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India was the last guest of 2016 at Ambassadors’ Forum series

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This year’s last Ambassadors’ Forum at Ludovika welcomed H.E Mr. Rahul Chhabra, Indian Ambassador to Hungary as a special guest. His Excellency has a graduate degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta, where he was placed on the Roll of Honour. In the past, he served as Director for External Publicity at the Ministry of External Affairs and Director in the Foreign Secretary’s Office and also served in China, the United States, France, Belgium, Senegal, and the Philippines.

Moderated by Dr. János Bóka, Vice-Dean for Education of Faculty of International and European Studies, the Forum took place with the presence of the experts, Dr. Imre Lázár Head of Department at the Ministry of Human Capacities and Jári Ferenc, Head of Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Hungary.

In his opening speech Mr. Chhabra gave a broad introduction about India including geographical, economic, cultural and many other aspects, as well as about Hungarian-Indian relations. The Ambassador presented his country’s geographical dimensions, also in comparison with Europe.  He talked about the population density, the fact, that India is in possession of the 1/5 of the world’s water supply, and most of all, the unique Mars mission, the country was the first to launch. Challenges India currently faces, like the extreme poverty, the health care system and the improvement of the educational system were also mentioned.

The historical overview of the Hungarian-Indian relations corroborate that the countries sustain a strong relationship, India has been in the top 3 investors in Hungary for years. Tourism is significant, the Indian culture is very popular in Hungary, and furthermore Hungary supports the Indian aspiration to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Mr. Chhabra mentioned the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme that provides opportunity for 200 Indian students or practicing professionals to pursue studies in Hungary.

The experts analysed the role and position of India in global politics, but the highlight of the event was the cultural programme organized by the Embassy. The first artist was Pandit Rajesh Gangani, a „tabla” performer, a classic Indian music on percussion instruments. He was followed by Saumya Shukla, presenting a north Indian folk dance, the „kathak.” The cultural event was completed by a photo exhibition of the artist Bijoy Mishra, presenting his work on India.