President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has proposed to set up Sinhala and Hindi departments in several Indian and Sri Lankan universities. He also proposed to increase number of ICCR scholarships for Buddhist studies.
Dr Sahasrabuddhe stated this when he called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Temple Trees on Monday (27th March 2023).
The Prime Minister thanked ICCR President or granting hundreds of scholarships to Sri Lankan students, musicians, artists and sponsoring cultural and musical exchanges between the two countries over the years. He said the ICCR’s programmes for Youth Leadership Training were of immense use to enhance leadership skills of young professionals and parliamentarians.
Premier Gunawardena requested the ICCR President to make arrangements for exchange programmes for crafts artisans so that they could learn from new innovative craft skills developed by artisans in the two countries.
Dr Sahasrabuddhe said he inaugurated the first meeting of Sri Lankan Alumni of ICCR to ensure continued interaction between those who benefitted from ICCR tradition of enriching skills and academic excellence. He said these students who have studied in India will pursue bright careers in their home country and will also spread the light of education and knowledge tradition in India.
He added that ICCR provides a large number of scholarships to students to enable them to pursue education in over 43000 colleges under over 1100 universities at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral research levels.
High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay and Additional Secretaries of Prime Minister’s Office Mahinda Gunaratne and Deepa Liyanage also took part in the discussion.