By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], September 14 (ANI): President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Dr Vinay Sahasrabudhe on Tuesday announced that India will hold Global Buddhist Conference (GBC) in November this year, as a bid to "cement ties with those who are into Buddhism".
"It was always there on our agenda, many academician who are into Buddhist studies they also suggested and we thought it fit to reach out the academic community working in the discipline of Buddhist studies. To have a closer interaction between Indian academicians and academicians from other countries who are working on Buddhist studies, we are going to have annually a conference on Buddhist studies. First conference is happening on November 19-20 at Navalanda Mahavihara," Sahasrabudhe told ANI here.
GBC will be organised under the overall framework of the flagship event of the Ministry of Tourism. Eminent scholars from the prominent Buddhist universities/institutions in India and abroad will participate in the GBC.
In run-up to the GBC, four regional conferences in India (Telangana, Sarnath, Gangtok and Dharamshala) and abroad (Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Cambodia) will be organised.
To honour the contribution of foreign scholars/individuals/organisations for the
promotion of Buddhist studies internationally, ICCR instituted "Award for Promotion of Buddhist Studies", it shall comprise a cash reward of USD 20,000, a plaque and a gold plated medallion. If there is more than one awardee, the amount would be shared equally.
"We also have instituted an international award for eminent scholar who works in discipline of Buddhist studies and probably first award will be presented in first conference," Sahasrabudhe explained.
Talking about the significance, the ICCR president said, "We are building new bridges with the entire community of academicians who is into Buddhism studies through this conference and award as well. We are providing a platform to deliberate upon new streams of Buddhist studies like this year - Buddhism in literature. Every year we will have one theme and will be deliberate on that, it will further cement our ties with those who are into Buddhism."
Downplaying the diplomacy angle, the Rajya Sabha MP stressed that one should not be looking into from that angle as the ICCR mandate is to evolve cultural relationship. (ANI)