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Monday, January 26, 2015, 09:37

Scholar first Chinese to receive India's civilian award

By Krishna Kumar VR /

NEW DELHI - For the first time in history, the Government of India will confer Padma Shri on a Chinese national, Huang Baosheng of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

It is the fourth-highest civilian award conferred by the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. The award is announced every year on the eve of the country's Republic Day.

Chinese leaders on Monday sent congratulatory messages to their Indian counterparts on the 66th Republic Day of the Southern Asian nation, pledging closer ties between the two neighbors.

Huang Baosheng, born in July 1942, is a native of Shanghai and a member of the Communist Party of China. In 1965, he graduated from the department of oriental languages of Peking University.

He is a researcher at the Institute of Foreign Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and President of the China Foreign Literature Society and of the Indian Literature Research Institute.

His academic expertise is in Sanskrit and Pali.

Over a five-decade-long academic career, Huang translated hundreds of texts, from the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads to the Buddhist Lalitavistara Sutra and the Vajracchedika, or Diamond Sutra. Today, his command on Sanskrit and Pali is among the best in the world.

In recognition of his lifetime's dedication, the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, a deemed university under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), awarded Huang a President's Certificate of Honour on Aug 15, 2011. Huang was the only international recipient of the prestigious prize that year.

In his message to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Chinese President Xi Jinping said both China and India, as two ancient civilizations, are pursuing a great dream of national rejuvenation.

In a message to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that in recent years, China and India have kept a stronger momentum in joining hands for cooperation and seeking common development.

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