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India promotes Hindi in Lithuania

A $10,000 donation has been awarded to the Centre of Oriental Studies to promote Hindi.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 14:17 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

India has given $10,000 to the Centre of Oriental Studies in Vilnius University for setting up a laboratory for promoting the Hindi language in the Lithuanian capital.

At a ceremony held at the university campus, Indian Ambassador to Lithuania Anil Wadhwa, who is concurrently ambassador to Poland, handed over the cheque to Prof Benedikta Judoka, rector of Vilnius University.

Wadhwa hoped the amount would encourage both students and teachers to develop a life-long interest in the Hindi language and literature in Lithuania, a former Soviet republic that declared independence in 1991. The majority of its four million population practises Christianity.

"We are always ready to promote Indian studies, be it languages Hindi, Tamil, Bengali or Sanskrit or history or modern politics. It is very encouraging to know that a small country of four million people is also interested to promote oriental studies," said Wadhwa.

While accepting the cheque, the rector thanked the Indian government and said, "We did not expect that the money will be in our hand so soon. Now it is our duty to use it properly and encourage more and more students to take interest in Indian studies."

Lithuania has an old tradition of promoting oriental studies and even in Soviet days, many well-known scholars came out from the oriental institute. The centre has sufficient amount of books as in the past three years the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has been donating books and periodicals regularly to it. There are scholarships for Lithuanian students to study in India and there are visiting fellowships also for the faculty members.

The faculty has eight teachers and annually they give admission to 30 students for their Master's programme.

The interaction between the two countries has increased manifold ever since the ambassador in Warsaw assumed his tour of duties to Vilnius. Before 2004, Indian ambassadors to Belarus, based in Minsk, used to visit Lithuania occasionally.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 14:17 IST