A five member Australian Delegation headed by Mr Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne met the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot in New Delhi today to discuss the issues relating to implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in November last year for cooperation in disability sector. The discussions centred around undertaking various activities under the MoU such as co-curriculum designing of the Community Based Inclusive Development programme, leadership training and research in disability sector. Melbourne University has been identified as an agency for undertaking certain specific activities under the ambit of the MoU.
The Minister expressed his desire to understand the experience of Australian side for empowerment of persons with disabilities especially in the area of early intervention, community participation etc. The Australian side appreciated the efforts of Government of India in the disability sector and were hopeful that the activities under the MoU will provide scope for learning for both the sides.
Ms Shakuntala Gamlin, Secretary, DEPwD and Dr Prabodh Seth, Joint Secretary, DEPwD were also present during the discussions with Australian side. Representatives from Australian side included Prof. Shitij Kapur, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne, Prof Craig Jeffrey, Director and CEO, Australia India Institute, Prof Muthupandian Ashok kumar, Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Timothy Kendall, Counsellor, Australian High Commission, Delhi and Mr. Nathan Grills, Assoc. Prof, Nossal Institute for Global Health, Melbourne.