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NRIs keen to boost Indo-Saudi ties: Arjun Singh

Such interest was obvious as Abdullah's India visit opened a new chapter in bilateral relations, HRD minister said.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 09:32 IST

Expressing optimism about the increasing warmth in relations with Saudi Arabia, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said that he had noticed the tremendous interest of NRIs in promoting bilateral ties.

"I am hopeful of close cooperation between the two civilizations and also between the two peoples at industry, trade and education levels," he said at a reception hosted by the Consulate General of India on Friday.

"I am deeply impressed by the interest shown by NRIs, he said, referring to non-resident Indians, adding that such interest was bound to be there since King Abdullah's visit to India opened a new chapter in bilateral relations.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Urdu Academy at the International Indian School - Jeddah, Singh pointed out that India's ancient universities like Nalanda and Taxila attracted scholars from China and other countries.

"And that tradition continues," he added.

Three of the most important Indian universities -- Madras, Calcutta and Delhi -- were established 150 years ago and they have been of great significance to higher education.

"We have decided that these universities should join hands and lay education plans for the 21st century," he added.

He also hoped that the Urdu Academy's proposal for observing India's first Education Minister Abul Kalam Azad's birthday as 'Education Day' would be given due consideration.

First Published: Jun 03, 2006 08:46 IST