President Mohamed Nasheed has returned to Malé this evening after concluding his five-day visit to India.

The President visited India, on the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to participate in a high level climate conference organized by the Indian government and the United Nations.

On return President Nasheed held a press conference at the Male International Airport to brief the media on his visit.

The President highlighted the successful talks he had with the Indian GMR Group to upgrade Hanimaadhoo Airport to international standards.

He also said he had discussions with the Indian company, Shri Educare that is collaborating with the government to make Ghiyaasudeen School a privately-run school.

As a private school, the President assured, there would be no fees charged on current students.

Although fees will be introduced for new students, the government’s aim is to make scholarships available at the school.

The government believes having a privatised education system concurrently with a strong public school system will improve the quality of education in the country, and address the need for a large number of parents sending their children abroad.

Speaking at the press conference, the President also said he had successful talks with another Indian company to collaborate with the government in renewable energy projects in the South.
He had earlier called on India to lead global efforts to address climate change crisis through a ‘green power revolution’.

During the visit the President met with the Indian Prime Minister Dr Singh and Congress Party leader Mrs Sonia Gandhi. He also met with the Danish climate change minister Ms Connie Hedegaard and impressed upon her the urgency of having an effective deal at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December.

First Lady Laila Ali and the President attended an aid concert by Oscar-winning Indian musician A R Rahman, as Chief Guests, on Saturday.

The President’s visit was widely covered in Indian media.