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Raipur: Chhattisgarh is gearing up to host the 20th National Youth Festival next month at its upcoming capital Naya Raipur, where over 6,000 students from across the country are expected to take part in the annual gathering.

“The 20th edition of the National Youth Festival will be held from January 12-16, 2016, in Naya Raipur for which necessary preparations have started,” state sports and youth welfare secretary Dinesh Shrivastav said on Sunday.

The festival also coincides with the 153rd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

The ‘Rajyostav Sthal’ at Naya Raipur will be the main venue of the five-day event, to be jointly organised by Chhattisgarh Sports and Youth Welfare Department, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan and National Service Scheme.

The event will have contests in 18 different disciplines, including folk dance, folk song, drama, classical music, classical dance, extempore, etc, Shrivastav said.

Besides, youth conference, food festival, special cultural evening, Vivekananda exhibition and others will also be the key highlights of the festival, he said.

A 38-member organising committee headed by Raipur Divisional Commissioner Ashok Agrawal has been constituted which has started making arrangements for the programmes.

Apart from Rajyostav Sthal, competitions will also be held at auditoriums of the educational institutions located in its close proximity.

The participants will be provided lodging facility at sector-29 of the housing board in Naya Raipur only, he added.