India, Bangladesh agree to enhance cultural links

India and Bangladesh agreed to increase mutual cultural exchanges and promote "institute- to-institute coordination".

New Delhi: India and Bangladesh on Tuesday agreed to increase mutual cultural exchanges and promote "institute- to-institute coordination" after a meeting between Abul Kalam Azad, Minister of Culture and Information of Bangladesh and Culture minister Kumari Selja.

"It was agreed that both sides should increase the cultural exchanges between India and Bangladesh. For this purpose, the Joint Commission as per article 31 of the current Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) should be activated so as to meet frequently to review the progress of the implementation of the CEP," a statement released by the Culture ministry after the meeting said.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen institution-to- institution coordination in the fields of conservation and restoration, drama, literature, fine arts and performing arts etc., apart from exchanging exhibitions.

The delegation from Bangladesh expressed interest in the visit of a team led by DG, Archeological Survey of India, to Bangladesh to do a training needs assessment on priority.
The Bangladeshi delegation will proceed to Kolkata
for the presentation of replicas of the houseboat `Padma` and a smaller boat `Chopola` used extensively by poet Rabindranath Tagore to Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan and Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata.

The Padma boat, along with the Kuthibari in Silaidaha in Bangladesh?s Kusthia district, is considered to be intrinsic to Tagore?s creative outputs. The poet is known to have used the houseboat regularly as a retreat in between his managerial duties at the family estate intermittently for a decade from 1890. On this boat, Tagore began his English translation of Gitanjali.
Chopola was a dinghy attached to the Padma, an official statement released here said.

The present visit by Azad comes in the wake of the recently-concluded 150th birth anniversary commemoration of Rabindranath Tagore which the two countries jointly celebrated.