Tag: Australia-India

Australia to establish a new Consulate General in Bengaluru


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 17 November 2021: Australia has decided to establish a new Consulate General in Bengaluru. The decision was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a message to the Bengaluru Tech Summit today. “Australia’s new mission in Bengaluru would expand our diplomatic presence in India to five posts, the PM said.

“Australia will deepen our ties to India’s innovators, to your technologists and entrepreneurs — as well as India’s governments at all levels. It is appropriate that today as you gather for this Tech Summit in India, that we’re kicking off the first-ever Sydney Dialogue in Australia.

This is a global summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies — and I’m delighted to be announcing Australia’s first-ever Blueprint for Critical Technologies at that event. This signals Australia’s firm commitment to shaping the development and adoption of critical technologies internationally, including by working with trusted partners like India, PM Scott Morrison said.

The PM said, “We’re sharing expertise on cyber and critical technologies like quantum computing and AI. We’re working to make our supply chains more secure and resilient.

We’re collaborating on the mining and processing of critical minerals — like cobalt and lithium and rare earth elements — that are vital to clean energy technologies, and have military applications.

We’re also cooperating on space science, technology, and research — and Australia is proud to be supporting India’s inspirational Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission. We’re deepening our education and research links also — vital to technological cooperation.”

“I’m pleased a new Australia-India Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy will contribute to that effort. The Centre will bring together Australian and Indian technologists, policy practitioners, academics, researchers and thought leaders.

Helping our nations shape technology governance so it aligns with our values and supports an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific region. The Centre will also promote investment opportunities and innovation between Australia and India in technology, and amplify our policy influence globally, ” he said.

Australia & India agree to an interim agreement by Dec 2021 & an conclusion of the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by 2022 end

Mr. Dan Tehan MP, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment in New Delhi. Photo- Grab from webinar.

By Neeraj Nanda

NEW DELHI/MELBOURNE, 1 October 2021: Mr. Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, and Mr. Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Government of Australia, have formally launched the resumption of negotiations on the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The announcement was today made by Minister Tehan at the AIBE 2021 – Business Leaders Forum in New Delhi today.

The Australian Trade Minister in his keynote address detailed his talks with Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal focussing on the main points which he said moved beyond cricket and curry. He also explained Australia’s plans to open up its international borders as announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Melbourne today.

The two Ministers in New Delhi. Photo- @PiyushGoyal

A joint media release by the two Ministers and uploaded on Minister Tehan’s website says:

Both Ministers discussed a range of issues during the 17th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission meeting yesterday. Key issues included the expeditious negotiation of a bilateral CECA, resolution of tax-related issues faced by Indian software firms in Australia, ensuring increased two-way trade and the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO scheduled to be held at the end of this year.

Both India and Australia reaffirmed their commitment to conclude a CECA, including to reach an interim agreement by December 2021 to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services, and to conclude the negotiations on a full CECA by the end of 2022.

The Joint Ministerial Commission detailed the areas that will be covered by the interim agreement consistent with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, including goods, services, investment, energy and resources, logistics and transport, standards, rules of origin, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Ministers also agreed to explore government procurement. It was agreed that there would be an exchange of offers by the end of October 2021.

Looking to build on the progress made by both countries on earlier bilateral negotiations, both Ministers agreed the need for a balanced trade agreement that encourages expanded trade and investment flows to the benefit of both of our economies, and that reflects a shared commitment to the rules-based international trading system.

Reaffirming their commitment to working together, both ministers agreed to strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system embodied by the World Trade Organization. They also agreed to work towards an ambitious and balanced outcome at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Australia and India are important trading partners. India-Australia bilateral trade exceeded AUD$24 billion last year. Major Indian exports to Australia are petroleum products, medicines, polished diamonds, gold jewellery, apparels etc, while key Australian exports to India include coal, LNG, alumina and non-monetary gold. In services, major Indian exports relate to travel, telecom and computer, government and financial services, while Australian services exports were principally in education and personal related travel. In 2020, India was

Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner and sixth largest export destination, driven by coal and international education.


Environmentalists flak Tony Abbott’s meeting with Gautam Adani during India visit

Tony Abbott’s meeting with the Indian delegation led by India’s Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi in New Delhi. Photo- PIB

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 12 August 2021: Former PM Tonny Abbott’s recent visit to India as Australia’s Special Trade envoy to India has drawn flak from environmentalists and the ‘Stop Adani’ environment organization. During his visit, Mr Abbott also met Mr Gautam Adani, whose company’s developing the world’s biggest coal mine in Queensland.

Twitter was abuzz with comments. Prof.Terry Hughes, Distinguished Professor and Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence, Coral Reef Studies, Tweeted, ” Is there a collective noun for the supporters of giant coal mines in the 21st century…” This comment was in response to Gautam Adani’s Tweet, ” Indeed a pleasure to host @ HonTonyAbbott, @AusHCIndia Barry O’Farrell and @AusCG_Mumbai Peter Truswell – the best of Aussie wit in full flow over lunch. While we battle it out in cricket and hockey, our strategic alignment in business and national interests has never been stronger.”


The Stop Adani said sharing Huges Tweet on its Facebook page: This week, Scott Morrison (ScoMo) sent renowned climate change denier Tony Abbott and infamous former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell to India on a $19,000 taxpayer-funded trip to meet Gautam Adani and talk about coal.

In April 2021, Australia exported a record amount of coal to India. No doubt Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott, and Gautam Adani are hoping to increase this trade.

This taxpayer-funded junket is a slap in the face to all those families trying to get home during a global pandemic, and an embarrassing signal to the world that the Australian Government only cares about coal ahead of the Global Climate Summit in October.

In fact, there has been a heated reaction on the issue and comments can be read on the Stop Adani Facebook page where the above statement has been made. One comment reads, ” This was done very quietly! Disgraceful. And travelling to India in the middle of a pandemic, which is rife in India? Will they be going into hotel quarantine when they return??? I doubt it very much.

Another comment says, ” Tony Abbott is currently working as an adviser to the British government’s Board of Trade. Why are we paying to send him to India?
Stop Adani’s Facebook post –

Australia India Institute to observe ‘India Week 2021′ from 9-15 August


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 17 July 2021: The Australia India Institute (AII) will observe this year its annual India Week from 9-15 August, to mark India’s 75th year of independence starting on 15 August 2021. The annual event this year will showcase contemporary Indian culture, thought, politics and society. There are 19 online events that are aimed at strengthening the bonds of friendship between Australia and India.

Participants are required to register for the individual live and in-person programs at the AII website – https://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/indiaweek2021/. Some of the events are as follows:

Art Exhibition – Indian Australian Artists: Folklore on Monday, 9 August – Sunday, 15 August; 12 pm – 6 pm (AEST): This group art exhibition, Folklore by Indian Australian Artists, captures the numerous aspects of the Indian folk culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, popular beliefs, and customs. This art exhibition is a means to connect the broader Australian community to the cultural folklores of India. No need to register – simply visit us at 147/149 Barry St, Carlton.

Webinar – India Week Official Launch: Australia & India in Partnership; Tuesday, 10 August 2:00 pm (AEST) / 9:30 am (IST): You will hear from a number of distinguished guests from India and Australia as they discuss the Australia and India education relationship and its future outlook, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) between India and Australia, and the bilateral partnership from educational, political, media and corporate perspectives.

Webinar – Stories of Indigenousness: Land and Belonging; Tuesday, 10 August 6:30 pm (AEST) / 2:00 pm (IST): Excavating narratives from the Adivasis in India and the Aboriginal peoples in Australia, whose stories are underrepresented in media and culture in this “modern age”. Who do these lands truly belong to, and what can India and Australia learn from each other about their seemingly similar indigenous inhabitants? Join us for this special discussion, hosted by Belongg.

Live Podcast – Gender & Security in Asia – Wednesday, 11 August 3:30 pm (AEST) / 11:00 am (IST): In Asia, discussions, and policies concerning conflict, peace and security remain dominated by male voices and views. This live Asia Rising podcast recording, hosted by La Trobe University, will explore the importance of involving women in Asian security conversations and what can be done to ensure greater gender diversity.

Webinar – Literature, Political Writings & Influence on the Indian Freedom Struggle – Thursday, 12 August 2:30 pm (AEST) / 10:00 am (IST): This panel discussion will focus on Indian literature and political writings and their importance in the Indian freedom struggle. The discussion will broadly cover political writings, fiction: novels and poetry, women writers. Hosted in collaboration with Australia India Institute, Delhi, and the Daily Milap.

Webinar – Multiculturalism and the Creation of an Anti-Racist Society – Thursday, 12 August 6:30 pm (AEST) / 2:00 pm (IST): India and Australia are both countries with long histories of cultural assimilation; how can such multiculturalism lead to vibrant societies and how can a vibrant society, in turn, foster more multiculturalism? In this session, hosted by Belongg, our panelists will delve into what anti-racism and diversity truly mean, and how literature molds these realities while simultaneously introspecting on existing systems and stories.

Webinar – The Many Faces of Dr. Ambedkar – Saturday, 14 August 3:00 pm (AEST) / 10:30 am (IST): This webinar will explore Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s legacy, in partnership with Dr. Ambedkar International Mission Australia.

A full list of all the 19 events can be accessed at – https://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/

Source- aii.unimelb.edu.au

From 13 unis to 1: why Australia needs to reverse the loss of South Asian studies


By Craig Jeffery* & Matthew Nelson**

South Asia is crucial to the future of Australia. But Australia has just one (small) program focused on South Asian studies across its many universities.

This has not always been the case. In the mid-1970s, 13 of Australia’s universities offered undergraduate subjects on South Asia (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives). Students could learn about South Asian coins at ANU and Sanskrit at the University of Wollongong.

Australia boasted some of the leading scholars on South Asia. ANU nurtured subaltern studies – the study of social groups excluded from dominant power structures – which became a global movement in the field of post-colonial analysis. Leading post-colonial scholar Dipesh Chakrabarty was based at the University of Melbourne. Other luminaries active in that period include A.L. Basham, Anthony Low, and Robin Jeffrey.

But, even as the Australian university sector has expanded since the 1970s, it has withdrawn support for Asian studies, and South Asian studies in particular. There is currently only one South Asia or India program – at ANU.

Only five of the 40 Australian universities offer semester-length subjects on India or South Asia. Six universities offered an Indian language in 1996. Now only two do so.

Several universities, often supported by government grants, have launched country or regional research initiatives since 1990. The National Centre for South Asian Studies, based at Monash, is one of these. But Australian universities have not built any strong or sustainable South Asia programs for students.

A trend at odds with national priorities

This point sits oddly alongside a high-level commitment to South Asia in Australia. The Australian government is exploring new forms of engagement with India, including the Quad security dialogue involving India, Australia, Japan, and the US.

At a social level, Australia is increasingly Indian. In 2019 more than 700,000 people in Australia claimed Indian descent. Hindi is among the fastest-growing languages in Australia, and India is the country’s leading source of skilled migrants.

Historically, there are fascinating connections between Australia and South Asia. The lives and work of Australia’s “Ghans” (cameleers) is one famous example.

Moving forward, Australia needs a knowledge base to match this longstanding and increasingly important commitment to India and South Asia more generally.

Out of step with global academic practice

Australian universities could learn from their counterparts in other parts of the world how to integrate area studies into their teaching. Outside of Australia, most of the top universities in the world make great play of their area studies expertise. Area studies enables people to apprehend their own distinctive humanity, anchors innovative cross-disciplinary teaching across the university, and provides a basis for re-evaluating assumptions about a person’s disciplinary field.

Students arriving at Oxford, Yale or Columbia know that if they are studying law, business, art, politics, education, design, technology, anthropology, economics, agriculture, military affairs or modern media, they will need to think about how to apply their disciplinary knowledge to specific places. A “whole of university” commitment to area studies teaching, including South Asian studies, has long been a key mechanism for drawing on multiple disciplines.

Even with small numbers of area studies majors, the world’s best universities do not see area studies as a niche endeavour. On the contrary, they see it as a central feature of their global mission. Strong universities without robust, independent, and widely accessible area studies programs open themselves up to accusations of antiquated parochialism and a poor understanding of the interdisciplinary trends that powerfully shape our world.

What should South Asian studies offer?

Today, South Asian studies programs in Australia should include internships, opportunities to study abroad and virtual classrooms connecting Australian students to their counterparts elsewhere.

Asian studies programs should also include language options, because effective communication with rising regions like South Asia is essential. Keep in mind that only 10% of India’s population speak English.

At its most fundamental, good area studies and good South Asian studies allow people to understand that they are, as French philosopher Michel de Montaigne put it in an essay on global education written 450 years ago “like a dot made by a very fine pencil” on the world map. It teaches them how they fit within a global whole.

Beyond this, area studies helps people understand and confidently engage with forms of difference and diversity. It fosters key skills for interacting with peers overseas as well as global diasporas. This includes connecting with foreign organisations, managing communications and cultivating an active sense of global citizenship.

Area studies allows us to develop an understanding of our common humanity across national boundaries – something Indian scholar Veena Das has written about in her book Critical Events.

Now is the time for Australian universities to place area studies teaching at the core of an internationally engaged education. We must provide a much larger number of Australians with a deeper understanding of South Asia.

* Professor of Geography, The University of Melbourne.

** Associate Professor, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne.

Source – The Conversation, June 14, 2021, Published under Creative Commons Licence.