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NEW DELHI : Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has played a significant role in strengthening India’s relations with other countries, particularly through its soft power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the centenary celebrations of AMU on Tuesday.

Students educated at AMU are cultural ambassadors of India, especially those who are staying abroad, he added. Modi is the first Prime Minister in more than five decades to have attended an event at AMU as the chief guest.

“In the last 100 years, AMU has worked to strengthen India’s relations with many countries. The research done here on Urdu, Arabic and Persian languages, and Islamic literature, provide new energy to India’s cultural relations, particularly with Islamic world," Modi said while addressing the university via video conferencing.

“People who have studied at AMU are in great positions across India and abroad. When I am on foreign tours, I meet a lot of AMU alumni and they say this with a lot of pride. Wherever they go, they are the cultural ambassadors of India…. In its 100-year history, AMU has shaped the lives of lakhs of people."

Modi said the university has played a key role in educating Muslim women, and reducing the drop-out rates, leading to an increase in the number of women students in AMU. The PM also appreciated the university’s active role in helping the common man during covid-19 pandemic.

There has been an increase in the number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs), compared to 2014, when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed the government at the Centre, Modi said. The PM spoke in detail about the New Education Policy (NEP) and how it will benefit the Indian youth. The policy was brought keeping in mind the priorities of the 21st century students and to help develop rational thinking and scientific outlook, he added.

“AMU has interdisciplinary subjects from the early days…this sentiment is there in NEP as well. It prioritizes the needs and interests of 21st century students. Our youth is committed to take ahead the Nation First concept. They are finding solutions to challenges in India through new startups. Rational thinking is their priority and NEP takes care of it."

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