Oz Govt. to provide 8-mn dollars to fund Australia India Institute

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Melbourne, Aug 7 (ANI): Australia's Minister for Education Julia Gillard today announced that the Government will provide more than eight million dollars (Australian) to fund a new Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne.

The Institute will work to strengthen bilateral relations between Australia and India

The Institute is a joint project of the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the University of New South Wales. The Universities will invest around two million dollars bringing the total investment in the project to more than 10 million dollars over 3 years.

"As the world's largest democracy and a key emerging economy, India is redefining its role in international affairs," said Gillard.

"Its influence in our region and globally is growing. India is currently a top ten trading partner for Australia and the economic relationship between the two countries has grown strongly in recent years.

"Australia welcomes India's growing international role and is working with India to strengthen our relationship in pursuit of our many shared interests," said Gillard.

The Institute will work to increase Australians' understanding of India, its culture, its history and its place in the world by producing and promoting specialised knowledge about India.

The Institute will enable students, staff and the Australian community to gain a greater understanding of India and the rich bilateral relationship through: courses of study, conferences and relevant research.

This is a unique collaboration between three of Australia's finest Universities: The University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the University of New South Wales.

Gillard's announcement came during the visit to Australia by External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna.

Krishna today met with the Prime Minister in Cairns at the Pacific Islands Forum and will meet with a variety of senior Australian Ministers during his visit. (ANI)

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