The strategic purpose of the three-year project "Europe and India: Past, Present and Future", co-financed by the European Commission in the context of the "EU-India Economic Cross-Cultural Programme", is to establish a network for developing collaborative interaction, research and shared activities both in Europe and in India in the areas of mechanical sciences, computer science, hydrology and the environment. The project, which was initiated in January 1999, is targeted at research workers in these fields, at experts in water management, water exploration and water protection, at chief executives from public institutions and at engineers working in industry.
The specific objectives of the "Europe and India: Past, Present and Future" project, whose activities mainly involve courses, multimedia assistance and joint research, are: bringing together scientists, research workers and experts in Europe and India; promoting collaboration with experts belonging to institutions not involved in the project; and preparing the ground for possible extension of the network.
During the year 2000, five courses were organised in Europe and in India, three of which were instituted by the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences in Hyderabad. The first course, "Advanced Techniques for Operations Research", introduced the theoretical background of Integer Linear Programming with special attention to those techniques that can be useful to deal with large size instances. The second course, entitled "Mechanics of Saturated and Partially Saturated Porous Media and Applications to Environmental Problems", aimed to present a modern framework in which geo-technical environmental problems can be solved and to underline the importance of such problems to participants. The last course, "Functional Programming: Foundations and Applications", focused on presenting the theoretical underpinnings of modern and future functional languages, ranging from features, to implementation techniques, and applications. The other two courses were held by the B.M. Birla Science Centre in Udine. The first, "Modelling, Optimisation and Simulation: Problems and Applications", focused on modelling and optimisation in the context of robotics and several relevant techniques. The other course, "Trends in Mobile Radio Communication Technologies", which is planned for next December, will cover topics such as wireless access technologies, speech coding techniques, software radio and smart antennae, mobile satellite communication systems, etc.
As was the case last year, the Società Indologica "Luigi Pio Tessitori" produced for each course a video and a Cd-Rom. The videos contain five lectures summarising the course contents while the CD-ROMs include examples, diagrams and a up-dated bibliography on the subject.
Finally, the joint research on hydrology, under the guidance of ÖFPZ Arsenal in collaboration with the Indian and Italian partners, is in its sixth month of activity. The project focuses principally on the consequences of human activities in highly populated areas and on the quality and quantity of ground water/drinking water. The first presentation of the results of the joint research project, including recommendations for future actions, will be organised in Hyderabad in July 2001.