Newsletter 130 – 19 December 2011



• SASNET seminar on the 1947 Partition and Ethnic Cleansing of Punjab

On Thursday 2 February 2012, 13.15–15.00, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, holds a SASNET lecture about the 1947 Partition of Punjab. Ishtiaq’s speech is entitled ”The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First Person Accounts”. The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Lund university Master in International Development and Management programme (LUMID). Venue: Lund University, Geocentrum, Hall ”Världen”, Sölvegatan 12.
The lecture is based on Ishtiaq Ahmed’s recent book on the tragic events during and after Partition in the two Punjabs. He will shed light on how and why the Punjab, a Muslim majority province of British India with large Hindu and Sikh minorities, was partitioned in 1947. Had India not been partitioned the Punjab would not be partitioned either. Once power was transferred to the provincial governments in the Indian and Pakistani Punjab, violence escalated dramatically. The end result was ethnic cleansing on both sides.
Associate Professor Catarina Kinnvall, Dept. of Political Science, Lund University, will be discussant during the seminar. More information about the seminar.

• Successful SASNET seminar on Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Bangladeshi independence, the Victory Day of 16th December 1971, SASNET held a well-attended seminar on ”Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society 40 years after Liberation” on Thursday 15 December 2011. The seminar was organised in collaboration with the Department of Sociology, Lund University at Edens Hörsal, Paradisgatan 5.
More than 40 people, including a large number of Lund University students and researchers, listened to the keynote speaker, David Lewis (photo), Professor of social policy and development at London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). He spoke about ”Repositioning Bangladesh in the global imagination”, giving new perspectives on Bangladeshi development.

It was based on his recently published book ”Bangladesh. Politics, Economy and Civil Society” – more information.
Khandker Masudul Alam, First Secretary & Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Sweden, also participated in the seminar, giving a presentation on Bangladesh’s development from 1971 till today.
The seminar was moderated by Lars Eklund, SASNET deputy director, who also took part in the introductory singing of Bangladeshi songs along with Jasmine Zabbar and Bubu Munshi Eklund (photo). See them singing Muktiro Mandiro on Youtube! The two latter also served delicious home made Bengali snacks and sweets at the reception, that followed after the seminar. More information about the seminar, with photos.

• Anna Lindberg on combined research and networking tour to Nepal and India

During the period 11 November – 13 December 2011, SASNET’s Director Anna Lindberg was on a combined research and networking tour in Nepal and India. The research part of the tour concerned a project entitled ”Transnational Mobility of Higher Education within Asia: An Interdisciplinary Study of Strategies and Educational Conditions among Young Persons”, an interdisciplinary project involving six Swedish researchers from different fields that will be based on fieldwork and data collection in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Dubai, Thailand, and Turkey.
More information about the project.
Anna’s contribution will be to study Nepalese students who are currently or have formerly been studying at Indian universities. As higher education has been difficult for many Nepalese persons to attain (especially for females), the study will focus on those individuals who could not take higher education for granted.
Read a detailed report by Anna Lindberg from the first part of the tour, from Kathmandu.
Read a detailed report by Anna Lindberg from the second part of the tour, from Delhi and Mumbai.

• SASNET participated in Brussels conference on South Asian Minority Rights

SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund participated in a higly interesting conference on ”Protecting Minority Rights in South Asia” that was held at the EU Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 8 December 2011. The conference was organised by the Hague based Global Human Rights Defence organisation (GHRD). Human rights defenders from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal addressed the situation in their respective home countries to some 130 European representatives, MEPs, policymakers, NGOs and media. Amongst the speakers were Taslima Nasreen, Bangladeshi writer in exile, winner of the European Parliament Sakharov Prize 1994, and Anuradha Koirala, awarded CNN Hero 2010 for her work against human trafficking in Nepal. More information.

• SASNET visit to Aarhus and Aalborg universities in Denmark

Julia Velkova from SASNET visited Aarhus University during 8-9 December 2011 in order to meet Professor Uwe Skoda from the Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus – CISCA and discuss potential future collaborations with SASNET. The visit also coincided with participation in a workshop on ”Visual Cultures in Contemporary India” that was arranged by CISCA at the same time. During the meeting, potential collaboration regarding joint seminars and an exchange of guest lecturers in 2012 was discussed, as well as the future developments for both CISCA and SASNET. Read more about this meeting.

From Aarhus Julia travelled north to Aalborg, and on 9 December 2011 she also had a fruitful meeting with Associate Professor Marianne Georgsen at the Department of Communication, Aalborg University. SASNET wanted to explore the extensive work that Aalborg University, and in particular the Dept. of Communication, has carried out in Bangladesh during the last few years. Among the most interesting projects that Aalborg University and Marianne Georgsen are involved in is the collaboration with the Chittagong based Asian University for Women, as well as a number of exchange programmes focused on PhD students from Bangladesh and Denmark. Read the report from this meeting.

• SASNET’s Gandhi pages are now back online!

Since 2009, SASNET has maintained and catalogued a large books donation from the private library collection of the renowned Swedish historian Karl Reinhold Haellquist, who passed away in 2000 (after working for many years at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, NIAS, in Copenhagen). A large part of the collection, more than 6,000 South Asia related books, journals, videotapes and pamphlets on various aspects of South Asian studies, was later donated to SASNET/Lund University by his wife, Inger Sondén-Haellquist. The collection includes Haellquist’s unique collection of books on Mahatma Gandhi. These Gandhi books, and other works from the collection, are now on display in Lund University’s Asia Library (adjacent to the SASNET root node office in Lund. The remaining part of Karl Reinhold Haellquist Memorial Collection is still kept at SASNET’s office.
SASNET dedicates a special section of the SASNET website to this collection, featuring unique photos from Karl Reinhold Haellquist’s own notebooks on Gandhi, index of books and more. Go for this section.

• Sanitation training programme participants visited SASNET
From left to right: Sepali Wickrematilake, Mathew Luckose, Veena Iyer and Lars Eklund.

On 5 December 2011, participants from the Sida funded training programme on ”Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation – Integrated Processes”, managed by the Division of Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, visited SASNET’s office in Lund. The programme runs every year, and always include professionals in the field from South Asia. More information about the training programme.

Mathew Luckose, Regional Manager for the international WaterAid organisation in Bhopal, India; Assistant Professor Veena Iyer from the Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar, India; and Dr. Sepali Wickrematilake, Consultant Community Physician, Regional Director’s Health Service Office, Kegalle, Sri Lanka, met SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund and discussed their respective work on water issues in India and Sri Lanka. It turned out that Dr. Iyer has several contacts with researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, such as Vishal Diwan and Ayesha d’Costa at the Division of Global health (IHCAR).

 • SASNET excursion to Elsinore and Humlebaeck

On Wednesday 30 November 2011, SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund and Assistant webmaster Julia Velkova, made a one-day excursion tour to Denmark as a SASNET social activity along with Lund University’s current ICCR Professor G K Karanth and his wife Raji. They first visited Kronborg Caste in Elsinore (Helsingør), and thereafter they proceeded to Louisiana Art Museum in Humlebaeck (photo). More information.

• More information about SASNET and its activities

See SASNET’s page,

Research Community News

• Sida grants to South Asia related research projects 2012-14

In October 2011, Sida’s (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) U-landsforskningsråd decided upon the 2011 grants applications for the period 2012-14. The projects below are given funding for South Asia related research.  Go for SASNET’s list of South Asia related projects funded by Sida U-forsk 2011, with more details about the projects.

– Professor Arne Bigsten from the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg receives SEK 2.4 m for a project entitled ”Fiscal Capacity and Democracy in Developing Countries”, focusing on Kenya and India.

– Dr. Mattias Larsen (photo to the left), School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg receives SEK 1.57 m for a project entitled ”Social Dimensions of Financial Exclusion: The Effect of Social Capital on Use of Financial Services in India”, a project that will be carried out in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) in Chandigarh.

Prof. Marie Vahter (photo to the right), Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm, receives SEK 2.1 m for a project entitled ”Sources of exposure to environmental pollutants in Bangladesh and variations over time – important strategies for sustainable development”, a project that will be carried out in collaboration with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in Dhaka.

– Prof. Semida Silveria, Department of Energy Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, receives SEK 2.7 m for a project entitled ”Biogas based poly-generation for rural development in Bangladesh”, a project that will be carried out in collaboration with Grameen Shakti; local non-profit organization working in rural energy in Bangladesh.

– Cand. Scient. Pol Winnie Bothe (photo to the left), Department of Political Science, Lund University, receives SEK 1.8 m for a project entitled ”Local Governance in Sikkim and Bhutan: Two models of State Formation – Different Citizenship Roles?”, a project that will be carried out in collaboration with North Bengal University, Siliguri and Sikkim University, Gangtok.

– Associate Professor Ulf Johansson Dahre, Division of Social Anthropology/Department of Sociology, Lund University, receives SEK 3 m for a project entitled ”Climate change, water stress and adaptation: A cross-cultural study in India from gender perspective”, a project that will be carried out in collaboration with the Department of Policy Studies, TERI University, New Delhi. The project also involves Dr. Nandita Singh, Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm; and Dr. Anna Jonsson, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Tema Institute, Linköping University.

– Prof. Örjan Gustafsson (photo to the right), Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, receives SEK 1.8 m for a project entitled ”Source Determinations of Climate- and Health-Affecting Air Particulate Matter emitted from the South Asian region”, a project focusing on the Maldives and that will be carried out in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), UNEP-Maldives Climate Observatory.

• KI doctoral dissertation on husbands’ violence against their wife in Pakistan

Tazeen Saeed Ali, Division of Global Health (IHCAR) at the Dept. of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, defended her doctoral dissertation entited ”Living with violence in the home: Exposure and experiences among married women, residing in urban Karachi, Pakistan” on Friday 16 December 2011, at 09.00. The thesis is based on a study conducted in urban Karachi, Pakistan to investigate prevalence, frequency, risk factors, and mental health effects of husbands’ violence against their wife. It also explores current gender roles in urban Karachi, Pakistan, how these are reproduced and maintained, and their influence on life circumstances for both men and women. Further, it explores the women’s perceptions of situations which create conflicts and potentially lead to different forms of violence and the immediate consequences of violence exposure. reveals serious gender inequalities and human rights violations against women within marriage, in her extended family and within Pakistani society. The unequal gender roles were perceived as static and enforced by structures imbedded in society. The opponent was Professor Berit Schei, University of Bergen, Norway. More information.

• Swedish government report on Indo-Swedish research collaboration

On 21 November 2011, the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Tillväxtanalys) published a report on Indo-Swedish collaboration within the fields of Education, Research and Innovation. The report, entitled ”Underlag för förstärkt forsknings-, utbildnings- och innovationssamarbete med Indien (Rapport 2011:06)” gives a thorough overview of current collaboration projects, and also gives concrete suggestions on how it should be further developed. It has been compiled through an initiative by the Swedish government’s Ministry of Education and Research, and Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.
Regarding education, the report suggest among other things that Swedish universities should strengthen their attractiveness, such marketing efforts might be coordinated on the Swedish or Nordic levels. The report also suggests that appropriate funding measures should be given for different forms of stipends, including increased possibilities for the build-up of stipend funds at universities.
Sweden should become more attractive with visa rules adapted for the mobility of researchers. One possible measure could be a “fast-track” for strategically important scientists.
 The importance of student mobility for the recruitment of high quality PhD-students is also should be investigated, and student mobility could be reinforced if Sweden agreed with India on reciprocal recognition of exams.
Further, the report suggests that administrative hindrances and possibilities for commissioned educations and satellite campuses should be investigated. It also suggests that Swedish research funding agencies should be given an increased flexibility to enable a better participation in structured collaborative efforts, such as bilateral research agreements, with countries such as India where the top-down approach is dominating.
The report is freely available on the web. Go for the full  report (in Swedish).
A summary is also available in English, go for it.

• Research Council grant for study of Visuality of ´Tamilness´ in Diaspora

In September 2011, Dr. Anna Laine, School of Education and Humanities, Dalarna University, Campus Falun, was awarded SEK 2.2 m as a research grant from the Swedish Research Council for a three-year project (2012-14) within the field of Artistic Research. The project is entitled ”Reconfigurations of Identity in a Deterritorialized Setting: The Visuality of ´Tamilness´ in Diasporic Sites on the Web and in Neighbourhoods of London”.
The aim of this project is to explore the role of visual appearance in the construction and performance of cultural identity. The study will enhance the knowledge on how social, political, religious and aesthetic issues interact in reconstituting visual aspects of identity among ethnic minorities. It is positioned in the overlap between art and anthropology, based on recent interests among artists in ethnographic methods and collections, among anthropologists in phenomenology and multisensorial forms of expression, and in the joint interest in politics of representation.
More information about the project.

• Joint Bangladesh–Sweden Policy Seminar on Air Quality and Climate

Ministers from Bangladesh and Sweden and high level representatives, scientists, governmental and non-governmental organizations from 15 countries, both within the region of South Asia and internationally, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) met in Dhaka on 17–18 September 2011 to participate in the Joint Bangladesh–Sweden Policy Seminar for the South Asian Region on Near-term Air Quality and Climate Benefit – Promoting International Co-operation and Facilitating Action.
The seminar was hosted jointly by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh and the Ministry of Environment, Sweden (with the Minister Lena Ek participating) and co-organized by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). The overall aim of the seminar was to share experience and practice to promote strategic action nationally, regionally and globally on short-lived climate forcers (SLCF). Several specific sources of SLCFs and ways to mitigate them were discussed at the seminar. For black carbon these included brick kilns, cook stoves, open biomass burning, and transportation which currently are responsible for a large fraction of the emissions in South Asia. Important sources for methane include: livestock, rice cultivation, coal mining, biomass burning, gas production, solid and waste water treatment.
See the programme for the Dhaka seminar.
Read a full report from the seminar.
The UNEP supported project Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) has played a major role in the development of our understanding of the occurrence and impacts of SLCFs in Asia. In Sweden, the Dept. of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), and the Department of Meteorology (MISU) at Stockholm University have been closely involved in the ABC project. Associate Professor Örjan Gustafsson at ITM now coordinates a Sida funded partner driven Swedish-Asian collaboration project on ”Brown Air” in northern India during the period 2010-12. Örjan Gustafsson participated in the Dhaka seminar along with Prof. Henning Rodhe from MISU.
More information about ITM and the ABC programme.
More information about MISU and the ABC programme

• Strategic Management of Internationalisation conference at Lund University

A conference on ”Strategic Management of Internationalisation” was held at Lund University on 15–16 December 2011. It was organised by the Nordic University Association (NUS), the Nordic Association of University Administrators (NUAS) and the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE). The conference examined some of the challenges facing universities and governments as a result of the growing internationalisation of higher education throughout the world. Participants got an opportunity to hear from leading experts on global trends, to learn about new developments and to consider practical responses. Case studies of national policy and institutional practice were debated and new approaches to the evaluation of internationalisation discussed.
In a panel on ”Networks, partnerships and alliances – Focus on links between OECD area and low- and middle-income countries”, Dr. Maryam Rab (photo) from Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) in Pakistan was one of the speakers. She is the Registrar of the Rawalpindi based university. She has also a MSc in Higher Education Leadership & Management (HELM), being responsible for developing and coordinating MSc degree program for women in middle and senior management based on an institutional linkage program with Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
Full information about the conference.

• Fellowships, internships, PhD scholarships and field-work grants in Kerala now available!

The Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) offers a number of opportunities to scholars from any nationality for the academic year 2011-2012. Grants and support are provided for: – three months residency at the institution in order to work on an article, monograph or completing scholarly work in progress; – fellowships to support scholars to revise their PhD thesis into an article for publishing; – up to one year fellowships for designing Post-Doc research theme with focus on Kerala; – PhD Fellowships that focus on Kerala society and history or social science theories; – Up to 6 months paid internships at KHCR to M.Phil students, graduates or post-graduates; – Support for field work in archeology.
Most of the fellowships are with an open deadline, but for the post-doc research theme design, field work in archaeology and modifying a PhD thesis for publication the deadline is 20 December 2011. Full information.

• Growth Analysis report on Energy Research & Development in India

In 2005 Sweden and India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Science & Technology for which the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, VINNOVA, was assigned the operational responsibility on the Swedish side. VINNOVA has asked the Swedish Energy Agency(Energimyndigheten) to engage in supporting Swedish-Indian research collaboration under this agreement. At the same time, the Swedish Energy Agency is responsible for bilateral collaborations within the area of energy, including research collaborations, with India according to an MoU on Renewable Energy from 2010 that refers to the 2005 S&T MoU.
In order to prepare for this engagement the Swedish Energy Agency has commissioned the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Growth Analysis) to map out areas where India has a strong position in energy research. The mapping should cover subject areas, geographical areas and universities/institutes as well as other relevant players.
This report has been prepared and written by Rajeev Palakshappa under the auspices of Andreas Muranyi Scheutz who is head of Growth Analysis‟ New Delhi office, and was published in September 2011.
Go for the report (as a pdf-file)

• Fake degrees and fake publications prevalent in Pakistan

Pakistani independent researcher Q. Isa Daudpota (photo) reveals in an article entitled ”Scourge of fake journals” (published by on 1 December 2011), the prevalent occurrence of fake scientific journals and plagiarism in Pakistan. Daudpota, who is a physicist and outspoken environmentalist based in Islamabad, writes about common practices where expats and other Pakistanis apply for and get jobs in Pakistani institutions using fake degrees from fake universities using fake publications. He adds that although he informed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) about the scam already several years ago, it continues and no corrective measures have been taken. Read the article.

• Review of Agrarian Studies new Indian peer-reviewed journal

The Review of Agrarian Studies is a new bi-annual peer-reviewed journal of the Indian Foundation for Agrarian Studies, a charitable trust based in India and established in 2003. The journal is published from Kolkata and appears both in electronic and printed form – the latter in collaboration with Tulika Books, one of India’s most important publishers of books in the social sciences. The Review of Agrarian Studies invites articles on agrarian studies – on the forces and relations of production in agriculture and in rural areas, on living standards, and on different aspects of social formations in the countryside. It also carries theoretical and empirical articles on social, economic, historical, political and scientific and technological aspects of agriculture and rural societies.
The Editor is Professor V. K. Ramachandran from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Professor Venkatesh B. Athreya from the MS Swaminathan Foundation in Chennai – well-known to SASNET members –belongs to the Advisory Editorial Board along with (among others) Professor Abhijit Sen, member of the Planning Commission of India.
The online version is available for free at or
More information about the journal and details about subscriptions.

• Bangladeshi NGO Forum for Public Health

Almost after three decades of journey, the Bangladeshi NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation has extended its vision to improved public health and sound environment. This will ensure addressing the emerging threats associated with water and sanitation impacting public health and environment. Accordingly NGO Forum is in the process of redesigning its organizational profile and programmes and it has been renamed as NGO Forum for Public Health on 13 December 2011.
Being launched as the UN-brainchild in 1982, NGO Forum has been involved as the apex networking and service delivery body of NGOs, CBOs and private sector operators in the Water and Sanitation sector of Bangladesh. Over the years it has been contributing to the improvement of Public Health situation by reducing mortality and morbidity, and conserving sound environment.
Go for the NGO Forum for Public Health web site.

• More information about South Asia related research at Swedish and Nordic universities

Educational News

• Eleven South Asian students graduated from World Maritime University

On Sunday 4 December 2011, the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö celebrated its yearly Graduation ceremony for its MSc programmes. Every year a good number of students from South Asia pass through these, and in the class of 2011, consisting of 168 students from 46 countries, four came from India, three from Bangladesh, two from Maldives, and one each from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This year also included a completed PhD in Maritime Administration by Rajendra Prasad (photo to the right), Assistant Professor at WMU since 2008. He successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled “The Role of Collaborative Learning in Promoting Safety in Shipboard Machinery Spaces” on 23 November 2011. SASNET was represented at the festive ceremony by deputy director Lars Eklund and his wife Bubu Munshi Eklund. Read a report from the 2011 graduation ceremony.

• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World

See SASNET’s page,

Important lectures and seminars in Scandinavia

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

See SASNET’s page,

Conferences and workshops

• “Meaning, Culture and Values: East and West” conference in New Delhi

An International Interdisciplinary Conference on ”Meaning, Culture and Values: East and West” will be held in New Delhi, India, 5-7 January 2012. It is being organised by the Society of Indian Philosophy and Religion. Subtopics include Ethnic Identity & Culture, Indian Civilization & Society, Role of Culture & Religion, and Cultural Meaning, Buddhism & Postmodernity. Selected papers from the conference will be published in the Journal of International and Interdisciplinary Studies and the Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion). Advisory board members include Dr. Tommi Lehtonen from University of Vaasa in Finland. Abstracts should be submitted by e-mail to the conference convener Dr. Chandana Chakrabarti, Elon University in North Carolina, USA. More information.

• CISCA workshops in Aarhus and New Delhi

The Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA), and the Dept. of History and Area Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark hosts 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 was 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 was 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 focused 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. The second workshop focuses on Delhi.
Delhi became the capital of a north Indian empire in 13th century and – with some exceptions – remained a capital most of the later years. In general, India had many phases of strong urbanity and urban cultures, right from Harappan civilization to modern New Delhi. And with New Delhi completing its century in 2011, it may be a fitting tribute to hold the second workshop on how Delhi has been seen in visual cultures over the centuries. Thus, the organisers would like to commemorate, analyse and document the visual past of Delhi and, more broadly, urban India and wish to explore and document how Delhi has been seen and portrayed in various forms of visual cultures.
Full information about the CISCA workshops.

• 14th International Maharashtra Conference: Society and Culture

The 14th International Maharashtra Conference: Society and Culture will be held in Mumbai, India 6–8 January 2012. The theme of the conference will be ‘Sthalantar’. Sthalantar could be roughly translated in English as ‘migration’. However, the theme for the conference will be more broadly interpreted and will entail more meanings than mere ‘migration’. It will connote or imply immigration-deshantar, wandering-bhatkanti, pilgrimage-teerthatan, travel-pravas or paryatan or deshatan. More information.

• International conference on ”The Spiritual Challenge in Management: What is to be Done?” to be held in Bangalore

The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) hosts an international conference on ”The Spiritual Challenge in Management: What is to be Done?” at the IIMB Campus in Bangalore on 9–11 January 2012. The conference is organised in collaboration with the Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion. It is convened by Prof. Ramnath Narayanswamy, IIMB, and Prof. Yochanan Altman, Bordeaux Management School (BEM), France. The conference will address and question a key issue of our times: the adequacy of the current paradigms of management for the future of mankind and our planet. The positioning of the conference in India is signaling the issue we are questioning: is the Western model of management the best suited for the challenges we face? What can West and East learn from each other? And how does the new epoch of spirituality fit into these new emerging agendas? More information on the conference web page.

• International conference on “Asian Religions & The World” in Kolkata

The “Focus Asia Organisation” of Kolkata, India convenes an international conference ”Asian Religions & The World” on 23–25 January 2012. The objective is to provide a common platform for the exchange of ideas & views among those, who are seriously engaged in the study of religions and associated topics. The academic periphery of the upcoming conference includes the growth, evolution and changes of the religions, interactions among them and their role in the modem world particularly in the background of globalization. The “Focus Asia Organization” is a voluntary body, formerly known as “Society for Indian Culture & Heritage”. More information.

• 24th Kerala Science Congress to be held in Kottayam

The 24th Kerala Science Congress is scheduled from 29th to 31st January 2012 at the Rubber Research Institute in  Kottayam. It will be jointly organisd by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) – the umbrella organization of the research establishments in the State – and the Rubber Board.
Realising the critical role of Science and Technology in socio-economic development, Kerala has made substantial efforts to strengthen its science base through a number of research and development initiatives. In almost every key sector, whether it is agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industry, transport, environment, energy, material sciences, there are top class institutions undertaking research relevant to the needs of the State. Every sphere of science as well as the different phases of research – basic, strategic, applied and adaptive – are being addressed by the Universities and the R&D institutions in the State. Being a state with high population density and limited natural resources, wise use of the resources and building up human skills are essential. The 24th Kerala Science Congress will have a number of sessions for providing an opportunity for intense interaction and knowledge sharing. Particular thrust will be given to encourage young researchers through Young Scientist Awards and Children’s Science Congress.
More information about the 24th Kerala Science Congress.

• Australia symposium on India and the Age of Crisis

The University of Western Australia in Crawley organises a symposium on the local politics of global economic and ecological fragility on 2–3 February 2012. The symposium is entitled ”India And The Age Of Crisis”. The purpose of this symposium is to consider how politics in India are likely to be shaped by global economic and ecological crises.

Confirmed presenters are:
– Palagummi Sainath (photo), popularly known is India’s most highly-awarded journalist with over 40 international and national awards for his investigative and social sector reporting in a career spanning three decades. He is currently the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu – a 133-year-old daily with a circulation of over 1.6 million.
– Swapna Banerjee-Guha, Professor of Development Studies in the School of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. From 1981 to 2006 she was the Professor of Human Geography at the University of Mumbai. – – Anjal Prakash, Senior Fellow and Director – Peri Urban Water Security Project at South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies – SaciWATERs, Hyderabad, India. More information (as a pdf-file)

• 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. More information.

• Conference on the postcolonial city at University of Leeds, UK

 Annual Institute of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (ICPS), University of Leeds and Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA) Postgraduate Conference will take place 2–3 February 2012 at University of Leeds, UK. The theme for the 2012 conference will be ‘Re-evaluating the Postcolonial City: Production, Reconstruction, Representation’, and is likely to have a strong Asian Studies strand running through it.
This conference re-evaluates the postcolonial city-space as a site of cultural production. The postcolonial city has reconfigured itself in literature and culture, as an urban space that incessantly explores its modernity along various, conflicting lines of identity, representation and consumption. The event brings together practicing cultural producers and their critics, early career scholars and postgraduate students working with the subject of the postcolonial city. In order to re-evaluate the impact of the postcolonial city on lives beyond the remit of the academy, the organisers seek to posit the figure of the cultural producer as a primary focus area of our conference. More information.

• Belief Narratives International Symposium at Manipur University

The Manipur University in collaboration with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) organize the Belief Narratives International Symposium at Manipur University, Imphal, Manipur from 6-8 February 2012. The International Society for Folk Narrative Research is an international academic body whose objective is “to develop scholarly work in the field of folk narrative research and to stimulate contacts and the exchange of views among its members”. The research interest of ISFNR members around the world includes a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, “covering all aspects of narrative as representing the pivotal category of human communication”. The Symposium theme will be ”Local Legends in the Global Context”. More information.

• Haryana conference on Humanism, Democracy and Culture

The Department of English at RKSD College, Kaithal – affiliated to Kurukshetra University in the state of Haryana, India – organises an interdisciplinary, international conference to explore humanism, postcolonialism and democracy discourses from in India from both western and Indian perspectives on 20–21 March 2012. Interested scholars can now submit a 300–400 words abstract of a paper that should address the following topic(s): – Postcolonialism and Indigenous Representation; – Postcolonialism and Indian humanism; – Postcolonialism and Western Aspirations; – Postcolonialism and Marxism; – Postcolonialism and Nativism, and Cultural Fundamentalism in East and West; – Postcolonialism and Indian languages. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 December 2011 for Indian delegates, and 15 January 2012 for foreign scholars.
Keynote and plenary speakers include Dr. Rajender Dudrah, Head of Drama & Senior Lecturer in Screen studies, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester, UK;  Dr. María do Mar Castro Varela,  Professor for Gender and Queer Studies at Alice Salomon University, Berlin, Germany; Dr. Nikita Dhawan, Junior Professor for Gender and Postcolonial Studies, Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’ at Goethe-University, Germany; Dr Bhaskar Mukhopadhya, Convenor MA Postcolonial Studies, Goldsmith, University of London, UK; and Dr. Pavan Malreddy, Chemnitz University of Technology (CUT), Germany. More information.

• Varanasi seminar on Reflections & Revival of Buddhism in Modern Times

The Department of History of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapit University in Varanasi organises an international seminar on ”Reflections & Revival of Buddhism in South and South-East Asia in Modern Times”. The seminar will take place between 31 March and 2 April 2012 and aims at exploring the trends of Buddhism in South and South-East Asia nowadays, as well as discuss the question of happiness for the humanity in the light of Buddhist ideals and its relevance today. To facilitate the discussions during the seminar, the following topics are going to be discussed: – Role of States/Governments; – Contribution of Buddhism in moral and spiritual development; – Areas of Buddhist Studies, Intellectual exercises; – Buddhist temples and monasteries and their missionary activities; – Buddhist Educational and Cultural centers; – Funding for promotion of Buddhist centers and its impact; – Contribution of Buddhism in material uplift of communities and places; – Neo-Buddhist movements: Dalit movement; – Relevance of Buddhism in addressing socio-political challenges in India; – Tibetan Buddhist: Movement and Dilemma; – Reform movements within Buddhist denominations and new Buddhist sects.
Both Indian and international scholars are welcome. Papers on the above mentioned topics should be sent by 31 January 2012. More information.

• Honolulu conference on South Asian cities

The Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i, USA, invites paper and panel proposals on aspects related to its 29th Annual Spring Symposium entitled “Settling and Unsettling: The City in South Asia”. The conference will be held 18–20 April 2012, in Honolulu, Hawai’i, and is co-sponsored by the School of Architecture, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawai’i.
Stepping outside of technocratic approaches, and the view of the city as a site of intractable problems, this symposium aims to highlight the multifaceted energies and imaginaries that animate contemporary interpretation of cities. Keynote speakers include Ravi Sundaram, Sarai Program, Center for the Study of Developing Societies, India.
Deadline to submit proposals is 15 January 2012. More information.

• Uppsala conference on Religious Actors as Drivers of Change

An International conference on ”Faith in Civil Society. Religious Actors as Drivers of Change” will be held at Uppsala University on 24–25 April 2012. It is organized by Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.
The conference will discuss how to understand diverse faith-inspired actors, who not always fit neatly within liberal notions of civil society. When are they promoters of social change, democratisation and development, and how do their adherents envision such changes? Researchers, actors in international development cooperation, activists, and others with interest in the issues to participate and make presentations are invited to attend the conference.
The conference is being planned by Mia Melin and Heidi Moksnes, coordinators of the project ”Outlook on Civil Society” at CSD. Abstracts should be submitted before 10 February 2012.
Full information to be given on the CSD web page from 15th December.

• Emerging Scholars Symposium on China/India Studies in New York

The India China Institute at The New School, New York organises an Emerging Scholars Symposium on China/India Studies on 26–27 April 2012. Abstract submissions are now invited for this symposium entitled “India China Conversations: Inaugural Interdisciplinary Symposium for Emerging Scholars.” It is an unique initiative designed to provide a platform for both advanced level graduate students in professional fields as well as current PhD scholars and those who received their PhD within the last five years, to present their ongoing research and to discuss recent advances and new trends in research on India and China.
The first day will be a public event where the selected participants will present their work and ICI fellows and other scholars committed to the study of India-China relations will be invited to serve as moderators and discussants. The second day will be a closed-door session aimed at providing a space for the establishment and strengthening of scholarly networks in which participants may discuss methodological and other relevant issues. More information.
This symposium is part of a series where a similar event will be held with emerging Indian scholars who are conducting research on China and emerging Chinese scholars who are conducting research on India.  A total of 10 scholars will be selected, two from India, two from China and six from the US, to present their papers at The New School, New York, on April 26, 2012. The six selected scholars from the US will be comprised of a mix of advanced level graduate students and young PhD scholars, both current as well as those who received their PhDs within the last five years.

• Call for papers for Helsinki conference on Asian Performance and Visual Arts

The Finnish Theatre Academy Helsinki (Teak), and the Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (Kuva) organise an international symposium on ”Shifting Dialogues: The Politics of Site, Locality & Context in Asian Performance and Visual Arts” to be held in Helsinki on 18-19 May, 2012. The event is part of a research project that focuses on Asian Performance and Fine Arts (read more about the project).
Some of the issues that the symposium will examine are: – the concepts of Site, Locality, Context; – Buying & Selling the Tradition; –Vanguard culture: Are there new avant-gardes or vanguards responding to new economic conditions? – What are the aesthetics corresponding to the new equations of economic and political power?, and more.
Deadline for submission of papers is 30 December 2011. Full information.

• Young South Asia Scholars Meet Workshop 2012 in Heidelberg

The third annual Young South Asia Scholars Meet (Y-SASM) Workshop will be held in Heidelberg, Germany, 14–16 June 2012. The theme for the 2012 Y-SASM Workshop, to be hosted by the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University, will be ”Beyond the Metropolis. Implications of Urbanization in South Asian Towns and Small Cities”. Deadline for handing in papers is set for 31 January 2012.
In response to the positive feedback to the workshops held in Berlin in the last two years, Y-SASM has been established as an annual workshop. The Y-SASM workshops have the declared aim of providing young scholars working on South Asia with a platform for presenting their own research and interacting with scholars from various disciplines. Thereby, it offers an opportunity to establish research networks across the German-speaking region and beyond.
The 2013 Y-SASM workshop is already planned to be held the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and the 2014 workshop at University of Göttingen.
Read the Call for Papers.
More information on the Y-SASN blog page

• International conference on Asian Studies 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka

The International Centre for Research and Development in Sri Lanka organises an international conference on Asian Studies to take place on 26 – 27 July 2012. The conference five principal themes are: – East Asian study; – Southeast Asian study; – South Asian study; – Central Asian study; – West Asian study. Additional each of these themes could be seen from the perspective of the following sub topics and in comparative perspective: – Language, literature and the arts; – Media and film; – Economics; – Politics, foreign policy and international relations; – Human rights; – Women, gender; – Philosophy, history, religion; – Migration and diasporas; – Cultural studies; – Health.
Scholars who would like to participate are encouraged to submit proposals for panels, workshops and individual papers. Deadline for submissions is 31 March 2012. More information on the conference website.

• Time to submit papers for the 11th International Conference on Early Modern Literatures in North India

The Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla in the state of Himachal Pradesh is organising the 11th International Conference on Early Modern Literatures in North India (ICEMLNI) to be held on 3 – 5 August 2012.
The conference will focus on the literliterary and devotional cultures that existed simultaneously in North India and will re-investigate distinctions and connections between vernacular and cosmopolitan languages, between the vernaculars themselves, and between the spheres of devotional and secular or ‘courtly’ literatures and practices. Papers exploring these topics are welcome, along with suggestions for panels. The conference will be organised in the format of a workshop for research in progress and all accepted papers will be circulated in advance in order to stimulate fruitful discussions. Deadline to submit papers is 16 January 2012. More information.

• Linköping conference on Discourse and Interaction
The second Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction (NorDIsCo) will be held at Linköping University, Sweden, 21–23 November 2012. It is jointly organised by the It is jointly organised by the Department of Culture and Communication (IKK), and the Child Studies department at Linköping University – Tema Barn.
PhD candidate Alia Amir (photo) from IKK is part of the organising committee. 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 about the 2012 NorDIsCo conference.

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures exhibition at Etnografiska Museet in Stockholm

The impressive ”Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul” exhibition, on tour over the world since 2008, will be on display at Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm between 12 November 2011 and 25 March 2012.  It is a collection of some of the most remarkable archaeological finds in all of Central Asia, pieces that are not only artistically splendid but also reveal a diverse and thriving ancient culture. The exhibition includes four separate collections. One is from the ancient city of Fullol and includes a Bronze Age set of gold bowls that hint of the native wealth of Afghanistan. Another contains artifacts from Aï Khanum, a Greek city in northern Afghanistan. A third features untouched treasures from what is thought to be a merchant’s storeroom in Begram, sealed up 2,000 years ago. And the fourth is the Bactrian gold, a collection of the precious items discovered in the graves of six nomads in Tillya Tepe.
Previously the exhibition has been on display at several important museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and most recently at the British Museum in London.
More information about the Hidden Treasures exhibition.
More information about the exhibition in Stockholm (only in Swedish).

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia

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!
‡ Division of Social Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Lund University
‡ Division of Energy and Climate Studies (ECS), Department of Energy Technology, Royal Institute of Technology
(KTH), Stockholm

See the full list of departments here:

• 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.

Best regards

  Lars Eklund