PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina to hold bilateral talks at Santiniketan on May 25

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina will address the convocation at the Visva-Bharati University and hold bilateral talks there on May 25, official sources said.
The two leaders will also inaugurate the Bangladesh Bhavan at the university.
Hasina will arrive in Kolkata on the morning of May 25, sources at the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission said.
She would then leave for Santiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, about 160km from the state capital.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will also attend the programme at the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore.
Modi will inaugurate the Bangladesh Bhavan with Hasina and hold a bilateral meeting there, the sources said.
There has been no convocation in the central university for the past four years, officials said.
After the events in Santiniketan, Hasina is scheduled to leave for Kolkata, where she is likely to visit Jorasanko Thakur Bari, Tagore’s ancestral home in north Kolkata, an official said.
On May 26, Hasina will visit Kazi Nazrul University in Asansol in West Burdwan district where she will be conferred with an honorary D.Lit. Banerjee will be the chief guest at the convocation in the university.
On her return to Kolkata, Hasina is likely to visit Netaji Bhavan, the ancestral home of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in south Kolkata.
“In Kolkata she is likely to visit both Jorasanko Thakur Bari and Netaji Bhavan,” the official of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata said, adding that the dates were to be finalised.
She will return to Dhaka on the evening of May 26.
The Bangladesh Bhavan at Santiniketan will house a library, a state-of-the-art archival centre and a seminar hall, besides a sprawling space for cultural get-togethers.
Apart from the literary works of Tagore, the centre will also showcase books and photographs on the Bangladesh Liberation War and India’s role in it.
Sabujkali Sen, officiating vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati, said the programme would be a historic one for the university, which would welcome the dignitaries with the traditional rituals of Santiniketan.
A large delegation of people from Bangladesh, including media persons, would accompany Hasina, university sources said.
It was not confirmed whether the university’s highest award ‘Desikottama’ would be conferred at the convocation.
An official of NBCC, which constructed the Bangladesh Bhavan, said the building combined tradition and modern facilities.
“Everything has been made keeping in mind the Santiniketan flavour. The socio-cultural features of Bangladesh have been merged with it,” the official said.
A Visva-Bharati official said the central university would gift a replica of the first edition of Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Gitanjali’, which was published in 1912 in London, among other souvenirs to Modi.
Sheikh Hasina would be gifted a set of ‘Rabindra Chitrabali’ — Tagore’s paintings in four volumes — along with other gifts.
Banerjee would be presented with a set of ‘Rabindra Chitrabali’ along with Tagore’s photographs and a bilingual edition of ‘Gitanjali’, the official added.

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