Sofia: President Ram Nath Kovind has said that scholarship and learning are the building blocks of any meaningful international relationship.
Addressing students in Sofia University, Bulgaria on Wednesday on the theme “Education as an Instrument of Change and Shared Prosperity”, the President said, “Scholarship and learning are the building blocks of any meaningful international relationship – as is certainly the case between Bulgaria and India.”
He further added that the focus of our education system and knowledge production is to secure a meaningful future for younger generations.
Dedicating his address to former President Dr S. Radhakrishnan on the occasion of his birth anniversary, President Kovind said, “It is a coincidence that I am at this University on September 5. In India, this is commemorated as Teachers’ Day in honour of Dr S. Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary falls today. Dr Radhakrishnan was one of my distinguished predecessors as the President of India. He was a scholar-statesman and philosopher of rare eminence. In 1954, as Vice-President of India, he visited Bulgaria and helped lay the foundations of our modern relationship. My address today is dedicated to this great teacher and this embodiment of Bulgaria-India relations.”
Recognizing the contribution of teachers in nation building, the President added, “I would also like to use this occasion to pay tribute to India’s teachers, scholars and academics. They have drawn from India’s age-old traditions of learning and wisdom — and they have contributed to India’s reputation as a knowledge power. They are a source of pride for India. Across continents, Indian scholarship and academic excellence is recognized. It adds to the global economy and knowledge structures – and it earns India goodwill.”
Talking about Bulgaria-India bond, he said, “Here Bulgaria and India, despite being so different, have common concerns and common aspirations. About a quarter of Bulgaria’s population is below the age of 25. In India, 65 per cent of our people are aged below 35. These are dreams that we can realise together. India would be happy to share its blueprints and its experiences with Bulgaria, as per your country’s priorities.”
He also suggested that Bulgarian and Indian scientists can cooperate to devise technologies to clean rivers and to explore the potential of the blue economy.
Before the address of the President, India and Bulgaria also signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in the fields of Civil Nuclear cooperation, investment, Tourism and establishment of Hindi chair at Sofia University. A program of Cooperation in science and Technology was also signed.
President Kovind is on his state visit to three European countries-Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.