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1. Welcome Message
With its third successful conference, the AIYD has cemented its role as an innovative and
powerful initiative successfully fostering and enhancing relationships between the youth
of Australia and India. What has become evident since the AIYD has been formed over
time about the AIYD is that the AIYD it is the onlyone of the few ways this relationship will
continue to grow stronger in the long term - , by bringing its the future generation of
leaders together. We now have an alumni of more than 90 bright Australian and Indian
leaders who will undoubtedly be responsible for the future of the two countries.
2. Partners
The AIYD is extremely grateful for the support and advice of our Distinguished Partners
of AIYD 2014. Their tremendous support has assisted our team and delegates to achieve
greater networks between both countries and establish the platform for future cooperation
and initiatives.
3. Conference - Overview
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The AIYD aims to complement the strategic partnership between the two countries by:
1. Cultivating and fostering the relationship between Australia and India through their
youth in a meaningful manner;
2. Providing support to deal with problems and trends occurring within the relationship
and potentially providing solutions for those problems through the innovative ideas
of these young leaders during high level discussions; and
3. Providing a deeper cultural insight and understanding of the similarities and
differences between the respective nationstwo countries.
The AIYD strives to achieve these objectives by bringing together 30 of the brightest
young people (under 35 years old) from Australia and India. These people will beare
selected from various faculties and institutions, from a variety of areas including
business, arts, culture, politics, social enterprise and education.
#[The Overview section should start with the section below]#
The AIYD 2014 conference (AIYD 2014) built on the overwhelming success of the first
two conferences the inaugural conference that was held in New Delhi and Mumbai in
January-February 2012 and the second conference that was held in Melbourne and
Sydney in January-February 2013. The format of the conference remained the same,
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bringing together a group of 30 young Australians and Indians, with strong and emerging
profiles in a diverse range of professional backgrounds and social engagement, including
media, social entrepreneurship organisations, business corporations and sports.
Please click here for information on the Australian and India delegates from AIYD 2014.
The selection process for the delegates of the conference was two-pronged:
1. ten individuals were head-hunted using a carefully chosen criteria; and
2. the remaining five delegates from each country were selected through rigorous
application and selection process
The entire selection process was carried out under the oversight, and with the approval,
of the AIYD Board of Advisors. While some of thea few delegates had previous
experience in the Australia-India space, a significant number of delegates on both sides
had no prior experience of engagement with the other country. This meant the AIYD was
able to create fresh linkages and networks between these young leaders. This process
was further stimulated by pairing delegates from both sides and housing them in shared
accommodation for the duration of the conference.
4. Conference - Outcomes
In summary, tThe general feedback from delegates, speakers and partners, and the
outcomes of the engagement is as followsset out below:
1. AIYD 2014 was very well organised and the quality of the delegates and speakers
provided an excellent foundation for the dialogue to commence between delegates;
2. the quality of the venues, accommodation and other facilities provided to the
delegates, particularly the world class academic facilities at the Indian School of
Business in Hyderabad, made the engagement far more pleasurable stimulating
than anticipated;
3. the external and more informal engagement (at the heritage walking tour in
Hyderabad, at the dinners and drinks functions in both Hyderabad and New Delhi
and at the tour of Parliament in New Delhi) played a big role in allowing delegates
to open up and form meaningful relationships;
4. the relationships formed between the delegates themselves and with the members
of the AIYD Steering Committee were invaluable. There is already considerable
engagement and activity taking place between delegates and across sectors of
industry. This was indeed the key driver to forming the AIYD and organising AIYD
2014. Engagement continues to occur between delegates and the Steering
Committee through an AIYD alumni group, formal speaking engagements
organised through the Steering Committee or delegates themselves and casual
catch-up sessions;
5. the release of the report of the Sport Infrastructure Taskforce (an initiative of the
alumni of the AIYD's first two conferences) at AIYD 2014 demonstrated a tangible
outcome for the AIYD;
6. the successful introduction of sessions on "soft topics" gender challenges facing
the two countries, and the role of the media in times of crises provided a forum
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for delegates to engage on a more personal level and greatly facilitated the forging
of a firmer understanding of the similarities and differences in the two countries at
ground level; and
7. the AIYD continues to add a more mature dimension to the Australia-India
relationship. The energy, drive and passion of our delegates, speakers and
Steering Committee served as a foundation for robust discussion and engagement
during and after the formal sessions of AIYD 2014.
Beyond the Dialogue

The vision of the AIYD Steering Committee is to facilitate an ongoing engagement between
Australia and India through their youth. The AIYD conferences are therefore only the first step in
achieving this vision.

Making the AIYD a sustainable institution requires the organisers and participants of the AIYD to
contribute to the AIYD by continuing the engagement, maintaining the networks and facilitating
relationships beyond the annual AIYD conferences, to ensure that the AIYD consistently
achieves its objectives and maintains its high standards.
There are three broad ways in which the AIYD aims to facilitate ongoing engagement with the
AIYD alumni, namely:
1. regular events for AIYD alumni;
1.2. ongoing support for the activities of the AIYD alumni network; and
1.3. encouraging the submission of discussion papers and reports by AIYD alumni.
1. Regular events for AIYD alumni
The AIYD Steering Committee encourages the AIYD alumni to interact regularly, both via the
online AIYD database and in person. This allows AIYD delegates alumni to network and engage
with young leaders who did not necessarily participate in the same AIYD conference as they did.

The AIYD organises and facilitates regular events for AIYD alumni. For example, 15 AIYD alumni
(delegates from Melbourne, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi) attended a reunion event at the
Australian High Commission in March 2014.

In July 2014, the AIYD has two alumni events scheduled one being an informal reunion dinner
in Sydney, and the other a breakfast event in partnership with the Confederation of Indian
Industry's Young Indians.

In addition, we the AIYD offers our major partners the opportunity to meet with AIYD alumni
during events throughout the year. tTo date, AIYD alumni have attended events hosted jointly
by the AIYD and the Australian High Commission, the Victorian Government, and the South
Australian Government and the Australia India Institute.

2. Support AIYD alumni for activities and provision of grants
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The AIYD alumni comprises an exclusive group of young leaders from Australia and India who
have participated in previous AIYD conferences. The AIYD alumni are able to use this the AIYD
network to stay connected and continue to contribute to the future of AIYD and more generally,
the Australia-India relationship.

At the Closing Dinner of the AIYD 2014 AIYD, the AIYD Steering Committee announced the
introduction of an AIYD grants scheme program which will behas since been established to
support collaborative projects being undertaken byof AIYD alumni. From 2014,Under this grant
program, AIYD alumni will be able eligible to apply for funding for various projects which involve
collaboration between youth in Australia and India and promote the vision of the AIYD.

This new initiative aims to facilitate new ideas and activities which will be spearheaded by young
leaders in Australia and India. Since the announcement of this grant program, the AIYD has
awarded grants in the amount of $2,000 each to four alumni A number of AIYD alumni applied for
funding for various collaborative projects and grants were awarded to alumni from Australia and
India with projects in the fields of education, the environment, energy and media. More
information on the successful applications and the projects being funded will be available on our
website shortly.

Even before the announcement of this new AIYD initiative, a number of AIYD alumni have
collaborated on various projects which continue to promote the Australia-India relationship.

For example, Mr. Amoghavarsha JS, an AIYD alumnus from 2013, launched his music video,
One Australia, at the Closing Dinner of the AIYD 2014 AIYD conference. A wildlife
photographer by profession, Amoghavarsha travelled 7,000 kms throughout Australia for one
month after the AIYD conference in 2013, putting together a montage of his journey. Amogs
short music video has been promoted by national Australian media and has had more than 1,000
views online. Prior to the AIYD conference, Amog had never been to Australia but had always
wanted to film the beautiful wildlife and landscape throughout the country. This is a small
example of how the AIYD not only sparked an interest in Australia for one young and dynamic
Indian, it also facilitated a project which showcases Australias natural beautify through the eyes
of an Indian.

In addition, two alumni from the AIYD 2014 AIYD are currently have collaboratedcollaborating on
development projects in the village of Soda in Rajasthan. Mr Chris ONeill and Ms. Chhavi
Rajawat have collaborated to develop a Master Plan and Development Roadmap for Water
Resources in Soda. The project, led by Hydronumerics Pty Ltd, a Melbourne based engineering
firm, of for which Chris is a director, aims to improve the quality and quantity of fresh water in the
village and improve wastewater services by developing a series of low-tech, sustainable water
harvesting and treatment systems, starting with a sustainable wastewater filtration plant for urban
run-off. Chhavi is the current Sarpanch (village head) of Soda, and improving sanitation and
water quality in the village has been a priority of hers during her tenure. The idea to collaborate
on this project became a reality during discussions between Chris and Chhavi during the AIYD
2014 AIYD conference.

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There are many similar tales of collaboration between alumni of the AIYD, and we will shortly be
creating a space on our website with details of these collaborations, along with details of how you
may be able to participate in the various projects.

3. Collaborative Reports
The AIYD encourages its delegates to collaborate by writing discussion papers and reports with
respect to topical issues which effect affect both Australia and India.

To date, reports have been published undertaken by alumni on issues such as education, sports
and sustainability.

To illustrate the nature of these taskforce papers, a brief summary of the sports taskforce paper
which was released at AIYD 2014, has been set out below.:

The sports taskforce report was prepared by Mr. Jacob Taylor and Mr. Amrut Josh, alumni from
the 2013 AIYD. Both individuals have been active in the sporting sphere, with Jacob having
represented Australia in Rugby 7s and Amrut is being the founder and director of a professional
sports consulting firm in India. The report notes that as regional partners with shared elements
of institutional and cultural history, Australia and India must together take ownership of the task
of ensuring the maintenance of sporting integrity in the Indo-Pacific region in the 21st Century.

Further, the authors are of the opinion that in the case of India and Australia, there are significant
opportunities for this type of exchange, in areas ranging from sporting governance and elite high
performance systems, right through to the use of sport as a platform for preventative health,
peace and development, social inclusion, cultural exchange and international diplomacy.

The report sets out some of the ways which Australia and India are currently collaborating in the
area of supports and it lists recommendations about possible future opportunities in the field of

Amrut presented the sports taskforce report on the opening day of the AIYD 2014 conference in
Hyderabad. A copy of the report is available here. #[Insert link to sports taskforce report]#
5. Panel discussions
Throughout the AIYD Conference, delegates engaged with a number of esteemed speakers
during panel sessions and roundtable discussions. Below is a summary of each of the following
1. Australia-India Bilateral Relations
2. Australia-India Business Relationship
3. Vocational Studies in India and Australia
4. Australia India Research Collaboration
5. Gender-related challenges in India and Australia
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6. Media and Politics Role during Elections and in times of crises
Australia-India Bilateral Relations
1. Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Director, Australia India Institute
2. Stuart Campbell, Deputy Consul General, Australian Consulate in Chennai
Moderator: Ruchir Punjabi, Chair, Australia India Youth Dialogue

Mr Campbell gave an overview of the diplomatic and political history of the Australia-India
relationship since the end of the Second World War in order to brief the audience about the
present trajectory in which the bilateral relations are headed. He pointed out that the Cold War
kept the two democracies apart and both the countries neglected each others importance. There
were times when leaders of both countries could not identify with one anothers concerns,
resulting in a stagnation of the progress of the relationship.
After the end of the Cold War, India opened up its markets and attempted to reconfigure its
friends and allies. At this juncture it should have been natural for Australia and India to work
together for the mutual benefit of the two countries. However the nuclear tests by India in 1998
brought in sharp reactions from Australia which further undermined the already neglected
In the past few years, however, there has been an upsurge in the dynamics of the relationship
between the two countries. The initial criticism of the nuclear tests gave way to a more pragmatic
and nuanced understanding of India on the part of the Australian government. This was
evidenced by Australia overturning the ban on uranium exports to India, an issue that had
plagued this relationship for a long time.
According to him, these long standing issues had led to an economic and trade imbalance which
is being slowly rectified. Today the two-way trade between Australia and India has grown in value
from $3.6 billion in 2000-01 to $16.6 billion in 2012-13. India is the second largest provider of
international students to Australia, the largest being China.
In his closing remarks, Mr Campbell congratulated the AIYD for its efforts and commended it for
providing a platform to engage young leaders in a dialogue and work together to build enduring
business, cultural, social and environmental partnerships.
Professor Amitabh Mattoo, in his opening remarks, congratulated the AIYD for its continuing
success in engaging stellar delegates each year. He expressed hope that with its database of
young achievers, the AIYD would broaden its horizons and engage in more activities with former
With respect to the bilateral relationship, Prof. Mattoo opined that there are few countries in the
Indo-Pacific region with which Australia has as much in common, by way of values and interests,
as India. Apart from being English-speaking, multicultural, federal democracies that believe in
and respect the rule of law, both countries have a strategic interest in ensuring a balance in the
Indo-Pacific and ensuring that the region is not dominated by any one hegemonic power.
In relation to the rise and growth of China, he added, China's recent policies have been
belligerent, especially in the case of the South China Sea and its aggressive posture towards
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Japan. The new leadership in China and their aggressive diplomacy may be willing to use force
to resolve issues, making other countries in the region wary of its rise.
Professor Mattoo lamented the fact that the Ministry of External Affairs in India does not have the
capacity to engage with its eastern neighbours and thus has not been able to give them the
attention they deserve. He acknowledged that certain instances of the past still continue to cast
their shadow on the relationship. Also, as far as Australian educational institutions are
concerned, he claimed that there is a perception gap that exists especially in India regarding the
quality of these institutions. A number of universities in Australia consistently rank high in the
international rankings but this is not reflected in the dominant discourse in India where most
families would like their children to go the US or UK. The attacks on Indian students in the past
also did not help matters.
However, he insisted that it is the young leaders in a vibrant federal democracy especially in the
age of social media who will go a long way in helping to remove suspicion and strengthen the
bandwidth in bilateral relations. It is here that initiatives like AIYD have a crucial role to play in
providing momentum to the Australia India relationship as a potential game-changer in the Asian
Australia-India Business Relationship
1. Wayne Lewis, Commissioner to India, State Government of Victoria, Australia
2. Dr. Brinda Jagirdar, Former General Manager and Chief Economist, State Bank of India
3. DSN Murthy, Founder, Dhanush Infotech
4. George Varghese, Founder, CEO & Managing Director, ExtentorTquila
Moderator:Shankar Vanavarayar, Executive Director, Sakti Auto Motors, Former Chair, CII
Young Indians and AIYD Alumni.

The diverse and extensive experiences of our panelists made for an interesting and engaging
discussion on the challenges and opportunities as well as the similarities and differences of doing
business in Australia and India. The session began with an enthusiastic introduction from
moderator and AIYD alumni, Mr. Shankar Vanavarayar. Mr Vanavarayar spoke about the
potential opportunities in the Australia-India space with respect to business and reflected on his
positive experiences both in Australia and with Australian professionals in India.
Mr. Wayne Lewis, Commissioner to India, State Government of Victoria, Australia delivered a
presentation entitled, Australia-India Business: The Victorian Way, shedding light on how
Australian companies, and indeed the Australian state governments, perceive doing business in
India. Wayne provided an interesting historical perspective about how the Australia-India
business environment has changed in the past two decades.
The delegates found it particularly interesting that the Victorian Government successfully
positioned itself as the home for various large Indian IT companies in the earlier 2000s, and how
this strategy to promote inbound investment has subsequently blossomed into a strong two-way
relationship between the state of Victoria and India.
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Mr Lewis spoke about the importance of exposing Australian business professionals to India in
order to foster a greater understanding of the way business takes place in India and to
encourage the broadening of business networks, through annual super trade missions.
Mr Lewis discussed some of the challenges faced by Australian businesses in India, including:
1. the importance of understanding the client;
2. the structure of Indian companies;
3. the concept of hidden value;
4. the differences in pricing paradigms;
5. dealing with government; and
6. the issue of corruption,
especially in light of trans-border legislation imposed on Australian persons and Australian

Mr Lewis reiterated the vast opportunities in the Australia-India business space and highlighted
some of the major success stories of businesses from Victoria in India as well as Indian
businesses that have thrived after setting up their regional offices in Melbourne.
Dr Brinda Jagirdar, Former General Manager and Chief Economist, State Bank of India,
approached the topic of Australia-India business relations from the economic perspective.
Dr Jagirdar noted that there is synergy in India-Australia relations, from the perspectives of
politics (both countries boasting thriving democracies), language (both countries using English as
the mainstream language in business), economics and society. She went on to note that India is
in a period of rapid transformation and that it is an important time for the Indian economy.
To illustrate the stark differences between Australia and India and to highlight some interesting
similarities, Dr Jagirdar presented a number of facts and figures to the delegation, such as the
wide usage of mobile phones in India.
Dr Jagirdar spoke about the vast scope for expanding trade between India and Australia, opining
that Australia is uniquely equipped to partner with India in many areas of trade, including:
1. resource needs (coal, iron ore);
2. energy, including renewable energy (solar, wind power);
3. infrastructure, including building new cities, roads and airports;
4. manufacturing;
5. mining;
6. agriculture;
7. biotechnology;
8. education;
9. water management;
10. waste management; and
11. logistics and design.
In addition, Dr Jagirdar emphasised that India is an attractive investment destination for
Australian businesses. To this end, India can expect growth to remain strong in the years ahead,
underpinned by continuing economic reforms, growing opportunities for investment and strong
demand from a large and growing market at home and turnaround in the global economy.
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Mr. DSN Murthy, Founder, Dhanush Infotech spoke about the positive aspects of doing business
in Australia and with Australian businesses. He spoke about the importance of transparency in
Australian business. In addition, he emphasised the importance that Australian businesses place
on quality of service.
Mr. Murthy introduced the AIYD delegation to one of Dhanush Infotechs clients present at the
conference. His client, who was representing a company based in Brisbane, expressed that it is
extremely important when doing business, for the Australian company and the Indian service
provider need to be on the same page with respect to the business partnership. In his
experience, where both companies have pursued the same business strategy, the results have
been as desired.
Mr. George Varghese, Founder, CEO & Managing Director, ExtentorTquila, has had a wealth of
experience working in business in both Australia and India and accordingly painted a useful
picture of the similarities and differences of doing business in each country. The theme of the
presentation delivered by Mr Varghese was focussed on the importance of creating a positive
culture and working environment, whether you are in business in Australia or India.

The roundtable discussions focussed on:
how Australia and India can ensure complementarities from a trade and economic
how the government can promote and facilitate positive interactions between businesses in
Australia and India; and
what challenges Australian businesses may face when doing business in India, and how
these challenges can be overcome.
The overall view was that, from a business point of view, the relationship between Australia and India
is fairly well developed. As with any relationship however, issues arise in this context, because of a
focus on cultural differences as opposed to taking advantage of the strengths of cultural similarities,
because of perceived communication issues without taking advantage of the sophistication of
communication channels and mediums on both sides, and possibly because a greater awareness
needs to be created on both sides of the support mechanisms (such as business associations, trade
missions, export/import grants and/or concessions) that are available to facilitate profitable business
Vocational Studies in India and Australia
1. Alex Murphy, Managing Director, UTS:Insearch.
2. Jayant Krishna, Co-chair Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)s Northern Regional
Committee on Skill and Education and member of the National Committee on Skill
Development, India.
3. Dr Ravinder Kumar Kohli, Vice Chancellor, DAV University.
Moderator: Kumara Guru, Director, External Relations, Indian School of Business and AIYD
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The panel began with Mr Jayant Krishna sharing the values of the vocational education systems
in India and providing relevant statistical data. The Government of India has taken up enormous
initiatives targeting skill development of 500 million persons by 2022. Annually 1.6 million
students are being graduated especially in the Engineering discipline - B. Tech and M. Tech.
Mr Krishna considered the sources of funding for vocational education in India and pointed out
that, unlike India, in countries such as Germany and Australia, vocational education receives
industry support .
In India, the service sector is larger than the manufacturing sector and teaching remains a big
challenge. He emphasised that India is facing challenges in the area of teaching and the
development of required skill sets for employment in the service sector. Moreover, the challenges
of creating job opportunities in both Australia and India are quite different.
Mr Alex Murphy from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) highlighted the importance of
quality training in vocational education, and of preparing students for a variety of careers. He also
underlined the significance of communication skills and literacy. He spoke about anchoring
practice-oriented learning and internalitionalizing the graduate workforce.
Dr Ravinder Kumar Kohli from DAV University pointed out that as at June 2013, there were 700
universities and 35539 Colleges established in India. The enrolment and drop out ratio in higher
education is on the raise in the country, and the education system faces a host of problems.
These include a lack of vertical growth, rigid regulations and poor quality of training. There is also
a mismatch between the skilled man power required and the skilled man power available,
resulting in a substantial gap between supply and demand and low productivity. He further
opined that the Indian government and the corporate sector have recently started focusing on
some of these issues. He further stated that the Indian government should establish, strengthen
and integrate vocational education programs across the country. He pointed out that in 2009, the
government established the National Skill Development Mission to support some of these goals.
Delegates noted that Indian attitudes and perceptions to vocational education and training
(VET) generally remain relatively average at best. Australia, on the other hand, has a great
respect for VET courses and places, with trade professions in Australia being well regarded
and respected. Delegates noted that what Australia does well in this regard, is how it aligns
VET courses with industry to support supply and demand in specific sectors. In this way, trade
professionals, such as electricians, plumbers, builders, etc will participate in an apprenticeship
alongside a qualified trade professional during their course of study, which provides them with
a certainty of employability post qualification.
The roundtable discussions further highlighted that Indias demand for VET was especially
high given the vocational needs of training hundreds of millions of young Indians to ensure
that they are skilled for the job market. Given Australias experience with the successful
implementation of the frameworks of VET, delegates discussed how Australia's assistance to
India in this area would be invaluable in addressing its demographic dividend.
Delegates discussed how Australian institutions were exploring different ways in which this
collaboration can work for both sides. Delegates noted that while the role of both governments
is key to collaboration in this area, there are already a number of credible non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) working in the education sector in India, and more recently in VET,
including some run by Australians. Both the Indian and Australian governments could explore
the potential offered by such NGOs to build on their work in the education sphere in India.
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Delegates noted in summary that the VET area continues to represent a unique opportunity
for the governments and institutions of Australia and India to collaborate for mutual benefit
and expressed hope that active steps would continue to be taken for the betterment of
collaboration in this area.
Australia India Research Collaboration
1. Prof. Jane Den Hollander, Vice Chancellor, Deakin University
2. Prof. R K Shyamasundar, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
3. Ms. Savita Mahajan, Deputy Dean, Indian School of Business
Moderator: Belinda Howell, General Manager Market Development, UTS Insearch

Collaboration between universities is a key element in advancing the relationship between
Australia and India. While, there are many forms of collaboration presently in existence: scholarly
networks, student and staff exchanges, jointly supervised PhDs and articulation arrangements
whereby Australian institutions recognise studies undertaken in India as credit towards a degree
in Australia, this session focused on collaboration in research.
Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) is Australias largest fund dedicated to bilateral
research with any country, and one of Indias largest sources of support for international science
projects. Established in 2006 and co-funded by two governments, the AISRF has supported over
100 joint projects and workshops, 7 grand challenge projects (3 in relation to food security, 2 in
the health sector and 2 in the energy sector) and over 80 fellowships for Australian and Indian
researchers. These include research to develop a vaccine for malaria, efforts to produce better
varieties of crops that can withstand the stresses of a changing climate and research into
technologies and techniques in medicine. The Australian Government has committed AUD 64
million (for the ten year period of the program ending 2015-16) and the Indian Governments
funds the cost of its teams.
The Vice Chancellor and President of Deakin University, Jane den Hollander, informed the
session that Deakin University has committed $6 million towards research initiatives within India
with 20 strategic partners, 20 research partners and 15 corporate tie-ups. Deakin University
established a Deakin-India Research Initiative (DIRI) to conduct joint workshops, industry
relevant collaborative projects, industry ready PhD students in the area of food and fibre,
internship for masters students. They plan to have 80 PhD students through DIRI by the end
2014. DIRI has been extended to corporates such as Reliance Life Sciences, Biocon, Indian Oil,
Bharat Forge, Tata Steel, and many more. Deakin University has also established its
Nanobiotechnology Research Centre in Delhi in partnership with TERI. The centre has 20
researchers and expects to scale it up to 70 by 2020. The centre's main focus is on the critical
issues of food security and climate change through collaborative research projects. Deakin
University, in partnership with Tamana, a Delhi based NGO, has developed an iPad application
that delivers lessons to autistic children using user generated and automated lessons. This
application empowers parents to inform, guide and analyse childrens performance.
Prof. R K Shyamasundar from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Ms. Savita
Mahajan, the Deputy Dean of the Indian School of Business both spoke about the importance of
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research collaboration between Australia and India. Prof Shyamasundar noted that Tata Institute
of Fundamental Research has been awarded two grants under the AISRF for joint research
projects in collaboration with Monash University and CSIRO, respectively. Ms. Mahajan noted
that ISB has entered into MoUs with at least fifteen institutions in countries such as Australia,
USA, UK and Malaysia, for the purpose of enabling its Ph.D students to collaborate with respect
to their research with other academics from around the world.
Gender-related challenges in India and Australia
1. Subhashini Ali, President, All India Democratic Womens Association and Member
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
2. Dr Meenakshi Gopinath, Founder and Honorary Director WISCOMP and Principal, Lady Shri
Ram College
Moderator: Smita Sharma, News Anchor, CNN IBN and AIYD Alum

This session focussed on rising gender inequality and the security of women in both the public
and private arena. In the Indian context, it was highlighted that gender inequality is so
entrenched that a significant ratio of families are still averse to having a girl child and female
infanticide and selective sex abortions are still prevalent in large parts of the country. The panel
deliberated on various factors that contribute to this phenomenon at grass root levels as well as
in the current political and corporate world. Below are brief summaries of the various topics
Due to patriarchal norms, the custom of dowry (or bride price) has historically been widespread,
despite legislation which attempts to prevent such payments in India. The period of economic
reform started in the 1990s, marking a rise in the costs involved in marrying off daughters in
India. Current television advertisements, hoardings, radio advertisements and magazines still
reinforce the importance of spending when a girl gets married, projecting a culture of dowry and
highlighting a checklist of qualities and/or qualifications the bride needs to meet in order to be
suitable. Matrimonial columns in newspapers still post advertisements containing requirements
for a fair, tall, well educated, HOMELY girl for our son. For most lower and middle class families
in India, marrying a daughter off is very important and most of their lives after the birth of a
daughter is spent saving for her marriage. Dowry harassment deaths are still prevalent in India
notwithstanding recent legislation in this regard. Reinforced inequality and the cultural
devaluation of women keeps continues to keep the market going because of wedding-related
Women in the workforce

There is a high rate of discrimination of women at work places around the globe - this is not just
an Indian or an Australian phenomenon.
Women are widely required to do more work for less pay, not just in the domestic sphere but also
in the public and corporate realms.
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Women are increasingly viewed as a source of cheap labour in India in the fields, at
government offices, front office and receptionists, domestic labour etc.
In Australia, women are poorly represented in senior executive roles and on the boards of large
corporates despite being widely represented at lower and middle management levels. For
example, approximately 12% of directors of corporate organisations on the Australian Securities
Exchange top 200 companies are women.
Women have significantly lower superannuation (pension) savings in Australia as a result of
taking time off work to have children and take care of young families before returning to the
workforce, and consequently are less financially secure in their retirement years.
Both in India and Australia, women are more likely to be in less secure forms of employment,
including casual, part time and job-share roles.
Women's movement
Tradition and culture in India have been significant hurdles in the movement towards the
empowerment and equality of women. Factors such as caste, geographic location and the
availability of resources play a pivotal role in the progress of such a movement.
Consideration needs to be given to why there is such emphasis on the glorification of culture and
tradition. This glorification has resulted in a fragmentation of the womens movement.
This presents one of the many challenges India faces in the progress of the women's movement
striking a balance between observing cultures and traditions and the equality and
empowerment of women.
In this respect, it is also difficult to refer to women in India in a homogenised way the Indian
woman can be very different depending on her geographic roots, location, language skills, level
of education, resources, to name just a few factors. When trying to mobilise women in India,
these very differences become the fault lines and the idea of progressing the Indian womens
movement becomes an even more challenging one.
Women in power
The number of women in positions of power both in private and public (government included) is
significantly less when compared to the number of men.
Even where women hold positions of power in government, they are almost always allocated
responsibility for soft issues - for example, the Department of Women and Child Welfare is
always headed by a woman, not just in India but in most countries around the world.
The representation of women in the Australian parliament is only about 20-25%, which is even
less than in India. In India, most States have implemented legislation requiring at least one third
of village council leaders, a position which exists in every in Gram Panchayat, to be reserved for
However, this quota has not necessarily been obtained in all States. This could be attributed to
the fact that women are, in some instances, allocated electorates which are difficult or impossible
for them to win, often primarily by virtue of their gender. There has been a strong push towards
extending this quota/reservation to all levels of Government in India through the Womans
Reservation Bill, which has not yet been passed by both houses of Parliament.
In both countries, there is a constant push for larger quotas for women in all sections of
government and also senior executive positions in corporate organisations but this push is
resisted in reality by the strongly entrenched patriarchal bias in the systems of both countries. In
both countries, there are also troubling portrayals of women in the media, and the coverage of
female politicians is vastly different from the coverage of their male counterparts.
Both men and women are victims of violence around the world.

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1 in 3 women in Australia experience violence during her lifetime. In India, this ratio is much
larger but it is not only women that are victims of violence, 54% of Indian men are confronted
with some form of violence, including sexual assault. One of the panellists screened a video
which depicted women from various walks of life in India.
This video provided a starting point for an emotional discussion about violence against women.
The consensus from the discussion at this session was that women in India would not put up with
violence if they had more options available to them in a society where those who complain about
violence are often punished for speaking against it.
These issues are exacerbated in a country like India where there are insufficient resources to
provide for victims. There are few shelters for victims of violence beyond the home, and women
who are subject to violence within the home often have no other safe haven.
Women who are divorced or separated from their husbands to escape a violent home, are
subject to other atrocities, including discrimination and violence from other quarters. In India,
there is a still a stigma attached to being separated or divorced and women will often be denied
the support of their own families because of this stigma. While this mindset is changing because
of the growing sophistication of the emerging middle class, this change needs to happen a lot
faster so that the number of women who are exposed to this violence starts to decrease.
Again, because of the patriarchal nature of Indian society and the stigma attached to divorce or
separation, victims and other women who speak up against violence are often denied due
process and justice. There is a dire ongoing need for significant and immediate reform with
respect to the many crimes of violence against women both in the home and in general in India.
While some reform has occurred in the wake of the heinous Delhi gang-rape of December 2012,
much more needs to be done, on an urgent basis.

The roundtable discussion for this session did not take its usual form, which is break away
groups of 10 each. Instead, because of the personal and sensitive nature of the discussions by
the speakers, the delegates formed one large roundtable around the room, and an intimate,
emotionally charged and uplifting discussion ensued between delegates. The most poignant
point of the discussion was when delegates drew the conclusion that notwithstanding the many
cultural differences between Australia and India, the challenges facing the women of both
countries and the experiences shared by women of both countries were frighteningly similar.

Delegates discussed the various solutions proposed in the Australian context to deal with some
of the challenges, including counselling units and programs dealing with domestic violence, the
quota-on-boards criteria for the composition of boards of directors in the corporate sphere, and
considered how those solutions could be adapted or modified in the Indian context and the extent
to which those solutions would make a difference.

Delegates also considered the various measures being taken by India to address the challenges
facing its women, including the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, the Dowry
Prohibition Act and the introduction of fast track courts for the hearing of rape offences.

Delegates noted that while the challenges may be perceived as dire, when you consider what
has been done, particularly in recent times on both sides, it is clear that progress has been
made, and with the relationships formed at AIYD 2014, progress in this sphere in particular, will
continue to be made, facilitated by engagement and projects between AIYD alumni.

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Australia India Relationship New Political Horizons
1. Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Former Advisor to Indian Prime Minister and Director for Geo-economics
and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.
2. Ashok Malik, Indian Journalist and Columnist
Moderator:Rishi Suri, Editor, The Daily Milap & Member of AIYD Steering Committee

The panel discussion emphasised that India and Australia have shared many similarities, in the
past as well as in recent times that have built a strong foundation for closer cooperation in every
sphere. Both countries are strong, vibrant, secular and multicultural democracies. They both
have a free press and an independent judicial system; the English language is an important link.
Apart from the game of cricket, a large numbers of Indian students going to Australia for
education and also a large expat Indian community in Australia are all adding to the growing
bilateral dynamic.
The relationship has grown in strength and importance since Indias economic reforms in the
1990s and has made rapid strides in all areas, including trade, energy and mining, science &
technology, information technology, education and defence.
However, despite the overarching common ground, India and Australia have only in recent years
been able to significantly develop the relationship, reflected by the decision taken in November
2009 during then Australian Prime Minister Rudds visit to India, to take the relationship to the
level of a strategic partnership.
While there have been regular exchanges of visits at a Ministerial level, bilateral visits at Head of
Government/Head of State level have been limited. Mutual visits of heads of state, especially
from India will boost the relationship.
Since 2000, Prime Minister John Howard visited India in July 2000 and again in March 2006.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited India in November 2009 and Indian Vice President M. Hamid
Ansari represented India at CHOGM 2011 held in Perth from 28-30 October.
India and Australia also co-operate during participation at various multilateral forums. Australia
supports Indias candidature in an expanded UN Security Council. Both India and Australia are
members of the G-20, Commonwealth, IOR-ARC, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific
Partnership on Climate and Clean Development, and have participated in the East Asia Summits.
Both countries have also been cooperating as members of the Five Interested Parties (FIP) in
the WTO context. Australia is an important player in APEC and supports India's membership of
the organisation.
Media and Politics Role during Elections and in times of crises
1. John Zubryscki, Author and Journalist
2. Nidhi Razdan, News Anchor, NDTV
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Moderator: Neha Khanna, News Anchor, NDTV and AIYD Alumni

While the topic was a broad one, the panel discussion revolved around how media narratives
shape perceptions of India and Australia both internally and externally. New media platforms,
particularly the growth of social media, offer rich opportunities to improve and deepen
engagement between the two countries, but they also carry risks.
The media landscape has changed dramatically in the last two decades, particularly in India.
Over the span of 20 years India has gone from having one dominant state-run broadcaster to
hundreds of privately run channels offering news and entertainment in dozens of languages. The
print media remains robust, with vernacular titles dominating readership. Quality varies across all
platforms, but the Indian media has proven itself to be a fearless defender of accountability,
breaking stories on corruption and highlighting injustices, particularly against women.
Australians are now better informed than ever about what is going on in India. As recently as the
early 2000s, there was only one full-time Australian media representative in India. Now, both
Fairfax and News Ltd have full time India correspondents. The Australia Network and the ABC
have India bureaus. Although print, radio and television remain influential as sources of news
and information, it is the online sphere that is beginning to dominate the media narrative between
India and Australia. This has both positive and negative consequences. The 24-hour news cycle
tends to reduce the quality of reporting because there is less time for journalists to research
stories or editors to check them for accuracy. The business model of journalism has also
changed, with less money available for original content.
The pitfalls of this changing media landscape were reflected in the reporting of the attacks that
took place on Indian students in Australia during 2009-10. The predominant narrative that these
were racially motivated attacks was driven by a hungry, globalised Indian media chasing ratings
with little regard to providing context or investigating the real nature of the crimes. The crisis
provided a salutary warning about the dangers of underestimating the power of an unregulated
media driving public opinion.
In the four years since the student story broke, India has moved even further towards embracing
social media, as evidenced by the 2014 election campaign where political parties devoted
significant resources to reaching out to voters on online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
This presents new challenges for governments and policy makers. However, with foresight and
the right public diplomacy tools this new media landscape can be used to each countrys
advantage, deepening understanding and building communities around shared interests.
The roundtable discussion about the media and politics sessions was charged by the
presence of many media representatives (both in their capacities as speakers and delegates).
Comparisons were drawn between the manner in which breaking news and other news
stories are covered in both countries, and delegates noted the different motivations for
coverage on both sides.
Discussion also ensued around the crisis the media faces between balancing the race for
ratings with the commitment to high quality content. Delegates noted that this was a problem
faced equally by both countries but noted that India is plagued with this dilemma on a far
larger scale.
Delegates also noted the political and commercial motivations around coverage which placed
the media in a conflict in certain circumstances.

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Delegates discussed how programs such as the media fellowship offered by the Australia
India Council are extremely beneficial to the development of the media in both countries.
Delegates also considered ways in which the AIYD could facilitate programs in this area, and
also how the media-related delegates themselves could play a role in developing alliances
which would in turn facilitate constructive collaborations in this arena.