Jakarta: Minister of State for External Affairs and Education Rajkumar Ranjan Singh on Monday met with the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dato Lim Jock Hoi in Jakarta and held discussions to further strengthen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership.

Taking to Twitter, the minister wrote, "As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations, had fruitful discussions with Secretary General of @ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi in Jakarta, to further strengthen and elevate ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership as we work together to build an Asian Century."

Besides, MoS Ranjan also launched the ASEAN-India Network of Universities, which he said will help strengthen linkages among universities of India and the ASEAN Member States.

"Launched the ASEAN-India Network of Universities along with Secretary General of ASEAN, VC of Nalanda University, and PRs of ASEAN Member States. AINU will help in developing a knowledge hub in the region by strengthening linkages among universities of India and ASEAN Member States."

AINU was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in 2018, as a consortium of premier institutes from India and ASEAN that would build a core network of knowledge capital through partnerships among academic and research institutions in India and ASEAN member states.

AINU is being implemented by Nalanda University and ASEAN University Network from India and ASEAN, respectively.

On Sunday evening, Ranjan interacted with the Indian community and expressed his gratitude for their warmth.

"Had the pleasure to interact with Indian diaspora in Jakarta this evening. Gratitude to the Indian community for their warmth and affection," he said, as he hailed the bilateral ties between India and Indonesia.

Rajkumar Ranjan Singh is on an official visit to Indonesia to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat from August 28-29.

This is his first visit to ASEAN Secretariat and Indonesia. During the visit, in addition to engagements with ASEAN Secretariat, the MoS will also have engagements with several officials to strengthen bilateral relations.

The ASEAN is a regional organization that was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific's post-colonial states.

India-ASEAN relations are rooted in historical and cultural linkages. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam spread from India to the region and the imprint of this shared cultural heritage is also seen in art forms and architecture. Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting' was held recently in New Delhi, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations in 2022.

The year 2022 has been designated as the 'ASEAN-India Friendship Year'. This year also marks the tenth anniversary of India's strategic cooperation with ASEAN.