Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Miyan on Wednesday proposed academic exchange programmes between his varsity and universities of Saudi Arabia.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Teaching Arabic language in India: curricula and scope for promotion’, he said MANUU, with the approval from the government of India, could start exchange programmes.

Ali Mohd. Al-Shehri, cultural attache at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in New Delhi, responded positively to the idea of academic exchange between Indian universities offering Arabic courses and their Saudi counterparts, said a statement. He identified King Abdullah Centre for Arabic, Riyadh, as an appropriate institution in Saudi Arabia to take the initiative.

Describing Hyderabad as the centre for Islamic culture in India, the Saudi diplomat said Islam was the underlying force behind the popular usage of Arabic among Muslims all over the world.

Learning of Arabic is necessary to comprehend Quran. Arabic is treated as a “local language” in the sub-continent, he said. — IANS