Rajgir (Bihar): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday advocated for inclusion of the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

"The university deserves a place in the world's heritage list," he told reporters after a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting in Rajgir, about 80 km from Patna.

Khurshid said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's proposal for inclusion of Nalanda University, the Buddhist seat of learning in ancient times, in the world heritage list has reached Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The union minister said the Centre would extend all assistance, including special arrangements in the budget, to accelerate the construction process of Nalanda University so that the academic session could be started at the earliest.

Khurshid said, "Trade and financial relationship are developed between two nations but cultural diplomacy has emerged as a more effective tool of establishing international relations as it establishes a chord between people of one country with another."

Besides Khurshid, eight MPs participated in the meeting at the newly constructed International Convention Centre at Rajgir, the tourist hotspot of Bihar in Nalanda district.

The MPs who attended the meeting included Vijay Bahadur Singh, D Raja, Arjun Meghwal, Abdul Rahman, N K Raghvan, Ask Ali Tak, RCP Singh and Tarun Vijay.


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