IIT-Madras, Chennai, in association with University of Melbourne, Australia, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and IIT-Kanpur, have launched an AUD3 million programme to support research — Melbourne-India Postgraduate Program. “The programme will ensure equal movement of PhD students from India and Australia,” begins Prof Nagarajan, dean, international and alumni affairs, IIT-M. Students will be co-supervised by faculty from both ends and can divide their time between host institutes.
“By spending time abroad, our students can hope to pick up skills like self confidence, interpersonal and communication skills,” says Nagarajan. He also says that foreign students are also very interested in the alliance since, “India’s markets are emerging and they can also land possible employment opportunities.”
Each partner institute will nominate 15 students whose expenses like airfare, tuition, living expenses, etc, will be taken care off. “This will also function as an opportunity for our faculty to develop themselves further,” says Nagarajan. “While working with their Australian counterparts, they can discover their complementary strengths, attend workshops, etc.”
While IIT-M has had a long tradition of welcoming foreign students, “about a 100 every semester”, this alliance is an excellent medium for congregation of ‘unlike’ minds, believes the professor. With respect to international liaisons, IIT-M’s future plans include, “Like the partnership with University of Melbourne, we have similar arrangements with National University of Singapore, Swinburne University, Australia, National Tsing Hua University, Japan and University of Bassau, Germany, for doctorate studies. The next step, of course, would be to venture into joint degrees, albeit, not in the immediate future.”
Though the programme commences in 2014 only, IIT-M will nominate present PhD students only with the degree being conferred by the host institute. Details at www.iitm.ac.in.