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Overview of UNESCO DG Audrey Azoulay three day visit to India from Feb 4-6, 2020

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On February 4, 2020, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay arrived in New Delhi, India on a three-day visit till Feb 6, 2020 to boost strategic partnership in the areas of heritage, education and artificial intelligence. India is one of UNESCO’s founding members.  This was her first official visit to India after appointed as the DG of UNESCO. She began her trip with a visit to the Raj Ghat to pay her respects to Mahatma Gandhi who has had a profound influence on UNESCO. She met Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Union MoS Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Prahlad Singh Patel, in New Delhi during her visit.Audrey Azoulay met Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank; Agreement inked
Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who heads the Indian National Commission for Co-operation with UNESCO, met the DG UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay in New Delhi. During the meet, the two sides signed an agreement in the education sector.

  • UNESCO MGIEP Operational Agreement: Operational Agreement signed for extending the presence of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) for a further period of 5 years.
  • The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) is UNESCO’s category 1 Research Institute that focuses on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 towards education for building peaceful and sustainable societies across the world.

Visit in New Delhi
She visited the National Museum to see the exhibition titled ”Indian Heritage in Digital Space” which showcased augmented reality displays of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • She also visited Mughal-era tomb of emperor Humyaun, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Humayun”s tomb is the first garden tomb on Indian subcontinent. It was inscribed in 1993. Apart from this, she paid visit to Red fort.
  • On February 6, 2020, she addressed the opening session of a seminar on “The Future of Education Artificial Intelligence for Social and Emotional Learning” in Delhi, organised by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP)

‘Pink City’ Jaipur received UNESCO World Heritage City certificate during Audrey Azoulay’s visit to Rajasthan
On February 5, 2020, she visited Pink City or walled city Jaipur, which in June 2019 became 38th World Heritage site in India. She presented the World Heritage City certificate to Minister of Urban Development Shanti Dhariwal. In 2017, Ahmedabad became the first city of India to get the World Heritage City tag.

She visited Amer Fort or Amber Fort in Rajasthan, built by the erstwhile Kachwaha Rajput rulers. She also visit the Girls Secondary School in Amer, reflecting UNESCO”s commitment to girls education.

  • She attended the special ceremony honouring UNESCO in the city’s Albert Hall alongside the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Ashok Gehlot.
  • She also unveiled a stone plaque highlighting the world heritage status of Jaipur, installed outside the Hawa Mahal, which is considered Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark. A brochure on “intangible heritage promotion project” was also released during the certificate presentation ceremony.

She has commended India for Promoting Education of Girls about the various schemes like NISHTHA, LEAP, ODB- Smart Classroom, DHRUV, SWAYAM MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) Portal  that India has taken up.

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