The upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2017, to be held in Bengaluru, will look at social media as an imperative medium in connecting the Indian Diaspora. A Plenary Session named ‘Leveraging Social Media for Diaspora Connect’ is observed as the primary agenda.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), under the tutelage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been piloting digital tools as a seamless mode for reaching the Indians based abroad. The External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj leading the way in this disruptive communication technology has proved the effectiveness of social media. In an era when internet proliferation and digital technologies have democratised information, ensuring that India is only a click away was the primary motive of the MEA. It is observed how social media is now a part of Indian identity for Indians abroad and has turned out to be tremendous force multipliers for the government to reach out and establish a human connect with the vast number of Indians living, working or travelling abroad.
In the ten PBD conferences held in 2016, social media and its strengths in terms of being a crucial factor in harnessing the power of the Indians established abroad was discussed broadly in October. Under the PBD 2016 conference in New Delhi, experts from the diaspora and policy makers based in India exchanged ideas on October 25, 2016.
Connecting with the diaspora through social media. PBD Panel Discussion No. 9 takes place in Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra with both the MoSs. pic.twitter.com/Ghb28dRxYf
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) October 25, 2016
According to the agendas announced on their website, the Plenary Session in PBD 2017 will discuss the recommendations observed during the October conference, including the best ways to connect the diaspora through social media and steps already taken by the MEA. The session also proposes to focus on key priorities of the government towards bringing latest tools and technologies that can be employed by the ministry and joint missions to connect with the diaspora. It will deliberate on how the diaspora and missions may come together through social media to fully utilise the commercial and business opportunities available in other countries and facilitating linkages with Indian business houses and chambers of commerce.
The social media presence of the present government has not only handled distresses and crises in a better way but has also catered to spreading awareness of new programmes of the government. The partners had a detailed discussion on the importance of understanding the advantages as well as the shortcomings of social media, and invited recommendations on how social media technology could be leveraged further for the benefit of the diaspora.
While the Indian populace spread around the world still connects on national issues, it is yet to be seen whether this initiative of disruptive communication can help unite the ones who have forsaken their country for work or by choice. Can social media mobilise the youth and the successful to look back and plan a probable ‘homecoming’?
Here’s how Sushma Swaraj chose to invite the Indian diaspora for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017:
विदेष मंत्री सुषमा स्वराज का सभी प्रवासी भारतीयों को प्रवासी भारतीय दिवस सम्मलेन के लिए स्नेह भरा निमंत्रण pic.twitter.com/Fcs4S4S6EO
— PBD2017 (@PBDConvention) December 22, 2016