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German Year in India lives on

Posted on Feb 20, 12:52PM | IBNS

By Divyanshu Dutta Roy, New Delhi, Feb 20 : The German embassy on Tuesday announced the conclusion to the German Year in India, an umbrella campaign with multiple programmes that aims to boost the over 300-year-old ties between the two countries.

The drive, that began late 2011 and has lasted more than an year will, conclude with a ceremony at India Gate, Michael Steiner, the German Ambassador to India said at a press conference.

Bollywood actress Gul Panag will host the function that will also be attended by 500 students from Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) schools, Steiner said, announcing that new programmes will be announced at the ceremony.

"This is not the end. We don't want to look back at the last 15 months and say that was it. We want to look forward and think of new ways to take the Indo-German partnership ahead," he said.

The Ambassador said the German Year in India campaign had been a tremendous success with over one million participants across the country and five hundred thousand visitors to the various events including the five "urban melas"in five cities.

"Now we want to take the story forward with a plan to introduce the German language as a subject in all KV schools, which are over a thousand in number. We already have brought German in some 300 of them," he said.

Steiner said that he hoped see that by 2017 around one million Indian students would have learnt at least basic German through the initiative that would help bridge the language gap between the two countries.

While one campaign will end on Thursday, the Embassy plans to launch another one called "#K-Germany", he said, adding that the "#K" stood for 'Klasse' a German word for 'fantastic'.

"We now want to focus our initiatives in three key areas - education, training and language. As part of this we really want reach out the fascinating pool of young educated people of India," Steiner said.