Manmohan Singh keen to rediscover Asian, Arab confluence

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Riyadh, Mar. 1 (ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday said that the confluence of Asian and Arab ideas and culture will help India and Saudi Arabia to rediscover each other and in the process enrich human civilization.

Addressing a function at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Prime Minister Dr. Singh highlighted the long intellectual and educational tradition that Saudi Arabia has, and said: "History tells us that the Arabs translated and preserved teachings from Greece, India and Persia. It is these texts that inspired a mass movement in the field of education during the 12th century which produced great Arab mathematicians, scientists and scholars."

"India's links with Saudi Arabia and the region go back several millennia. There were regular intellectual exchanges in various fields of human study. These linkages influenced our traditions of learning. Over the years, however, these links weakened and we need to revive such exchanges," he added.

Prime Minister Dr. Singh further said that India admires Saudi Arabian monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his vision for the development of human capital and for promoting a scientific temper among the youth while preserving cultural traditions.

"I am aware of the strong interest of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in the modernization of education infrastructure," he added.

He also said that the Indian Government has a similar vision for the development of education in India.

"Like Saudi Arabia, we too recognize the importance of education in social empowerment and progress. Almost 20 percent of the total expenditure of our current five-year development Plan is earmarked for education. We are establishing 30 new Central Universities, of which half will be conceived as world-class institutions," Dr. Singh said.

"We have laid equal emphasis on the development of our infrastructure for science and technology education. We have plans to build five more national institutes of science and more Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Information Technology."

"Every year India produces among the largest number of scientists and engineers in the world. We wish to expand India's knowledge economy and to build world-class facilities for research and utting edge science in the country," Dr. Singh added. (ANI)

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