India will establish a centre of excellence in information technology at Egypt’s oldest and most prestigious Al-Azhar University as part of an effort to enhance cooperation in education between the two countries.
The centre will be set up in the engineering department of the university early next year, India’s ambassador to Cairo Sanjay Bhattacharyya has said.
Bhattacharyya called on Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb on Monday to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between India and the varsity on different issues.
“A group of The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), one of India’s leading computer IT organisations, had come to Egypt earlier this year and they met with people at Al-Azhar University from the department of IT and department of engineering to discuss the establishment of the centre,” Bhattacharyya said.
“We expect that the centre should start very soon early next year. It will be located in the engineering department in Al-Azhar University,” Bhattacharyya said.
He said about 150 Indian students were studying in the varsity. “The idea is that we would like to work with the youth over here in terms of advanced technologies, IT and give jobs because we’re very happy that Al-Azhar university, besides the teaching of theology also teaches other disciplines and has many faculties so we wish to be supportive,” Bhattacharyya said.
“The Grand Sheikh was very supportive of the idea of the centre, and he wishes to look at this personally and then see its expansion in other Al-Azhar institutions across the country,” he said.
Noting that the India government will pay all the cost of the project, the ambassador said another major issue he discussed with el-Tayeb was Al-Azhar’s role in spreading moderate Islam.
“We have all seen the growing incidence of radicalism and terrorism across the world. Both, this region and the Indian region are not immune to it.
“We both have also suffered as has happened in many other parts of the world and we share the belief that Al-Azhar university have a very central role in bringing about more moderate, tolerant aspect of Islam which is appreciated in this region and in other parts of the world including in India,” Bhattacharyya said.