The 13th edition of the three-day annual event beginning from January 7 has a special significance this year as it will also commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conclave on January 8 while President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished overseas Indians on January 9.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said around 3,000 delegates from the diaspora community from across the world are likely to participate in the event being organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs along with Gujarat Government.

Swaraj said President of the Republic of Guyana Donald Ramotar will be Chief Guest of the event to which Foreign Minister of South Africa has also been invited because of commemoration of Gandhi's return from that country.     

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and a number of Union Ministers will participate in plenary sessions which will have themes such as 'Opportunities in India', Smart Cities and Urban Planning, Skill Development and Tourism etc.

Chief Ministers of non-NDA ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Nagaland have confirmed their participation along with those ruled by BJP or its allies include Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and Maharastra.
Addressing a press conference along with Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, Swaraj, also Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, said she personally invited all the Chief Ministers including West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee and hoped that more CMs will participate in the event.

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