An MoU was signed between the Government of India and the Government of Australia for cooperation in the disability sector. The areas of cooperation, interalia, include disability policy and delivery of services, early identification and intervention for prevention of disabilities, community outreach, education and training, capacity building and promoting investment in the disability sector.

The University of Melbourne is an implementing agency from the Australian side as designated by the Australian High Commission, New Delhi for implementation of the MoU.

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An Australian Delegation comprising officials from University of Melbourne, namely, Prof. Michael Wesley Dy.VC, Prof. M. Ashok Kumar, Assistant Dy. VC, Prof. M.O’ Briyan, Dean Faculty of Science and Prof. Nathan Grills and Ms Lisa Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Australia-India Institute called on Dr. Virendra Kumar, Hon’ble Minister, SJ&E at his office today i.e. 4th April, 2022 to discuss progress on implementation of the aforesaid MoU and way forward in strengthening cooperation in the disability sector. The members of the Australian delegation appreciated progress made so far in implementing the MoU. Hon’ble Minister, SJ&E appreciated the contribution of University of Melbourne and DEPwD in developing a six month course on Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Programme, which has since been rolled out in 16 institutions across the country on a pilot basis. The Hon’ble Minister suggested that once the National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation becomes fully functional, the University of Melbourne could play a significant role in capacity development of the institute through exchange of training programmes.

Both NIMHR and the University of Melbourne could work together to undertake a joint research and development model and Standard Operating Procedure for rehabilitation of persons with mental illness. Both sides have also agreed to constitute a Task Force for developing courses/modules in the rehabilitation sector including mental health rehabilitation. The National Institutes under DEPwD will also collaborate with the University of Melbourne under the MoU. Secretary, DEPwD, Ms Anjali Bhawra and her team comprising Shri Rajesh Yadav and Shri Rajeev Sharma, Joint Secretaries and other officers were present during the discussion with the Australian delegation.

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