The Australia-India Council (AIC) was established on 21 May 1992, in response to a recommendation by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, following an inquiry into Australia's relations with India.
The Council's purpose is to broaden the relationship between Australia and India by encouraging and supporting contacts and increasing levels of knowledge and understanding between the peoples and institutions of the two countries. The Council initiates or supports a range of activities designed to promote a greater awareness of Australia in India and a greater awareness of India in Australia, including visits and exchanges between the two countries, development of institutional links, and support of studies in each country of the other. The Council offers support, in the form of funding, for projects likely to contribute to the development of the relationship, within the context of AIC objectives and guidelines.
By initiating and supporting a range of activities that have put it on the map, the Council has played a recognised and respected role in promoting the relationship between Australia and India. It has informed and educated Australians about India, and it has informed persons interested in the bilateral relationship about the way it is developing. It has furthered the Government's foreign policy and trade objectives and added value to Australia-India relations.
The Council has the following Mission Statement:
The Australia-India Council advances Australia's interests concerning India by initiating and supporting activities designed to enhance awareness and understanding between the peoples and institutions of Australia and India.
Australia-India Council Objectives and Funding
The Council’s objectives are to:
- raise awareness of Australia in India, and of India in Australia in a way that encourages further growth in relations between the two countries, including in the trade and investment relationship
- promote exchange and collaboration between Australian and Indian organisations in fields of relevance to the bilateral strategic partnership
- deliver high quality programs that demonstrate Australia’s economic credentials and technical excellence to influential audiences in India
- seek community involvement in, and private sector support for, the Council’s diplomacy efforts including by encouraging corporate investment in collaborations that advance Australia India relations
- publicise the Council's activities as a means of encouraging broad support for the Council's role and the bilateral relationship.
To achieve the Council’s objectives, it initiates and funds projects under the following five priority categories. Preference is given to activities that foster ground-breaking and catalytic institutional collaborations in these areas:
1) Public Policy and Economics
- the fostering of public policy exchange between Australia and India, including the sharing of experience in public sector governance and economic management. Within this category, the Council prioritises partnerships and dialogue opportunities in: a) public sector reform, b) infrastructure policy and financing, and c) foreign and defence policy
a) Agriculture and Food Safety
- collaborations in agricultural productivity (including water-efficient food growing) and safety in food production, storage and transport
b) Resources and Energy
- partnerships in low emission coal technologies and mining best practice
c) Waste Management
- activity relevant to the efficient recycling and disposal of waste
With emphasis on:
a) New Colombo Plan
- university and business linkages that complement the Australian Government’s implementation of the New Colombo Plan in India including support for postgraduate student and postdoctoral academic exchanges in social science fields of relevance to the bilateral relationship
b) Skills Training
- innovative work to develop learning and assessment materials relevant to India’s vocational training needs and occupational standards
- focusing on sports education including curriculum development in the sports sciences and sports leisure occupations, accreditation processes for sports training, teaching facility development and other academic exchanges
- and support for sports events linked to the promotion of tourism to Australia
5) Arts and Culture
- activities that showcase Australian cultural products at India’s largest festivals (for example the Jaipur Literature Festival and Kochi Muziris Biennale); support for Australian performance tours with wide public appeal in India and contributions to the hosting of major festivals of Indian art and culture in Australia.
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