Quest for knowledge has been fundamental to Indian culture and the country has emerged as an educational hub, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Monday.
Speaking at the alumni award of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Swaraj also said the country has the best of the institutions like IITs, IIMs and NITs that are offering niche courses in biotechnology, solar energy and textile management among others.
“There are about 6,000 foreign students studying in India under various scholarships of ICCR and this number is increasing every passing year,” she said.
Education in India through scholarships of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is a “humble contribution” of the nation to capacity building in other countries, the minister said.
“The quest for knowledge has also been a fundamental of Indian culture and civilisation. With institutes like Nalanda, Panchsheela and Vikramashila, India had a well-developed focussed system of education,” she added.
Swaraj said these institutions formed the foundation of many such institutions in modern India.
“India today has emerged as an educational hub and has best of the institutions like IITs, IIMs and NITs that are offering niche courses in Biotechnology, solar energy, textile management among others,” Swaraj said.
She conferred the alumni award to Ajmal Hameed Abdulrahimzai, Deputy Minister for Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Afghanistan; Kaba Urgessa Dinssa, State Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Live Stock Resources in Ethiopia; Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, former Foreign Minister of Bhutan; and Constantino C Hermanns Xavier from Portugal.
Abdulrahimzai thanked India for supporting Afghanistan in “difficult circumstances” by being our constant ally.
“India has extensively contributed through educational scholarships,” he said.
Former Bhutan foreign minister Dorji said India-Bhutan relations has demonstrated the example of good neighbourly relation.
Dinssa said India became a home away from away for him and gave him the richest learning experience of his life.