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13 January 2000

Formal Cooperation Agreement between the University of Delhi and the University of Heidelberg

Heidelberg University's first major partnership with India – Signing of the agreement creates a basis for cooperation with one of India's biggest universities

After years of preparation the University of Heidelberg and the University of Delhi today put their signatures to a formal cooperation agreement. The agreement institutionalises the collaboration between the two universities and creates a sound formal basis for Heidelberg Univrsity's first official partnership with an Indian university.

Before signing the agreement, rector Prof. Dr. Jürgen Siebke emphasised the strong interest on the German side in strengthening the relations between the two universities as the partnership extends not only across national boundaries but also links two very different cultures. On the Indian side, vice-rector Professor Abas Ahmad and chief administrative officer Ramalakant Panda welcomed the agreement between the two universities because the very broad range both of them provide for scholars and scientists opens up a multiplicity of opportunities for fulfilling the agreement not only in letter but also in spirit and practice.

Now 78 years old, the University of Delhi is India's oldest university and enjoys high academic renown in its own country. With 250,000 students, 15 faculties, 20 centres for advanced studies and 78 colleges organised on the Oxbridge principle, Delhi is up among the largest institutions of higher education in India.

In future the transfer of knowledge between the two universities is designed to extend far beyond the exchange of visiting scholars already practised and will be expanded and intensified at all levels. Students will be given the opportunity for practicals of several months' duration at the university of their host country. The agreement also facilitates study and research sojourns for doctoral students, postdocs and university teaching staff.

Joint research on themes ranging from natural catastrophes to political developments

Scholarly collaboration will concentrate first on a number of selected subjects. Joint interdisciplinary research is planned on natural catastrophes, the water problem and tropical medicine. Also of major interest are sociological issues, including questions pertaining to democracy and political developments.

With a view to making the agreement as concrete and vital as possible, a cross-university coordination committee was formed the same day at the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg.

Viola Düwert

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

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