Having concluded his Belgium visit on Friday Mr. Mukherjee said he was satisfied that five agreements were inked between leading Universities of India and Belgium and “this will give an impetus to research and innovation in both the countries”.
Speaking to the media on board the special aircraft carrying the President’s delegation to Belgium and Turkey, Mr. Mukherjee said he had always placed special emphasis on improving the quality of higher education in the country by “promoting collaborations to strengthen research infrastructure in order to encourage innovation in our academic institutions.”
Mr. Mukherjee said Belgium has “world renowned academic infrastructure in higher education, especially innovation.”
“In view of the benefits to India from enhanced academic cooperation a high-level academic delegation of some of the top Universities accompanied me during my visit which concluded five agreements,” Mr. Mukherjee told the media.
The Vice Chancellors of Delhi and Hyderabad Universities and the JNU were among those who were part of the President's delegation.
Overall, the President said he was very satisfied with the warmth of reception and the meticulous attention given by the government of Belgium to “every aspect of my programme which reflected the strength of our bilateral relationship”.
“Our economic partnership with Belgium is of particular importance as it has emerged as India's second largest trading partner within the E.U. We discussed a number of important areas of economic cooperation including some in the pipeline. We noted our important joint efforts in the development and modernisation of India's railways sector, cooperation in nuclear waste management and in science and technology,” Mr. Mukherjee told the media.
The President said Belgium reiterated its support for the reform of the U.N. institutions and for India's permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council. “Belgium has fully supported our efforts for developing civil nuclear cooperation”, Mr. Mukherjee added.