Vice-President returns home after Czech Republic tour


Tihar Jail
Aug 6, 2009
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New Delhi, (PTI) : Vice President Hamid Ansari arrived here on Saturday after his six-day two nation tour of Czech Republic and Croatia during which several bilateral agreements were signed. During his first leg of the tour to Czech Republic, India signed three pacts that include one on social security which will protect interests of around 700 Indians working in the European nation.

The agreement on Social Security and Administrative Arrangement was signed by Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot, who was accompanying Ansari, and Czech Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Under the Social Security Agreement with Czech Republic, citizens working in either country for less than five years would be exempted from social security contributions. Around 600 to 700 Indians are working in Czech Republic whose interests will be protected through this agreement.

The other two agreements signed by India and Czech Republic were on Economic Cooperation and Protocol on Amendment of the Agreement between India and Czech Republic for the Promotion and Protection of Investments signed on October 11, 1996. During his two-day tour to Croatia, two agreements were signed for bilateral cooperations in areas of health, medicine and culture.

Agreement on Cooperation on Health and Medicine covers areas of cooperation in the field of mother and child health, family planning, public health and nursing, medical research, medical equipment and pharmaceutical products, hospital management, standards and curriculum of medical education. Cooperation in these areas will be made possible through exchange of information, exchange of delegations, and training and deputation of experts to international meetings held in India and Croatia.

Under the cultural exchange programme, India and Croatia will cooperate for exchange of experts to enhance practical, mutually beneficial issues. The programme provides for a contemporary Indian art exhibition and an Indian miniature paintings exhibition to be held in Croatia, while a contemporary Croatian art exhibition and an exhibition of Croatian cultural heritage will be held in India.

Since Croatia has a strong tradition of Indology, the programme provides for enhanced engagement in this area. The programme also provides for encouraging performing arts and organisation of film festivals in both countries.

Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Vivek Katju described the visit as "great success" as both the nations pledged their support for India's bid for a permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council and a non-permanent membership in the UNSC for 2011-12.

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