Australia-India Institute announces Amitabh Mattoo as its first director

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Australia India Institute has announced the appointment of its inaugural Director, Professor Amitabh Mattoo.

Professor Mattoo is one of India’s leading thinkers and writers on international relations. He is currently a Professor of Disarmament Studies at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament at New Delhi’s

Jawaharlal Nehru University and has been a Member of the National Knowledge Commission, a high-level advisory group to the Prime Minister of India.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese said “I congratulate Professor Mattoo on his appointment as Director of the Australia India Institute. Such a senior appointment will boost the Australia India Institute’s capacity to build the dialogue between Australia and India across a broad spectrum of issues. I am particularly pleased that at a time when Australia and India’s strategic interests are converging the appointment of Professor Mattoo will boost the dialogue between our countries on international strategic issues.”

Professor Mattoo has been awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards, for his contribution to education and public life.

Professor Mattoo was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu from 2002-2008. He received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford and has been a visiting Professor at Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Illinois and at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris.

He has published extensively, writes regularly for Indian newspapers and is a well-regarded television commentator.

“I consider the appointment to be a great honour as well as a great responsibility. I am confident that we can meet the challenge of building a world class institute in Melbourne with a focus on India. I am thankful to the Chancellor and the Board for reposing this trust in me,” Professor Mattoo said.

Professor Mattoo will take up his three year appointment in Melbourne, Australia in April 2011.

In announcing his appointment the Chairman of the Board of the Australia India Institute, Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and recently appointed Victorian Governor-elect,Alex Chernov AO QC said: “We are delighted to have as Director a person of world renowned academic and administrative calibre such as Professor Mattoo. He has a wealth of experience in

areas concerned with university affairs, government and other institutions. We look forward to his providing leadership at the Australia India Institute, the principal aims of which are the promotion of greater exchange in knowledge between India and Australia in a range of areas of mutual interest.”

The Australia India Institute is a crucial part of the strategic engagement between Australia and India. In recognising both the importance of the relationship and the need for stronger connections between Australia and India the University of Melbourne established the Australia India Institute in 2008.

The institute was officially launched by the then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi on September 1, 2009.

In late 2009, the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) provided just over eight million Australian dollars to the Australia India Institute over three years. (ANI)

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