Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 09:25 AM IST

Australian envoy inaugurates Centre for India-Australia Studies at Jindal University

Updated: Oct 15, 2016 08:20 IST

Sonipat (Haryana) [India], Oct.15 (ANI): Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu this week inaugurated the Centre for India Australia Studies at the O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU).

The high commissioner visited the university to deliver a distinguished public lecture on "The Importance of India - Australia Relations," a forum organised by the Centre for India Australia Studies (CIAS) at the university campus in Sonipat, Haryana.

The CIAS will work to enhance the understanding of the common values and vibrant diversities of India and Australia and promote growth of the bilateral relationship. The CIAS will aim to create a multi-disciplinary discourse to helppromote greater awareness in policy, governance and academiabetween the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Sidhu, said, "I am delighted to be here for the establishment of the Centre for India Australia Studies, it is a landmark initiative and an artefact of the rapidly deepening Australia India relationship".

Highlighting the importance of the bilateral relationship between India and Australia, Sidhu observed, "India now sits at the top tier of countries of importance to Australia. In 2016, the India-Australia relationship is stronger, more diverse, and more active than ever before.Our bilateral relationship has grown dramaticallyand has evolved to a strategic partnership since 2009."

She observed that both countries are committed to a non-proliferating world and share a common goal to ensure the stability and security of our region. Further, our military, economic and people-to-people ties have been deeply strengthened over time.

In her closing remarks, Sidhu, noted that there is tremendous value-add in India in innovation, technology and services and it is in these areas that Australia's and India's future economic ventures will develop. Among these sectors, education, skilling and training will all lie at the forefront.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor, JGU, said, "At a fundamental level, Australia and India are both liberal democracies which share a commitment to the rule of law, fundamental human rights and the peaceful resolution of disputes. As India intends to Look and Act East, and Australia focuses on deepening ties in the Asia Region, the India Australia relationship will assume increasing importance over time. The CIAS has indeed been established at an opportune moment in the history of the bilateral relationship."

Prof. C. Raj Kumar, further observed, "As a research-intensive institution our larger objective is to continuously engage in activities that promote research, knowledge creation and capacity building. The setting up of CIAS is a realisation of that objective and seeks to promote knowledge creation and scholarly research in all its manifestations."

Encouraged by the convergence of common interests in areas such as education, regional security, energy and resources and international trade. The India-Australia relationship has been growing from strength to strength. Both nations have taken extraordinary steps to strengthen bilateral ties.

Highlighting the objective of setting up Centre for India-Australia Studies, Shaun Star, Assistant Professor and Executive Director, Centre for India-Australia Studies at Jindal Global Law School, said, "The Centre for India-Australia Studies (CIAS) is the first and only Centre with a focus on the India-Australia bilateral relationship that is embedded in an Indian Higher Education Institution.The CIAS aims to create awareness about Australia in India, increase the opportunities available for student mobility, research, facilitate policy dialogue, business engagement, training and capacity development programmes."

"As the strategic bilateral relationship assumes increasing importance, there is scope for numerous stakeholders to strive for a deeper and more meaningful engagement. The CIAS is focused on building stronger links between India and Australia",noted Professor Star.

Since November 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed a state visit to Australia, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in almost three decades, the governments of both countries have been working together to finalise a free trade agreement to facilitate even closer economic relations. The CIAS has been established to harness this momentum and drive collaboration in key areas of the relationship. (ANI)