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Max Planck Society steps up cooperation with India

On February 3, 2010, the Indo-German Max Planck Center for Computer Science in Delhi will take up its work / Inauguration by German Federal President Horst Köhler

The new Max Planck Center will broaden the scale of cooperation with India in the field of computer sciences. "The goal is to create a center of excellence which not only engages in top-level research but also opens up career opportunities for young scientists in India," says Peter Gruss, President of the Max Planck Society.

At the same time the project aims to help outstanding foreign guest scientists at Max Planck Institutes to establish themselves scientifically in their home country and maintain a long-term connection with the institutes of the Max Planck Society.

German Federal President Horst Köhler will join with India's Minister of Research Pithviraj Chavan in inaugurating the Max Planck Center at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi on February 3rd. The Center comprises six Indo-German research groups; four more are due to be added after a period of twelve months. In the coming five years these groups will receive around 1.1 million euros in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and an additional two million euros from India's Department of Science and Technology (DST). The Max Planck Society is contributing 0.9 million euros, bringing the total of funding to almost four million euros.

Overview of the new research groups:

* Algorithm Group at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi
Partner: Max Planck Institute for Computer Science
* Graphics and Vision Group at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi
Partner: Max Planck Institute for Computer Science
* Data Management Group at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai
Partner: Max Planck Institute for Computer Science
* Network Group at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras
Partner: Max Planck Institute for Computer Science
* Algorithms and Complexity Group at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur

Partner: Max Planck Institute for Computer Science

* Algorithm Group at the TATA Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai
Partner: Max Planck Institute for Computer Science
The joint scientific program is intended to encourage the exchange of post-docs and promote shared workshops and training activities, for example in the context of the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). There are also plans to integrate scientists from other institutions as associate partners and provide mutual access to research institutes and equipment.

"India represents a special area of emphasis for the Max Planck Society and its international relations activities," explains Felix Kahle, who represents the Max Planck Society in Delhi. For example, there are an increasing number of outstanding Indian institutes working in scientific fields in which Max Planck Institutes are seeking partners on a worldwide basis. In 2008 some 557 junior and visiting scientists came from India, representing an increase of more than 80 percent over the past five years. More than one in ten of the foreign doctoral students at Max Planck Institutes now hail from the sub-continent. Many of them are engaged in research at International Max Planck Research Schools. The 120 Indian students participating in this program constitute the largest group from any one foreign country.

Outstanding scientists also continue to receive support after their return to their home country through the medium of Partner Groups. Currently, there are 14 of such groups in India, more than in any other country. "It is a matter of particular concern to the Max Planck Society that we should support foreign guest scientists at our institutes in establishing themselves scientifically in their home countries in order to preserve long-term ties between them and the Max Planck Institutes. This is of benefit to both sides," explains Kurt Mehlhorn, Director at the Max Planck Institute in Saarbrücken. Prof. Mehlhorn will head the Center together with Naveen Garg of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi.


Felix Kahle
Max Planck Society, Representative India at German Embassy, New Delhi
Tel.: ++91 11 4419-9163

Barbara Abrell | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
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