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Indonesian varsity may have centre for Indian studies

Posted on Oct 31, 08:53PM | IANS

An Indonesian university plans to establish a Centre for Indian Studies here next year.

Rector of Udayana University, Made Bakta, said his university was looking forward to strenghtening educational opportunities with Indian universities, especially in the field of science and technology. The university plans to establish a Centre for Indian Studies next year which will facilitate visit by Indian scholars.

The official was speaking Tuesday at a seminar "India-Indonesia-Shared Historty and Culture and opportunities for deepning 'people-to-people' contact" organised jointly by Consulate General of India, Bali, and Udayana University, Bali, a press release from the Indian embassy said.

The well-attended seminar saw eminent people speak on topics like cultural relations
of India and Indonesia, common threads of traditions between India and Indonesia,
the relationship of India-Balinese Hindus, development of Hinduism in the island of Bali, comparison of dances from Bali and Southern India, as well as strategic agenda for
cooperation between India and Indonesia.

Ketut Putra Erawan, executive director, Insititute for Peace and Democracy, spoke on strategic agenda for cooperation between India and Indonesia. He said India and Indonesia are now emerging giants that world cannot ignore.

Ambassador Gurjit Singh, who was the keynote speaker, said India and Indonesia share historical and civilisation ties which was so well established and the challenge now is how to modernise the age old relationship.

He said both India and Indonesia have a young population and therefore it was imperative to enhance people to people connectivity through academic exchanges, scholarships, twinning of university programmes. He said there was a need to engage each other directly rather than through third sources and the cross fertilisation of ideas generated through these exchanges could reinvigorate the relationsiip to a new level.

Zahur Zaidi, director, Jawaharlal Nehru Culture Centre, highlighted the common threads of traditions found in India and Indoneisa such as historical epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, religion, historical monuments, usage of Sanskrit words in Bahasa language, food, textiles and Bollywood.