Signing of MOU for new Visiting Chair in Indian Studies at the University of Melbourne

22 March 2013

Time:            5.15 pm, Monday 25 March 2013

Location:     Australia India Institute, 147-149 Barry Street, Carlton 3054

A Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a new Visiting Chair in Indian Studies at the University of Melbourne will be signed with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in Melbourne on Monday.

The MOU formalises one of five ICCR Visiting Chairs to be established in Australia following the announcement of the initiative by India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi in October. The announcement coincided with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s visit to India. The new Visiting Chair will be housed at the Australia India Institute, based at the University of Melbourne.

The MOU will be signed by India’s High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Biren Nanda, representing ICCR, and Professor Simon Evans, representing the University of Melbourne. The agreement lays down a framework under which visiting Indian professors will teach subjects in their areas of expertise for a period of one semester each or for longer durations by agreement.

ICCR will meet the cost of the visiting scholar’s airfares, salary and allowances. The University of Melbourne will provide accommodation, office support and space, and a modest honorarium, and may by agreement fund other research, travel and development activities of the Chair. The visiting professors will also deliver at least one “ICCR Lecture on India” during their stay.

The rotating ICCR Chair is in addition to the permanent Chair in Indian Studies at the University of Melbourne funded by the Victorian government. The inaugural permanent Chair will commence from May 1, 2013.

The Australia India Institute (A.I.I) is also negotiating with India’s Ministry of Culture for the establishment of a Tagore Centre, envisaged as an important gateway for cultural and scholarly dialogue and exchanges between the two countries.

Taken together, these developments represent an important advance in the Renaissance currently underway in educational and scholarly engagement between India and Australia.

The Visiting Professor, who must have a doctoral qualification and university teaching experience in a relevant discipline, will be chosen by the University from three candidates put forward by the ICCR. Their teaching curriculum will be decided in consultation with the university.

THE SIGNING CEREMONY WILL BE FOLLOWED BY HIGH COMMISSIONER NANDA’S ALFRED DEAKIN LECTURE ON “INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY IN A GLOBALISED WORLD”. THE LECTURE BEGINS AT 6 PM, THEATRE A, ELIZABETH MURDOCH BUILDING, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, PARKVILLE. VICTORIA 3052

FOR INFORMATION: alexandra.hansen@unimelb.edu.au (03) 90358681, 0423951135

FOR INTERVIEWS:    christopher.kremmer@unimelb.edu.au   0481032731