Young Indian scientists keen to pursue research in Germany need not look far for information on universities and research facilities. A “one stop shop” is coming up in the Indian capital to facilitate all exchange of information on universities and funding in that country.
The German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH), coming up near the German embassy here, will also act as a facilitator for bilateral projects in the fields of education, science, research and innovation.
“The idea is to bring German and Indian researchers together…It is a big step in Indo-German research collaboration,” Torsten Fischer, director of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the DWIH coordinator, told IANS.
Explaining the role of the institute, which will be inaugurated on Oct 27, Fischer said it will “act like a channel for the Indian research community… It will bring the 14 member institutions and universities under one roof”.
An Indian researcher keen to pursue a project in a particular field needs to contact the DWIH, which will present him/her with a list of the possible universities or institutions to work in as well as the names of the German researchers, he said.
The traffic will go both ways, with German researchers also going through DWIH to contact Indian researchers and institutes.
At present, two groups of German scientists are pursuing research in the University of Hyderabad under the auspices of the German Research Foundation (DFG), “which has a corpus of Rs.14,000 crore ($3.1 billion), Fischer said.
“Through the DWIH we aim to bridge the gap between scientists working in India and Germany. We will bring in our expertise on how to apply research to industry,” said the expert, adding that it will help India and Germany create synergies.
The fields of collaborative research could be in “informatics, chemistry – theory and applied – engineering as well as social sciences in which there is huge potential”.
“India and Germany have been collaborating in scientific research and innovation for many years.. Now we’re just putting all the expertise together,” said the official.
Giving an example of Indo-German collaboration, he said “a big project” is under way on the theory of Information Technology and Algorithm between the Max Planck Society (MPG) and IIT, Kanpur and Delhi.
The project is funded by the Indian government and the DFG.
Thirteen percent of the scientific papers published by Indians is in collaboration with German researchers, which is another example of Indo-German scientific collaboration, said Fischer.
The number is higher than that published by Indian scientists working with researchers from the UK and France. “Only Indo-US scientific collaboration is higher,” he said.
There has been a six percent growth in the number of Indo-German science and technology joint projects, he said, adding that the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) was the top Indian institute with which projects were on, while on the German side it was the Technical University Darmstadt.
There are at present 6,000 Indian students in Germany. They don’t pay for their education but only for their board and lodging.
With regard to eligibility of Indian students to study in German universities, Fischer said the proposals and the eligibility of the applicant would be studied.
The DWIH in New Delhi is one of the five set across the world, with the others in Sao Paolo, Moscow, New York and Tokyo.
India and Germany had signed Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements in 1971 and 1974. The two countries have at present more than 150 joint science and tech research projects and 70 direct partnerships between the universities, according to the Indian foreign ministry website. (IANS)