La Trobe University researchers Professor James Leibold (Politics) and Dr Ruth Gamble (History) will be part of a 4.5 million rupee (approx. AUD80,000) grant funded by the Indian government as part of a Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) grant.
Their project will focus on the infrastructure transformation and ecological conservation concerns of the Himalaya region between India and China. Asia’s two most powerful states have long led an exponential expansion of soft (governance, telecommunications, education, health, cultural exchange) and hard (road, rails, electrical grids) infrastructure in the region.
“The region’s infrastructure transformation demands new thinking about its security and development,” says Dr Ruth Gamble, DECRA Fellow and senior lecturer in History at La Trobe University. “This project will bring together stakeholders and expert voices from Indian countries bordering Nepal, Bhutan, and China (Tibet) to initiate an informed discussion on the challenges and opportunities of developing the Eastern Himalaya.”
The project will be led by Dr Sonika Gupta (Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) (IITM)) and involve a team of academics from IITM, Sikkim University, La Trobe University and University of Western Australia. The project will involve research, teaching and postgraduate supervision.