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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the inaugural session of the PIO-Parliamentarian Conference in New Delhi. 

Welcoming the delegates to the Conference, the Prime Minister said that while many people may have left India over the course of hundreds of years, India continues to have a place in their minds and hearts. He said it is not surprising that people of Indian origin have integrated themselves fully with their adopted lands. He added that while they kept the Indian-ness alive in themselves, they also imbibed the language, food, and dress of those countries. 

The Prime Minister said that it appears as if a Mini World Parliament of Indian origin is gathered in Delhi today. He noted that persons of Indian origin are today Prime Ministers of Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland. He added that persons of Indian origin have also been Heads of State and Heads of Government in many other countries. 

The Prime Minister said that the global impression about India has changed over the last three to four years. He said the reason for this is that India is transforming itself. He said the hopes and aspirations of India are at an all time high. He said signs of irreversible change are visible in every sector. 

The Prime Minister said that PIOs are like permanent ambassadors of India, wherever they reside, and he always attempts to meet them when he is travelling abroad. 

The Prime Minister praised External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj for continuously keeping an eye on issues being faced by Indian citizens abroad. In this context, he mentioned the "MADAD" portal for real time monitoring and response of consular grievances. 

The Prime Minister said that the Government believes that NRIs are partners for India's development. He said that NRIs have an important position in the Action Agenda till 2020, drafted by the NITI Aayog. 

The Prime Minister said that the values of Indian civilization and culture can provide guidance to the entire world, in an era of instability. 

The Prime Minister said that India has very close ties with ASEAN countries, which will be showcased during Republic Day, a few days from now. 

Click here to read full text speech

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