In a major shift from tradition, the next edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit has been rescheduled by almost a week. Having been organised as a state-sponsored summit, focused on attracting investors before Uttarayan (the kite festival organised during Makar Sankranti), the biennial event scheduled early next year will now be held from January 18-20, 2019.
Ever since the then chief minister Narendra Modi kicked off the Vibrant Gujarat summit in September 2003 in Ahmedabad, every year, this investors’ summit has been held as a pre-Uttarayan event in the second week of January. “Yes, the dates for the 2019 edition of the Vibrant Gujarat has been shifted by a week this time. We have tried to be more flexible and accommodating and have scheduled to hold this event after Uttarayan from January 18-20, 2019,” a senior government official of the industries department said requesting anonymity.
The official said it had been done to accommodate the plans of the Uttar Pradesh government which is organising the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on a grand scale around the end of the second week of January, 2019.
When asked about the reasons for delaying the summit, JN Singh, Chief Secretary of Gujarat, said, “It has not been delayed. We usually organise it in January only. This year, looking at the availability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Vibrant Gujarat event and to accommodate NRGs (Non-resident Gujaratis), who will also be heading to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which is beginning on January 21, we have changed the dates.” The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is being organised in Varanasi between January 21-23, 2019, which PM Modi is expected to attend.
The 2017 edition of the Vibrant Summit, held between January 10-13, was the “biggest-ever”, featuring a special series where several Nobel Laureates visited Gujarat ahead of the summit. In 2015, the summit organised for the first time after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, saw Pravasi Bharatiya Divas being organised at Mahatma Mandir, a couple of days before the Vibrant Gujarat event was held at the same venue in January.
Meanwhile, the state government has already begun preparations to organise the ninth edition of the investors’ summit, official sources said. On Tuesday, CM Vijay Rupani met a large business delegation from Taiwan and invited them to be part of the event.