An Argentine University called Siglo 21 University has tied up with Sri Sri University (SSU) of the Art of Living Foundation in India to foster cultural relations.
An agreement, signed by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Siglo rector Juan Carlos Rabbat Wednesday, also envisages regular academic exchanges between students and faculty of both universities.
"It is a historic moment for us to be associated with a new Indian university that aims to bring the best of the youth. We are honoured by the presence of its pioneer and Art of Living founder (Ravi Shankar) here on this occasion," Rabbat told reporters later.
SSU, set up in 2009, is coming up on a 187-acre campus at Bidyadharpur near Cuttack and 24 km from Bhubaneswar in Odisha.
As the largest private university in Argentina, the 17-year-old Siglo has about 30,000 students across this Latin country and has pioneered a virtual education system through the Internet.
"Many Siglo students are already benefitting from our value-based education system that inculcates the spirit of learning in a stress-free environment to make them better citizens of tomorrow," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told IANS on the margins of the event.
About 10,000 people, including hundreds of youth, have benefitted from Art of Living courses, including yogic meditation and breathing exercises.
"It is for the academics to decide what more exchanges they can have for the benefit of the students here and in India. In a globalised world, knowledge and wisdom should be shared for the common good of humankind," the spiritual guru observed.
Siglo's psychology and sociology departments have evinced keen interest in Art of Living courses and the curriculum of SSU to broaden the vision of their students and give them an exposure to the value-based teachings of Indian philosophy and traditions.
"Though it was initially difficult to understand Art of Living courses and its exercises, I am able to practise them better now as my mind is getting regulated and becoming peaceful," Marcia Fernanda, a 21-year-old graduate student, told IANS here.
Thousands of people, including many uninitiated students of Siglo, participated in a special prayer and meditation session conducted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on its sprawling green campus to get a feel of the Art of Living system.
Headquartered in Bangalore, the three-decades-old non-profit Art of Living works for the cause of humanity and offers yoga courses for stress management and welfare measures for the common good of people across the globe.
Spread across 151 countries, Art of Living works for world peace with a universal society free from stress and violence.