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New Delhi, 10 December 2018: Welcoming the Parliamentary Delegation from the Russian Federation led by the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly H.E. Mr. Vyacheslav Volodin in Parliament House Annexe Extension Building today, Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan said that India is celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. She recalled that Gandhiji had close contacts with the Russian author, thinker and philosopher Leo Tolstoy. On her suggestion that a function may be organised in the Russian Parliament also to mark the occasion, Mr. Volodin agreed to hold an event in Russian Duma to pay tributes in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. Smt. Mahajan informed the visiting delegation that the Speakerís Research Initiative (SRI) was rolled out in Parliament of India in 2015 to inform the Members of Parliament on issues of specific and technical nature, thereby facilitating their interactions with experts of relevant fields. She offered Russian students to also participate in the Internship Programme of SRI. Lok Sabha Speaker said that young Parliamentarians have an important role in promoting Indo-Russian relations. She emphasized on peopleís participation in democracy and enhancing the bilateral relations through cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts. She suggested to hold a Conference of young Parliamentarians, including women, so as to develop a better understanding on various dimensions of India-Russia relationship. Congratulating the visiting delegation on the 25th Anniversary of the Federation Council (Upper House) of the Russian Federation, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan said that the Indian Parliament attaches great significance to their visit and expressed the hope that such visits would strengthen the Parliamentary cooperation between the two countries. Smt. Sumitra Mahajan remarked that there has been a steady progress in growth of bilateral trade in recent years and efforts were being made to explore new areas like railways, IT, innovation, diamond trade and infrastructure. She hoped that greater efforts would be made for technology transfer and joint production between the two countries. She further said that one of the most significant steps in deepening of parliamentary cooperation between the two countries would be to ensure that the India-Russia Parliamentary Commission meets annually, on alternate basis. Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Vyacheslav Volodin called upon the two countries to cooperate more in the fields of digital economy, artificial intelligence and robotic technology. Mr. Volodin hoped the visit of his delegation would further strengthen mutual trust and cooperation among Russia and India. He also thanked Smt. Mahajan for the excellent hospitality accorded to his delegation. After the call-on, the Fifth Session of the India-Russian Federation Inter-Parliamentary Commission was held in which Members of Parliaments of both the countries deliberated on the various aspects of relationship between India and Russia. Later, Smt. Mahajan and Mr. Volodin read Press Statements in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament House (a copy of the Statement is attached) marking the event a historic dimension.



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