• Inauguration seminar for new ICCR Professor at Lund University
More than 60 people, students, academics from several departments and other SASNET members participated in the inaugural seminar for G K Karanth, second Visiting ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) Professor at Lund University on Thursday 6 October 2011, at 15.00. He arrived to Lund University in mid-September 2011, and is being hosted by the Department of Sociology during the academic year 2011/12.
The ICCR professorships at Lund University are an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lund University, that was signed in 2010. The agreement is valid for four years, with a new Indian Professor to be selected each year. SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the ICCR professorship at Lund University, with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm.
The theme for Prof. Karanth’s inaugural lecture was ”Changing Rural India: Caste and Social Mobility”.
After the lecture, a cultural programme was organised with eminent Indian Tabla player Subrata Manna, classical singer Sudokshina Chatterjee Manna and Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath. Their wonderful performance was highly appreciated by the audience.
Full information about the seminar.
See Lars Eklund’s photos from the inauguration seminar.
• 13th October SASNET Brown bag lunch seminar on Lactic Acid Bacteria
On Thursday 13 October 2011, at 12.00, SASNET holds its second Brown bag lunch seminar during the fall semester 2011. Associate Professor Åsa Ljungh from the Section of Medical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine will talk about ”Lactic acid bacteria – from stone age man to functional food”.
Åsa Ljung, who is involved in research collaboration with colleagues in India works on Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB, Lactobacillus sp, Bifidobacteria sp and others), prevalent in nature since the stone age. As long as we know, LAB have been used to ferment food, and as a means for preservation of food. Nowadays, our intestinal content of LAB has decreased, and this is part of the reason that the prevalences of several gastrointestinal disturbances have increased. With modern technology, several important and beneficial criteria of LAB have been demonstrated such as antagonistic effect against enteric pathogens, binding of potentially carcinogenic substances (evoking cancer), effects on the immune system, and production of antioxidants which bind reactive oxygen species, ROS, which are produced in our intestine and are very toxic.See the seminar series poster.
• SASNET/Swallows seminar on Violence, Caste Discrimination and Resistance
A seminar on ”Violence, Caste Discrimination and Resistance – The situation of Dalits in India” will be held at Lund University on Thursday 3 November 2011, 13.15–16.00. It is jointly organised by SASNET, Lund University and the Swallows India Bangladesh, an organisation based in Lund.
Dr. Aase Mygind Madsen will give a presentation on ”Dalits in the caste system”, focusing on the social and economic discrimination they face in India, and the prospects of change. Aase works as Associate Professor at the Department of Social Work, VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark. Her main field of research interest is on processes of social exclusion and integration. In 1996, she defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Untouchables: Stuck at the Bottom or Moving Upward? A Study of Changing Conditions for the Scheduled Castes in five Villages in Karnataka, South India”.
Over a period of 30 years she has been engaged in activities related to social problems in the 3rd world as well as taken part in Danish, Nordic and European Development Researchers’ network. She has also worked on gender issues in Denmark and the Third World.
Kathir and Thilagam from the Indian non-governmental organisation Evidence will talk about their work to support victims of caste based violence and discrimination and how they advocate for change. Evidence is a Madurai based organisation working in the state of Tamil Nadu, and involved in collaboration with the Swallows India Bangladesh. Its aim is to create a society that ensures equality and justice to all. Activities include undertaking fact finding missions following incidents of atrocities against Dalits and Tribals in order to establish the facts of an incident and compile the necessary documentary evidence enabling the victims/survivors to access formal justice through the law. More information.
Venue for the seminar: Edebalksalen, School of Social Work (Socialhögskolan), Bredgatan 26, Lund. See the seminar poster.
• SASNET successfully organised Rabindranath Tagore 150th birth anniversary seminars
SASNET has been strongly involved in commemorating the 150th birth anniversary year of the great myriad-minded Indian/Bengali poet, philosopher and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941). In Lund, SASNET organised a week-long Tagore celebration week in March 2011 with concerts, poetry recitals, an academic full-day seminar, film shows and popular lectures by leading Swedish experts on Tagore’s life and literary work.
In late September 2011, another series of anniversary celebrations took place in Sweden and Denmark, largely thanks to efforts by SASNET and with kind support from the embassies of India in Stockholm and Copenhagen, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in Delhi. Thereby, three eminent international Tagore scholars – Professor William Radice, SOAS, University of London, UK; Dr. Reba Som, ICCR Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata, India; and Professor Asoke Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India – could be invited to do a Scandinavian tour. During the period 19–23 September 2011, academic seminars were held at Copenhagen University (19th), Lund University (21st), Stockholm University (22nd) and Uppsala University (23rd).
Read Lars Eklund’s report on the 2011 Tagore celebrations in Scandinavia.
• SASNET participated in ISP’s 50 years anniversary
The International Science Programme (ISP) at Uppsala University celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Monday 26 September 2011 with a one-day seminar. It was held at Ihresalen, in Engelska Parken, Thunbergsvägen, Uppsala, and was attended by a large number of invitees and guests, including several former ISP scholarship holders from Third World countries. SASNET was represented by deputy director Lars Eklund.
When it started in 1961, ISP was called the International Seminar for Research and Education in Physics. Over the 50 years since then, the programme has developed from a fellowship programme into a capacity building programme, not only in Physics, but also in Chemistry (since 1970) and Mathematics (since 2002). ISP is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and provides long term support to the establishment of viable research teams and institution building in developing countries, including South Asia. It is a quite unique work concept internationally. Regional cooperation and networking are also important parts of the activities. Read Lars Eklund’s report from the seminar.
• SASNET visit to Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Karlskrona
On Wednesday 7 September 2011, Lars Eklund and Julia Velkova from SASNET visited Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) at its main university campus in Karlskrona. They spent the day meeting representatives from the university involved in collaboration projects with South Asia, mainly India. BTH has an impressive amount of working agreements with Indian universities, especially in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and has had a large amount of Indian students at Masters level studying at BTH in recent years. Besides educational collaboration agreements, BTH is also involved in a number of India related research projects funded by the Swedish research Council, and in a large India Project run over a number of years. Read more about Lars’ and Julia’s Karlskrona visit
• Photos and report from the 2011 Falsterbo Conference for Young Scholars now available
The third Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars was held 16–18 August 2011 at Falsterbo kursgård in Höllviken, 20 km south of Malmö. As usual, it was organised by SASNET but from this year in collaboration with the Copenhagen based Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS). Julia Velkova from SASNET was the main coordinator. The conference became a grand success, gathering graduate students and postdocs, along with other junior scholars affiliated with universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, who are focusing on South Asia in their work. This year a few students from other European countries (Scotland and Germany) were also invited. More information about the 2011 conference
• Impressive SASNET Work Report 2010
SASNET’s work report for 2010 has now finally been published. This was the first year that SASNET was solely funded by Lund University (since Sida’s funding expired by December 31, 2009).
2010 was a hectic year, full of seminars, conferences – not the least the Falsterbo conference for young scholars, interaction with embassies, universities in South Asia, etc. The web site expanded further and the SASNET newsletters reached more than 2,000 addressees in Scandinavia and throughout the world. Go for the 2010 SASNET Work Report (as a pdf-file).
• Threefold increase of visitors to SASNET’s redesigned website
It has been now more than a month since the new redesigned and restructured SASNET website was launched on 6 September 2011. Since then there has been a three fold increase in the number of visitors amounting now to more than 10 000 unique visits for the last month.
SASNET keeps working hard on finalizing the last bits of transfer of information from the old to the new website format, as well as fixing technical problems and bugs. Julia Velkova is in charge of this work that should be completed during the autumn.
Bernd Wunsch from the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen meanwhile keeps working on the new SASNET Research database that should also be launched this autumn. Update on this work will follow.
More information about the new SASNET web page.
• Great performance by Kolkata artists at Sagohuset in Lund
Three eminent artists from Kolkata visited Lund and performed a programme with Kathak dance and North Indian classical song and Tabla music at Theatre Sagohuset in Lund on Saturday 8 October 2011. The extraordinary Tabla player Subrata Manna, his wife and singer Sudokshina Chatterjee Manna, and the Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath, visited Scandinavia as part of a European tour. The concert was organised by Lars Eklund/SASNET in collaboration with Sagohuset.
The enthusiastic audience included former Archbishop of Church of Sweden, K G Hammar, and the Lund musician/singer Thomas Wiehe. The concert ended with an extra Rabindranath Tagore dance and music number, where the Kolkata musicians were joined by Bubu Munshi Eklund on stage (see photo).
• More information about SASNET and its activities
• New Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University
On 13 September 2011, Områdesnämnden för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap at Uppsala University formally decided to establish a Forum for South Asia Studies. The purpose is to strenghten South Asia research and education, and increase Uppsala University’s collaboration with South Asia. A board was constituted, with Dr. Gunnel Cederlöf from the Faculty of History and Philosophy being the chairperson. Other members of the board are Dr. Eva Hellman, Faculty of Theology; Dr. Rebecca Stern, Faculty of Law; Dr. Heinz-Werner Wessler, Dept. of Languages; Ranjula Bali Swain and Dr. Fiona Rotberg, Faculty of Social Sciences. There will also be representatives for students and PhD candidates.
Dr. Ferdinando Sardella (photo) from the Department of Theology was appointed Coordinator for the Forum.
Uppsala university is also involved in discussions with the Embassy of India and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to establish an ICCR professorship at Uppsala University along the same lines that Lund University has since 2010. The Uppsala professorship is supposed to be a Chair of Indian Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.
In May 2011, SASNET’s Lars Eklund met the key persons involved in the planning for a Forum for South Asian Studies, more information about the meeting.
Doctoral dissertation on Assistive Technology, Human Rights and Poverty in Bangladesh
Dr. Johan Borg, Division of Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University (in Malmö), defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Assistive Technology, Human Rights and Poverty in Developing Countries. Perspectives based on a study in Bangladesh” on 17 February 2011. The faculty opponent was Professor Malcolm MacLachlan, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Deprived of human rights, more than half of all people with disabilities in developing countries live in extreme poverty. Although considered a prerequisite for equalization of opportunities, about nine out of ten of those who need assistive technologies do not have access to them. Little is known about the socioeconomic benefits of using assistive technology in low-income countries that can inform policies and strategies. The aim of the thesis was therefore to expand the understanding of the relation of assistive technology use to human rights and poverty in these countries. This is approached theoretically and empirically. Poverty is studied in terms of deprivation of capabilities as defined by Amartya Sen.
More information about the thesis.
Doctoral dissertation on Dalits and the Constitutional State
Dag Erik Berg, Department of Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen, Norway, defends his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Dalits and the Constitutional State. Untouchability, Dalit Movements and Legal Approaches to Equality and Social Justice for India’s Scheduled Castes” on Wednesday 12 october 2011, at 11.15. Venue: Auditorium 1, Bergen Maritime Museum (Bergen Sjøfartsmuseum), Håkon Sheteligs Plass 15.
His main supervisor has been Professor Bruce Kapferer. The thesis deals with Dalit issues in a broad sense, focusing on the role of Dr. Ambedkar and his dynamic status for Dalits of today in India.
Dag Erik Berg will hold a trial lecture on the same day and in the same hall at 09.15. He will talk about ”The Politics of Caste and the Language of Corruption”.
More information about Dag Erik Berg and his thesis (only in Norwegian).
Useful database on scholarships and research jobs worldwide
The Scholarships and Research Jobs Database provides a free and comprehensive scholarship database from various sources (such as universities, research organisations). Hundreds (even up to thousands) of scholarships are updated daily. Institutions/organisations also submit new scholarship positions directly to the database.
Students can easily search for scholarships without the need of creating a log in account. Scholarships can be searched by program (coursework, research, undergraduate, postgraduate, master, PhD, MBA, etc.), by field (agriculture, science, technology, etc.) or by countries. The website is very simple to use with a friendly interface and easy navigation.
So instead of going to many different sources and miss out the closing soon positions, students can go to the Scholarships and Research Jobs Database website and view all scholarships from different sources. This saves lots of time for them. Students find all scholarship information and also can ask for support or advice without any fee.
For example, currently (October 2011) the database lista about 420 Asian Studies scholarships (more information); and 1,200 scholarships in Sweden (more information). The number of scholarships will increase daily.
• Path-breaking book by Ishtiaq Ahmed on the Partition of India
Punjab – Bloodied Partitioned and Cleansed, by Ishtiaq Ahmed, Professor Emeritus at the Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University. Rupa 2011. The book is a definitive, path-breaking account of the partition and the ethnic cleansing in Punjab in 1947 with perspectives from both sides of the border. The numbers cited by the writer are traumatic – 500,000-800,000 brutally massacred, 10 million people forced to flee their homes and 90,000 women abducted by men of the ‘other’ religion.
Read a review of the book by Pran Nevile in The Statesman, Delhi, 8 October 2011.
New Global science initiative on Urban Health
The global science community launches a new interdisciplinary programme on science for urban decision making in relation to health and wellbeing. On 28 September 2011, the General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) at its meeting in Rome, Italy endorsed plans for a new global initiative “Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment: A Systems Analysis Approach”. Over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this proportion is increasing rapidly, generating new challenges for maintaining and improving human health and wellbeing. Simple models for population health often have limited applicability in complex urban settings, where decision-making and policies have to simultaneously take account of many different issues. The ICSU Science Plan lays out a new conceptual framework for considering the multi-factorial nature of both the determinants and the manifestations of health and wellbeing in urban populations. The application of systems analysis – quantitative modelling of relationships among interrelated systems – provides a mechanism for exploring this complexity and providing solutions to real-world problems.
A group of experts from this region has already been convened by ICSU to consider how the global initiative can be implemented in Asia. Professor Indira Nath, a clinical scientist (New Delhi, India) and Chair of this regional group, presented its report to the ICSU Assembly. “All urban areas are different but they also have similarities and we can learn from each other” she said. “The global framework and systems approach is essential for this diverse region, as it would enable us to coordinate and collaborate across cities, countries and regions, for implementing projects with specific local needs. We need to think globally and act locally.”
Founded in 1931, ICSU is a non-governmental organization with a global membership of national scientific bodies (120 Members, representing 140 countries) and International Scientific Unions (30 Members). The Council’s activities focus on three areas: planning and coordinating research; science for policy; and strengthening the Universality of Science. ICSU is frequently called upon to speak on behalf of the global scientific community and to act as an advisor in matters ranging from the environment to conduct in science.
More information about the new Global science initiative on Urban Health.
• Guest PhD scholarships at Roskilde University
A limited number of short-term scholarships for PhD students in the post-fieldwork phase of research are offered by the Graduate School of International Development Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark starting February 2012. Areas of priority are: – GlobAsia – Global, Regional and Local Development; Interfaces of Development: Global Challenges, Local Complexities; Politics, Culture and Global Change. Preference will be given to candidates from developing countries. The duration of the scholarship is 3-5 months and amount to 10 000 Danish crowns (about 1300 eur) per month meant to cover living costs. Applicants are responsible for their own travel. Interested candidates should submit applications by 14 November 2011. More information.
Post-doc fellowships in South Asian Studies at Yale announced
Yale University has announced post-doc positions in South Asian Studies (Humanities and Social Sciences) for the academic year 2012-2013. The successful applicants should have completed a PhD in South Asian History or other field of Humanities, and have an in-depth knowledge of at least one South-Asian language aside of fluency in English. Candidates with background in Cinema, Literatures, Music and History of Art are especially encouraged to apply.
Submissions are done online, and applications are accepted immediately with review in the beginning of January 2012. For more information visit http://www.yale.edu/macmillan/southasia/flash.htm or contact the Program Manager and Registrar, Kasturi Gupta.
• Post-doc scholarships at Göttingen
The Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in State and Democracy in Modern India. The position will start on 1 April 2012 or thereafter. It is three-year fixed-term contract, with the possibility for renewal contingent upon the availability of funding. In addition to pursuing a postdoctoral research project within the centre’s Research group on “State and Democracy”, the fellow will assist in the design and organization of international conferences on state and democracy in modern India, and in the teaching of politics courses at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies. Applicants must have a PhD in Political Science or in allied fields including History, Anthropology, Sociology and Media Studies. More information.
Indian appeal for research collaboration on social exclusion and inclusive studies
Dr. Nanjunda works as a faculty in the Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the University of Mysore in India and wants to make academic linkages and research collaboration with Swedish or Nordic academics in the field social exclusion and inclusive studies. He would like to perform a study about comparative social policies between Sweden/Nordic countries’ and India. His main interest is within the fields of Poverty, Social policy, Child labor, Developmental Anthropology and Health issues. He has a few years of research experience and published papers in international journals and edited books. Also he is running two Chief To international journals. For further discussion of the collaboration ideas, contact Nanjunda at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply for funds from Endangered Archives Programme
The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library is now accepting applications for the next round of funding. The deadline for receipt of preliminary grant applications is 4 November 2011. Since it was established seven years ago, the Programme has so far funded 162 projects worldwide with grants totalling 4.2 million. The Programme is funded by Arcadia (formerly known as the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund, a grant-making fund established in 2001), in pursuit of one of its charitable aims to preserve and disseminate cultural knowledge and to promote education and research. The aim of the Programme is to contribute to the preservation of archival material worldwide that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration.
The Programmes objectives are achieved principally by awarding grants to applicants to locate relevant endangered archival collections, where possible to arrange their transfer to a suitable local archival home, and to deposit copies with local institutions and the British Library. Pilot projects are particularly welcomed, to investigate the survival of archival collections on a particular subject, in a discrete region, or in a specific format, and the feasibility of their recovery.
In South Asia, 33 projects in Bhutan, India and Nepal are currently supported by the Endangered Archives Programme. They include projects on digital documentation of manuscripts at Drametse and Ogyen Choling monasteries in Bhutan (photo from Drametse); a project on Locating and surveying early religious and related records in Mizoram; a project on Archiving texts in the Sylhet Nagri script; and a project to Retrieve two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika in Kolkata. More information about the South Asian projects.
• More information about South Asia related research at Swedish and Nordic universities
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/research-community-news
• More information about South Asia related education at Swedish and Nordic universities
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/education-news
• Rana P B Singh lectures at University of Gothenburg
Rana P.B. Singh, Professor of Cultural Geography & Heritage, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India, gives two lectures at University og Gothenburg 11–13 October 2011. Prof. Singh is the Founding President of the Society of Pilgrimage Studies; the Society of Heritage Planning & Environmental Health (SHPEH); and the Indo-Nordic Cultural Association. He has been involved in studying, performing and promoting the heritage planning and spiritual tourism in the Varanasi region for the last two decades, and presented his research at conferences all over the world. In Sweden, he has been closely connected to the universities of Karlstad and Gothenburg, but has also visited Lund University and been involved in SASNET activities. More information about Prof. Singh’s CV.
On Thursday 13 October, 13.15–15.00, Prof. Singh will lecture at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion. There, he will speak about ”Gandhi on Sustainable Development and Current Scenario”, adding even Anna Hazare, while linking the moral ethics, ahimsa and satyagraha of Gandhi and their preset uses by Anna Hazare. During his stay in Gothenburg, Prof. Singh will also meet students planning to visit Varanasi in March-April 2012.
• Third conference on ”Rethinking Religion in India”
The third conference on ”Rethinking Religion in India” will be organised in Pardubice in the Czech Republic, 11–14 October 2011. It is part of a series of conferences on this topic carried out during a period of five years by a Indo-European research cluster entitled ”Rethinking Religion in India: European Representations and Indian Responses”.
It is jointly organised by the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap, and the India Platform UGent at Ghent University, Belgium; the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures, Kuvempu University, India; and the Karnataka Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities, India. The third conference is organised in collaboration with the Department for the Study of Religions at University of Pardubice, Czech Republic. A call for papers for the Parallel Paper Sessions is open on the following themes: –The colonial construction of Hinduism; – The caste system and Indian religion; – Secularism in Europe and India; – Said and Orientalism: dead or alive?; – European representations of India; – What does the modernization of Indian traditions mean?; and – Islamic mysticism in European and Indian perspective.
• 7th International Conference on Asian Marine Geology in Goa
The 7th International Conference on Asian Marine Geology (ICAMG) is held 11 to 14 October 2011 in Goa, India. The first ICAMG was held in Shanghai, China in 1988. So far six ICAMG’s have been held in various cities of Asia to promote exchange of ideas and new information on Asian Marine Geology. This is the first ICAMG conference being held in South Asia. All previous ICAMG’s have provided excellent good opportunities for scientist to meet and exchange ideas and share information and to plan for new collaborations. More information.
One of the sessions, No 3, focuses on the issue of ”The Illusive Sea Level Threat in the Indian Ocean”, and is convened by Prof. Emeritus Nils-Axel Mörner, Stockholm (previsusly at the Unit of Palegeophysics and Geodynamics, Stockholm University). It is devoted to observational facts regarding sea level changes, the possible driving forces in climate, the behaviour of glaciers and where to direct the limelight with respect to urgent human problems. The session may be followed by a field trip to one of the islands in the Indian union territory Lakshadweep (Lackadive Islands).
• Paris conference on Afghanistan and the English-Speaking World since 1979
A two-day conference on ”Afghanistan and the English-Speaking World since 1979: from the Cold War to the Global War on Terror” will be held in Paris 13–14 October 2011. It aims to examine the evolution of policy by the English-speaking nations – especially Britain and the U.S. – towards Afghanistan in the period since 1979. Topics under consideration include Afghanistan’s role in the Cold War; American and British relations with post-Soviet Afghanistan, in particular with the Taliban; and War on Terror: the English-speaking nations and Afghanistan since 11 September. The conference will be at the University of Paris VIII (University of Vincennes in Saint-Denis), and is sponsored by the research group Frontières et politique étrangère dans le monde Anglophone (FRONTS) at Paris VIII.
Among accepted papers could be mentioed a paper on “‘Containment Has Now Been Fully Breached’: Brzezinski’s Arc of Crisis and Carter’s Decision to Aid the Afghan Rebels, 1977-1979” by Todd Anthony Rosa, Frostburg State University, USA; a paper on “How the US Sponsored and Encouraged Militant Islam to Counter the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan” by Salman Bangash, University of Peshawar, Pakistan; a paper on “Pakistani Godfather: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan Taliban” by Adrian Hänni & Lukas Hegi, University of Zurich, Switzerland; a paper on “‘India Cannot Remain Indifferent’: New Delhi and the Afghan Crisis, 1978-2010” by Artemy Kalinovsky, University of Amsterdam; a paper on “Interpreting Mine Risk Education: Power, Policy and Representation in Modern Mine Action” by Mathias Hagström, Roskilde University, Denmark; and a paper on “Anglo-American Strategies in the Battle of Helmand: 2006-2010” by Christopher Griffin, University of Paris III.
More information on the conference.
• 40th Annual Madison Conference on South Asia
The 40th Annual Madison Conference on South Asia will be held 20 – 23 October 2011. The conference, that is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attracts over 650 scholars and specialists on South Asia, who travel from countries all over the world and much of the United States. It is a great venue for intellectual, professional, and social exchange. Panels, roundtables, and individual papers on all topics pertaining to South Asian studies are welcome. Registration and proposal submission forms (single papers, panels, roundtables, preconferences) are available on line. Registration as a non-presenting participant at the Conference is open to the general public. The conference features nearly 100 academic panels and roundtables, as well as association meetings and special events ranging from performances to film screenings. Venue: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. More information.
• Delhi conference on Protecting the Health of the Poor: Social Movements in the South
A conference entitled ”Protecting the Health of the Poor: Social Movements in the South” is held in New Delhi, India 21–23 October 2011. It is being organised by the University of Bergen based Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP); Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP); Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS); Incentives for Global Health (IGH); and the Developing Countries Research Centre, University of Delhi. The workshop will bring together a maximum of 25 participants across different disciplines and kinds of social movements. It will constitute a unique opportunity to generate a critical and fruitful dialogue among academics and social entrepreneurs about how we can better work with poor people toward protecting their health.
• 17th International Euro-Asia Research Conference in New Delhi
The 17th International Euro-Asia Research Conference will be held in New Delhi, India, 28–29 October 2011. The theme for the conference will be ”Global Networking and its Implications for Euro-Asia Business Management and Research”. Following a number of conferences held in France, Ireland, Norway, Japan, China, Spain and Indonesia since 1994, the Seventeenth International Euro-Asia Research Conference intends to bring together researchers engaged in Management, Economics and related fields from Europe, Asia and other parts of the World. Doctoral students are also strongly encouraged to submit papers for consideration.
The research conference is a joint undertaking between the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow, India; Yokohama National University, Japan; University of Poitiers, University of Pau, and TELECOM Ecole de Management, France; School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, UK; and University of Limerick, Ireland. The conference hosted by IIM Lucknow at its Noida campus, outside New Delhi.
• Saint Paul conference on Indo-Tibetan Interface and Beyond
The First Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) Himalayan Studies Conference will be held at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, in conjunction with the 60th Annual Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, 28–30 October 2011. The theme of the conference will be ”Rethinking the Himalaya: The Indo-Tibetan Interface and Beyond”. The conference marks ANHS’ new relationship with the Council of American Overseas Research Centers as a Center in Developing Status.
• Kanpur conference on Judicial Activism in India
The Department of Political Science, Christ Church College Kanpur, India is organizing UGC Sponsored Three days National Conference on Judicial Activism in India: Prospects, Challenges and Threats. The conference would be held on 3-5 November 2011. The Proposed Conference aims to focus on following themes: 1. Judicial Activism: Historical and Global Perspective; 2. Judicial Activism in India: Prospects and Challenges in 21st century; 3. Growing Threats of Judicial Activism in India;4. Judicial Universalism vs. Cultural Particularlism; 5. Relationship between Judiciary and Legislature: Need for a change; and 6. Judicial Activism and Public Interest Litigations. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 October 2011. More information.
• Indo-Swedish Seminar on ”Practice-based Knowledge in the 21st Century” in Varanasi
An International Indo-Swedish Seminar on ”Practice-based Knowledge in the 21st Century” will be held in Varanasi, India, 14–16 November 2011. It is being organized by the Dept. of Philosophy & Religion, Faculty of Arts at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), under the auspices of the BHU-Gothenburg University collaboration within the GO:India programme. The aim of this conference is to see and reflect on new sides of the social worlds and the social and humanistic sciences in India and Sweden using the perspectives of practice based knowledge developed within social work, religious work, health care as well as in the arts and philosophy, in order to identify and generate new interesting platforms for academic cooperation.
• Copenhagen conference on Nordic Development Research
A Nordic conference on A Nordic conference on ‘Future of Development Research: Exploring the Nordic perspective(s)?’ will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 24–25 November 2011. It is jointly organised by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala; the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, the Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR), the Norwegian Association of Development Researchers (NFU), and the Association of Development Researchers in Denmark (FAU). A number of Nordic institutions working in the field of development research are also involved, in Sweden the School of Global Studies & Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development, both at Gothenburg University. Venue for the conference: Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Dalgas Have, Copenhagen. Conference information by FAU, or by NFU.
The theme of the conference’s workshop no. 9 is ”Nordic Perspectives on South Asian Development”.The workshop is organised by Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo; Dayabati Roy, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen; and Annika Wetlesen, Dept. of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo. Deadline for submitting abstract has been extended to 15 August 2011. Please send them to email@example.com, and NOT to the workshop organisers. Hopefully many among the Nordic South Asianist community will extend their full support to this rare pan-Nordic initiative and come to Copenhagen in November. See the call for papers for the South Asia workshop.
University of Oslo has decided to merge its annual contemporary India seminar this year with the joint Nordic conference on development research in Copenhagen and its workshop no. 9. At the same time broadening the focus for the seminar somewhat, opening up for contributions that focus on other parts of South Asia as well.
• 5th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference on Political regimes, growth politics and conflict in Asia
The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University, and the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen jointly arrange the 5th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference & PhD Course in Stockholm on 21–25 November 2011. The theme for the 2011 event is ”Political regimes, growth politics and conflict in Asia. Responses to changing environmental, economic and socio-cultural conditions in Asia”. The primary focus of the conference is the responses to these ongoing socio-economic, cultural, economic and environmental changes in Asia. In what ways are changes being interpreted by actors in Asian societies? What are the nature and implications of the encounters produced by these recent changes? Conference participation is open to all scholars and graduate students. As this is an interdisciplinary conference we especially encourage contributions from all social science disciplines as well as interdisciplinary perspectives. Abstracts should be submitted before 15 October 2011 – please note extended date!
The conference will be combined with workshop activities where doctoral candidates may present and discuss their research projects with senior researchers as well as other fellow doctoral candidates. The first two days will be devoted to panels and keynote speakers while the last two days will focus on workshops for doctoral students. The conference/workshop can be taken as a 7.5 ECTS credit course. More information.
• CISCA workshops in Aarhus (December) and New Delhi (January)
The Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA), and the Dept. of History and Area Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark host a set of two workshops on Visual Cultures in Contemporary India, in collaboration with Sri Venkateswara College at Delhi University in India. The first workshop will be held at Aarhus University on 8–9 December 2011, while the second one will be located at Sri Venkateswara College a month later, 8–9 January 2012.
The first workshop is reserved for a broader mapping of this multi-facetted and dynamic field with its diverse traditions and innovative potential in India and South Asia. Thus, the workshop focuses on the development of various media, but also on the motives, strategies and approaches of the producers as well as consumers – exploring visual cultures in relation to themes such as nationalism; gender, family and kin; urban and rural images, religion or diaspora and transnational flows.
Proposals are invited for either one of them from scholars who have worked on relevant areas. Though both workshops are organized jointly individual contributionsare most welcome to one or the other.
Full information about the CISCA workshops.
• Colombo conference on Climate Change & Social Issues
An International Conference on Climate Change & Social Issues (CCSI2011) will be held 14–15 December 2011 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is organized by the Institute of Human Development and Training Sri Lanka (IHDT) in collaboration with Toulouse Business School, France, and hosted by the Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND) in Colombo.
The keynote speaker is Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, who shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace, as Vice Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Currently, he is Chairman of MIND; Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Manchester, UK; Distinguished Guest Professor at Peking University, China; and Honorary Senior Advisor to the Sri Lanka Government. More information.
• 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in February 2012
The 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) will be held 2-4 February 2012 in New Delhi, India. DSDS is organized annually by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) since 2001, being an international undertaking that provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge on all aspects of sustainable development. Over the past ten years, DSDS has emerged as one of the most important forums on global sustainability issues, which brings together important heads of the State and Central Governments, academicians, and policy makers to deliberate over environmental issues. The theme of DSDS 2012 is Protecting the Global Commons: 20 years post Rio. The debates at this DSDS will revolve around the commons and take stock of the situation since the Rio summit of 1992.
• JNU conference on Arts and aesthetics in a globalising world
This interdisciplinary conference will take place 3-6 April 2012 and is organized by the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA). The conference will be hosted for the first time in India – at Jawaharlal Nehru University – and will explore art and aesthetics from various angles and perspectives, among which the impact of globalisation on the creation and movement of contemporary artworks, changing skills of artists, art and new religions, and more. Ecological conservation and narratives are also among the topics of exploration.
The conference aims at gathering together scholars from all parts of the world but particularly from South Asia. Papers can be submitted between 24 October 2011 and 9 December 2011. Guidelines for the paper submission will be announced together with the call opening.
For more details visit the conference website.
• Sixth SASA conference at Claremont
The American South Asian Studies Association invites individual papers and panels for presentation at its sixth annual conference to be held at the Claremont Graduate University, USA, April 13-15, 2012.
The conference strives to advance the understanding of South Asia’s history, cultures, societies, politics, issues and opportunities in a professional environment unique for SASA’s warm collegiality. We welcome papers from all academic disciplines and all periods of time that address the rich tapestry that is South Asia’s past, present and future. The Keynote Speaker for SASA VI will be Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, the Afghani Ambassador to the United States.
Deadline for submitting abstracts is February 15, 2012. More information.
• After Subaltern Studies: Early Career South Asian Studies Workshop at Princeton
The After Subaltern Studies: Early Career South Asian Studies Workshop will be held at Princeton University, USA, 27–28 April 2012. Since its intervention in the early 1980’s, “Subaltern Studies” has transformed the historiography of South Asia. This conference aims to examine the trajectories South Asian scholarship has taken three decades from its inception and five years since the last publication from the collective. The aim is not to debate Subaltern Studies but to engage with questions raised by the field in the aftermath of its intervention.
The workshop would particularly encourage work that steps beyond the colonial period and explores both early modern and postcolonial South Asia. The workshop aims to bring the work of early career scholars (graduate students and junior faculty) in conversation with senior scholars.
Professor Partha Chatterjee (Columbia University) will deliver the keynote address at the conference.
Papers from all disciplines that engage with South Asia are invied. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 November 2011. More information.
• 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network
The 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network, with the theme ”Connections, Corridors, and Communities” will be held in Kunming, China, 12–15 October 2012. The conference is organised by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in the Netherlands, but is hosted by the Centre for Southwest Borderland Ethnic Minority Studies, Yunnan University (YU) in Kunming. Conveners include Prof. Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam (UvA), and Dr. Erik de Maaker, Leiden University.
Extensive land and maritime networks have crisscrossed Asia for centuries, providing the basis for encounters between diverse ethnic, linguistic, economic, religious, and political groups. Today, developments such as new infrastructural projects, an increase in media access, and renewed interest in shaping cross-border cultural identities serve to both underscore these long-standing linkages and create new forms of connections across Asia. During the 3rd Asian Borderlands Research Conference in Kunming, we invite submissions that address continuities and ruptures along routes and borders in Asia, broadly related to the theme, “Connections, Corridors, and Communities”.
Only a small number of individual papers will be selected. New to this Asian Borderlands conference, the roundtable format is intended to allow for a more open forum on a broader theme. Typically, panelists will each address the main issue or topic of the roundtable, and the remainder of the time is open for an informal discussion between the panel members and a more extended question-and-answer period with the audience. Some examples of wide themes in relation to Asian borderlands may include, but are not limited to: migration; security; gender; technology; environmental issues, etc.
Deadline for submitting papers and proposals is 1 December 2011. More information.
• Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction in Linköping
The second Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction (NorDIsCo) will be held at Linköping University, Sweden, 21–23 November 2012. The aim of this conference is to bring together doctoral students and researchers in the Nordic and Baltic region who investigate discourse and interaction from different disciplinary perspectives. The conference will highlight research that explores how text, discourse, talk and social interaction are structured, organised and constituted. Thus, this conference welcomes contributions by scholars and doctoral students in a range of fields of inquiry, including but not limited to discourse studies, conversation analysis, discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis, interaction analysis, rhetoric, narrative analysis, discourse theory, political discourse analysis, social semiotics, multimodal discourse analysis, applied linguistics, gesture studies and communication activism, as well as approaches to discourse and interaction to be found in sociology, political science, environmental science, economics, media studies and cultural studies. More information will follow.
The first NorDIsCo conference was held in 2010 at the University of Aalborg, Denmark.
More information about the 2010 conference.
• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/conferences/conferences
• Copenhagen seminar with Erica Bornstein
Erica Bornstein, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, lectures at Copenhagen University on Wednesday 12 October 2011, 10.00–12.00. The seminar is organised by the Centre of Global South Asian Studies. Dr. Bornstein will lecture about ”Religious Charity, Secular Law, and NGO Regulations in India”. The seminar will be chaired by Dr. Peter B. Andersen. Venue: Leifsgade 33, 3rd Floor, Copenhagen. Participation is free, no registration required, open to public.
Religious charitable donations in India confer no tax benefits on donors. Outside of secular law, they are of concern to the government and to organizations that aim to make charitable work accountable. This paper looks at the historical relationship between India’s secular state and efforts to regulate religious charity – particularly those that speak to sacred, Hindu conceptions of dān (donation). Exploring the landscape of charitable giving in India where the majority of donation occurs in the context of religious charity, the paper analyses the regulation of religious donations in terms of different legal understanding of charity. It looks at ancient Hindu law, the British colonial Law of Charitable Trusts, Indian Personal Law, and contemporary Tax law, to argue that in different historical periods, religious donation has been defined, categorized, and segregated in secular law. In order to understand what is constituted as religious charity, one must look at the history of secular law in India. The state, both in colonial times and post-independence, has played a formative role in categorizing religious humanitarianism through secular law.
• Oslo lecture on Anna Hazare’s movement in India
The Norwegian Network for Asian Studies invites to an open guest lecture in Oslo by Dr. Klaus Voll, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), New Delhi, on Thursday 13 October 2011, 14.15–16.00. He will lecture about ”Upheaval in India: Revolt of the middle classes and political instability”, focusing on the recent movement in India against corruption. This has been led by Anna Hazare and his team has shaken the Indian political establishment deeply. Old clichés about Indian politics are questioned and challenged. This lecture uses Anna Hazare and his movement as a point of departure to examine current politics in India and address a number of interrelated questions: What characterizes the revolt of the middle classes? How is the political class responding, and what shape is this potential socio- political renewal taking? The lecture also reflects on the extent to which high economic growth can co-exist with political instability, and the future course of political action available to the Congress-led government and, not least, its likely future leader Rahul Gandhi.
Venue: Main seminar room, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, Sognsveien 68, Oslo. More information
• Iram Asif lectures on female madaris at Focus Asia seminar in Lund
The Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE) at Lund University organises a Focus Asia event 13–14 October 2011, with the theme ”Women and children in Asia. Contemporary agents of change”. Eight international speakers will talk about women in Asian countries with special focus on urbanism, migration, feminism, and religion, but also on youth, mothers and child care. Contries under discussion are Indonesia, Malaysia, China (mostly Shanghai), Pakistan and Taiwan.
On the second day, at Friday 14 October 2011, at 15.00, PhD candidate Iram Asif from the Department of Cross-Regional and Cultural Studies, History of Religion Section, University of Copenhagen, will lecture on”Female Madaris as Agents of Change? The Jihad of Jamia Hafsa”.
In her research, Iram Asif examines how urban Islamists in Islamabad enact acts of jihad (struggle and determination) in their public discourses. In the empirical study of the hyphenated Jamia Hafsa-Lal Masjid (JH-LM) seminary-mosque movement her project takes an anthropological approach to religion, with a gendered perspective, and scrutinises ways in which perceptions and performances of jihad capture and explain Islamist mobilisation structures and modalities of authority constructions–in and outside the confinements of their seminaries and educational settings.
Venue: ACE, Scheelevägen 15 B, room Alpha 1010, Lund. More information on the Focus Asia seminars
• Stig Toft Madsen lectures on the 1995 Purulia Arms drop
Dr. Stig Toft Madsen holds a lunch seminar at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen on Wednesday 26 October 2011, 12.15–13.00. The theme will be ”From Pusher Street to Purulia: Legal Monism versus Legal Pluralism”. Stig Toft Madsen who is a Senior Research Fellow at NIAS, will take us from Pusher Street in Christiania, Copenhagen to Niels Holck and the arms drop case in Purulia, West Bengal. The Purulia arms drop case was an infamous incident in which unauthorised arms were dropped from an Antonov An-26 aircraft in Purulia district in the state of West Bengal in India on 17 December 1995. While the true motive of the operation remains shrouded in mystery and conjecture, it has been alleged that arms were intended for the socio-spiritual organization Ananda Marga.
The Purulia Arms drop in 1995 was a rare example of a private team of white criminals delivering weapons to an oppositional group in India. The main organizer of the arms drop was a Dane inter alia named Niels Holck. Stig Toft Madsen, Senior Research Fellow of NIAS, discusses various issues of the extradition case heard in the Lower Court and the Eastern High Court in 2010 and 2011.
All are welcome. Feel free to bring your own lunch. Venue: NIAS, Leifsgade 33, 3rd floor.
The Asiaportal published an In Focus blog on the Purulia Arms drop, written by Stig Toft Madsen, and posted on 3 October 2011. Read the blog, entitled ”A Dane in Distress”.
• Copenhagen seminar on Sufi Paradoxes
The Danish Forum for Islamforskning (FIFO) and the Research project ’Sufism and Transnational Spirituality’ at University of Aarhus jointly organise a seminar on Paradoxes of Sufism (Sufismens paradokser) in Aarhus on Monday 12 December 2011. Seminar language will be Danish (or Norwegian/Swedish). Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 October 2011. The contact person is Dr. Mikkel Rytter, Aarhus University. Venue: Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus.
Full information about the seminar.
FIFO is an interdisciplinary network for research on Islam esablished in 2005, and it publishes the scientific journal Tidsskrift for Islamforskning. This is an online peer-reviewed journal available on the homepage: www.islamforskning.dk. A number of articles are written in English. The purpose of the journal is to encourage knowledge sharing among researchers and master’s programme students who work with Islam in Denmark and in the Western world. The journal is also targeted a wider public by providing insights into the newest research on Islam.
The main purpose with FIFO is to connect researchers and students wrking on projects focusing on Islam and muslims in Denmark, to coordinate their work, and contribute to a strenghtening of new and existing research networks.
• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/conferences/conferences
• Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week to be celebrated in October
The Embassy of Sweden, together with a number of Swedish partner companies, has organized the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week annually since 2007. Held in October, the Week showcases the innovation and creativity of Sweden and Swedish companies and aims to enhance the interest for Sweden in India. This year marks the five-year-celebration of the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week, and will take place during the period 15–23 October 2011, across Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. More information about the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week.
As part of the Nobel Memorial Week, the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Quiz brings together quizzers from esteemed Indian colleges and technical Institutes for an Inter-Collegiate Quiz in a battle where minds prevail over muscles (more information). The winning team gets an all-expenses paid trip to Sweden with special visits to some of the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week partner companies, as well as chances for internships with these prestigious companies. In 2009, SASNET organised the quiz winners’ visit to Lund University. Read Lars Eklund’s report.
• Information about South Asia related business and politics in Sweden
• Concerts and workshops at Stockholm Sangeet Conference 2011
The Swedish National Collections of Music Musik- och Teatermuseet) in Stockholm organizes the Stockholm Sangeet Conference 2011 on Saturday and Sunday 15 – 16 October. The Sangeet Conference is organized in collaboration with Stallet Folk och Världsmusik (SSC) and the Farhang Association. This is an Indian Festival with Classical Indian Music and Dance. Performing artists and musicians include Shantala Subramanyam Group (a flute trio from Bangalore), Suranjana Ghosh from Uppsala (on Tablas), Palace on Wheels (3 sitars, violin, 2 tabla), Ulrika Anouhka Larsen, (Odissi, east indian temple dance), Shipra Nandy (vocals), and Debasish Mukherjee (tabla) with Veronica Tjerned (kathak, north indian classic dance).
The first day of the conference consists of concerts from 15.00 till 21.00 at the museum, address: Sibyllegatan 2, Stockholm.
The conference also includes workshops with the artists on Sunday 16th 10.00–19.00. A raga workshop will be led by Stian Grimstad, and a lecture on Classical Indian Aesthetics will be given by Johan Lepisto, MA in Sanskrit. Venue: Stallet, Stallgatan 8, Stockholm. More information about the 2011 Stockholm Sangeet Conference.
Stockholm Sangeet Conference is Sweden’s only festival dedicated purely to indian classical music, held every year since 2007. The organizers of Stockholm Sangeet Conference wish to make a permanent platform for indian classical music in Sweden, and hope the festival will continue to grow in the coming years. More information.
• Indian Cultural Festival continues in Uppsala
In Uppsala, the Indian Cultural Festival continues all through held at many different places during September, October and part of November 2011. The festival is entitled ”Incredible India” and is organised by the association Kulturum with support from many public and private organisations. The programme includes art and photo exhibitions, concerts and dance performances, lectures, screening of Indian films, Bollywood shows, Indian cooking and a literary festival. The festival started on 3–4 September with an Indian market at Kulturoasen in Håga, and a dance and music performance by Odissi dancer Ulrika Anoukha Larsen and musicians Moa Danielson (Tabla) and Stian Grimstad (Sitar). Full information about the Incredible India festival in Uppsala.
• Goanese concert in Copenhagen
The Indian Music Society in Copenhagen organised a concert with classical music from Goa. The Cotta Ensemble performed typical Goanese music (especially Goa Mando) on Monday 10 October 2011, 18.30. The ensemble consists of singer Miguel Cotta, his daughter Chantale Maria Cotta on Guitar, Violin and Cello, and brothers Franz Schubert Cotta and Siddharth Cotta. Venue: Tranquebar Café og Rejseboghandel, Borgergade 14, Copenhagen.
More information about the event (only in Danish).
New and updated items on SASNET web site
• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on:
Constantly added to the list of research environments at Swedish universities, presented by SASNET. The full list now includes more than 280 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! Go to http://www.sasnet.lu.se/institutions/reserch-environments
• Useful travelling information
Look at our Travel Advice page. Updated travel advises from the The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office about safety aspects on travelling to the countries of South Asia.