Prime Minister Julia Gillard has kicked off a major Australian cultural festival in India by announcing a new musical scholarship named after legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar.
Ms Gillard on Tuesday officially opened Oz Fest, the largest Australian cultural showcase ever staged in India, with more than 100 performances set to take place in 18 Indian cities over the next four months.
'Oz Fest is about bringing Australia's contemporary character to India in new and fresh ways,' Ms Gillard told hundreds of people gathered for the opening, a night-time concert in New Delhi's spectacular Old Fort.
The concert featured performances by indigenous musicians Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Mark Atkins, as well as sitar player Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi.
Ms Gillard said the Ravi Shankar World Music Scholarship will give people a chance to study a masters degree at the Victorian College of the Arts.
'Like Oz Fest itself, this scholarship symbolises everything we have to share and everything we have to learn from each other,' she said.
Ms Gillard will meet with India's leaders on Wednesday for talks on trade, investment and regional security.
She will also deliver a speech to business leaders in which she will declare that India should rank with the US, Japan, China, Indonesia and South Korea as one of the most important countries to Australia.