In October 2015, the "'Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education" programme was signed in New Delhi during bilateral government consultations. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) granted around EUR 375,000 for as many as three new projects that saw the University of Würzburg cooperate with partners in Delhi. A comparable amount of funding was dedicated to the Indian project partners by the University Grants Commission Delhi. The projects were anchored in the disciplines of (1) Political Science, European Studies and International Relations, (2) English Literature and Cultural Studies, as well as (3) Adult Education and Lifelong Learning.
The first project was established at IPS India Forum. Under the title "Foundations of the Indo-European Strategic Partnership", Prof. Dr. Gisela Müller-Brandeck-Bocquet, Prof. Dr. Michael Becker, Dr. Matthias Gsänger, Dr. Philipp Gieg and Timo Lowinger collaborated with Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. There, Prof. Dr. Ummu Salma Bava and Prof. Dr. Anupama Roy were leading the project.
The cooperation focussed on the common motif of “Foundations of the Europe-India Strategic Partnership: Comparative Perspectives on European and Indian Political Ideas, Policy and International Cooperation”. The goal was to carve out underpinnings in political thought, fundamental principles and current structures of the Europe-India partnership which – on the political level – is embodied by the EU-India Strategic Partnership struck in 2004.
The project aimed at strengthening our ties with our most important Indian partner, JNU, and thereby expanding our Institute’s and the University of Würzburg's internationalisation by
- providing both IPS and JNU faculty with the possibility to intensify and enhance their research and teaching collaboration through faculty mobility, joint workshops, book projects and conference participation, and
- providing both IPS and JNU students with the possibility to travel to the respective partner institution in order to undertake research for their theses and their research projects as well as to attend courses, seminars and Winter and Summer Schools.
As demonstrated, the project attached great importance to training students in both countries: Semesters abroad as well as summer and winter schools promote contacts and intercultural skills, build knowledge and broaden the mind. The project run for a period of four years and allowed students to write their master theses and dissertations on a topic within the scope of the common motif.
Ensuring a fruitful and prosperous exchange with our Indian partners, the India Forum served as the institutional framework for the cooperation under IGP. Since then, IPS India Forum has been the interface between the Institute for Political Science and Sociology and our Indian partners and has coordinated our activities with other institutes within the University of Würzburg.
The project built upon our existing partnership and enabled both JNU and IPS to develop further the research and teaching profile of our cooperation with the focus on “Foundations of the Europe-India Strategic Partnership”.