Saudi Arabia keen on cultural, ecucational exchanges

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Puducherry, Nov 12 (UNI) The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has evinced interest in cultural and educational exchanges with India, Puducherry minister for education and IT M O H F Sahajahan said today.

Adressing a press conference here Mr Shajahan, who led a 12-member youth team to Saudi Arbaia from October 25 to November 5 said during his visit to India last year, Saudi King Abdulla had signed an accord for youth and cultural exchanges. A delegation from that country also visited India. In reciprocation, his team had visited the Kingdom.

Mr Shajahan said he met Prince Sultan Nawab, the minister for youth affairs and he expressed interest in educational and cultural exchanges with India. The matter has already been informed to Minister for Youth Affairs Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer and added he would also write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He said to attract NRI students from Saudi Arabia to Puducherry, the administration has to create an NRI quota and set up hostels of international standard. This would be consdered.

Mr Shajahan also suggested that the Puducherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation (PIPDIC) should think of overseas operations since, the biggest refinery in Jubail in Saudi Arabia required Indian investments there.

He said a team headed by industies minister V Vaithilingam may visit Soudi Arabia to have further discussions on the issue apart from getting the assistance from the Kingdom for setting up a desalination plant here. They also wanted a distance education centre of the Pondicherry university in their country,he added.


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