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India embarks on the path of Buddha in Asean, offers a 3-day course | India News

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NOIDA: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) has partnered with Gautam Buddha University (GBU) to conduct a three-day course for ASEAN countries on the Buddhist heritage of India. The course – ‘Engaged Buddhism: “A joint path for India and ASEAN” – is aimed at ASEAN diplomats, officials and academics, officials said.
This is the first time that the MEA has teamed up with a university to carry out such a course for neighboring nations. Sources said several countries had signed up for the three-day course from March 4-6, organized on a virtual platform under the Center’s India Economic and Technical Cooperation program.
The GBU Buddhism Studies Department will be responsible for the course. “The course is about the Buddhist heritage of India. Around the world, Buddhist diplomacy and soft power are being studied in depth. Buddhist discourse is the true path of Asian diplomacy and a common ground for international discussion, ”said Arvind Singh, from the department of Buddhist studies that coordinates the course. “The Buddhist faith, due to its emphasis on peaceful coexistence and its broad pan-Asian presence, lends itself well to soft power diplomacy.
This is the core of the three-day course we offer through ITEC, ”added Singh. An MEA official said: “Previously, other institutes have supported us in conducting similar courses.” Explaining that this was part of India’s foreign policy initiative to deepen diplomatic, economic, cultural and strategic partnerships, the official added: “Today, 97% of the world’s Buddhist population lives on the Asian continent, and Several (ASEAN) countries conceive of Buddhism as intrinsic to their national values ​​and identity. ”
India embraced Buddhism as an attribute of its soft power, as it seemed that China, which took Buddhism from India, had been trying to corner the market for Buddhist diplomacy.
For at least the last decade, India has increased tourism for Buddhist pilgrims, creating a Buddhist tourist circuit, sometimes in collaboration with Nepal or Sri Lanka. Last week, India opened an international airport in Kushinagar to add to the Buddhist circuit.

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