Melbourne, Oct 28: The Australia India Institute (AII), a global centre for the scholarly study and public understanding of contemporary India, has appointed Andrew Robb, AO, and Amit Dasgupta as Distinguished Fellows.

Both Mr Robb and Mr Dasgupta join the AII after long and distinguished careers which have – in separate ways – greatly strengthened and enhanced relations between Australia and India.

Andrew Robb AO, who currently provides strategic advice to Australian and Asia Pacific companies in trade and investment; retired from politics as Minister for Trade and Investment.

He successfully negotiated the Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Japan and China as well as the 12 Country Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreements and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore.

His distinguished career in politics since the early 90’s included directing the successful 1996 Liberal Federal election campaign.

In 2003 Mr Robb was awarded the Office of the Order of Australia for his service to agriculture, politics and the community.

Later he was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein in 2004 and held the seat until his retirement from politics earlier this year.

He also held a number of positions including Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Vocational and Further Education.

He was also instrumental in promoting the Australia–India FTA which is currently being finalised.

Amit Dasgupta recently joined as the Inaugural India Country Director for University of New South Wales, following his retirement from the Indian diplomatic service.

He also served as Director of Finance in India’s Ministry of External Affairs and was the first head of the Ministry’s Public Diplomacy Division.

He has been Ambassador to the Philippines and has held posts in Germany, Belgium, Egypt and Nepal.

Mr Dasgupta retired as the Indian Consul General in Sydney in 2012.

He has also been the first Head of Mumbai Campus of the SP Jain School of Global Management.

A published author, Mr Dasgupta most recent [non-fiction] book Lessons from Ruslana: In Search of Transformative Thinking has been published by Harper Collins.

He is also an avid amateur photographer and enjoys cooking.

Professor Craig Jeffrey, CEO and Director of the AII, said the Institute was delighted that both Mr Robb and Mr Dasgupta had accepted the board’s invitation to become Distinguished Fellows.

“These two eminent men bring to the Institute exceptional understanding and long experience of the Australia-India relationship. Their presence will add immeasurably to the Institute’s standing and effectiveness. We look forward to their valuable contributions to the AII.”

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