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Posted on Feb 12, 06:57PM | IBNS
Rajgir, Feb 12 : External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid hosted the first meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on External Affairs for 2013 at Rajgir on Tuesday.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also interacted with the Members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Tuesday.
In addition to Members of Committee, senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, as also from Indian Council for Cultural Relations attended the meeting at the recently inaugurated Convention Centre in Rajgir.
The meeting deliberated upon India's cultural diplomacy and the role envisaged in this regard from Nalanda and South Asian Universities. Public outreach programmes of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) through its Public Diplomacy initiatives to create general awareness of India's diplomatic efforts, also came up for discussion during the meeting.
The Committee members took this opportunity to visit the ancient site of the Nalanda University, an abiding example of India's historic links with the East and South Asian countries.
They also visited the site of the modern Nalanda University, which celebrates and revives the ancient Nalanda, in a modern context, and a contemporary setting.
"The Nalanda University will be the centre piece of India's cultural diplomacy, and a bridge between the past and the future. This meeting was held in Rajgir to provide a first-hand experience of modern Nalanda and a better appreciation of its contribution to reviving our links with the East and South Asian countries and an innovative combination of Parliamentary and Public Diplomacy interface," said the MEA.
The recently held ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on Dec 20-21, 2012 marked a major milestone in India's "Look East Policy".
The Nalanda University project at Rajgir in Bihar reestablishes an important cultural and academic linkage between India and East and South Asian countries.