To commemorate the festivities of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Smt. Meira Kumar, Speaker of Lok Sabha, India jointly inaugurated the fifteen-month collaborative celebration titled "Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities" on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 in New Delhi. The opening ceremony was set against an Opening Concert by "Young Euro Classic Orchestra – Germany and India" conducted by Vijay Upadhyay and was followed by Indian classical artists who presented Dhrupad renditions to enthrall the audiences representing a spirit of Indo-German cultural exchange. Spic Macay - the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music & Culture Amongst Youth - also supported the concert by presenting the Dhrupad artists.
With a thematic focus on "StadtRäume – CitySpaces", the fifteen month programme series across India will broach the implications of rapid urbanisation and challenges posed by the enormous changes the cities of both countries face today. Issues like mobility, energy, sustainable city development, architecture, cultural spaces and education will be prominently featured touching genres such as performing and visual arts, science, education, technology and business, etc. The project will showcase the entire spectrum of the IndoGerman collaboration in the spheres of politics, business, culture, education, science and research.
The centrepiece of the project is the "Urban Mela", a set of modern multi-purpose pavilions, designed especially for the Year of Germany in India by renowned German artist Markus Heinsdorff. The pavilions combine state of the art steel and textile technologies from both countries. The "Urban Mela" will be setup for 10 days each in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Pune and will host interactive presentations by various German corporations and organisations on topics and solutions related to "StadtRäume – CitySpaces".
The project is being initiated by the following partners: The German Federal Foreign Office, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the Goethe-Institut. The project is managed by the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi. Amongst the corporate partners of the project are companies such as Bajaj Allianz, BASF, Bosch, Deustche Bank and Siemens.