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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#NRI: London to host special overseas edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

The Indian government has chosen London to host a special one-off edition of the 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' (Non-Resident Indian Day), the annual awards ceremony that celebrates the achievements and contributions of the Diaspora Indian community.

The event is staged at a major Indian city every January 9, the day in 2015 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa and took charge of his country's struggle for freedom from the British.

The special UK edition will be held on an as-yet-unconfirmed date in October - ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Mahatma's passage to India - in recognition of the immense contributions made by the British Indian community to India post-Independence.

The significance of this particular community is highlighted by the fact that a majority of past winners of the event's highest honour - the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award - have been drawn from it, including such British-Indian luminaries as Lord Karan Bilimoria, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Lord Meghnad Desai and Baroness  Sandip Verma.

Launched in 2003, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is backed by the Indian Ministry of Overseas Affairs as well as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), among other public bodies.

The 2015 edition of the awards ceremony, appropriately enough, will be staged in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, just hours away from Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace of Porbandar.

Next year's event will take on added significance in light of the fact that Gujarat is also the birthplace of newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a man whose phenomenal success is due, in no small part, to the efforts of the influential overseas Gujarati community.

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