Working in isolation is so yesterday! Indian and German scientists are developing solutions together to tackle the problems of tomorrow. Both countries actively support research cooperation and academic exchange through bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). There are numerous schemes and programmes that facilitate academic exchange and collaboration. What’s Up, Germany? takes a look at some excellent initiatives.
DOCTORAL TRAINING PROGRAMMES AT IMPRS
In 2000, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science launched a new initiative to promote the internationalisation of PhD education, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). Currently, there are 60 IMPRS offering excellent students from all over the world an opportunity to pursue their doctorates in a wide range of topics. With 178 participants, young Indian scientists constitute the largest group of participants from abroad.
LINDAU NOBEL LAUREATE MEETINGS
A tradition since 1951, these annual scientific conferences held in Lindau, south Germany, bring together Nobel laureates and young scientists. Each year, around 30–40 Nobel laureates welcome more than 500 top-notch scientists from all over the world. Physiology and medicine, physics and chemistry—the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines—are discussed during the sessions at the conference. India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) has been supporting the participation of 20 Indian science and medical students in these meetings since 2001.
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INDO-GERMAN PARTNERSHIPS IN HIGHER EDUCATION (2016–2020)
The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India has been working in close partnership with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). This cooperation was further intensified in 2015 when German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel—who, by the way, has a doctorate in physical chemistry—visited New Delhi for the third Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC), during which this programme was launched. Both countries will invest ₹25.6 crore each over a period of four years to encourage and support cooperation between higher education institutions in Germany and India.
HELMHOLTZ POSTDOC PROGRAMME
Helmholtz Association offers a postdoc programme that guarantees ₹73 lakh annually for a period of up to three years. Through this programme, talented young scientists who have completed a promising PhD thesis can work independently on their chosen research topics and establish themselves in their field of research. Fifty per cent of the positions are earmarked for women.