Engaging India

23 September 2010


Media Release
The Australia India Institute and the University of Melbourne are poised to become the focus of Indian studies in Australia through a series of key initiatives announced by the State Government.
As part of its Engaging India strategy, the Government last night announced funding for a Chair in Contemporary Indian Studies at the Institute, 10 prestigious scholarships and a public lecture series featuring eminent Indians.
In a first for Victoria, a professorial chair, involving teaching and conducting research in contemporary Indian studies, will promote the development of advanced scholarship in relevant areas for both India and Australia and encourage the exchange of ideas and understanding among scholars in both countries and in the wider international community.
Acting Director of the Australia India Institute, Professor John Webb, said the announcements celebrated the commitment to India by the Victorian Government, the Institute and the University and were a significant advancement of the relationship with India.
“The Chair will provide a focus for high level research, analysis and understanding of contemporary India at the University of Melbourne,” he said.
The 10 scholarships will be shared among Victorian universities and are aimed at post-graduate students from India.
“These prestigious scholarships will attract the best and the brightest young Indian scholars to Victoria who, on return to India will contribute at a high level to the thriving Indian economy and society and will help in expanding sustainable links between India and Australia,” Professor Webb 
“The scholarships will specifically support the research partnerships which Victorian universities are already actively developing with India.”
He said the lecture series would provide a forum for eminent Indians to contribute to public debate about areas of mutual concern to Australia and India and give Victorians an opportunity to engage at a deeper level with the ideas and knowledge of a rapidly changing country.
The Australia India Institute was officially launched by the then Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Julia Gillard MP at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi in September 2009. 
The Institute was established by the University of Melbourne and received funding of AUD $8.1 million from the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) with the support of La Trobe University and the University of New South Wales. 
Its mission is to enhance mutual engagement and understanding between Australia and India in the key priority areas of education, business, the economy and around scientific, cultural and social issues.  
More information: 
Genevieve Costigan, Communications Manager, Australia India Institute, on  + 61 3 9035 8045, M: 0402 895 142 or E: gco@unimelb.edu.au
John DuBois, Director of Corporate Affairs, University of Melbourne, +61 3 9035 4360, M: 0435 962393 or E: jdubois@unimelb.edu.au