India plans to host what it bills as the first-ever Global Buddhist Conference in November, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) announced on Tuesday, also sharing that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will present a new Award for Promotion of Buddhist Studies following the conference.
The event is expected to be held on 19–20 November at the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara campus in Nalanda, in the northern state of Bihar.
“The ICCR has planned to launch the first edition of the Global Buddhist Conference in November 2021 on the theme ‘Buddhism in Literature’ in collaboration with the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara and the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC),” said ICCR president Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe. (Sify.com)
In the run-up to the conference, four regional conferences in India—in Dharamsala, Gangtok, Sarnath, and Telangana—and overseas—in Cambodia, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand—would be organized, the ICCR said, adding that reports from the regional forums would be presented at the global conference.
“Buddhism is an essential ingredient of the idea of India,” Sahasrabuddhe added. “Therefore, the predominance of India in the idea of Buddhism and predominance of Buddhism in the idea of India is being underscored in an academic manner.” (DNA)
The ICCR, is an autonomous organization under the central government with a focus on international cultural relations through cultural exchange. The ICCR conducts cultural diplomacy by organizing festivals and conferences, and through support for a number of cultural institutions.
“This is an academic conference,” ICCR director-general Dinesh K. Patnai explained. “The whole idea is how to make India the centre of Buddhism. It is not about tourism, but about making it the centre of Buddhist activities, like academic, cultural, seminars. We are also going to have a depository of the manuscript.” (WION)
The ICCR also announced that the prime minister would present the Award for Promotion of Buddhist Studies on 21 November in New Delhi. The award, which is part of the government’s plan for promoting India’s Buddhist heritage, is being given in recognition of the contributions of foreign scholars, individuals, and organizations to the promotion of Buddhist studies internationally. India has presented similar awards for the promotion of Sanskrit and Indology.
“The award will comprise a cash reward of US$20,000, a plaque, and a gold-plated medallion. If there is more than one awardee, the amount would be shared equally,” said Sahasrabuddhe. “The award is part of the comprehensive and consolidated action plan for activities related to Buddhism, in line with realizing the vision of the prime minister for the revival of India as a global centre for Buddhism and related tourism.” (Sify.com)
The Global Buddhist Conference is intended to form part of the 70th Foundation Day celebrations of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, which was established in 1951 under Indian President Rajendra Prasad to revive the ancient seat of Buddhist learning in Nalanda.
“Eminent scholars from the prominent Buddhist universities or institutions in India and abroad will participate in the [Global Buddhist Conference]. Over 150 delegates of the IBC will also take part in the inaugural ceremony of the GBC scheduled to be held on November 19,” Sahasrabuddhe said. (ANI)
International Buddhist Confederation
Indian Council for Cultural Relations
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara
India to hold Global Buddhist Conference in November; PM Modi to give award on Buddhist studies (DNA)
India to hold Global Buddhist Conference in November; PM to give award on Buddhist studies (WION)
India will host first ‘Global Buddhist Conference’ in November (Sify.com)
India to hold Global Buddhist Conference in November 19-20: ICCR (ANI)
India to hold Global Buddhist Conference in November, PM Modi to give award on Buddhist studies (Reformer News)
India to hold Global Buddhist Conference on November 19-20 (India TV)
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