New role to lead engagement with India at Murdoch

September 1, 2015

Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Taggart (right) with Hira Raichandani, Acting Consul General, Consulate General of India, Perth

Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Taggart (right) with Hira Raichandani, Acting Consul General, Consulate General of India, Perth

A new academic appointment at Murdoch University aims to deepen understanding of India, facilitate the cultivation of better links with Indian research institutions and attract more Indian students to the Perth university.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the establishment of the three year role was recently signed by the Consulate General of India, Perth on behalf of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), which is based in New Delhi, and Professor Andrew Taggart, Acting Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University.

The new role, known as the Visiting ICCR Chair, will teach across a number of topics including India’s history, civilization, culture, economy, literature and philosophy.

Professor Taggart said the establishment of the Chair reflected Murdoch’s commitment to engagement with India.

“This represents the culmination of three years of work initiated by the efforts of Murdoch University colleagues,” he said.

“There is enormous potential for student mobility to Murdoch from India and growth in our understanding of India as a result of this new role. An eminent teacher-researcher will be appointed.

“It also reinforces a new era at Murdoch as a global university connecting Delhi and Perth, the Indian Ocean capital of Australia.

“Murdoch looks forward to welcoming the esteemed Chair in February to teach in security and international relations. The appointment will also complement our recent successes in the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program. The Federal Government scheme means Murdoch students will study at two universities in India – O P Jindal Global University and Kalinga University – in 2016.”

The High Commissioner of India, Navdeep Suri said that following the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last November, India’s relations with Australia are expanding in many sectors and in particular, education and skill development.

“There is also greater interest in Australia to obtain a deeper understanding of India,” he added. “I am confident that the Visiting ICCR Chair at Murdoch University will play an important role.”

The ICCR currently has 66 operational Chairs with various foreign universities. The Visiting ICCR Chair at Murdoch is the first such Chair in Western Australia.

Professor Taggart recently returned from an education delegation to India, led by Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

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