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DFG Secretary General, Dr. Heide Ahrens, visits India in October 2022

(29.11.22) A DFG Delegation headed by Dr. Heide Ahrens, DFG Secretary General, visited New Delhi, India, in October 2022 along with Dr. Jörg Schneider, Head International Affairs, and Dr. Ingrid Krüßmann, deputy head International Affairs. The programme included visits to reputed scientific institutes like IIT Delhi, meetings with German organizations as well as funding organizations such as Department of Science and Technology (DST) and others, Ministry of Science and Technology. Discussions and interactions with respective officials focused on strengthening Indo-German collaboration in the fields of Higher Education and Research.

Round Table meeting with Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT-Delhi and faculty members from various departments
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Round Table meeting with Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT-Delhi and faculty members from various departments

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After a briefing session of Dr. Stephan Grabherr, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany to India, and Mr. Kaspar Meyer, Counsellor & Head of Science and Technology Section, German embassy the delegation discussed with Dr. Philipp Ackermann, Ambassador, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany to India recent developments in trade, scientific cooperation and future activities between India and Germany. To gain a deeper understanding into the Indian research landscape and its future developments, the delegation discussed current India-German relations with the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood.

In a meeting with Dr. Srivari Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and his team from the International Cooperation Department, the delegation discussed matters of mutual interest to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two organizations. Mr. R. Madhan, Director Indo-German Science and Technology Center (IGSTC) and former Science Counsellor at the Indian Embassy in Berlin gave an insight into the structure and activities of the center in India. On October 19th, the DFG hosted a Interner Linknetworking dinner-reception at the The Imperial, New Delhi to celebrate 15 years of operations of the DFG Office India. Dignitaries from the scientific community, high-ranking government officials and diplomats were invited to interact with the delegation.

To give insights into the research landscape in New Delhi, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, the M.S. Merian Center ICAS MP and the Max Weber Forum hosted academic interactions with researchers in the natural sciences and social sciences and humanities. At the IIT Delhi the DFG delegation visited the Research and Innovation Park folowed by a round table meeting with Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT-Delhi and faculty members from various departments The members of the delegation provided an overview of the possible research opportunities to faculty members and explored forms of interactions to strengthen cooperative ties. Later, the delegation visited the Max Weber Forum, India Branch Office and the M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Metamorphoses of the Political’ (ICAS-MP), where they were received by its Head, Dr. Sebastian Schweke and Dr. Laila-Abu-Er-Rub. The interaction with the fellows gave a glimpse into Indo-German social science research collaboration and the specific topics persued by them.

In order to get insights into the close connection of the german institutions with representations in India, the delegation met the supporters of German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH)-New Delhi along with the colleagues from the German Embassy and consulates in India.

During the whole visit, the interactions showed the great potential for further activities and the continued support for Indo-German research collaborations.