On the occasion of the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas 2021, the Consulate General of India in Chicago hosted a series of events online with the members of the Indian diaspora including the first interaction on 9 January 2021.
Among the participants were former Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award winners Dr. Bharat Barai and Dr. Shekhar Mishra.
Dr. Barai, an eminent oncologist “with exceptional engagement in social and community services” was conferred the Samman Award in 2017. Prof. Mishra, a senior scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, received it in 2019 for his “outstanding achievements in the field of science.”
Consul General of India Amit Kumar briefed the participants about this year’s PBD flagship event with the theme ‘Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ organized by Ministry of External Affairs in the virtual format. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
Kumar also spoke about the reform initiatives undertaken by the Government in 2020, as India embarks upon the path of economic recovery, the Covid-19 situation, indigenous vaccine development and vaccination drive, and other matters, a press release from the Chicago Consulate said.
He also highlighted the priorities in India-US relations. He recognized the contribution of PBSA awardees and underlined the important role that the Indian-American community has played in strengthening bilateral relations in economic and commercial sectors, start-ups, higher education, R&D, innovation and cultural spheres.
Dr. Barai and Dr. Mishra as well as other participants shared their thoughts on strengthening engagement between India and the U.S.
Consul General Kumar thanked them for their suggestions which he considered useful, and underlined that the Consulate would look forward to sustained engagement with the Indian-American community moving forward.
The other two PBSA recipients, Niranjan Shah and Dr. Madhavan Anirudhan could not join due to their travel / personal circumstances. Shah, the founder and president of Globetrotters Engineering Corporation, was conferred PBSA in 2006 for his civic and philanthropic contribution. Dr. Anirudhan, an eminent scientist in the areas of applied nutrition and food manufacturing, was conferred PBSA in 2007.