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A German prop to research

Staff Reporter
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The knowledge bank of the Department of German at the University of Kerala just got richer through a contribution of books worth 5,000 Euros by the Deutsche Forschungs Gemeinschaft (DFG) or the German Research Foundation, a self-governing body supported financially by the German government.

Director of DFG in India Torsten Fischer said the books were shipped from Berlin according to the list prepared by Latha Thampi, the department head. The books were handed over in a ceremony here on Saturday.

Both Mr. Fischer and the Deputy Consul-General, Hans-Gunter Loffler, in an interview with The Hindu underlined the benefits that would ensue through collaborations between scientists and organisations of the two countries.

“We only fund projects which will benefit both sides,” said Mr. Fischer, underlining their motto that scientists be allowed a free rein. Though its focus is primarily on scientific research, the organisation has extended its efforts to humanities as well.

“DFG offers programmes for which scientists can apply. It is tough competition. For instance, a scientist here studying nano-particles knows that to move forward he needs certain systems and technology that is not at his disposal. But, he knows through publications and personal contact, a counterpart in Germany engaged in a similar endeavour. That’s where we come in and ask the scientist the kind of work he wishes to pursue. Once the peer-review committee stamps its seal of approval, we fund the German side of collaboration and the Indian government is expected to support the Indian side,” explained Mr. Fischer. Mr. Loffler added that the Indian government had supported the initiative the past few years.

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