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An AUS$ 3 million research initiative

education Updated: Sep 02, 2009 09:34 IST
Vandana Ramnani

To ensure that there is no dearth of industry-ready PhD graduates, Deakin University has launched a research initiative worth AUS$ 3 million in India. Titled Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI), it will bring together research partnerships in materials sciences, nanotechnology and biotechnology with some of the country's leading institutes, companies and universities.

“Deakin is committed to developing effective research partnerships. In Australia this has been with the industry and the government and has contributed significantly to Deakin developing a culture of research innovation. DIRI takes this model of partnerships to a whole new level. We will be collaborating with Indian companies, research institutions and universities to train PhD students in India who are ready to take on the challenges of the future.

AUS$ 1 million have been annually set aside for the initiative across the fields for the next three years,”said Professor Sally Walker, Vice Chancellor, Deakin University.

On the choice of subjects, she said that the three areas of research (mentioned above) were chosen because “the industry in India asked us to do so, but I am sure this will expand into a whole range of discipline areas where Deakin has strength and where there is keen interest and need in India.”

Under the DIRI model, students will be enrolled at Deakin University but will conduct much of their research in India working with an industry or a research partner. The student will have both Australian and Indian supervisors and will spend about six months in Australia working with Deakin supervisors on critical experiments or gaining international expertise in his area of research.

The doctoral research theses will be examined in the same way as it is for Deakin's Australian students.

By the end of this year “we will have at least 20 PhD students enrolled through DIRI and expect that to grow to 50-60 a year,” said Professor Lee Astheimer, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). The university also signed new MoUs with some industry and academic bigwigs such as Indian Oil Limited, NSHM Management and Technology College , KIIT University and Jagannath Institute of Management Sciences.

Meanwhile, the University held its first graduation ceremony in India. 60 Indian students received their awards in the special ceremony that was presided over by Rajat Kumar Gupta, Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey and Company and Deakin University’s Chancellor David Morgan and Vice-Chancellor.

Deakin University currently has more than 50 key partnerships in India with some leading organisations

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