Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, Ambani family scion Akash Ambani and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla were among various industry leaders, diplomats and officials present at the inauguration of the newly-built world-scale convention centre in the heart of the national capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opening the exhibition-cum-convention centre at the site where decades-old outdated Pragati Maidan stood, named it ‘Bharat Mandapam’. Top government ministers like Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani were seated in a separate enclosure.
BJP President J P Nadda was also present at the event. Ambani was flanked by his brother-in-law Anand Piramal on one side and banker Uday Kotak on the other. Birla sat next to Kotak in the enclosure, which also housed several other industry leaders. Organisers said as many as 3,000 people witnessed the opening of the centre, which will host the G20 Summit in September. The summit will be attended by heads of state of 20 nations, including the US, the UK and China, among others. The revamped IECC complex was developed as a national project at a cost of about Rs 2,700 crore and has a campus area of approximately 123 acres.
The IECC complex is India’s largest MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destination. In terms of the covered space available for events, the complex finds its place among the top exhibition and convention complexes in the world. It comprises multiple modern facilities, including convention centres, exhibition halls and amphitheatres. The convention centre is developed as the centrepiece of the Pragati Maidan complex. It is a grand architectural marvel, designed to host large-scale international exhibitions, trade fairs, conventions, conferences and other prestigious events. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, it is equipped with multiple meeting rooms, lounges, auditoriums, an amphitheatre and a business centre, making it capable of hosting a wide range of events.
Its majestic multi-purpose hall and plenary hall have a combined capacity of seven thousand people, larger than the seating capacity of the famous Sydney Opera House in Australia. The architectural design of the convention centre building is inspired by Indian traditions, and showcases India’s confidence and conviction in its past while also embracing modern facilities and way of life.