The Australia India Institute (AII) is a leading centre for the study of India. Through its teaching, research, public policy and outreach programs, it is building Australia’s capacity to understand India. AII is also a hub for dialogue, research and partnerships between India and Australia. Based at the University of Melbourne, the Institute hosts a growing range of programs that are deepening and enriching the relationship between the two countries.
The University of Melbourne established the Australia India Institute in October 2008. In 2009, funding for the Institute was provided by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Both the University of New South Wales and La Trobe University were also founding partners. In 2012 the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the State Government of Victoria provided additional core funding. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India, is funding a Tagore Centre for Global Thought at AII – one of three Centres globally that are being funded by the Government of India. AII will host a Chair in Indian Studies, funded by the State Government of Victoria and the University of Melbourne and a Visiting Chair in Indian Studies sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Formally launching the Australia India Institute (AII) in New Delhi on 1 September 2009, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, said: "The Australian Government is committed to building a greater understanding between our two peoples and Australians’ understanding of India, its culture, its history and place in the world.”
Joint Statement from the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and then Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, 12 November 2009: "India and Australia are two countries with shared interests and shared values. We are both pluralist democracies. We are both global in our outlook, but also closely integrated into the Asian region. Our economic relationship is expanding rapidly. We have a shared desire to enhance and maintain peace, stability and prosperity in Asia. We both value multilateral institutions and recognise the need to reform and renovate them. Our people-to-people links are broad-based and growing.
“To give expression to the expansion and dynamism of our bilateral ties, we have agreed to take the relationship to the level of a strategic partnership.”
AII is helping to translate that vision into reality, and is governed by the following Regulation of the University of Melbourne.
Regulation 5.1.R6 - Australia India Institute
a) The Australia India Institute (“AII”) was established by resolution of Council on 20 October 2008.
b) In respect of all academic matters the AII operates subject to the directions of the Academic Board and the overall operations of AII are subject to the general direction and oversight of a board (“Board”) established in accordance with this Regulation.
2. Objectives of AII
The objectives of AII are to facilitate the coordination and development of studies in Australia of Indian culture and its social, scientific and economic dimensions, and to enhance understanding and cooperation between Australia and India in these matters, including:
a) Facilitating collaborative study and research in Australian and Indian higher education institutions in disciplines concerned with Indian culture, society, science and economy;
b) Facilitating the growth of talented graduates in Australia familiar with the Indian sub-continent;
c) Deepening the understanding of India in Australia, including its business and general communities;
d) Strengthening relations between Australia, India and the Asia-Pacific region;
e) Providing opportunities for leading Australians and Indians to make substantial contributions to public discourse in both countries concerning cultural, social, scientific and economic issues of mutual interest to both countries;
f) Contributing to finding solutions to address fundamental challenges in such areas as food production, education, public health and the environment in India; and
g) Pursuing income-generating opportunities to support the activities of AII, including philanthropic donations and selected fee for service activities.
3. Board of AII
The Board is constituted as follows:
a) Chancellor or nominee (Chair);
b) Vice-chancellor or nominee;
c) Director, Australia India Institute or nominee;
d) Nominee of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations;
e) Nominee of the University of New South Wales;
f) Nominee of La Trobe University;
g) Representative of the University appointed by Council;
h) Chief executive officer, Asialink or nominee; and
i) Up to two persons co-opted annually by the Board.
Members of the Board under categories (d) to (g) are appointed for a period of three years, or for so long as they hold the position which entitles them to be a member of the Board. The quorum for meetings of the Board is four members.
4. Functions and Duties of the Board
a) The Board formulates an annual budget for AII, for approval by Council or a committee of Council.
b) The Board exercises governance oversight of the operations of AII.
c) The Board sets the strategic directions of AII, including consideration and approval of its strategic plan and annual program of activities, and will monitor performance against those plans and programs.
d) The Board monitors performance by AII of the conditions of any grants from the Commonwealth of Australia or other sources.
e) The Board may establish an international advisory committee to assist in priority setting and building international linkages, the composition and terms applicable to any such committee to be as determined by the Board from time to time.
f) Subject to this regulation, the Board regulates its own proceedings.
a) The Board will report at least annually to Council through the vice-chancellor on the operations of AII.
b) All reports from AII to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and to any other bodies requiring reports as a condition of a grant to AII, will be transmitted through the Board.
c) The Board must publish an annual report on the activities of AII.
d) The Director of AII is appointed by Council on the recommendation of the Board. The Director reports to the vice-chancellor or nominee on operational and academic matters and to the Board on governance matters.
e) The Deputy Director and the Manager are each appointed by the Board on the recommendation of the Director. The Deputy Director and the Manager each report to the Director.
f) All other appointments of AII staff are made by the Director, and such appointments are reported by the Director to the Board as appropriate.
6. Staff of AII
The Director of AII is appointed by Council on the recommendation of the Board. The Director reports to the Vice-Chancellor or Nominee on operational and academic matters and to the Board on governance matters.
a) The Deputy Director and the Manager are each appointed by the Board on the recommendation of the Director. The Deputy Director and the Manager each report to the Director.
b) All other appointments of AII staff are made by the Director, and such appointments are reported by the Director to the Board as appropriate.