Ministry of Culture promotes research on Buddhist studies and culture in India
The Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel informed that to promote research on Buddhist Studies and Buddhist Culture in India, the Ministry of Culture currently operates four Autonomous Buddhist educational Institutions namely: Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda, Bihar; Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), Sarnath, Varanasi; Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS), Leh, Ladakh and Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (CIHCS), Dahung, Arunachal Pradesh.
The mandate of these educational Institutions is to provide education in Buddhist philosophies, Culture & Art and to promote research in different aspects of Buddhism, preserve ancient Buddhist manuscripts, digitize ancient Buddhist text preserved in the languages of Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese and other Asian languages through the system of a modern university. In addition to the aforesaid four Autonomous Buddhist educational Institutes, Ministry of Culture also provides annual grants-in-aid for the upkeep and maintenance to the following six Grantee Bodies for promoting Buddhist Culture and Art:
1. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamshala
2. Tibet House, New Delhi
3. Centre for Buddhist Cultural Studies, Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
4. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Sikkim
5. International Buddhist Confederation
6. GRL Monastic School, Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh
Ministry of Culture has signed Cultural Exchange Programmes (CEPs) with a number of countries which include countries having Buddhist population viz. China, Japan, Combodia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand etc. Besides, with a view to build international cultural relations with other Buddhist nations, the Buddhist institutes under the Ministry have various alumni exchange programmes, faculty exchange programmes, collaborative research projects and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with various international Institutes located in USA, Australia, Russia, Korea, Mongolia etc. Further, international level seminars, symposia and conferences are organised regularly by these Institutes with the participation of scholars from various countries. Besides, the Ministry of Tourism undertakes various promotional activities on an ongoing basis in the international markets including those with a Buddhist population. These promotions are undertaken with the objective of showcasing the various tourist destinations and products of the country including the Buddhist sites. Further, the Ministry of Tourism organizes an International Buddhist Conclave biennially. Participants in the conclave include eminent Buddhist scholars, opinion makers, tour operators and media personalities from overseas. Various projects for Buddhist sites are being undertaken by Ministry of Tourism under the scheme of Swadesh Darshan, PRASHAD and Assistance to Central Agencies, provides Central Financial Assistance to State Governments/Union Territories/ Central Agencies etc. for development of infrastructure and facilities at thematic tourist circuits in the country.