The virtual meeting H. E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of Indiawith H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron

H. E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India, had a virtual meeting with H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport on 24th May 2021.

In his opening remarks, he expressed solidarity and extended moral support to the people of India, who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with their utmost strength. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron recalled the age-old civilizational and cultural linkages between the two countries, the deep influence of Sanskrit and Pali languages on Cambodia, past cooperation extended by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in organizing the International Day of Yoga events in various provinces in Cambodia, amongst other issues of bilateral importance.

Ambassador commended Cambodia’s efforts in handling the COVID-19 pandemic situation and stated that with each other’s active cooperation, both countries will overcome the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic soon.  Further, Ambassador recalled the visit of Prime Minister Hun Sen to India in January 2018, which has further enhanced the ties between the two countries.  She also referred to her meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in January this year, when they discussed, inter alia, the signing of the Bilateral Investment Treaty and initiating bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Both sides also discussed signing of MoU between the Universities of India and Cambodia, Youth Exchange Programme, active participation of Cambodian officials and students in ITEC and ICCR scholarships respectively, organization of events jointly during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between  India-Cambodia in 2022, India’s participation in various ASEAN and other Related Summits in Cambodia in 2022, India’s development cooperation through Quick Impact Projects in the fields of tourism, education, sanitation, health, IT and promotion of Buddhist linkages and traditional medicine in each other’s countries, etc.

On entering into an MoU between the premier universities of India and Cambodia, he suggested that an MoU could be signed between the Royal University of Phnom Penh and Nalanda University, modeled after one of the oldest Universities in India.

The Hon’ble Minister stated that due to COVID-19, Phnom Penh International Day of Yoga may be celebrated online.  He also stated that if the COVID-19 pandemic situation remains problematic, many of the ASEAN-related side events may be held online. He also invited India to participate in the Ramayana Festival, which will be organized during the run-up to the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia in 2022. Ambassador requested the Hon’ble Minister to share Ministry’s annual plan which will help to earmark the areas in which Embassy can support and cooperate.

On Development Projects, Ambassador expressed her desire to support Educational Project that helps young children, especially girl students, STEM education, and digital literacy including coding. Given India’s IT strengths, it was decided to also explore supporting the above goals through flagship programs of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport such as Basic Education Equivalency Programme in Cambodia (BEEP) and Provincial Teacher Training Centres (PTTCs).

Source: India in Cambodia (Embassy of India, Phnom Penh)