Indore: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Sunday heaped praise on the Indian community living abroad, saying that it is the largest and most talented diaspora in the world.

In the inaugural address at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, Jaishankar said what is perhaps unique about the Indian community is the intensity of the bonding which is promoted by conventions like the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, which is underway in the city of Indore.

"...India has the largest diaspora in the world and many would say, the most talented. But what is perhaps unique about us is the intensity of the bonding between the community abroad and the motherland," the minister said while addressing the youthful delegates from India and abroad.

"And that is a two-way street which is promoted particularly by activities like the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas," he added.

Minister Jaishankar made these remarks in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, and Australian Parlimentrain Zaneta Mascarenhas.

The three-day 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is being held under the theme of this PBD Convention: "Diaspora: Reliable partners for India's progress in Amrit Kaal".

Delivering the inaugural address, Jaishankar stressed that this relationship with the Indian diaspora was very much in evidence amidst the challenges of the Covid pandemic. "On its part, the Government of India undertook the Vande Bharat Mission and the Vaccine Maitri initiative, which were focused significantly on our diaspora-centered partners," he said.

The external Affairs Minister also recognized to the tremendous response that the Indian government received from the PIO-NRI community during the most difficult moments of our own Covid experience.

"So as we meet today, I can truly say that our bonds have become even stronger as a result of all the trials and tribulations that we went through during the Covid period," he added.

Jaishankar explained that the identity of a diaspora is very much derived from how closely it is connected to its roots.

"Here too, our efforts have been to encourage easier exposure to Indian culture and traditions abroad. Many of our Embassies, in fact I think most of them today now offer yoga, dance and music classes," he said.