Australia to provide over $11 million under ‘Maitri Scholars Program’ for Indian students

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Saturday announced ‘Maitri’ Scholars Program under which it will provide over USD 11 million for four years to support Indian students to study in Australia‘s world-leading universities.

During the joint presser, the Australian Foreign Minister also announced a series of new initiatives to boost the education and cultural ties between Australia and India.

“I’m also proud with a number of my Australian ministerial colleagues to announce today a series of new initiatives to boost the education and cultural ties between Australia and India.

The initiatives are appropriately called the ‘Maitri’, meaning friendship initiatives,” she said.Australian Foreign Minister continued saying that under the Maitri Scholars Program, the Australian government will provide over USD 11 million over four years to support Indian students to study at Australia’s world-leading universities.

“The Maitri Fellowships Program will provide USD 3.5 million over four years to build links between future leaders, will support mid-career Australian and Indian professionals to collaborate on strategic research initiatives,” Payne said.

She explained that Australia will also provide over USD 6 million over four years for the Maitri cultural partnerships to support cultural exchanges and boost the role of the creative industries in our two countries.

Speaking at a press conference along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Payne said the relationship between Australia and India has deep connections in trade and investment as well.

“And as we stand here in Melbourne, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan is returning from India after a round of negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).”

On the CECA, Payne said this is an agreement that both sides are confident, will unlock new trade and investment opportunities, particularly as both economies recover from the impact of COVID-19.

 Payne said that the Maitri program is a strong positive for the education sector in Australia, recovering from the economic impact of COVID 19.

Australian Foreign Minister highlighted the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between both the countries on Friday in New Delhi.

“(Australian Commerce) Minister Dan Tehan was able to sign a memorandum of understanding on tourism, with his ministerial counterpart yesterday in New Delhi. Under the MOU Australia and India will work together to promote travel between the two markets, and advance cooperation on tourism policy data sharing training and industry engagement,” she said.

Payne also announced the establishment of the Australia-India infrastructure forum which will match Australian finance with the enormous infrastructure opportunities in India. Through this initiative, she said the nation will host workshops and generate analysis to drive results for businesses.