Giving a boost to their academic ties, India on Tuesday agreed to help Saudi Arabia in setting up centres of excellence in its universities to promote scientific research and higher studies.
Visiting Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh, who held talks with Saudi Minister of Higher Education Khaled Al-Angari, said he had a "very fruitful discussion with the Saudi minister to carry forward the recommendations of the Delhi Declaration signed on January 26 by King Abdullah and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh."
The centres of excellence would be established at the university-level in Saudi Arabia to promote scientific research and higher studies with India's cooperation, Singh told PTI after the meeting.
An academic exchange programme would also get under way, he said adding, that a Memorandum of Understanding is being discussed in this regard.
Al-Angari said Saudi students would purse higher studies in the fields of medicine, engineering, basic sciences and information technology.
There will also be an academic exchange programme involving professors from both countries as well as Saudi students at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
During the meeting, also attended by India's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia M O H Farook, manager of Computer Science and IT Department at King Saud University Ihab Razin and other senior officials, the Saudi side said that India's expertise would be sought in setting up centres of excellence in both the existing Saudi universities and those proposed to be established within the framework of its Eighth Five-Year Plan.