German is one of the most popular foreign languages in India. It is being taught in schools around the world under the PASCH (Schools: Partners for the Future) initiative. Launched by the Federal Foreign Office in 2008, PASCH is being implemented by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA) and Max Mueller Bhavan. It has a global network of over 1,800 partner schools to promote the German language. In India alone, more than 15,900 students are learning German through PASCH. Another milestone project, “German in 1,000 Schools”, is run by the German government and Max Mueller Bhavan in cooperation with Kendriya Vidyalayas, where German is offered as an additional subject. Over 50,000 students are learning German in more than 250 Kendriya Vidyalayas all over India. In addition, through the Bildungskooperation Deutsch (BKD), Max Mueller Bhavan supports 310 private schools, enabling over 53,000 students to learn German.
Every year, the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) has exchange programmes for students and teachers worldwide. Winners are selected through a competition and go to Germany for a six-week programme, during which they live with a German family. The teachers participate in an educational programme or do an internship at a German school. In July 2017, eight Indian students experienced German culture through this scholarship programme. And the action doesn’t end here! When Chancellor Merkel received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, she used the prize money for Startup with German. Through this competition—which was initiated by the German Embassy New Delhi—31 students and four teachers won a language course in Germany. The highlight: a meeting with the chancellor herself!