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India has eased its immigration rules for visiting Buddhist scholars from Mongolia — in order to deepen cultural ties and boost bilateral relations between the two nations, according to Ashwini Shrivastava, reporting for the Buddhist Channel.

“India has liberalized its visa regime for Mongolian monks coming to India for Buddhist studies. They will now be eligible for visas for the duration of their studies or for five years, whichever is shorter,” India’s President Pratibha Patil told reporters accompanying her on her flight to New Delhi at the end of a three-day state visit to Mongolia.

“We have historic relations with each other,” said Patil. “There is a strong link of Buddhism. Those monks who come to study here. Are very happy. I understand it will give a cordial atmosphere to further our relationship.”

In the past, Buddhist monks were given one-year visas and had to return to Mongolia to obtain a new Indian entry permit.

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