PM Modi said he enjoys a close friendship with Putin but the best gift the President gave to him was to take him to Sochi and meet those children.
Interaction between young people of India and Russia, especially schoolchildren, would perhaps be the “most important addition” to the “unprecedented level” of bilateral ties and serve as a basis for a long-term cooperation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Putin interacted with some young talents drawn from India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Russia’s SIRIUS educational centre.
Modi, in his remarks, urged the youths of both the countries to work on innovation to improve the way of living of the poor and the needy.
“With the cooperation of your counterparts, I am sure the interaction between young people, especially between schoolchildren, would be a great addition, and perhaps the most important addition, to the unprecedented level of India and Russia relations that we see these days,” Putin said.
“This is the basis for a long-term cooperation,” he said.
Modi also expressed his delight in meeting students of both the countries, and pitched for having sustained exchange programmes.
“This (Russian students’ visit to India) should be taken forward. Indian students should visit Russian institutions, and more and more such exchanges should take place. India and Russian students together must think what can they do to make lives simpler for people, especially the poorest, to improve their way of living,” he said.
The prime minister also asserted that every generation must have a “scientific temper” whether a person turns into a scientist or not.
“Without innovation, (the development) of the world will come to a standstill,” he said.
During the interaction, the two leaders also took a few questions from both Russian and Indian students, on subjects such as value of teachers, scientists and areas of research.
Putin in his parting remarks, said, one student asked about the areas of research to work on, “One area is artificial intelligence. But without human intelligence, at least at this stage, it is impossible to fathom that an AI would be created. In order to continue with that, those who deal with cognitive sciences understand that the main thing is to work as a part of a team.”
“So, I am really grateful to the Prime Minister for inviting talented, young Russians to India, which is a practical step to show that you are ready to work as part of a team. So we wish you every success,” the Russian president said.
Brightest of minds from the two different countries were brought together by the spirit of innovation at the AIM-SIRIUS bootcamp here.
At the initiative of President Putin, since 2015 in Sochi has been started a year-round Educational Centre ‘SIRIUS’ (TALENT and SUCESS Foundation) for children who showed endowments in the fields of arts, science and sports.
Modi said he enjoys a close friendship with Putin but the best gift the President gave to him was to take him to Sochi and meet those children.
“For the future of Russia, it is Putin’s biggest investment, entire intellectual capabilities, commitment and emotion, he has invested in this (SIRIUS),” Modi said.
Putin to a question from a student on the importance of teachers said the prime minister invited me for dinner last night and one of the subjects he discussed was education.
“So, it looks like education is something that receives a lot of attention in both India and Russia. We celebrate Teacher’s Day on October 5 and India marks it on September 5… We are working on strengthening the importance of this area (education), both in theory and practice, and the evidence is this meeting in India,” Putin added.
Modi also emphasised that in lives of great men, either their teacher or mother have played an instrumental role.
“I must say, the cooperation between BRICS countries, and this association made not very long time ago, brings meaningful contents to various areas. We are working together on finance, have created modern and much promising financial instruments, agreeing on cooperation in other areas, arts for example. For example, we are thinking about cooperating in humanitarian areas,” Putin added.
The Russian president to a question on, which scientist had impressed him the most, said, “Hard to say, which book or which piece of music I like the best, all factors, arts, music, science, culture contribute to the development of mankind. But, I really envy people who have devoted their life to science.”
“The visit of the Sirius delegation to India, from September 30-October 7 is the realisation of the idea of bringing together talented students from both India and Russia, for joint workshops, projects and interaction,” the MEA said in a statement.
As part of the visit, the delegation has been working with a group of talented students from the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), and the Atal Tinkering Labs, at the IIT-Delhi, it said.