A.I.I. Director, Professor Amitabh Mattoo spent a productive ten days in India with a blistering program to match the intense heat of May.
While in Delhi, Professor Mattoo signed a Memorandum of Understanding which sees India’s Nalanda University partner with the A.I.I and University of Melbourne on a project to design an online course in Contemporary Indian politics, economy, foreign relations and arts.
The course could ultimately be delivered to students around the world via MOOCs.
Professors at the two universities will now embark on work to develop the course, which will be subject to rigorous evaluation by academic boards at both institutions before moving to online delivery.
Other agreements signed during Professor Mattoo’s visit included a tie-up with the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation that will facilitate academic collaborations and research partnerships.
The agreement formalises the relationship between the A.I.I and O.R.F, and provides for the establishment of a new joint Chair to be based in New Delhi.
The inaugural chair, commencing this month will be renowned foreign affairs commentator Ashok Malik.
In Chennai, the A.I.I director participated in a workshop on Indian Ocean security and stability jointly organised by the A.I.I, the O.R.F and the Australian consulate.
The workshop was part of the Institute’s continuing interest in the issue following its publication in March of a Task Force Report, The Indian Ocean Region: Security, Stability and Sustainability in the 21st Century.
Speakers at the Chennai event included Mr Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Hindu newspaper.
Earlier in his Indian yatra, Professor Mattoo and the A.I.I Chair, Mr Robert Johanson, participated in the Dara Shikoh Cultural Festival in the Kashmir Valley. During their visit to the Valley the A.I.I leaders met the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, N.N. Vohra, the State Chief Minister, Mr Omar Abdullah, and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed .