External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Wednesday that 5,802 people have got themselves registered for the three-day 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas beginning January 21 in Varanasi.
"Two to three times more people have got themselves registered for the Pravasi Divas this time as two new attractions -- Kumbha in Prayagraj and Republic Day functions -- have also been attached with it. So far 5,802 registrations have been received," she said in a joint press conference with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
To a question as to whether the minister will give any message to Pakistan to take benefit from such occasions, Swaraj said, "Since there is no talk going on with the neighbouring country as it has been clearly said terror and talks cannot go together. It is not feasible to go there and tell them this when bullets are being fired at the borders."
She said the dates for the event were rescheduled following requests from the people.
Terming the programmes this year as special, she said the new generation of Indian-origin people do not know about the country.
"Even if they do, they are aware only about the bad publicity about India," she said.
The Yuva Pravasi Divas and the UP Pravasi Divas have also been planned on January 21, Swaraj said.
"The 'yuva pravasis' will also visit the BHU and hold a dialogue with the students there," she said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event on January 22 and President Ram Nath Kovind will take part in the concluding function on January 23.
Besides the cultural programmes, 30 Indian-origin people who either through their work attained respect or have been working for other 'pravasis' living in their countries will be felicitated, the external affairs minister said.
Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth will be the chief guest for this year's event, she said.
Talking about the elaborate arrangements for the guests, Adityanath said a three-tier system will be in place for their stay in Varanasi.
A cultural village has also been developed in Prayagraj to showcase our heritage starting from the Indus Valley Civilisation, he said.
The 'pravasis' will be taken to New Delhi on the night of January 24. They will also witness the Republic Day parade on January 26, he added.