Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday described NRIs as India's brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country's capabilities.
The prime minister was inaugurating the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi.
"I consider NRIs India's brand ambassadors. They are the symbols of our capacities and capabilities," he told the gathering.
"People of Indian origin are in leadership roles in countries such as Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland," he said.
Modi also alluded to Rajiv Gandhi's comment that only 15 paise of Re 1 reaches masses and said the Congress government had done nothing to stop the leakage.
For the first time, the three-day convention is being organised from January 21 to 23 instead of January 9 to allow participants to visit the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the Republic Day parade in the national capital..
The theme of this year's convention is 'Role of Indian diaspora in building new India', a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
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