Tag: Australia India Institute

Federal Govt. announces $ 5 million funding boost for Australia India Institute as Minister Prakash Javadekar tours Australia

Australian and Indian Education Ministers Simon Birmingham & Prakash Javadekar meet in Adelaide. Photo: Simon Birmingham Tweet.

By SAT News Desk

ADELAIDE, 29 June: The Melbourne based Australia India Institute affiliated to the University of Melbourne has got a big boost with the Federal Government committing $5 million to it to drive closer collaboration between Australian and Indian educational institutions.

Australia’s Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and Indian Minister of Human Resource Development, the Mr. Prakash Javadekar announced the funding boost at the Australia India Education Council meeting in Adelaide today.

“Australia and India share many values and aspirations, as well as a fundamental commitment to education,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This Institute will be pivotal in building closer cooperation between institutions both here and in India, boosting the mobility of Indian and Australian students and further supporting shared research priorities.

“During my visit to India last year I saw firsthand a number of the close partnerships already underway and the importance of India as a key education partner.

“Our meetings today and the continued work of the Australia India Institute will help further enhance the footprint of Australian universities and vocational education providers in the booming Indian market.”

Minister Birmingham said Australia was uniquely positioned to help India to realize its educational aspirations and to provide support and training to develop their skilled workforce.

“Australia and India’s cooperation covers research, international education, academic mobility, skills and training and partnerships with industry,” Minister Birmingham said.

“With more than 8000 co-authored academic publications since 2013, more than 400 research partnerships already in place, and more than 70 000 Indian students currently studying in Australia, the partnership between Australian and India will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Deakin University and Jammu University signing MOU in Adelaide. Photo: Deakin South Asia Tweet.

Minister Javadekar and Minister Birmingham also witnessed the signing of a number of new partnerships between Australian and Indian educational institutions, including an agreement between Western Sydney University and India’s Centurion University, a joint PhD agreement between Curtin University and the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, and a Memorandum of Understanding between Deakin University and the Central University of Jammu.

It’s expected further agreements will be signed in the coming weeks, including a Letter of Intent on solar cooperation between the University of New South Wales and The Energy Resources Institute of India.

The Australia India Institute was established in 2008 and is hosted at the University of Melbourne. The Institute’s mandate is to build knowledge about India among Australian government, business, and the wider Australian community.

India after 4 years of Modi: Stagnant job growth, concern over lynching’s, no engagement with the fourth estate, China biggest challenge in foreign policy


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 27 June: The four years of the Modi government came under critical scrutiny by four prominent scholars (Dr. Pradeep Taneja, University of Melbourne, Dr. Alex Davis, La Trobe University, Dr. Anand Kulkarni, RMIT and Dr. Bob Smith, RMIT.) at an event organised by the Australia India Institute (AII) at the University of Melbourne today.

Short presentations on Modi’s interaction with China, Use of Yoga as soft diplomacy, macro/microeconomics, and management formed part of the presentations which generated many queries during the Q-A session.

Some of the points emerged were – stagnant jobs growth with the market full of qualified people, no ranked position in 200 top institutions, politics overshadowing policies, bold projects with mixed results, PM not valuing public institutions, lack of official reaction to the numerous lynching’s of members of the Muslim minority in the name of the cow, and the PM not engaging with the fourth estate.DR. Taneja in his presentation said, “China is India’s biggest challenge in foreign policy terms”. ‬

So, what happens in 2019? The overall view was Modi may get a second term despite the recent opposition victories in by-elections as an opposition realignment could derail over leadership conflicts.

Australia India Institute needs to give prominence to a dignitary like Mr. P. Chidambaram

Gurpal Singh and his wife Ishika Das Singh with Mr. P. Chidambaram at the AII. Photo: SAT

By Mr. Gurpal Singh*

Melbourne, 5 October: It was exciting to see that India’s former Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram, one of the most prolific personalities in Indian politics was in Melbourne recently at the invitation of the Australia India Institute (AII) and the University of Melbourne to give a public lecture.

One expected an interactive session with open deliberations on issues relating to the Indian economy and politics. However, to my total disarray, the presentation by Mr. Chidambaram was a mere narration of basic information on the Indian economy as if it was an introductory lecture to class 12 students. Was it intentional not to raise the burning issues of the Indian economy?

AII should have given much-needed importance to a prominent dignitary like Mr.Chidambaram who should have been introduced to Australian think tank and decision makers to reflect on the importance of India in the areas beyond cricket and Bollywood. I
believe AII has lost the great opportunity to host Mr. Chidambaram in consonance with his stature and treated as if he was a college lecturer.

Nobody from the Indian or the Australian government was present during the lecture. This demonstrates clearly the type of importance being given to Mr. Chidambaram who has the potential to be the Indian Prime Minister.

On the contrary, the audience was small and consisted mainly of academics and Indian diaspora regulars. Interestingly, no one from the Indian Consulate was present. Though the Indian Consul General in Melbourne Manika Jain was present at a function a few months back where the BJP spokesman Mr. Sambit Patra, not holding any official position spoke in Melbourne on the three years of Mr. Modi’s coming to power.

India is an important country and has a prominent role to play in international affairs. AII needs to gear up giving the necessary hype and publicity with a bigger audience to dignitaries of importance.

* Mr. Gurpal Singh is a prominent solicitor in Melbourne.

Social & economic distractions behind India’s GDP decline: P. Chidambaram


By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 3 Oct: The former Indian Finance Minister under the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, P. Chidambaram today accused the Modi led BJP government of distractions leading to India’s decline on the economic and social trajectory.
Mr. P. Chidambaram was addressing a big gathering at the Melbourne University at a public lecture organized by the Australia India Institute.

Mr. Chidambaram said, “There were social distractions in interfaith relations, beef consumption issue, dress code, Hindi language, issue of J-K special status etc.”

“On the economic front demonetization and the insufficient implementation of the newly introduced Goods & Services Tax (GST) have led the GDP decline to 5.7 percent (April 2017)’.

1.5 million jobs have been lost as a consequence of the GDP decline,” he said.

Answering to a question on demonetization, the former Finance Minister said, “Everything about it was bad and none of the objectives were achieved.”

“The Economic Advisory Council was not consulted, RBI not told and no substantial debate took place in the Cabinet. Because all this did not happen the wrong decision of demonetization was taken,” he said.

The other distractions, he said, were the slowdown in infrastructure development, student trouble in universities, dalit issues and a big rise in unemployment.

Answering to a pointed question by SAT on the killing of journalists and others, Mr. Chidambaram said, we have to see who is being killed and what is leading to the killings.

He said, “journalists and others who are outspoken, progressive, fearless and opposed to the current government are the targets. We have to see who is creating the conditions for these killings”.

Without naming the ruling BJP, Mr. Chidambaram said, “It is those people who want to divide the Indian people are behind these killings.”

Oxford India expert Prof. Craig Jeffrey next AII Director


By SAT News Desk
Melbourne, 6 May: Prof. Ceaig Jeffery, leading world expert on contemporary India, will replace Prof. Amitabh Mattoo as next Director, Australia India Institute (AII) of the University of Melbourne. He is currently Prof. of Development Geography at the University of Oxford. He will take up his five-year appointment in October 2015.
Professor Jeffrey is the author of six books including Timepass: Youth, Class and the Politics of Waiting in India (Stanford University Press, 2010) and Keywords for Modern India (with John Harriss; Oxford University Press, 2014). His scholarly output has been academically acclaimed even as its significance for public policy has been recognised.
A Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, Professor Jeffrey is currently leading a large project funded by Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council on educated unemployed youth in South Asia. He was recently elected a Fellow of Britain’s Academy of Social Sciences, and also contributes regularly to BBC Radio 4 and The Guardian. Professor Jeffrey will also be taking up a professorial position at the University of Melbourne’s School of Geography.
Professor Amitabh Mattoo has returned to India to serve as the Honorary Director of AII@Delhi, and Professor of International Relations at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Professor Mattoo described Professor Jeffrey as a “great successor; an inspired choice” and a “truly exceptional scholar with credentials to position the Australia India Institute as the leading academic and policy centre for the study of India across the English-speaking world.”
- SAT News Service.