Karan Singh to finalise programmes for India-Russia festivals

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Moscow, Oct 7 (UNI) Chairman of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Dr Karan Singh is arriving here today to hold talks with his Russian counterparts to finalise the programmes for the year-long India-Russia festivals to be held in the two countries in 2008 and 2009.

Year of Russia in India will be held in 2008 while the Year of India in Russia will be observed in 2009.

During his four-day visit, Dr Singh will meet Deputy Prime Minister and the co-chairman of the Organising Committee Alexander Zhukovto give a final shape to the proposed plan of events in 2008 and discuss the programmes for 2009.

He will also hold talks with Russian Cultural and Mass-Communication Minister Alexander Sokolov and the head of Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography Mikhail Shvedkoi.

Dr Singh will make a presentation on Vedant philosophy to a gathering of Russian Indologists tomorrow at D P Dhar Hall in the Indian Embassy.

The reciprocal year-long India-Russia festivals will be the first major bilateral cultural events after the Days of Russian Culture in India in 2003 and Days of Indian Culture in Russia in 2005.

Similar year-long festivals had been organised between India and the then Soviet Union in 1987 and 1988.

''When we had organised similar events between India and the Soviet Union in 1980s, these were very well received,'' Indian ambassador to Moscow Prabhat Shukla said, adding ''At the people-to-people level, those days are fondly remembered.'' ''I am confident the events planned for 2008 and 2009 will score similar successes,'' Mr Shukla stressed.

He said it was important for both India and Russia to make ''special efforts'' to reach out to the younger generation in the each other's country and incorporate ''in our projection a cultural idiom and message'' that will appeal to the youth.


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