectors production, sale/storage of an Indian farmer.
With this, Indian Farmer will not be required to scuffle through different websites for any information.
The Ministry of Tourism has taken up the initiative of implementatingTourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). It strongly backed by Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation for implementing this programme.
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The e-Tourist Visa enables the foreign visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country without visiting the Indian embassy and can also pay the visa fee online.
Digitize India is an initiative under the Digital India Program of the Government of India. Digitize India Platform will provide digitization of services of all the scanned document or physical documents for any official work.
The focus is to digitalize all the existing data which are in different formats into data extracts for document management
7. DIGITAL AIIMS
Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity by the Unique Health Identification Number and it will be generated on an Aadhar platform.
The project was initiated in January 2015 with the creation of an effective linkage between AIIMS, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).
Targeted at the idea of paperless governance, DigiLocker is the flagship program of the Indian Government. The initiative aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
DigiLocker runs parallel with Digital India’s vision, where every citizen of the country will be provided with a private space on a public cloud and making all documents/certificates available in this space.
Through this platform, issuance and verification of documents will be done in a manner, thus eliminating the requirement of any physical documents.