Staff Reporter

Book on Russian history to be released

NEW DELHI: The Capital's "red'' corner, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is planning a special gift for the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India early next year.

In an attempt to forge closer bonds between the University and the country, a book tracing 1,000 years of Russian history is to be brought out to coincide with the visit.

Result of an agreement signed by JNU with the Centre of National Glory of Russia during President Putin's last visit here in 2004, the book is only the latest project in a long list of collaborations planned.

Sharing a special relationship with JNU, President Putin was conferred an honorary doctorate by the University in 2002.

"The book is a joint collaboration. It will give readers a glimpse of the country's art, culture and history as well as economic and political aspects from the 10th Century. It will be written by JNU professors specialising in Russia and, of course, experts from Russia,'' says Prof. Arun Mohanty, who is coordinating implementation of the agreement with JNU. The agreement signed between JNU and the Centre of National Glory of Russia aims to give Indian students and scholars opportunities for joint publications. And with JNU having a reputable programme for Russian and East European Studies for students pursuing M.Phil. and Ph.D., this agreement offers them a rare outlet in research.

"The idea was to pursue joint intellectual projects in cooperation with JNU. The agreement also allows students to visit Russia. Last year, a group of three students went to Siberia in August under the agreement,'' recalls Prof. Mohanty.

While there had been small exchanges under the agreements, this collaboration was further strengthened this year with the JNU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B. B. Bhattacharya, speaking at the "Dialogue of Civilisation'' organised by the World Public Forum in Greece, also an initiative of the Centre of National Glory of Russia.

"Vladimir Yakunin, who is the First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Railway Transportation in Russia, and a founder-member of the World Public Forum, met the Vice-Chancellor and expressed his desire for collaboration between JNU and the Forum. He wanted JNU to do research in areas that were connected with dialogue of civilisation since there is very little comprehensive study done in this field,'' says Prof. Mohanty.