Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. 

While addressing the crowd, Modi paid tribute to late Siddaganga Mutt seer and Lingayat religious leader Shivakumara Swami who passed away on Monday. He also said the various schemes that were launched by his government in the last four years and half years have benefited the public greatly. 

"In the past four-and-a-half years, our government has given around Rs 5.78 lakh crore directly to people through different schemes and have transferred it to their bank accounts," the Prime Minister added. 

Moreover, Modi said that the government is striving every day to transform the country by keeping the plan of 'New India' in mind. The government is also going to start Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojna to help NRIs, he added.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj were also present at the event.

On Monday Swaraj inaugurated the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and said the Indian diaspora has dramatically changed the world's perception of Indians and India.

PM Modi, after the event, is expected to hold talks with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth, who arrived here on Monday and was received by minister of state for external affairs VK Singh. Later, Swaraj called on the Mauritian PM and exchanged views on a range of issues, including strengthening bilateral cooperation.

For the first time, the three-day-long convention is being organised from January 21 to 23 instead of January 9 to allow participants visit the Kumbh mela in Allahabad and attend the Republic Day parade here.

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.