Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj addressing the grand finale of Know India Programme in New Delhi on Tuesday
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj addressing the grand finale of Know India Programme in New Delhi on Tuesday

Sushma Sawaraj attends grand finale of Know India Programme

ANI | Updated: Jan 15, 2019 21:19 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 15 (ANI): Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj here on Tuesday attended the grand finale of 'Bharat Ko Janiye' or 'Know India Programme', an initiative by the Government of India to reconnect with the Indian Diaspora.
The minister said that it was the wish of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start this programme as many Indian nationals who are settled abroad are entirely disconnected from the Indian culture and history.
"They have very little knowledge about our country and whatever they know is mostly wrong. They became entirely detached from the roots of Indian culture and traditions as they moved out of the country a long time ago. Therefore, we want them to reconnect with us," Swaraj said.
Providing details of the programme, the Indian minister stated that the programme divided the Indian Diaspora into three categories, namely the non-residential Indians (NRIs), persons of Indian origin (PIO) and 'Foreigners'.
The 'NRI' category included non-residential Indians or the ones who do not reside in India. This category is also known as 'Pravasi Bharatiya' or 'Anivasi Bharatiya'. The 'PIO' category included people whose forefathers had moved out of India more than 100 to 150 years ago, the Indian minister added. She further noted that from this year, the Ministry has included a new category named 'Foreigners' or the people who are entirely from different countries.
While addressing the gathering, Swaraj informed that the programme was first organised in 2015, with 15,000 participants, but this year around 40,000 participants (students) from all across the globe have registered their names to participate in the programme.
The minister also said that Prime Minister Modi will be distributing prizes to the students who have won the programme on January 22. In addition to this, all the participants will be provided with a 25-day tour of India by the Indian government. "The kids will first go to Lakshadweep and then Varanasi because we have the Maha Kumbh going on in Prayagraj, after a span of 12 years, along with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi. Then we will bring them to New Delhi to attend the Republic Day celebrations in the national capital on January 26," Swaraj added.
The Indian minister also reiterated that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognised Kumbh Mela as India's cultural heritage.
Meanwhile, the Indian minister, while addressing the programme, also used "chunav" words amid her speech and later clarified that national elections will soon be underway in the country. (ANI)