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Institutional and professional links
The objective of the Council's institutional and professional links program is to foster bilateral contacts that will strengthen links between key institutions in the two countries, such as universities, libraries, museums, technical colleges, research institutes, professional organisations and appropriate non-government organisations, with a view to promoting the long-term bilateral commercial relationship.
The Council has supported, over several years, a wide range of projects designed to promote closer links between the Australian and Indian legal sectors and to demonstrate Australian legal capabilities in India. These projects have built on opportunities identified during the Australia-India legal conference held in New Delhi during October 1996 as part of the Australia India-New Horizons promotion.
One of the major Council-funded law projects has been to introduce Australian mediation and conciliation practices to the Indian legal, government and business communities. As well as enhancing the efficiency of the Indian legal system, the project has strengthened links between the Australian and Indian legal professions.
Following on from the success of the training program in mediation practices conducted by Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LEADR) in Mumbai, New Delhi and Calcutta in January 1998, the Council provided funding to LEADR for a second series of training programs in legal mediation and conciliation practice in New Delhi, Bangalore and Calcutta in February 1999. The Council also agreed to provide funding for follow-up training for Indian mediation and conciliation trainers, to be conducted by LEADR in Sydney in October 1999.
The Council provided funding to Mr Christopher Roper, Director of the Centre for Legal Education, Sydney, and Ms Audrey Blunden, Director of Professional Development for the law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney, towards travel expenses to conduct a program of training workshops in the drafting of legal documents in Bangalore and Pune in January 1999. This project also aimed at encouraging recognition in India of the quality and accessibility of Australian legal services.
Activities under the Council's institutional links program which took place during 1998-99, but for which funding had been agreed during the previous financial year, included:
- a program of seminars in Bangalore and New Delhi in November 1998 conducted by Opportunity International Australia (OIA) to develop expertise in the governance and accountability of microenterprise development organisations
- a visit to Australia in July 1998 by Mr Raj Patel, Acting Director of the All India Alliance for Microenterprise Development, in conjunction with the OIA seminars in India.