Far away, so close

New Delhi's India Gate lit up in the colours of the German and Indian flags New Delhi's India Gate lit up in the colours of the German and Indian flags (© German Embassy New Delhi)

Did you know?

Formula 1 superstar Michael Schumacher and the reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel have set fire to the tracks at the Buddh International racing circuit near New Delhi; A R Rahman led a100-member orchestra from Berlin in concerts across India; Bundesliga team Bayern Munich flew in to play team India in New Delhi; Bollywood star Aamir Khan was jury at the Berlin International Film Festival; Indian origin scientist Joybrato Mukherjee became the youngest head of a German university; Stuttgart in Germany hosts the largest Indian film festival outside India – ‘Bollywood & Beyond’; Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang is planning an academy to train Indian shooters in Hamburg….

Shah Rukh Khan attends the photocall for 'My name is Khan' during the 60th Berlinale International Film Festival Enlarge image Shah Rukh Khan attends the photocall for 'My name is Khan' during the 60th Berlinale International Film Festival (© dpa) And these are just some examples of close friendship between the people of Germany and India. Both countries began their journey of modern nationhood roughly at the same time, one recovering from the devastating effects of war and the other with its newly acquired freedom. India, in fact, was the first country in the world to end the state of war with Germany in 1951. Since then, relations have progressed in leaps and bounds.

Lasting partnership

Germany, the country of Nobel laureates and excellence in research helped set up the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras (the old name for Chennai) in 1959 when India was building up its knowledge institutes. Nearly five decades later, in 2008 India’s first moon mission Chandrayaan carried instrumentation built by German research institutes. 

Germany is the country that India does the most business with in the European Union. German engineering leader Siemens set up India’s first telegraph connection between Kolkata and London, via Berlin, in the 19th century. Today, leading German automobile brands have their own factories in India rolling out world-class vehicles. In fact, Indian auto parts manufacturers do business with Germany worth more than what German automobile manufacturers do in India.

Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities

A bird's eye view of the Indo-German Urban Mela at Cross Maidan in Mumbai. Enlarge image A bird's eye view of the Indo-German Urban Mela at Cross Maidan in Mumbai. (© Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities / HDR photo by Tapan Pandit) In 2011 – 2012, Germany and India celebrated the completion of 60 years of diplomatic relations with the ‘Year of Germany in India’. Besides many cultural shows and academic events, Germany was showcased through the Indo-German Urban Mela, a five-city tour of 16 gemstone-like pavilions. From innovative green technologies of the future, to opportunities for studying in Germany, to musical programmes, workshops, art competitions and of course, a taste of German food, the Urban Melas set the stage for Indo-German cooperation in the coming years.

#k GERmany - welcome aboard!

With the closing of the Year of Germany in India, #k GerMANY takes over. We want to carry forward the initiatives of the ‘Year of Germany in India’, especially the German language. k stands for ‘klasse’ – the German word (school) class, as well as 'fantastic'; the hashtag sign means you can follow us on twitter.

#k GerMANY promotes German in the 1,000+ Kendriya Vidyalaya's (KVs) across India; it also introduces Germany’s dual system of vocational training—working while you learn—to young Indians who would be finishing school and looking for career options.

Language, skills and leasure – German is becoming a preferred foreign language for Indian students; top German universities welcome Indian students; Germany needs trained professionals from India; more and more Indians are travelling to Germany for vacation.

Writers, artists, students, sportspersons, filmmakers, politicans, scientists, businessmen—people from our two countries are sharing more with each other, moving closer together. So welcome aboard on this thrilling journey into the future!