The parliamentary consultative committee of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday held its first meeting this year at Rajgir, near Nalanda University, on the topic of cultural diplomacy.
The choice of venue seems to symbolise its continuous stress on the ‘Look East Policy’.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid chaired his first meeting of the committee, after taking over his current post. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also met the committee members.
“The meeting was held in Rajgir to provide a first-hand experience of modern Nalanda and a better appreciation of its contribution to reviving the country’s links with the East and South Asian countries and an innovative combination of parliamentary and public diplomacy interface,” said an MEA communiqué.
The committee members visited the ancient site of Nalanda University, descried as the ‘centre piece’ of India’s cultural diplomacy, as well as the site of the proposed modern university, which is being set up with contributions from South-East Asian countries.
The meeting deliberated upon India’s cultural diplomacy and the role envisaged in this regard from Nalanda and South Asian universities.
The Ministry’s public outreach programmes, through its public diplomacy initiatives, to create general awareness on the country’s diplomatic efforts were also discussed at the meeting.