India offers scholarships to Papua students

India offers scholarships to Papua students

The Jakarta Post
by Markus Makur

Admiring Papua's abundant natural resources and seeing challenges on its human resources, Indian Ambassador Biren Nanda has expressed his country's intention to cooperate with the provincial administration in education.

"We *Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu and I* have agreed to promote Indian education here and to promote Papua in India. We aim to better Papuan human resources for the future," Nanda said in an interview with The Jakarta Post in Mimika, Papua, on Friday evening.

Accompanied by the first secretary of press and information Sugandh Rajaram, Nanda said the cooperation on education was agreed upon after he visited the province and met its leaders on Tuesday.

The ambassador met Barnabas on Wednesday and leaders of Cendrawasih University, offering the university students scholarships for postgraduate studies at universities in India. In his visit to Biak Numfor regency earlier in the day, Nanda also proposed similar cooperation with the local administration.

"The Biak regent and I have discussed the possibility of Biak students studying in India."

He said the scholarships offered to Cendrawasih University students were part of a capacity building program aimed at enhancing human resources capability in Papua.

"The program would ultimately support economic development in the province."

As a follow-up to his visit, Nanda said Papuan stakeholders and businesspeople would be invited to meet Indian businesspeople at the Indian Embassy in Jakarta on Aug. 9, this year.

"We will talk about investment opportunities in Papua," the ambassador said.

To widen the cooperation, Nanda said he would invite Indian nature lovers to visit Papua.

"They could cooperate with Indonesian nature lovers in organizing an expedition to Puncak Jaya mountain."

On Friday morning, Nanda visited the mining production area of PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) and the Nemangkawi Mining Institute, which was built by PTFI as an internship program for Amungme tribespeople.

"I was impressed with the human resources empowerment program for locals around the mining site," he said.