New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that India is self-reliant in the battle against the novel coronavirus pandemic while inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention at 10:30 am via video conferencing.

"India used to import PPE kits, masks, ventilators, and testing kits from outside but today our nation is self-reliant. Today India is ready to save humanity with two 'Made in India' COVID-19 vaccines," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also said that the world is not only waiting for India's coronavirus vaccines but also looking at how it rolls out the largest vaccination programme in the world.

On January 3, two vaccines - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India - were approved for 'restricted emergency use'.

In his virtual address, the theme of 'Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat'. "This is a great opportunity to interact with the India diaspora," PM Modi had tweeted on Friday.

PM Modi also told Indians across the world that they are connected in minds because of 'Maa Bharti' and lauded the efforts of Indian-origin colleagues in fighting challenges in the last year.

"Today we have been connected with internet from various corners of the world, but our minds are always connected with 'Maa Bharti'," PM Modi said.

He said India is using technology to defeat corruption and crores of rupees are being directly transferred to beneficiaries' bank accounts.

"I have had a dialogue with several heads of states who told me how Indian diaspora has extended a helping hand in those countries and provided leadership in extending assistance even in these difficult times," Modi said.

"This was a matter of pride for me."

The Prime Minister also spoke about an ongoing campaign in India to empower the poor of the country, something that is being discussed globally now.

"When India stood in the face of terrorism, the world too got the courage to face this challenge. Today, India is using technology to end corruption. Money worth lakhs and crores are directly being credited to the account of the beneficiary," PM Modi said.