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Nalanda (Bihar) [India], October 1 (ANI): Nalanda University on Friday launched its Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBS) on the occasion of World Maritime Day.

The research centre was launched by Saurabh Kumar, the Secretary (East) of the Ministry of External Affairs, and Professor Sunaina Singh, the Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University.

VC Professor Sunaina Singh's creative thinking has provided the nation with a special multidisciplinary research centre devoted to teaching, research, and capacity building with an emphasis on the Bay of Bengal.

Building on the vision of PM Modi, VC Professor Singh envisioned CBS as a leading interdisciplinary research centre engaged in teaching and evidence-based public policy research on diverse subjects of the Bay. The detailed conceptualised idea of CBS was approved in the 18th meeting of the Governing Board of the University in 2019, the release stated.

In order to increase maritime awareness through research and education, CBS is a crucial step. VC Professor Singh highlighted the centre's importance by saying, "Building on the common civilizational ethos of the Bay of Bengal region, the centre will engage in academically rigorous interdisciplinary research building bridges between academics and policymakers for real-world solutions for the betterment of the Bay of Bengal region."The Bay of Bengal region holds special significance for India's development, security and progress.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address during the inaugural session of the BIMSTEC Summit on 30 August 2018, announced to set up of a Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies at Nalanda University for research on arts, culture, maritime laws and other subjects in the Bay of Bengal.

In order to spark and create opportunities for the Bay area, CBS will offer collaborations in a range of areas, such as geo-economics and geopolitics, ecology, trade and connectivity, maritime security, maritime law, cultural heritage, and blue economy. By encouraging deeper nautical links and building regional and international cooperation frameworks in the Indian Ocean, CBS would boost India's overarching framework for marine involvement, which aspires to advance sustainable economic growth for all in the region.

The Bay's importance will increase over time due to its location at the centre of the Indo-Pacific. The Act East Policy of India and India's strategic adjustments to the East depends on it. A dedicated multidisciplinary research centre is essential due to PM Modi's SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision and Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI).

There is a clear deficit in the knowledge of this area, and there are few courses that specifically address the Bay of Bengal. VC Prof. Singh, who is renowned for thinking creatively and innovatively, took the initiative and envisioned a three-week certificate programme on the Bay of Bengal that would cover a variety of topics, including history, geography, geopolitics, geo-economics, environment and ecology, trade, connectivity, blue economy, maritime security, resources, tradition, art and architecture, and maritime law. Many people expressed interest in the first course, and students from many nations successfully finished the introduction course.

The Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies at Nalanda is poised to play a crucial role in comprehending the trends and trajectories in the region at a time when a general concern for the global commons is emerging and will give pertinent policy insights. (ANI)

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