UNESCO, HRD Ministry organise special event to honour Sanskrit

New Delhi, March. 4 (ANI): A special event to honour Sanskrit language was organised by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, with the support of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.

The eminent Indologist, Economist and Member of NITI Aayog, Dr. Bibek Debroy was UNESCO’s Special Guest of the event titled “A classical Language- Beyond Heritage”.

The programme at UNESCO comprised two main segments. The morning segment featured a panel discussion with panelists Dr. Debroy and Dr. Daniel Negers of the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations, France, bringing out the nuances of the rich and diverse treasures of Sanskrit to an international audience comprising of diplomats, UNESCO civil staff, Indologists, academics, prominent French personalities, Indians in Paris and media.

The discussion was moderated by Christopher Moseley, Expert Linguist and former journalist with the BBC, who is also the Editor in Chief of the UNESCO Atlas of the Worlds’ Languages in Danger. The event concluded with an announcement by India, gifting to UNESCO various Sanskrit publications, with an English translation, for its library.

The evening segment was hosted jointly by the Permanent Mission of India along with the Missions of Bangladesh, China, Greece, Iran, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The theme of the evening was “Celebrating Linguistic and Cultural Diversity” which saw a rich mosaic of cultural and artistic presentations from the participating countries.

The highlight was a poetry recital in Sanskrit by Dr. Debroy, which represents a historic first at UNESCO, and which received much appreciation and applause from a packed audience. Sharing the platform with Dr. Debroy as a Special Guest of UNESCO was the Minister of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh. His Excellency Mr. Asaduzzaman Noor, who was also on official visit to UNESCO especially for this occasion

India is a founder member of UNESCO and among the active role players, whose global leadership role is well acknowledged and recognised at UNESCO both among member states and the Secretariat. To this end, and building on the momentum generated by the “historic” visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UNESCO in April 2015, followed by that of Human Resource Development Minister Smt. Smriti Irani in November 2015 for the Leaders’ Forum in connection with the Organization’s 70th anniversary celebrations, Dr. Debroy held a meeting with Mr. Eric Falt, Additional Director-General, External Relations and Public Information, who was also the Representative of the Director General, UNESCO for this event. The two sides agreed to further expand and deepen India-UNESCO collaboration in the coming years through enhanced cooperation in the sectors of education, culture, the sciences and communication and information. (ANI)

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