Indo-German Partnerships – Environmental Interactions in Focus
The University of Cologne (UoC) has been active in several research fields in India since 2007. The establishment of the Center for Modern Indian Studies, funded by the "A New Passage to India" program line, enabled the intensification of academic exchange and the establishment of long-term cooperation with renowned partner institutions.
The thematic orientation of the project stems from the areas of expertise of the Academic chairs and working groups involved, both at the UoC and at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University (BVU). Both institutions can boast of an internationally recognized expertise in the field of environmental sciences.
This thematic area can be divided into the following parts in the project:
- Environmental Law
- Urbanization and urban development
The collaboration between the two institutions is aimed at developing an integrated teaching and research program for both institutions in the field of environmental sciences. The similarity of existing program goals between UoC and BVU provides an excellent platform for a coordinated exchange program which strengthens learning and research. A common focus is to increase the competencies of the UoC project partners for India and the BVU project partners for Germany, both culturally and scientifically. Accordingly, the target group encompasses the entire spectrum of academic training and education at the university, from graduate and doctoral students to university lecturers.
Short-term Lectureships: During the funding phase, several renowned scientists with several years of international experience in the field of environmental sciences from the University of Cologne will teach and conduct research at the Bharati Institute of Environmental Education and Research at BVU for short and long-term stays. Likewise, professors and university lecturers from BVU will hold guest lectureships at the UoC. The theme of "India" will be brought into teaching and research at both institutions through innovative contributions.
Research stays: The exchange of young scholars in these disciplines is also encouraged. Extensive research work is intended to encourage young scientists in the environmental sciences, both German and Indian, to undertake a research stay in India and vice versa. Graduate and doctoral students will thus be jointly trained by both institutions. As a further component, the scholars will be able to benefit from the experiences of the respective project partner(s).
Summer schools, excursions, field research: Another central aspect of the program is the creation of interdisciplinary networks to proffer solutions to environmental problems. The young scientists will be made aware that environmental problems can usually only be solved in the context of different scientific disciplines of the social and natural sciences and within the framework of international cooperation via the exchange of "best-practice solutions". These practical, "hands-on" events serve the goal of increasing the employability of graduates.
An overarching goal - in addition to the above-mentioned collaborations - is also to increase the competitiveness of participating scientists in the global science market. As a result of good cooperation, previous "A New Passage to India" funding periods already resulted in the publication of high-ranking publications. These existing partnerships coupled with the structure of this project make further broader-scoped publications in future phases a realistic and attainable expectation.
In addition to the academically and scientifically relevant aims and objectives, the increased political significance of the program on both the Indian and German sides should also be emphasized.
Sarah-Marleen Dannenberg (M.Phil.)
Global Responsibility combines internationalization with third mission in order to spread and transfer the knowledge generated by the University of Cologne in our local, regional and global networks and contribute to global change. Global Responsibility expresses thereby an attitude, which defines the role and the motivation of a university to act globally. It emphazises that all actions have a global impact of which every individual should be aware of. It is the task of a university to generate and spread knowledge in order to overcome old concepts and raise global awareness.