Forging stronger links between Ireland and India

With seed funding from DCU Educational Trust, the Ireland India Institute established a presence in 2016 and won a €3.8 million EU Horizon 2020 grant to lead the Global India Education Training Network (ETN) to explore India’s emergence as a global and regional power and its relationship with the EU, through a world class doctoral training programme.

Speaking at the project launch in April 2017, Professor Eileen Connolly, Director of DCU’s Ireland India Institute explained the importance of this initiative in strengthening Europe’s knowledge base on India:

“As the world’s most populous country with a population of 1.2 billion people, and the world’s fastest growing large economy, with GDP growth of 7% in 2016, India has emerged as a global and regional power. Yet Europe lacks the knowledge base which is critical for future strategic engagement with the country. Research carried out through the Global India ETN will serve to address this knowledge gap.”

Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU also emphasised the current relevance of the project at its launch, stating that:

“This [project] comes at a pivotal time in the evolution of India’s relationship with Europe. From an Irish perspective, although we have enjoyed many historical links between our countries, it is now time to focus on the future. In this regard, there is a need to increase awareness of India and of the opportunities for Ireland, and indeed all European countries. This will enable us to enrich each other through increased trade and knowledge exchange on topics such as energy, sustainable development and foreign and security policy.”

The Global India ETN is led by Professor Eileen Connolly, Director of DCU’s Ireland India Institute and brings together six major European universities, six leading Indian universities and six non-academic partners from business and civil society to train 15 doctoral research students. Four of the doctoral researchers will be based in the School of Law and Government at DCU and one in DCU’s Business School.

Doctoral research as part of the Global India initiative will explore key themes that include Indian democracy, social inequality, gender and political participation, external economic relations and trade with India, foreign and security policy and India and global environmental politics. Over the next four years, the participating researchers will conduct an extended period of field-work based in an Indian university partner, complete an internship with one of the network’s non-academic partners, attend nine network training events and publish 30 journal articles and 60 policy briefs on the research themes.

The project partner organisations comprise prominent European universities: Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI), King’s College London, University of Leuven, University of Warsaw, and University of Heidelberg; leading India Universities: Banaras Hindu University, University of Calcutta, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Mumbai University and Jadavpur University; together with non-academic partners that include Indian multinational NIIT, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (London), the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi), the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (Varanasi) and the South Asia Democratic Forum (Brussels).

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