26.11.2015 Belgium’s most prestigious and oldest University, KU Leuven marked India’s Constitution Day (26 November) as a tribute to Dr B R Ambedkar with a special class of international relations and law students on Federalism in India. It took place in Aula Pieter De Somer, the largest lecture hall of the University and was attended by more than 300 students and faculty of KUL.
The special event was put together by Professor Idesbald Goddeeris, who runs the India program at KU Leuven. The panel discussion featured Prof. Patrick Peeters, who compared the Indian Constitution with the Belgian Constitution. Mr. M.S Vishnu Sankar, practising lawyer in the Supreme Court of India, spoke on the concept of Federalism as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri delivered the opening address while and Prof. Rajendra Jain, ICCR Professor at KU Leuven provided an EU perspective.
6.8.2015: The Embassy of India in Brussels organized an Evening of Bharatnatyam Dance by Ms. Aranyani Bhargav from India at its auditorium on August 6, 2015. Ms. Bhargav’s presented the Indian classical dance in its purest art form that was deeply appreciated by the large audience.
23.7.2015: A 4-member cultural delegation from India—Madras String Quartet—led by Mr. V.S. Narasimhan visited Belgium and Luxembourg from July 22-25, 2015 for performances. The delegation presented brilliant performances at Radhadesh in the Belgian Ardennes on July 22, 2015, at the Embassy on July 23, 2015 and at Luxembourg City on July 24, 2015 in front of packed audience. The performances were deeply appreciated by the wide cross section of culture loving people of Belgium including the Indian diaspora. The visit of the delegation was sponsored by ICCR.
22.6.2015 to 26.6.2015: The Hon’ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament, H.E. Ms. Sumitra Mahajan, visited Brussels at the invitation of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz, from June 22-26, 2015. She led a 15-member Indian Parliamentary Delegation comprising of Members of Parliament from both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and different political parties. The Secretary General of the Lok Sabha was also a member of the delegation.
Hon’ble Speaker met the President of the European Parliament, Delegation for Relations with India of the European Parliament, the President of the Belgian House of Representatives, and the President of the Belgian Senate during the visit.
21.6.2015: The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated at the Bois de la Cambre in Brussels at 10:30 AM on June 21, 2015. The Embassy of India in Brussels co-hosted a consolidated Yoga session along with all prominent Yoga institutions and federations across Belgium under a single umbrella in Brussels. The programme commenced with message of Hon’ble PM of India followed by a prayer in a meditative posture with namaskara mudra and end with Dhyana/Meditation in Jnana mudra/Yoga mudra with eyes closed for 6 minutes. The Yoga session in Brussels saw participation of about 5000 Yoga enthusiasts besides several Yoga trainers representing the different Yoga federations of Belgium. Similar Yoga related events comprising of lectures, seminars and practicing sessions were organized by this Embassy at other important cities of Belgium like the Indian diaspora dominated city of Antwerp, the University towns of Ghent and Leuven, Ardennes (Radhadesh), Kortrigk as also in Luxembourg.
Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Vice President of the European Commission for Budget & Human Resources has tweeted her support for the event
17.6.2015 to 18.6.2015: Mission participated in the B2B Trade Fair in the Greater Region, GR Business Days, organised on 17- 18 June 2015 at Lux Expo in Luxembourg. The event was focused towards SMEs and innovative start-ups from around the Greater Region. The business platform was aimed towards providing opportunities to participants to interact with their counterparts from the world of business for entering into prospective industrial and commercial partnerships. Indian participation evoked considerable interest among participants and visitors.
27.5.2015 to 29.5.2015: A delegation of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) led by Dr Rupali Basu, President and CEO (Eastern Region), Apollo Hospitals Group visited Belgium during 27-29 May 2015. On May 29, 2015, Embassy organised a “Meet the Businessmen and Investors” programme for the CII delegates in association with the Belgo-Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BICCI). Before the commencement of the B2B networking session, the delegation met with Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri. Ambassador presented an overview of the Belgian economy, its strengths in various sectors and scope for enhancement of Belgian investment in India. The event gave ample opportunity to delegates and local participants to interact for exploring business and investment opportunities in India.
27.5.2015: The Embassy of India in Brussels in association with the Belgian NGO Vidonne, prominent Yoga Federations of Belgium and Luxembourg, Antwerp Indian Association, University of Ghent and Radhadesh organized the first Press Conference on May 27, 2015 at the auditorium of this Embassy for the forthcoming celebrations of the First International Day of Yoga in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, Ardennes and Luxembourg City on June 21, 2015. Ambassador unveiled a T-Shirt for the event while Ms. Shrimati who will conduct the Yoga session in Brussels spoke at the Press Conference. The Press Conference was attended to by journalists of reputed print and electronic media of Belgium as also by representatives of all associated Yoga Federations of this country.
11.5.2015 to 12.5.2015: The 6th India-EU Forum was organized in Brussels between the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) of India and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). The India-EU Forum has emerged as an important Track II forum for discussion between policy analysts of both India and the EU from the last decade and the ICWA and the EUISS representing India and the EU respectively are having regular annual dialogues on key issues of mutual interest. The ICWA delegation was led by Director General ICWA, Ambassador Rajiv K. Bhatia, and comprised of Ambassador Dinkar Khullar, the former Ambassador of India in Brussels. The two sides discussed issues relating to policy priorities for India and the EU, Security and defence issues etc.
7.5.2015: On the occasion of the 154th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the renowned Katholic University of Leuven and the India House Leuven honored the great poet, internationalist and humanist, by inaugurating a bust of Tagore at the Literary Garden in the Faculty of Arts of the University. The bust was presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in New Delhi and was inaugurated by the Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of KUL, Prof. Luk Draye, and the Deputy Mayor of Leuven, Mr. Mohamed Ridouani. Prof. Tapati Mukherjee, Director, Rabindra Bhavana from the Visva Bharati University led the academic session on Tagore preceding the inauguration of the bust. This is the first bust of Tagore installed in Belgium.
5.5.2015: The Embassy of India in Brussels in association with India Platform in Belgium organized a trade promotion event—“Venture Visits to India” at the Embassy. The event was organized to generate interest amongst potential Belgian investors to visit India to evaluate potentials of investing in India. Ambassador of India, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, addressed the potential Belgian investors and researchers highlighting the recent initiatives of Government of India towards attracting FDIs into India, the Make in India campaign and the ease of doing business in India. Adviser of this Embassy, Shri Sarvesh Rai, made a brief presentation on GoI’s initiatives towards creation of 100 Smart Cities in India. India Platform officials also made presentations that were supplemented by experiences recounted by Belgian professionals who visited India in the recent past to explore business opportunities.
23.4.2015: Ambassador of India, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, interacted with the visiting delegation from the Indian Administrative Service to Brussels. The delegation is on a Study Tour to Brussels and Paris. The delegation met with several officials of the European Commission in Brussels and exchanged views.
21.4.2015 to 23.4.2015: India participated in the Seafood Expo Global -- the world’s largest seafood trade event in Brussels that also saw participation of a large number of exporters, importers, machinery manufacturers, media, and other seafood professionals from around 80 countries.
The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), in association with the Embassy of India in Brussels, organised India’s participation in this event. A specially designed ‘India Pavilion’ themed ‘Incredible Seafood from incredible India’ was set up. Apart from MPEDA, 20 exporters from India set up their stalls in the ‘India pavilion’. The event provided an opportunity to a large number of Indian exporters/traders/agents to interact with their business counterparts. MPEDA team led by its chairman, Ms Leena Nair met a large number of visitors and explained them about trade opportunities with India.
Ms. Lowri Evans, Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), the European Commission, along with her team of officers visited India Pavilion on 22nd April and interacted with Chairman, MPEDA and exporters.
During the Expo, an ‘India Event’ was organised on 22nd April. The Event was inaugurated by the Ambassador of India, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri. The Event included a presentation by Chairman, MPEDA, followed by an exclusive Indian seafood lunch for around 200 invited guests.
21.4.2015: The Delegation for Relations with India at the European Parliament organised the curtain raiser ceremony for the celebrations of the first International Day of Yoga at the European Parliament in Brussels on April 21, 2015. On the occasion, the internationally renowned Yoga exponent from India and the pioneer of the “Art of Living”--Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar visited the European Parliament in Brussels to speak on Yoga besides guiding a Meditation and Question and Answer sessions. As an unprecedented step, the event was being supported by ALL political groups of the European Parliament.
16.4.2015: The 3rd meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Belgian Yoga Group for the forthcoming commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Yoga in Belgium on June 21, 2015, was held under the Chairmanship of the Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, at this Embassy on April 16, 2015.
It was decided that the event would commence at 10:30 AM on June 21, 2015 with a short video message by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on the occasion of the 1st International Day of Yoga followed by prayer in any meditative posture with namaskara mudra. The first part of the event will end with Dhyana/Meditation in Jnana mudra/Yoga mudra with eyes closed for 6 minutes. The Yoga session to be presided over by a Yoga expert from France would last for about an hour. This will be followed by break away Yoga related events catering to the specific interests demonstrated by the participating Yoga enthusiasts for specific forms of Yoga, films on Yoga and other lecture sessions.
15.4.2015: Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, addressed the India - EU Strategic Dialogue Roundtable on Digital India as a Key Note Speaker. The event was organised by India Incorporated in association with Microsoft, SAP and Tata Consultancy Services at the Executive Briefing Centre of Microsoft in Brussels on April 15, 2015. The event was supported by McKinsey&Co. and Interel.
Hon’ble Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, GoI, Mr. R. S. Sharma, addressed the audience briefing them on the recent initiatives taken by the Government of India towards realizing the objectives of the Digital India campaign in India. Director General, Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission, Mr. Robert Madelin, also spoke at the event on the EU’s initiatives towards creation of a Single Digital Market.