Beijing: President Pranab Mukherjee recalled the Indian support to China’s membership of the UN in the 60s and 70s and the restitution of its permanent membership of the Security Council, in comments that assume significance after Beijing blocked India’s bid in the world body to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar.
In his address at the elite Peking University, he referred to the establishment of the diplomatic relations between India and China in 1950 and the bilateral relations that have been tested by difficulties and challenges in the last seven decades.
The period has demonstrated the determination of the Indian people to safeguard their friendship with the people of China and it has visibly endured, he noted.
“It was demonstrated in India’s early recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in December 1949, the establishment of our diplomatic relations in April, 1950 and India’s constant public support through the 60s and 70s for the admission of PRC to the UN and the restitution of its Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council.
“Through this period our relations have witnessed significant expansion and diversification. Our shared civilisational past and our common Asian identity have been at the core of this aspiration,” he said.
Mukherjee said that as India and China pursue their respective developmental goals, “we both seek to live in friendship and realise our common dream of an Asian Century”.
“Both our nations have reaped rich political and economic dividends from this wise and judicious approach,” the President said. His comments assume significance as they come against the backdrop of China recently blocking India’s bid to put Azhar on the UN list of proscribed terrorists, a move that has become a major irritant in Sino-India relations.
“India is a relatively young country with 60 per cent of its population in the age group of 15 to 59. To capitalise on the potential of this segment of educated youth, my government has launched ‘Start-up India’ aimed at promoting and providing incentives for entrepreneurship and job creation,” Mukherjee said.
With over 4,500 start-ups India has the third largest start-up eco-system in the world.
New initiatives under the ‘Start-up India’ programme will undoubtedly steer this effort in the right direction.
“Thus, institutions of higher education have an important responsibility – to harness the entrepreneurial abilities of our youth,” he said.
On the higher education front, India has initiated a unique programme GIAN – Global Initiative for Academic Networks, he said.
“Under this programme, we are engaging faculties from abroad for a short term teaching assignments in higher educational institutions,” he said.
The MoUs signed included agreements between Nalanda and Peking Universities; IIT Delhi and Changan University for cooperation in research and education in science, engineering, management and social sciences.
The pacts were also signed between IIT Calcutta and East China University of Political Science and Law; Central university of Gujarat and Beijing Foreign studies University; Central University of Gujarat and Jinan University; Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) Nagpur and Hunan University for cooperation in the fields of computer sciences and engineering communication.