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Koreans trace their origins to Suriratna, a princess from Ayodhya

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New Delhi: Millions of Koreans trace their origins to Suriratna, a princess from Ayodhya who had married the Korean king Kim Suro, said a diplomat from the country, adding that a memorial to the princess would soon be upgraded.

At a two-day international conference organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the deputy head of the South Korean embassy Ahn Min Sik said the shared heritage between India and his country began in 48 AD with the Ayodhya princess marrying the Korean king.

“If there’s any country that is closer to India in terms of the shared history, the language, it is Korea,” said the ICCR President Lokesh Chandra, adding that the legend has helped in strengthening the Indo-Korean relations.

“Our history shows the mutual support and partnership these two countries had enjoyed. This has led to an increasing value to our extending partnership in economic, political and cultural entities,” Anil Wadhwa, secretary in the ministry of external affairs said while addressing the conference.

An official statement from the ICCR pointed out that Suriratna had traveled for three months from Ayodhya to Korea by sea and married the Korean king, thus marking the beginning of the Garak clan in Korea.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Seoul in May had also reiterated the importance of this legend in his speech.

“The relationship between the two countries goes back to the first century when an Indian Princess traveled from the kingdom of Ayodhya to Korea by a boat. She married the Korean King Suro and became the first queen of South Korean kingdom. Several Koreans trace their lineage to her,” Modi had said at the India-Korea CEOs Forum.

This tale of the Ayodhya princess was also mentioned in ‘Samguk Yusa’ or ‘The Heritage History of the Three Kingdoms’, a treasured work in Korea which was written in the 13th century.

The book finds a reference to the princess (Suriratna), who after marriage had become Queen Heo Hwang-ok.

The statement from ICCR also mentioned some of the famous descendants of Queen Heo as General Kim Yoo-shin, who had first unified the Korean Kingdom in the 7th century, former president and Nobel Laureate Kim Dae-jung, and former prime minster Kim Jong-pil, among others.

(IANS)

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Indian Expert Claims that Russia Might help India in Nuclear Medicine

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Nuclear power must be developed.
Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi in a conversation. Wikimedia Commons.

Given the current high costs of making radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine, there is considerable scope of collaboration between India and Russia for their manufacture at affordable cost, according to an Indian expert.

Chandigarh-based Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Professor Baljinder Singh told IANS here on the sidelines of the just-concluded 10th Atomexpo organised by Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom that such cooperation has become essential in view of the global shortage of molybdenum, isotopes of which are used in tens of millions of medical diagnostic procedures annually.

The molybdenum isotope 99mTc, for instance, is the most commonly used medical radioisotope worldwide.

“The molybdenum daughter radionuclide 99mTc is used the world over for imaging on gamma cameras,” Singh said.

“Most nuclear reactors have molybdenum as a by-product — there is a shortage of which globally.”

Singh, who is a jury member at the Atomexpo2018 for selecting the best research projects in the category “Nuclear Technologies for better Healthcare”, pointed out that as a leader in civilian nuclear technology, India is among a few countries making “significant” efforts to produce radioisotopes.

“India has made significant strides in this direction and the task of developing Linear Accelerator (LINAC) technology has been undertaken by Sameer (Society of Applied Microwave Electronics and Engineering and Research) located in IIT Mumbai,” he said.

“It is a Rs 100-crore project being funded by the Telecommunications Ministry. Apart from India, Canada and Russia are the only other countries undertaking advanced level research in this area.”

According to him, in view of the importance of nuclear medicine in early detection of cancer and the recent emergence of new radionuclides for effective treatment, an effort is needed in India to provide these at an affordable cost.

Partnering with a foreign institute having nuclear facility for production of medically useful radioisotopes, and radiochemistry training are required urgently as we have no such course in the country as yet," he said.
The two dignitaries sharing a light moment. Wikimedia Commons.

“Developed countries like the US and Japan have about four PET (positron emission tomography) scanners per million population followed by Europe at 2, and Australia at 1.6 per million. India scores very low with 0.1 PET scanners per million population,” Singh said.

“To have a reasonable ratio of 1 PET scanner per million population over the next ten years, India needs about 1,400 PET scanners and an equal number of gamma cameras.”

Read also: Merkel Told Putin, US Complicated Middle East Situation

He suggested that through tie-ups with Russia, India could arrange to be supplied with such imaging equipment at affordable cost.

Singh’s wish list at this Black Sea resort includes a collaboration with Russia in human capacity building in this area.

“We urgently require international collaboration on radiopharmacy training, as there is no such facility in India.”

Partnering with a foreign institute having nuclear facility for production of medically useful radioisotopes, and radiochemistry training are required urgently as we have no such course in the country as yet,” he said.

“Panjab University, Chandigarh, has taken a lead in starting an M.Sc Nuclear Medicine programme in 2007, jointly with PGIMER.”

Singh is hoping that his agenda would figure in the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled to take place here next week. IANS.