3-Day International Conference on Buddhist Philosophy and its Role in Inculcating Values from February 17-19, 2021

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – A 3-Day International Conference on “Buddhist Philosophy and its Role in Inculcating Values among Youth” from February 17-19, 2021, being organized in the virtual mode by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Minority Affairs and Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy (AYUSH) Shri Kiren Rijiju on February 17, 2021.

The objectives of the International Conference are to disseminate the core values of Buddhist philosophy, its culture and its relevance for today’s youth for instilling in them ethical and moral values as edifice of robust culture in India and also across different countries. The Conference is being attended by revered resource persons and youth drawn from 29 countries, including Sri Lanka.

In his inaugural address the Hon’ble Minister mentioned that by 2030, India will be amongst the youngest nations in the world and fostering national and time-honoured values among youth is one of the key priorities of youth development of India. He dwelt on the Three Universal Truths, Four Noble Truths, The Five Precepts and The Eightfold Paths of Buddhist philosophy and mentioned that this is the best foundation for world peace, for equitable use of natural resources, and for proper care of the environment. The inaugural session was also addressed by Director General, ICCR and senior officials from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The inaugural session was followed by address by other distinguished persons, including Ven. Gathare Chandananda Thero of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka on the topic, “Role of Buddhist Philosophy behind Positive Mental Health”. Ven. Thero is an eminent educationist and possesses deep knowledge on the subject. Ven Thero’s address on a topic of great relevance in the present age, was appreciated by all participants.

The 2nd and 3rd days of the conference include addresses by other eminent persons on various topics related to Buddhism, including an address by Dr. Rajitha P. Kumara of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies at University of Kelaniya on ‘Early Buddhist Theory of Cognitive Development and its influence on the Individual’ and by Ven. Pusselle Wineetha Thero on ‘Influence of Buddhist philosophy among the Youth of Sri Lanka’.

The shared heritage of Buddhism is one of the strongest and most abiding links between India and Sri Lanka. In order to further deepen people-to-people linkages between our two countries in the sphere of Buddhism, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced, during the Virtual Bilateral Summit held in September 2020, India’s grant assistance of US$ 15 million for promotion of Buddhist ties between the two countries. Its utilisation is being worked out in discussions with the Government of Sri Lanka and other relevant stakeholders.

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