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Wiss-Nama Newsletter October 2021

18.10.2021 - Press release

News from Indo-German cooperation


Max Planck directors bag Physics and Chemistry Nobel Prize

Two German scientists figure among this year’s Nobel laureates. Prof. Klaus Hasselmann, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, received the Physics Prize along with Syukuro Manabe and Giorgio Parisi for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems. Prof. Benjamin List, director of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, was awarded the Chemistry Prize together with David MacMillan for their development of organocatalysis, a precise new tool for molecular construction. The remarkable success of Max Planck Institutes at this year’s Nobel Prizes is closely connected to Indo-German research partnership. The Max Planck Society is very popular among Indian scientists and early career researchers in particular. As of 2020, over one in ten foreign doctoral researchers at Max Planck Institutes are from India, which represents an increase of over 21 per cent over the past five years. This makes Indian doctoral researchers the second largest foreign group at Max Planck Institutes and the largest at the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). Indian bioeconomist Dr. Hrishikesh Joshi of Ben List’s MPI for Coal Research affirms, “I have learnt a lot (..) at MPI, as people can really guide you here. I would like to work one day in industry, as Germany lays more importance to bioeconomy than any other country.”

Read more about Nobel Prize research

Read more about Dr Hrishikesh’s profile

VAJRA Faculty at JNCASR Bangalore

On October 7, Prof. Mukundan Thelakkat, Chair of Applied Functional Polymers at University of Bayreuth, has been appointed Visiting Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Science Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore, under the VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty Scheme of the Indian government. This program offers overseas scientists and academicians to work as visiting faculty and conduct cutting-edge research in science and technology in collaboration with one or more Indian partners.  Prof. Thelakkat will spend 4 weeks per year at JNCASR as a VAJRA Fellow and deepen the scientific exchange between the two institutions. “I will make sure the cooperation of Indian institutes with Bavarian Centre for Battery Technology (BayBATT) and other centres at University of Bayreuth is intensified. (..) I plan to bring together everyone interested in the field of energy research and get them excited about energy research topics”, explains Prof. Thelakkat. 

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Upcoming events and conferences


Panel Discussion on Taking Science-based start-ups international

On October 28, DWIH New Delhi together with DWIH New York, DWIH Tokyo, DWIH Moscow and DWIH Sao Paulo is organizing a panel discussion aiming to help entrepreneurs and incubators to go international with their science-based start-ups. Get an insight into the start-up ecosystems of India, Japan, Russia, US, and Brazil. Find out about possibilities for new networks, partners, support mechanisms and offers available from the German Centres of Research and Innovation. Registrations open now.

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Web Talk: Sustainable Cities and Communities

On November 10 and 11, DAAD is organizing a virtual web-talk with its alumni from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to talk about research as a way to give back to society within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. The session will address aspects of green infrastructure and sustainable mobility in urban spaces. It will also investigate the use of power grids for energy consumption and their efficiency. Registrations open now.

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Conference: Contemporary Populism in Germany and India: Issues and Perspectives

On November 15, DWIH New Delhi, together with University of Göttingen and Savitribai Phule Pune University, is organizing a conference cum workshop on Contemporary Populism in Germany and India. This conference will bring together scholars from India and Germany to follow an international approach to give an insight into whether there are different varieties of populism in the world or whether we can find theoretical and empirical core characteristics of populism. Registrations open now.

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DWIH presents Incubators Connect

On December 1-3 DWIH New Delhi is organizing a virtual session on the topic of incubation in higher education and research institutions. The session will connect incubator managers and start-up coaches from India and Germany. Presentations will range from the international dimension of entrepreneurship, role of universities in fostering knowledge-intensive start-ups, digital start-up initiatives, to incubation activities and programs, amongst others.

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DAAD Events

Study at RWTH Aachen

October 20, 3:00 PM, Online

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Web Q&A: Master Studies in Germany

October 21, 3:00 PM, Online

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Web Q&A: Bachelor Studies in Germany

October 22, 3:00 PM, Online

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Web Q&A: HSK Scholarship

October 26, 4:00 PM, Online

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Web Q&A: PhD in Germany

October 28, 3:00 PM, Online

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ReDiscover Germany: Bachelors and Masters in Focus

October 29, 2:00 PM, Online

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DAAD South Asia Alumni Days 2021

November 8-19, Online

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Calls for proposals


Germany launches “Konrad Zuse Schools” for talents in the field of AI

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) invites applications for the ‘Konrad Zuse Schools’ for talents in the field of artificial intelligence from all over the world. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and named after the German computer pioneer, the three ‘Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence’ aim to give a comprehensive boost to the education of outstanding young AI researchers at master’s degree and doctoral level in Germany. “Artificial intelligence is one of the most important fields of research in this decade and beyond. Germany as a research hub – its universities, research institutes and companies – needs reliable training and recruitment of excellent young academics from Germany and abroad. The focus of the AI Schools will therefore be on attracting national and international AI talent and retaining it in Germany in the long term, both in academia and industry”, said DAAD President Professor Joybrato Mukherjee at the launch of the Zuse schools.

Application deadline: October 22, 2021

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DAAD invites applications for University Summer Courses

Applications are invited for University Summer Courses from foreign students. This programme aims to help students and graduates improve their knowledge of German language and their knowledge of the German culture. It funds specific courses, which are taught exclusively in German, and are offered by state or state-recognised German universities. Applications are open to students pursuing Bachelor’s (completed 2 years) or Master’s with a minimum of B1 level of German language proficiency.

Application deadline: December 1, 2021

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Special Call for Indo-German Bilateral Virtual Workshops

The Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) invites proposals for Indo-German virtual thematic workshops for interactions between scientists/researchers from academia and industry. The workshops are to be designed around a specific research topic out of thematic areas relevant to both DST and BMBF. Scientists holding regular positions in public or private non-profit research organisations, institutions of higher education and universities are eligible to submit applications.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

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Institute of the month


Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research

The Max-Planck-Institut for Coal Research (“Institut für Kohlenforschung”) was founded in 1912 and is one of 86 institutes in the Max Planck Society. It pursues basic research in all fields of catalysis. The main theme of all departments is research in catalytic transformation of compounds and materials under conditions which maximise efficient use of natural resources. The institute offers PhD and Post-Doc courses in the fields of organic and organometallic chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, as well as in theoretical chemistry. Numerous Indian PhDs and postdocs contribute to the Institute’s world-renowned research which culminated in this year’s Nobel Prize for the Institute Director Ben List. 

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Did you know? 

The accelerator modules for the free-electron lasers FLASH and European XFEL at DESY run at an operating temperature of minus 271 degrees Celsius – two degrees above absolute zero. This is colder than outer space ( 270.42 degrees).

DESY is a particle accelerator in Hamburg, founded in 1959. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety. The facilities generate the world’s most intense X-ray light, accelerate particles to record energies and open completely new windows onto the universe. India is a substantial financial contributor to the PETRA III extension of DESY, and sends numerous researchers to conduct experiments at DESY facilities.



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