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Wiss-Nama Newsletter November 2019

29.07.2019 - Press release

Highlights from India and Germany

5th Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations, 1st November 2019

The 5th Indo German Intergovernmental Consultations took place in New Delhi on 1st November 2019. On that occasion, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel paid a state visit to India from 31st October to 2nd November. The Chancellor was accompanied by numerous senior members from her Cabinet, among others, the German Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek.
In addition to the Consultations with Indian Prime Minister Mr. Modi and his cabinet members, both leaders interacted with prominent members from Indian and German business communities. During her visit, Chancellor Merkel also met with a small group of young women leaders from various walks of life, and delivered the opening speech at the 63rd Annual General Meeting of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce.
A total of 22 MoUs/Agreements were signed during the visit out of which 5 are in the field of Higher Education, Science &Technology and Skill Development.
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List of 22 MoUs

Visit of the German Federal Minister of Education and Research to India

Accompanying Chancellor Merkel to the 5th Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations, Anja Karliczek, Minister, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) visited New Delhi from 31st October to 2nd November. In addition to taking part at the official Consultations, Minister Karliczek held bilateral meetings with her counterparts, including the Indian Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and the Minister for Science and Technology (MST) and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. Both sides reviewed the existing bilateral cooperation and discussed models to further enhance the partnership. Minister Karliczek signed Agreements for extension of the Indo German Partnerships in Higher Education Programme (with MHRD) and for organization of a workshop in the field of Artificial Intelligence jointly with the Department of Science & Technology under the joint bilateral Indo German Science & Technology Centre.
Minister Karliczek also visited the Industrial Training Institute Pusa, a Government of Delhi Institute in the field of Vocational Education offering numerous engineering and non-engineering courses. ITI Pusa is supported by the German company Siemens.
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India and Germany to give € 3.5 million each for partnerships in higher education

During the 5th Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations, held in New Delhi on 1 November 2019, a new MoU was signed between the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) and the UGC (University Grants Commission). DAAD Vice President Dr Joybrato Mukherjee and  UGC Chairman Dr Dhirendra Pal Singh committed to further strengthening the bilateral cooperation in the field of higher education. This MoU covers the second phase of the programme “Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education” (IGP) that is jointly funded by India and Germany. With this MoU the funding is being extended for another four years starting from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.The Indo-German Partnership programme will involve investments of Euros 3.5 million each by India and Germany and will focus exclusively on higher education. The call for proposals under the second phase of the programme is due early December 2019.
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Germany welcomes record number of Indian students in 2018-19

Indian student numbers in Germany continue to be on the rise. The number of Indian students in Germany has almost doubled in the last five years.  The latest figures released by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany reveal that the number of Indian students in Germany has grown by 18.44% over the last year and stands at 20,810 (Winter Semester 2018-19). Indians also form the 2nd largest group of international students enrolled at German universities. The total number of international students in Germany has grown by 5.3%.
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Science Circle Lecture by Prof. Frank Ordon, President of the Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Quedlinburg, Germany

On 14th November, 2019, German Embassy New Delhi together with the German Centre of Research and Innovation (DWIH New Delhi) organized a Science Circle Lecture by Prof. Frank Ordon on “Combating the Challenge of Biotic and Abiotic Stress in Food Crops by Genomics Based Breeding”. Prof. Ordon, President of the JKI in Germany, spoke about how wheat and barley, the two main cereals, are hit by many pathogens and increasing drought leading to severe yield losses worldwide. He underlined the prime importance of genome based breeding to improve resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, against the background of increasing world population and climate change. The talk was followed by a lively Q&A session.
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Indian Startup wins the Sustainability Cluster award at Falling Walls Venture 2019!

Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd. won the Sustainability Cluster Award at the Falling Walls Venture 2019, for their groundbreaking innovation, Florafoam. With Florafoam, they aim to break the wall of toxic Styrofoam – the 5th biggest pollutant in the world. They do this by upcycling temple flowers and farm waste. Three startup nominations from India had made it to the finals of the 2019 edition the Falling Walls Venture held in Berlin on 8th November 2019.
Falling Walls venture is an international platform where the most promising research startups, nominated by renowned universities and research institutions, pitch their breakthrough business models.
The German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New Delhi financed the Berlin trip for the three teams from India to contest at the Venture. The DWIH New Delhi, managed by the DAAD, is an academic partner of the Falling Walls Foundation.
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Falling Walls Lab Berlin 2019

The finale of the Falling Walls Lab 2019 took place in Berlin on 8 November 2019. Rhys Pirie of the University of Queensland won the finale for “Breaking the Wall of Broken Glass”. Rhys convinced the jury in three minutes by presenting a low-cost process which turns 'waste' glass into high-value products such as detergents, tyres, and even toothpaste.
About 100 contestants from all over the globe pitched at the Falling Walls Lab finale. This included the winner from India Lab, Mayur Shetty of Blackfrog Technologies, who talked about “Breaking the Wall of Ice-Box for Cold Chain Management”.

Science Circle Lecture by Prof Astrid Rosenthal von der Pütten

German Embassy New Delhi, together with the German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH New Delhi), organized a Science Circle Lecture on 14th October, 2019, in New Delhi. Prof Astrid Rosenthal von der Pütten, Chair, Individual and Technology, Human Technology Centre, RWTH Aachen University, spoke on the topic “What artificially intelligent systems still have to learn to fit into our social system”. Philipp von Ritter, Counsellor and Head, Science & Technology, German Embassy New Delhi welcomed the speaker and the audience followed by a brief introduction of DWIH New Delhi and its activities by Dr. Katja Lasch, Director, DWIH New Delhi. The Lecture by Prof. Rosenthal von der Pütten focused on implementing abilities into social robots that could enable them to act competent to fit into our social environment. She outlined why and which processes of human social perception (e.g., the visual assessment of social situations) have to be investigated to help develop social robots. The lecture was followed by a stimulating Q&A session and a networking High Tea.
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Upcoming Events and Conferences

DWIH Workshop on E-waste Management, Chennai, 28th - 29th November, 2019

e – Waste (electronic waste) is a prominent emerging problem in India. India is said to be the 5th largest producer of e – waste in the world, with volumes estimated to cross 5 million tonnes per year by 2021. Inadequate formal recycling infrastructure and lack of concrete implementation of regulations (like the e – Waste Management Rules, 2016) in India, result not only in inadequate recovery of valuable minerals and metals present in e – waste, but also in health and ecological risks posed by air, water and soil contamination from poisonous chemicals. The German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New Delhi and IIT Madras are organising a workshop on “e – Waste Management: Issues and Challenges”. The workshop is supported by RWTH Aachen University and Max Planck Society. This two-day workshop will serve as a platform to industry, academia, research institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and policy makers to discuss the research, technologies, and policies required to manage e-waste and its larger climate and societal impact.
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DAAD Events

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will be organizing a series of events for Indian students and researchers interested in pursuing studies or research in Germany and webinars for students joining German universities shortly.

Webinar Ph.D. Proposal Writing
28th November, 2019, 3:00 - 4:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with a good internet connection.
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Webinar: Master’s Program in Technology Management at the NIT Hamburg
12th December, 2019, 3:00 - 4:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with a good internet connection.
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Physics in Advent
Under the motto “still 24 experiments until Christmas” the PiA-Team at the University of Göttingen offers 24 entertaining physics experiments available also in English during Advent. PiA – Physics in Advent is a physics Advent calendar presenting 24 small, simple experiments and physics mysteries to young researchers and anybody who enjoys things like this. From 1 to 24 December, everyone can watch a simple experiment on Youtube every day, which can easily be done with standard household materials followed by a quiz, the solution to which will be shown via Youtube movies the following day. In the end, the results will be evaluated: individually, for a class group or even for entire schools. The best participants, classes or schools will receive exciting prizes.
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Calls for proposals

Applications invited for IGCS Winter School 2020

The Indo German Centre for Sustainability invites applications for the IGCS winter school titled “Sustainability in the Peri-cene: Human settlements, food, ecology and governance”. The winter school addresses Master and PhD students from Germany and India. Topics such as sustainable development and land, urbanisation and the land-water-food-ecosystems nexus, and sustainable governance beyond cities will be covered. IIT Madras hosts the two-week-program from 15 to 29 February 2020.
Deadline for Application: 25th November 2019
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From India to Göttingen: Call for applications for student and PhD Candidate Mobility
from Namaste+ partner institutions to the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (UGOE)
UGOE offers scholarships for incoming mobility for master degree students and PhD candidates from the Namaste+ partner Indian institutions for studying and research at the University of Göttingen during the winter term 2020/2021. The scholarships are open to all academic areas.
Deadline for Application: 1st December 2019
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PhD Positions/Scholarships in Literary Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
The Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies (FSGS) as well as the Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective” at Freie Universität Berlin are calling for applications for numerous scholarships and research assistant positions.
Deadline for Application - 15th December 2019
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IGSTC Call for Proposals 2019
Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC), established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Government of Germany to promote research partnership of industrial relevance invites First Stage Proposals for joint R&D&I projects in 2+2 Mode of Partnership in the overall thematic area Bioeconomy with and selected subtopics including Future Agricultural Farming (Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming), Logistics in Agriculture Supply Chain (Blockchain Technologies to secure trust in supply chain) and Technologies for sustainable and improved agricultural production (e.g. sensors for soil health monitoring).
Deadline for submission of First Stage Proposals - December 10, 2019
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Doctoral Fellowship at the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies in Paris
The Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo) in Paris invites applications for a doctoral fellowship in sociology or political science at Sciences Po in Paris. Original and independent proposals are invited on the topics economic sociology, political economy, economic or political history. The applicant’s interests should fall within the scope of MaxPo’s research program and the project should lay out the fit.
The MaxPo PhD program runs in close collaboration with the doctoral program of the International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE) in Cologne. Successful candidates will receive a three-year doctoral employment contract starting in September 2020. MaxPo doctoral fellows will have a fully equipped shared office and full access to the library and research facilities of Sciences Po. Additional funds may be available for fieldwork, research stays, and conference travel, subject to the budget and prior approval. The fellowship also includes a research stay at the MPIfG in Cologne.
Application deadline: January 20, 2020.
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Open Call for Indo-German Bilateral Workshops
The Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) invites proposals for organizing Indo-German workshops on areas of mutual interest with an aim towards creating platforms for substantive interactions between scientists / researchers from academia and industry. The workshops have to take place in India or in Germany and to be designed around a specific research topic out of thematic areas relevant to both DST and BMBF, which includes the thematic areas of 2+2 project calls. Any other relevant topics of very high importance may also be considered. Persons holding regular positions in public or private non-profit research organisations, institutions of higher education and universities are eligible to submit applications.
Application deadline: January 31, 2020
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Funding Opportunities for Indo-German Fundamental Research Projects in the Life Sciences
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) inform the Indian and German scientific communities that effective immediately, it is possible for teams of Indian and German researchers to seek synchronised funding for integrated Indo-German cutting-edge fundamental research projects proposing innovative approaches in the academic disciplines covered by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, with a duration of up to three years.
Application deadline: December 31, 2019
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To acquaint our readers with the scientific scenario in India and Germany and to highlight the Indo-German cooperation in the field of science and technology, we introduce one German or Indian Science institution in every edition, as a regular feature in our newsletter.

Symbiosis International University
A front- runner in International Higher Education, Symbiosis International University headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra is family of 38 Institutions spread across India. A comprehensive university with students from 85 different countries, Symbiosis embraces diversity on campus that epitomizes its motto of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam' -The World is One Family. A university with a unique history & legacy of 48 years, it has been a home away from home for international students studying in Pune. Working towards its vision of promoting international understanding through quality education, Symbiosis has been actively engaging with German Universities & DAAD through its extensive partnerships in student & faculty mobility, collaborative research & joint projects. Symbiosis's newly launched Symbiosis Centre for European Studies commits its  efforts in fostering progressive insights on EU integration, locally, nationally, and internationally through teaching, training and outreach.
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It takes 8 minutes, 19 seconds for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth.

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