The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, attended a roundtable discussion of Indologists at Charles University in Prague today (September 8, 2018).Speaking on the occasion, the President said Indology has a very old tradition in Prague, starting with the establishment of a Chair in Sanskrit at Charles University in 1850. Professor Lesny was among the founding fathers of the Czech school of Indology. He was the first European Indologist who translated Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry directly from Bengali into Czech, instead of using English as an intermediary. The President said Indology has not just brought India and the Czech Republic together. It has had an enormous role in the making of modern India and rediscovering India’s rich past. Later in the day, the President visited ELI Beamlines International Laser Research Centre in Prague. He received detailed briefings at this cutting-edge institution, one of the world’s centres of laser technology and research. Coinciding with President Kovind’s visit, ELI Beamlines has signed an agreement with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. Technologists from TIFR also met the President and briefed him on the implications of their work in a variety of fields, including healthcare, energy, and security. The President will leave for New Delhi tomorrow (September 9, 2018) on the completion of his three-nation visit to Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Before leaving Prague, the President will visit Thakurova Park, named in honour of Rabindranath Tagore, and pay respects to the poet.
Yesterday evening (September 7, 2018), the President addressed members of the India-Czech Republic Business Forum in Prague. The President said the economies of India and the Czech Republic have significant complementarities. Indian companies have expertise in IT, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and services. India offers a vast market and potential to scale up for Czech companies in heavy engineering, defence, advanced manufacturing, and automotive and energy technologies.The President said the defence sector has been a vital area of cooperation between India and the Czech Republic. He invited Czech defence companies to invest and manufacture in India. He said from Bata to Skoda, the Indo-Czech partnership has been defined by popular embrace, sustainable practices and business confidence. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr Andrej Babis, and the President of the House of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Mr Radek Vondracek, also called on President Kovind yesterday evening (September 7, 2018). In the meeting with Prime Minister Babis, the President discussed closer defence and business relations and the scope for Czech manufacturing companies to partner with India.