Australia’s visiting Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard, today launched the Australia India Institute to be located at the University of Melbourne.
Launch of Australia India Institute will strengthen bilateral ties
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced $8.106 million (Rs32 crore) funding to support the Australia-India Institute. The University of Melbourne and its university partners in Australia, the University of New South Wales and La Trobe University, will invest another $2 million (Rs8 crore) in the Institute, bringing the total investment in the project to more than $10 million (Rs40 crore) over the next three years.
The three universities bring to the Institute strong partnerships with leading Indian universities and research centres that will be crucial for the delivery of the Institute’s programs. The Institute will work closely also with the Australia-India Business Council to support mutual trade and investment.
The Institute will support research, graduate training, executive briefings and policy advice for the benefit of both countries. The Institute would operate as a national epicentre of information on India. It will also provide consultancies on issues of national priority, and host international conferences, community engagement and cultural dialogues.
Ms Gillard said that several areas of priority research of interest to both countries have been identified. These include:
- The environment, issues of food and water security, resources and climate change;
- Health, particularly public health and bio-pharmaceutics;
- Regional relationships through trade, investment, diplomacy and policy; and
- Education, with major reforms underway in both countries.
Joint workshops, involving researchers and policy makers, are already scheduled to initiate the Institute’s programs for water security under climate change and for cooperation in public health.
The Institute will support Australia’s need to continue and, indeed, strengthen its engagement with India through research, professional links and cooperation. Students, staff and the Australian community will gain a greater understanding of India and the rich bilateral relationship between our two countries.
Ms Gillard is also Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion.