Palanivel invited Institute of Technology (IIT) to set up a branch in Malaysia. He said that several students from Malaysia come to India to get degrees in dentistry, engineering and medicine, and added that some of the Indian educational institutions have already set up centres there.

Palanivel also said that his country would like to work closely with India in the area of biodiversity.

“As one of the 12 mega diverse countries in the world, Malaysia has in place many conservation programmes relating to biodiversity conservation - such as our extensive network of protected forest areas," Palanivel said in his address at the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of people of Indian origin.

Palanivel, who is also the president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), said that his country was revising its national policy on biodiversity to make it in line with the new global strategy.

While finalising a draft bill for natural resources and benefit sharing, the Malaysian government learnt from the Indian experience on implementation of national biological diversity bill, he noted.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, who delivered the welcome address on the occasion, said the celebrations help people of Indian origin to connect with the land of their ancestors.

He recalled that the programme is held every year on January 9 to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa this day in 1915.


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