The Goethe-Institut is named after the renowned German scholar Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It is a non-profit German cultural institution operational worldwide, promoting the study of the German language abroad and encouraging international cultural exchange and relations. The Goethe-Institut also fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on German culture, society and politics. This includes not only the exchange of films, music, theatre, literature, and the like, but also the values of civil society. Goethe cultural societies and language centers have played a central role in the cultural and educational policies of Germany for close to 60 years.
The Goethe-Institut draws its material from many sections of the cosmopolitan German society and culture, combining the experience and ideas of its partners with cross-cultural expertise, the principle of dialogue and partnership, offering support to all those actively involved with Germany and its language and culture. The Goethe-Institut e.V. is an autonomous body and politically independent.
Partners of the institute and its centers are public and private cultural institutions, the federal states, local authorities and the world of commerce. The Goethe-Institut carefully coordinates its activities with other mediators of cultural and educational foreign policy.
The Goethe-Institut has its headquarters in Munich. Its president is Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, the General Secretary is Mr. Johannes Ebert. Every year the Goethe-Institut offers scholarships to deserving students from foreign countries to go to Germany and participate in higher levels of German language courses.
In India, the institutes are also known as Max Mueller Bhavans in honour of the famous German Indologist Friedrich Max Mueller. In order to expand the reach of the Goethe Institut, smaller centres named Goethe-Zentrum have been introduced a few years ago all around the world.