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Australian delegation visits IIT Guwahati, discusses collaboration

The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati welcomed an Australian delegation led by Barry O'Farrell

IIT Guwahati

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Feb 2022 4:57 AM GMT

GUWAHATI: The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati welcomed an Australian delegation led by Barry O'Farrell, High Commissioner of Australia, at its campus on Tuesday. The four-member delegation included Rowan Ainsworth, Australian Consulate-General, Kolkata, Paroksh Prasad, First Secretary to Australian High Commissioner, Angelina Nair, Senior Research and Visits Officer, Australian Consulate-General, Kolkata.

The delegation discussed several projects of mutual cooperation in various domains such as academics, scholarships, strategic research, trade and commerce, governance, disaster management, cultural exchange, water conservation, and clean energy.

Prof TG Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, after a customary welcome of the delegates, made a presentation on the Australia India Water Centre, Global Center for Transdisciplinary Research in Water (Tri-Water), and various initiatives which are taken under their auspices such as the development of Master of Sustainable Water Futures programme, Water Matters for India - Delivering an Innovative Young Water Professional Training. He added that such collaborations are crucial for meeting sustainable development goals, and also addressing the emerging challenges due to climate change. He also highlighted the major strides taken by IITG in global rankings and stressed the importance of the liberal arts program.

O'Farrell highlighted the importance of cooperation in multidisciplinary areas, especially through the 'MAITRI' Scholarships and Fellowships, strategic areas collaboration, liberal arts, cultural exchange, research grants, skilled academics cooperation, and governance with many more possibilities with other Australian universities.

Rowan Ainsworth, during her address noted that there is an immense opportunity for collaboration in the areas of disaster management, trade and economics, the Indian Ocean and development of the North-East region. She further said that working together on the world's most important resource - water - the Australia India Water Centre is a great example of our research collaboration.

Prof Sukanya Sharma, Head, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, presented the importance of the liberal arts Masters programme being launched by IIT Guwahati and the likely possibilities of collaboration with Australian universities.

The major projects undertaken in mutual collaboration are as follows:

Australia India Water Centre (AIWC): It is Developing AIWC Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and Masters programme in sustainable water futures (largely online presently). Apart from developing the academic programme, AIWC is organizing two workshops, one on Groundwater Sustainability and the other on Water Policy for the Australian Department of Agriculture, water and environment and the Central Water Commission under the technical exchange programme in water between Australia and India (April-May, 2022). It has also received funding of $275,000 from the Australian Water Partnership (DFAT) to run a 10-month-long course programme for Young Water Professionals (December 2021-November, 2022)

Australia Water Partnership Project: Its 'Water Matters for India' initiative is delivering Innovative Young Water Professional Training. It has received $275,000 DFAT funding for the first year. It is the training of 20 young water professionals younger than 35 years. There is an expectation to recognize this training towards some - Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master.

Master of Sustainable Water Futures: It is developed with the aim of Capacity Building of water Professionals in problem-solving, situation improvement, and sustainable development. This is underpinned by a "Transdisciplinary approach" to sustainable and innovative water solutions. Administered by both West Sydney University and IIT Guwahati with teaching shared with AIWC partners, the degree certificate will include both WSU and IITG Logos It is an online programme with some local face-to-face contacts.

Global Center for Transdisciplinary Research in Water (Tri-Water): It conducts collaborative and interdisciplinary research on water science, technology, and policy. To equip a new generation of water researchers with interdisciplinary perspectives on the water to contribute to the industry, academia, and society it offers academic programs with integrated and interdisciplinary approaches, involving hydrological, biophysical, chemical, economic, institutional, legal, policymaking and planning aspects, to address water challenges.

The collaborations are expected to leave a long-term positive effect on the mutual relationship of both countries by augmenting joint research, cultural exchange, and addressing the challenges together.

Also Read: IIT Guwahati launches Master's programme in Liberal Arts

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