At the International Council of Archives Congress 2023 in Abu Dhabi, representatives from India and the United Arab Emirates came together in a significant move to strengthen their collaboration in preserving their shared archival heritage. Director General Arun Singhal of the National Archives of India (NAI) met with HE Abdulla Majid Al Ali, Director General of the National Library and Archives in Abu Dhabi. The meeting focused on the realization of provisions regarding archives within the Executive Programme on Cultural Exchange (EPCC) between India and the UAE, During the meeting, Director General Arun Singhal shared a trove of valuable documents dating back more than a century from the National Archives of India. These documents shed light on the forefathers and rich heritage of the UAE, forming an essential part of the historical tapestry that binds the two nations.
On the sidelines of the ICA Congress, at AbuDhabi DG NAI also held a meeting with Lieutenant Colonel Pilot Shaikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Director of the Special Patrols Department at Abu Dhabi Police. Shaikh Zayed expressed his gratitude to DG Arun Singhal for the support provided to the delegation of the Police Heritage Museum, Al Ain, during their visit to NAI and the Goa State Archives in August 2023. He expressed his optimism for continued cooperation in the future.
DG Arun Singhal reciprocated the gratitude and outlined NAI’s comprehensive plans for mass digitization and conservation across the entire collection of NAI Headquarters and its Regional Centers. He emphasized that all digitized records are readily accessible through NAI’s dedicated web access portal, Abhilekh-PATAL, which is accessible to the public free of charge.
In addition to preserving historical documents, Director General Arun Singhal emphasized the historical trade relations that have spanned centuries between India and the Arab countries. He expressed his interest in obtaining copies of any documents related to these contacts that may be found in the National Library and Archives of the UAE or its regional Archives. The meetings concluded with a renewed commitment to strengthen cooperation between the UAE and India in the field of shared archival heritage, cementing the historical bonds that unite these two nations.