GIS – 20 August, 2018: Cyber Tower 1, in Ebène Cybercity, will be henceforth named as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower as a tribute to the name and legacy of former Indian Prime Minister, late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee,who passed away on 16 August 2018.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this announcement on Saturday 18 August 2018 during the opening ceremony of the 11th World Hindi Conference (WHC) “Vishwa Hindi Sammelan 2018”at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, in Pailles.
Several personalities were in attendance including the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj, the Governor of West Bengal, Republic of India, Shri KeshariNaathTripaathi, and the Governor of Goa, Shrimati Mridula Sinha. The WHC is being held over three days and is addressing the theme: Hindi VishwaAurBhaaratiyaSanskriti.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth paid homage to Shri Vajpayee and recalled that Mauritius was fortunate to have had the late Indian Prime Minister as a friend who took Indo-Mauritian relations to new heights. These strong ties have significantly contributed to shaping the economic and cultural landscape of Mauritius, he emphasised.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that it was under late Shri Vajpayee’s then Prime Ministership that several projects took shape in Mauritius, namely: setting up of the first Cybercity; initiating negotiations of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement; and construction of the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, the Rabindranath Tagore Institute and the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture.
Speaking about the WHC, Prime Minister Jugnauth observed that Mauritius is privileged to host such a unique platform gathering eminent academics and Hindi scholars and lovers from across all countries of the Indian Diaspora. The conference, he pointed out, is an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment to further develop Hindi and expand its global reach. The main theme of the Conference, he said, must be subject for reflections that will chart the way forward for an effective use of Hindi in preserving and transmitting the great Indian culture.
According to him, this event should also allow the Indian diaspora to showcase its linguistically-defined identity as well as its sense of belonging to the language while at the same time serve as brainstorming process to formulate policy orientations to further the cause of Hindi.
In Mauritius, Prime Minister Jugnauth stated, Indian languages, especially Hindi, have been a strong and powerful connector with Indian culture, literature and values. He dwelt on the sustained efforts that have been adopted over the decades in Mauritius to give Hindi its rightful place which initially started with the teaching of Hindi in the baithka system where values, Indian culture along with folk culture and Hindi were disseminated in one single place and ultimately the setting up of the World Hindi Secretariat which is now adding to the momentum of the promotion of Hindi as an International Language.
The Prime Minister reiterated his unflinching support in promoting and preserving the Hindi language and culture as well as the various movements which are contributing to the evolution of this language and helping people of Indian descent to connect with their cultural heritage.
For her part, the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj, stressed that Hindi must be integrated into the multicultural dimension and recognised on the international scene. She made an appeal for the promotion of the Hindi language in the world and its accession as an official language at the United Nations. Minister Swaraj expressed her determination that the 11th WHC will come up with strategies to support the plea for the adoption of the Hindi language as an official language at the United Nations.
The Indian Ministeralso spoke on the intent of India to provide support to underprivileged countries of the Indian Disapora whereby she called for amendments regarding certain clauses of the United Nations as well as the support of other countries. India is ready to disburse some Rs 40 billion in this endeavor, she said, and highlighted that the Hindi language must be revived with the necessary ways and means that need to be devised to maintain and preserve it.
A working session between Shrimati Sushma Swaraj, and Prime MinisterJugnauthwas also held on Sunday 19 August 2018 at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port Louis. Various issues were discussed among which the ongoing negotiations of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between Mauritius and India. India has also reiterated its support regarding Mauritius’ sovereignty claim over the Chagos Archipelago which will be debated at the International Court of Justice on 3rd September 2018.
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