Indian PM chairs meeting on commemoration of Buddha anniversary

PTI, Jan 10, 2006

New Delhi, India -- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today chaired a meeting of National Committee on commemoration of the 2550th anniversary of reincarnation of Lord Buddha.

During the meeting, attended among others by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Prime Minister asked the culture ministry to constitute a committee to chalk out the programme for a commemoration year, which will begin from May 13 this year.

This is first meeting of the National Committee constituted to mark the anniversary of Buddha's 'Mahaparinirvana'.

Culture Minister Jaipal Reddy said that an international conference on heritage of Nalanda was being organised in the heritage city from February 12 to 14, in which 300 prominent Buddhist scholars, monks and other dignitaries from abroad would attend the conference.

He stated that the government is also supporting three eminent Buddhist Educational Institutes in Leh, Saranath and Nalanda and added that there was also a scheme under operation to maintain and repair the Buddhist Monasteries and educational Institutions.

Minister of State for Tourism Renuka Chowdhary informed the committee members on efforts made by the Tourism Ministry in promoting the Buddhist Heritage sites.

Among others present at the meeting were Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar and Rajya Sabha Congress MP Karan Singh.