The intellectual give and take which is everywhere a stimulus to thought should be especially quick and prolific between Australasia, or Southern Asia, and its northern continent. We are near enough to readily visit India, and to be visited. Its students might come to the universities of our milder climate, instead of facing the winters of Oxford, Paris or Heidelberg. Our thinkers may yet become authorities upon questions which need personal acquaintance with India and its peoples. Alfred Deakin, Irrigated India, 1893
In 1893 Alfred Deakin, the Australian prime minister after whom our University is named, predicted with astonishing prescience the coming together of Australia and India at the intellectual level.
He would be proud that Deakin University is leading the way in fulfilling his prophecy.
More than a decade ago, Deakin became the first university from anywhere in the world to have an office in India.
The establishment of DIRI, the Deakin India Research Initiative, has continued to build the bonds between the University and India.
DIRI is operating out of the New Delhi office of Deakin University and is responsible for supporting Collaborative Research Programs and Higher Degrees by Research for students largely based out of India and jointly supervised by an Australian (Deakin) and an Indian Supervisor.
A red letter day in the partnerships with India came in November, 2010, when the Institute for Technology Research and Innovation joined with TERI, India’s prestigious The Energy Research Institute, to create a new NanoBiotechnology Research Centre in India.
As the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, acknowledged at the time, it was a great honour for Deakin to be involved in a partnership with TERI, which is headed up by the Nobel Laureate Dr R. K. Pachauri.
At the same time as the opening of the NanoBiotechnology Research Centre, an MoU for future research opportunities was signed with India Oil.
So the opportunities first recognised by Alfred Deakin continue to be explored by our University, for the mutual benefit of not just Indians and Australians, but for people throughout the world.