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Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh Celebrated ICCR Foundation Day with Alumni

More than 60 distinguished ICCR alumni attend ICCR Foundation Day.

Phnom Penh: Embassy of India, Phnom Penh celebrated Indian Council for Cultural Relations Foundation Day on 9th April at Hotel Great Duke.

More than 60 distinguished ICCR alumni attended the function. The function was presided by H.E Ms. Manika Jain, Ambassador of India to Cambodia and Dr. Sao Chivoan, secretary of state, Ministry of Rural Development and President of Cambodia India Alumni Association (CIAA) was the chief guest of the occasion.

The programme began with national anthem of Cambodia and India and lighting of traditional lamp.

Ven. Dr. Khy Sovanratana, Acting Rector of Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University; H.E Ms. Eat Sophea, Secretary of State, MOFA; H,E Keo Chhea, Advisor to MOFA and Dean of University of Cambodia, and Mr. Ou Rithy, Consultant ILO were among the ICCR alumni and speakers/panellists who shared their cherished their study experience in India with the audience. This was followed by Q&A session.

Dr Sao Chivoan told The Phnom Penh Post on Tuesday that he had gained English language proficiency, globally accredited professional skills and positive life experiences from studying in India.

“Indians are similar to Cambodians because the Khmer and Indian civilisations and cultures are connected [historically], so how we think is similar. This makes studying in India easier than in any other country,” he said.

Chivoan, who studied agriculture from 1988 to 1992, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and went on to receive a scholarship for a Master’s in education and agricultural promotion and rural development from 1992 to 1994.

Venerable Dr Khy Sovanratana told The Phnom Penh Post that India is a great country. Sovanratana who studied in India said he enjoyed living and travelling in that country.

“India is a country we think we might not want to visit, but if we did, we would not want to leave. And when we left, we would surely want to return. This is the reality,” the monk said. He said many Cambodian students had studied in India on scholarships and there was no reason for others to fear to do likewise.

“I would like to encourage all of you, if there is the chance to obtain a scholarship to study in India, you should go. You really should go to study there because India is a great country. This observation is based on my own experiences,” he said.

H.E. Manika Jain said ICCR provided scholarships every year for foreign students, including those from Cambodia.

“The ICCR’s objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to Indian culture. It helps to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries,” she said.

Jain said ICCR provided 25 scholarships a year for undergraduate and postgraduate studies and research.

At the end, everyone enjoyed Bharatanatyam dance performance by ICCR artist and experts. 

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