Germany keen on bilateral knowledge sharing

FOR INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTION: K. Hariharan, extreme right, a coordinators of the Robotics and Telematics project, giving a demonstration of a mobile robot developed by the Thiagarajar College of Engineering to Marian Schuegraf, second from right, S cience Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, in Madurai recently. V. Abhai Kumar, extreme left, principal of the college, looks on.  

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Germany is interested in the bilateral sharing of knowledge in science and technology with India, said Marian Schuegraf, Science Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Talking to The Hindu here on Wednesday, she said the focal point of the German Chancellor's last visit too was to improve bilateral relationship in science and technology between the two countries. Consequently, an Indo-German Science Circle was established to facilitate better cooperation and academic exchange, she added.

Science Circle set up

The Science Circle was formed to provide a forum for young researchers of the country to discuss and know more about various programmes on science and technology. It addressed Indian fellows of German Academic Organisations such as AvH (Humboldt - Foundation), DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), MPG (Max-Planck-Society) and all the others having links with German academic institutions, she said.

Elaborating on the various avenues for Indian students to pursue higher studies in Germany, she said that under the Erasmus Mundus Programme a huge sum had been earmarked for Indian students pursuing research studies in Germany. The German Government had even relaxed visa norms to attract more Indian students interested in research studies.

Workshop inaugurated

The Science Counsellor, who was here to inaugurate a workshop on `Robotics and Telematics' organised by the Thiagarajar College of Engineering under the auspices of the European Union-India Economic Cross-Cultural Programme (EU-IECCP), said that the EU-IECCP sponsored project `International Virtual Lab on Mechatronics' was an attempt to share knowledge and would facilitate better technology transfer.

Commenting on the quality of higher education in India, especially in science and technology, she said the quality varied among institutes. Earlier, only the Indian Institutes of Technology were considered to be involved in research activities in science and technology, but now there were a lot more institutes interested in research and development.

The student community should be motivated to pursue science studies as in Germany, she said, and added that a young researcher's laboratory had been established in Germany where school and college students spent a stipulated period and developed experiments on their own. It provided an opportunity for students to interact with scientists.

After science and technology, the German government's focus now was on biotechnology and renewable energy sources, she noted.

Efforts were on to bring `Science Tunnel,' a multimedia exhibition from the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science to India in 2007, she said. In all probability, the exhibition would be held in Hyderabad, Ms. Marian informed.

The exhibition, developed by Max Planck Society and its 78 institutes, is about today's search for new knowledge and findings.