Newsletter 133 – 8 March 2012


• SASNET Brown Bag seminar on Young Sikhs in Sweden

Kristina Myrvold

On Thursday 15 March 2012, the second SASNET Brown Bag lunch seminar for the spring semester 2012 will be held in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds Konsthall. Assistant Professor Kristina Myrvold from the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies will present her India related research. Her presentation is entitled ”I’m a Punjabi-speaking Swedish Sikh: Identity Constructions among Young Sikhs in Sweden”. In this seminar Kristina Myrvold presents parts of her research findings within the Nordcorp  project “Sikh Identity Formation: Generational Transfer of Traditions in the Nordic Countries” that is carried out in cooperation with scholars in Denmark, Finland and Norway (more information). Venue: Konsthallen, Mårtenstorget 3, Lund.
More about previous and coming SASNET Brown Bag seminars.

•  Successful start for Spring 2012 SASNET Brown Bag seminar series 

On 16 February 2012, the first SASNET Brown Bag lunch seminar for the spring semester 2012 was successfully held. It was also the first seminar organised in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds Konsthall, and quite a large crowd of people, both academic and non-academic, turned up at the wonderful public art gallery (Lunds Konsthall) in central Lund, to listen to Professor Emeritus Neelambar Hatti from the Department of Economic History, Lund University. He lectured on the ongoing gendercide, as he calls it, and deteriorating sex ratio figures in India, with the provocative title ”Where have all the girls gone?”More information about Prof. Hatti’s lecture.

• SASNET farewell dinner for outgoing Nepalese Ambassador
 From left to right Lars Eklund, Gopal Karanth, Vijay Kant L Karna and Julia Velkova.

On Thursday 23 February 2012, SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund and his wife Bubu Munshi Eklund hosted a farewell dinner for Dr. Vijay Kant L. Karna, the outgoing Nepalese Ambassador to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, and his family. Dr. Karna has been Ambassador in Copenhagen for three years, but he now returns to Nepal where he will take up his professorial position at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu from mid-March 2012.

Bubu Eklund with Mrs. Karna and daughters

Besides the Ambassador and his family, SASNET’s Assistant Webmaster Julia Velkova, and Professor Gopal Karanth, ICCR Professor at Lund University during the academic year 2011/12, also participated in the farewell reception.During his tenure as Ambassador, Dr. Karna has been a devoted proponent for making the Nordic countries more engaged in the ongoing democratization process in Nepal, and he has had a frequent interaction with SASNET, participating in two Lund University seminars on the Nepalese development (in October 2008, and September 2009).

• SASNET visit to Malmö University departments with South Asia focus

On 8 February 2012, Lars Eklund and Julia Velkova from SASNET visited Malmö University for the second time in a short period, to again meet people involved in South Asia related activities. This time they visited the Faculty of Education and Society, and the Faculty of Odontology.
First they went to the Department of Science, Environment, Society at the Faculty of Education and Society (lärarutbildningen), located in a modern building, Orkanen, with a grand view over Malmö harbour.
Here they met Inge-Marie Svensson (photo), a Lecturer in charge of an optional 15 ECTS credits course, ”Möte med U-land” (Encounter a developing country), that has been offered for teachers training students at Malmö University since 1993. The course focuses on India and is open for all fifth semester students. The students, normally 18 each year but only 9 last year, spend three weeks in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where they do field studies according to individual choice. Due to curriculum reasons, the course planned for September 2012 may however be the last one.
More information on the course, and about the South Asia related research that has been carried out within the department.

Julia and Lars then took the train for their next destination, the Faculty of Odontology (Tandläkarhögskolan), located just a stone’s throw away from Station Triangeln in central Malmö.
Here they met Dr. Jayanthi Ramanathan Stjernswärd (photo), one of the Directors for the Centre for Oral Health Sciences. She informed about the Centre, that has had an international touch ever since it started in the 1940s. The Centre took an early interest in the dental health problems of the Third World, which made the Centre attractive to the World Health Organization. As a result, the Centre attained the status of a WHO Collaborating Centre for Education, Training & Research in Oral Health in 1987 – one out of 19 such centres worldwide.
Since 2006, the main task of the Collaborating Centre has been to compile and manage a database about oral health and the dental status in all the member countries of the United Nations. Known as the WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Project (acronym CAPP), this extensive database with lot of valuable material also on South Asia, is available on the Internet.
Dr. Jayanthi Stjernswärd also informed about the Centre’s ongoing educational collaboration with South Asia. Dental students have to produce a research paper at the end of their programme, and every year a number of students choose South Asia related research project works, that include a fieldwork stay in the region for a period of 2-3 weeks. Dr. Stjernswärd has assisted several students over the years to go to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and India.
More information about the Centre for Oral Health Sciences and the WHO Collaborating Centre.

• SASNET visit to the University of Sofia in Bulgaria

On Friday 10 February 2012, SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund, and assistant webmaster Julia Velkova were on an official visit to the University of Sofia in Bulgaria. Their goal was to explore ongoing research on South Asia in the university, as well as possibilities for future collaboration. They primarily visited the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures, which is part of the university’s Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology. It has a number of programmes at bachelors and masters level related to Indian studies, and also some research in the areas of Indian Philosophy and Literature. Since many years, the Centre hosts an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) professor, who is a Professor of Hindi from India on a rotating basis with a term of 3 years.
A meeting was organised by Associate Professor Milena Bratoeva, Head of Classical East Department, with a number of scholars, academic staff and PhD candidates working on South Asian projects in Sofia. Bubu Munshi Eklund from Lund also participated in the meeting.
Lars and Julia then visited the International Relations office at the University of Sofia, to discuss current collaboration projects between the University of Sofia and Swedish universities with the Head of International Relations, Mr. Rumen Grigorov, and the Erasmus/Socrates operative administrator, Mr.Tsvetan Bogdanov. Read the full report from University of Sofia.

• Sheba Saeed visited SASNET’s office in Lund
Teres Hjärpe and Sheba Saeed

On Tuesday 14 February 2012, Sheba Saeed, PhD candidate in History, Film and Television at the University of Birmingham, UK, visited SASNET’s office in Lund to meet deputy director Lars Eklund. Sheba, a solicitor by profession, is a guest researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, during the month of February 2012. Her PhD research project focuses on the begging phenomenon in Mumbai, India, using criminological theory. A topic quite similar to her previous MPhil thesis project on Beggars of Lahore, which resulted in a documentary film as part of an audio-visual dissertation. This film, “Beggars of Lahore” (more information about the film), has been screened at international conferences and film festivals, and Ms. Saeed has also made a successful Beggars of Lahore photo exhibition, first shown in 2009.
Sheba Saeed had been invited to visit Lund University by Teres Hjärpe, international co-ordinator at the School of Social Work, and she accompanied Sheba to SASNET. The School of Social Work is currently expanding its South Asia oriented activities and SASNET is actively promoting this development.
More information about Sheba Saeed and her projects on her personal web page.

• SASNET’s director Anna Lindberg lectured at JNU

On Thursday, 23 February 2012, SASNET’s director Anna Lindberg lectured on a seminar organised by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. The topic of her talk was ”Class, Caste, and Gender Relations: Female Workers in Kerala 1930 – 2010”. The seminar was organised by the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, part of the School of Social Sciences at JNU.
Anna Lindberg is currently on a month-long research tour to India, where besides JNU she also visits Kerala University in Thiruvananthapuram. More information to follow.

• More information about SASNET and its activities
See SASNET’s page,

Research Community News

• Doctoral dissertation on Forest and land use in Sri Lanka

Eskil Mattsson from the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, will defend his PhD thesis in Physical Geography entitled “Forest and land use mitigation and adaptation in Sri Lanka – aspects in the light of international climate change policies” on Friday 30 March 2012, at 10.00. The faculty opponent is Dr. Sandra Brown, Ecosystem Services Unit, Winrock International, Virginia, USA. Venue: Stora Hörsalen, Department of Earth Sciences, Guldhedsgatan 5 C, Gothenburg.
Eskil Mattsson’s research focuses primarily on the role of land-use change and forestry in a future climate regime with emphasis on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). The aim of the dissertation project has been to investigate monitoring aspects to deforestation and degradation in developing countries, with a focus on Sri Lanka. The findings presented in the thesis can contribute to a better understanding of potential options and approaches that Sri Lanka can use to realize its climate change mitigation and adaptation potential in the land use and forestry sector.
More information about Eskil Mattsson and his research.
Abstract and link to the full-text thesis.

• Successful Indo-Swedish collaboration project on TB detection instruments

In June 2009, Sweden and India decided to jointly support research in tuberculosis. The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, India, agreed to support top level research co-operation between Indian and Swedish scientists in the field of ”Biology, diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis”. The programme is one of the first bilateral co-operations, based on joint funding, between the two countries. Under this scheme, VINNOVA funds the Swedish research teams and DBT the Indian side. VINNOVA is committing around SEK 16 million to this program. Four Indo-Swedish projects, out of a total of 15 proposals, were selected by DBT and VINNOVA and receive funding for the period 2009–12.
Dr. Dag Ilver at the Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology in Gothenburg (IMEGO) – owned by the Research Institutes of Sweden AB – coordinates one of these projects entitled ”Doctors office diagnostic instrument for detection of M. tuberculosis under ”in the field” conditions adapted for use by unskilled personnel”. The main collaboration partner on the Indian side is Dr. Vijay. K. Chaudhary (photo) working at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Delhi. More information.
The project is running smoothly and well. A prototype has been created, and in 2013 the new instrument, specially designed to detect TB from a minimum sample of bacteria, will be tested at hospitals in Delhi and Mumbai. The Swedish journalists Catharina Bergsten and Tomas Eriksson visited Dr. Chaudhury and his colleagues at University of Delhi in January 2012, and published an article entitled ”Skapar den perfekta antikroppen” on Research Institutes of Sweden AB’s web site. Read the article (in Swedish).

• Swedish Research Links grants to eight South Asia related projects

The eighth round of the so-called Swedish Research Links (Asian–Swedish research partnership programme) – grants by Sida and the Swedish Research Council – was decided upon in mid-November 2011. The following eight India and Bangladesh related collaboration projects were given grants for the three-years period 2012–14.
– Professor Staffan Jansson and Dr. Syed Moniruzzaman, Division of Public Health Sciences, Karlstad University, receives support for a project entitled ”Injury risks and abuse of children in occupational settings in Bangladesh” in collaboration with Fazlur Rahman, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research in Dhaka.
– Dr. Ayesha de Costa (photo), Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institutet, receives support for a project entitled ”Reducing financial barriers to access: Providing evidence from a conditional cash transfer and a voucher based program for maternal mortality reduction in India” in collaboration with Dileep Mavalankar, Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar.
– Professor Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg (photo), also Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institutet, receives support for the project entitled ”Antibiotic pollutants in waters and resistance in rural India – Interventions to improve antibiotic resistance management (APRIAM 2)” in collaboration with Vishal Diwan, R.D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain.
– Professor Mannan Mridha (photo), Division of Medical Engineering, School of Technology and Health (STH), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), receives support for a project entitled ”To develop a model of patient safety system to improve the safety and quality of patient care at the Intensive Care Units at the hospitals in Bangladesh” in collaboration with Mohammad Saiful Islam, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka.

– Professor Birgitta Essén, Division of International Maternal Health, Uppsala University, receives support for a project entitled ”Management of a simplified procedure of medical abortion in India. Facility based RCT studies to improve womens access to safe abortion service” in collaboration with Suneeta Mittal, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi.
– Professor Rajeev Ahuja (photo), Division of Materials Theory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, receives support for a project entitled ”Hydrogen storage materials for energy applications” in collaboration with G P Das, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata.
– Professor Biplab Sanyal, also Division of Materials Theory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, receives support for a project entitled ”Theory of phonon excitations in substitutionally disordered alloys” in collaboration with Subhradip Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT), Guwahati.
– Professor Ewert Bengtsson (photo), Centre for Image Analysis, Uppsala University, receives support for a project entitled ”Medical image analyser for cervical cancer prescreening” in collaboration with Rajesh Kumar, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Thiruvananthapuram. More information about the Swedish Research Links grants 2012–14.

• Call for proposals for Swedish Research Links grants 2013-15

The Call for proposals for Swedish Research Links grants for the  period 2013–15 opens on Monday 12 March 2012. The Swedish Research Links Programme offers international collaborative research grants, aiming to foster research ties between researchers in Sweden and selected countries, in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Please note that  China and India are no longer included in Swedish Research Links, whereas several other countries in Asia have been re-introduced in the programme.
The long-term aim of the programme is to contribute to mutual scientific and socioeconomic development of the countries involved through funding for support to collaborative research projects of high scientific quality and mutual relevance. The programme is open to researchers in basic and applied research within all academic disciplines. It is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and administered by the Swedish Research Council. Applicants for International Collaborative Grant are individual researchers who serve as the project leaders and have the scientific responsibility for the project. The application must include at least two principal researchers: one affiliated to a university or research institution in Sweden and one affiliated to a university or research institution in a programme country.
Researchers must be citizens or have permanent residence in the qualifying countries.
The call for proposals will be open between March 12th and May 7th, 2012. Full information.

• Time to apply for Sida’s U-forsk grants

Grants to support Swedish development research are provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, through its Developing Country Research Council (u-landsforskningsrådet). These so-called uforsk grants belong to the most important ways of financing Swedish research projects related to developing countries, including South Asia. The aim is to establish and maintain a knowledge base of relevance to aid and development issues, plus capacity for developing country research in Sweden. Deadline for applications for 2013 is Tuesday 3 April 2012.
Researchers working at universities/colleges or other research institutions in Sweden may apply for grants. Swedish citizens working at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen may also apply.

The call is open to research applications in all disciplines, combining academic quality with high relevance for poverty reduction and equitable and sustainable global development. Individual researchers or teams of researchers working at universities or other research institutions in Sweden can apply for funding. Furthermore, Swedish researchers at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen are eligible to apply for funding.
During 2013 the total budget is SEK 114 m, out of which SEK 30 m will be available for new applications. Applications within the area of global health research are handled by Vetenskapsrådet.
Global and regional development issues must be relevant to the poorest countries and populations. It is seen as positive if the application includes institutions in developing countries included in Sida’s research cooperation.
Full information.

• Sida offers grants to assist practical use of research results in Indian and Indonesian collaboration projects

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, through its Selective Cooperation Unit  (Partner Driven Cooperation) now announces a call for a programme entitled ”Collaboration Grants – Use of Research Results”. This initiative is open only for co-operations in India and Indonesia.
Applications should apply to collaborative projects related to the use of research for 2012 – 2013, but please note that the program does not give support for research projects, but rather for assisting partners to cooperate in using research for policy formulation and in innovation.
Research and use of research results is fundamental for economic development and the successful application of research often results when several actors are involved. Sida’s initiative for Partner Driven Cooperation aims to support sustainable cooperation relationships. Grants are for maximum two years (2012-2013) and for a maximum of SEK 1.5 m per year.
Sida is reserving 20 million Swedish crowns (SEK) per year 2012-2013 for this call.
Applications are to be sent in electronically by latest  4th April 2012. More information.

• KTH foundation offers scholarships to Indian students

The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm has launched a new scholarship programme open for Indian students to apply for. A donation to KTH has made it possible to establish the KTH – India Scholarship Foundation, in order to annually appoint two scholars from India to be educated at the advanced level at KTH. The applicant must have at least four-year bachelor’s degree from a technical college or equivalent in their homeland.
KTH views the new scholarship to be especially important in view of the changed conditions that the introduction of tuition fees at Swedish universities from last year has meant for students from outside the EU.
– I am glad to see that the scholarships are aimed at Indian students since India is one of our priority areas where we are making great efforts to establish long term relationships in both research and education, says Eva Malmström Jonsson, Vice President at KTH.
The scholarships will be used to cover tuition fees, accommodation and living in Sweden for one academic year. The Foundation has just been formed and, hopefully, the first scholarships will be awarded for the fall semester.
KTH International Office is now working on developing a plan for how the scholarship will be marketed in India.
Read more.

• Large India-Denmark collaboration project starts in August 2012

A vast Danish-Indian project called ”India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow” aiming at linking the people of these two countries has received a substantial funding from mainly private donors. The project will be launched  in August 2012.
The project activities are in the fields of culture, education and research cooperation. One of the major activities will be the distribution of scholarships to engineering students within life science, as well as music students from Denmark and India to study in India and Denmark respectively. Indian PhD students whose research is in the field of chemistry, catalysis and engineering will be offered separate scholarship schemes for studying in Denmark. The total amount of student scholarships is more than 3 million USD in total.
Besides, the Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) at the University of Copenhagen, as well as the Universities of Aarhus and The Southern Denmark will organise conferences about modern Indian literature with participation of Indian and Danish writers.
A vast number of cultural events are also planned. Starting with an exhibition of contemporary Indian art at the Danish ARKEN Museum of Modern Art near Copenhagen (from 18 August 2012 to 13 January 2013), the project will also present modern Indian dance a tthe Danish Royal THeatre, along with organising a number of supporting cultural activities.
Full information.

• SIWI announces position for Executive Director
Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) welcomes applications for the position of Executive Director. The prospective candidate should provide vision and strategic leadership for SIWI, facilitate the expanded international recognition of SIWIs brand and lead a committed professional staff from a broad range of backgrounds and countries.
SIWI is a highly influential and distinguished international policy institute that seeks sustainable solutions to the world’s escalating water crisis. Besides he/she should be knowledgeable of water, environment and development policy issues, and have a good command of Swedish and English. Previous experience in senior management, and from working in an international context, is crucial. SIWI is a reputed institute that works with international organisations, financial institutions, the UN system, governments, private sector, research institutions, academia and civil society in Sweden and internationally. It also hosts and organises the yearly World Water Week events in Stockholm, the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development. Full information about the position

• Scholarly resource network on Maharashtra state

The Maharashtra Studies Group (MSG) is a resource network of and for scholars interested in the west–central Indian state of Maharashtra and/or the Marathi language. The group exists since more than 40 years and membership is open for everyone interested in the region from an academic perspective. Members are also welcome to attend MSG meetings and the annual conference of the Association of Asian Studies. Anyone can become a member by sending an email to with name, department or major field(s) of research, current institutional affiliation (or ”independent researcher”), and brief description of interests (100 words or fewer). More information. 

• Articles invited on Art as a Mode of Resistance to Colonialism in India

is a bimonthly theme based journal for amateur academic research on the web. It welcomes contributions for its first 2012 issue that will focus on the topic of ”Art as a mode of resistance to colonialism in India”. The contributions should address the issues related to the events of the end of the 1920s in India when artists came to play a central role in India’s anti–colonial struggle and their works became a reflection of debates and political concerns of the times. Examples of this engagement of art with the politics of decolonisation/anti-colonialism are the works of Rabindranath Tagore, Amrita Shergill, Jamini Roy whose works developed an artistic vocabulary and freedom to respond to colonialism in their own ways.
Contributions should be submitted before 25 March, and should be annotated papers and/or semi-academic articles and commentaries of not more than 2 500 words. Full information.

• Positions at Harvard in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Studies

The Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, announces a position for a full Professor or Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Studies. The candidates may have specialization in any area of South Asian studies, including but not limited to, anthropology, cultural studies, history, political science, and South Asian languages and literatures. They should have completed a Ph.D. and know at least one modern South Asian language. Applications should preferably be received by 23 March 2012, but will be considered until the position is filled. Read more.

• PhD position on Migration Studies available at North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong

The Department of Anthropology, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong, Meghalaya, India, invites applications for the post of one doctoral fellowship in the field of ”Nepalese migrants in the coal-mines of India’s Northeast: Risk, Remittances and Return to Nepal”. The project’s main objective is to examine the relationship between migration and democracy-building in the context of post-conflict Nepal. The selected candidate will be a member of an international research team from Nepal, India and Denmark, involving senior researchers and other PhD scholars from Kathmandu University, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University and NEHU, and will be expected to take part in all project-related activities as and when needed. Deadline to submit applications was 7 March 2012. The shortlisted candidates will appear for a written examination followed by interview on March 14, 2012. Read the full announcement.

Educational News

• Full semester programmes for Nordic students at the University of Hyderabad
The Nordic Centre in India (NCI) organises full semester programmes for Nordic students at the University of Hyderabad. The Nordic Centre has made an arrangement with the University of Hyderabad and its Study India Program (SIP) to allow 15 Nordic students to be admitted there, and to take courses on various social science and humanities subjects. The aim of the agreement is to allow Nordic students to study India in India, to give them both a sound academic knowledge of India as well as the experience you only gain by living there. In most cases, the UoH degree should count towards you final degree at your home university. Please note that applicants must come from the Nordic universities that are members of the NCI consortium. The Hyderabad semester last from third week of July to first week of December and from first week of January to first week of May every year. Deadlines for sending in your application: – Spring Semester: November 9th: – Fall Semester: March 15th.More information about the Hyderabad semester programme.
• Time to apply for the NCI summer course on Contemporary India at Hyderabad

For the tenth year, the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) consortium offers a 7.5 ECTS summer course on  ‘Contemporary India’ at University of Hyderabad during the period 1–28 July 2012. The course is tailor-made for 50 Nordic students and introduces issues of politics, culture and economy. It consists of the following five parts:

– Introductory course
– The diversity of India
– The political system and questions of identity
– Globalisation and the economy focusing on the city of Hyderabad
– Development, environment and human rights, and
– Indian literature and cinema.

It is open to graduate and post-graduate students from the Nordic member universities, and they are given board and lodging in an excellent guest house. Applications should be delivered before 31 March 2012. Each member university nominate their candidates and reserves on this course through their international offices, which means deadline for individual applications may be earlier – at Lund University the deadline is set to Thursday 15 March 2012.
More information about the Hyderabad summer course.

• Summer course on environmental issues in Bangalore, India

For the sixth year, the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) consortium offers a 7.5 ECTS summer course on environmental issues in India, in Bangalore during the period 24 June – 21 July 2012. The course titled “Approaching the Environment in India. New theories and methods in the study of the nature-society interface”, is being organised in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore. It is a four-weeks multi-disciplinary course for 25 graduate and post-graduate students from the Nordic countries, that seeks to introduce students to recent theories and methods in the study of contemporary environmental issues in India. Applications should be delivered before 31 March 2012. Each member university nominate their candidates and reserves on this course through their international offices, which means deadline for individual applications may be earlier – at Lund University the deadline is set to Thursday 15 March 2012.
More information about the Bangalore summer course.

• NCI summer course on Demography, Gender and Reproductive Health

For the sixth year, the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) consortium offers a 7.5 ECTS summer course on demography and gender in India, in collaboration with the International Institute for Population Science (IIPS) in Mumbai during the period 8 July – 4 August 2012. The course is entitled “Demography, Gender and Reproductive Health. 
An Introduction to Population Studies in India”. The course is a multi-disciplinary course that is open for 25 under-graduate and graduate students from the Nordic member universities. Deadline for applications is 31 March 2012. Each member university nominate their candidates and reserves on this course through their international offices, which means deadline for individual applications may be earlier – at Lund University the deadline is set to Thursday 15 March 2012.
More information about the Mumbai summer course.

• Full semester Hindi Study Programme in Varanasi, India

From the fall semester 2011, NCI runs a full semester Hindi Study Programme in Varanasi, India. The programme is organised in collaboration with the Gandhian Institute of Studies. The first year, the programme was held from 29th August till 2nd December 2011. It had participants from Aarhus University, Denmark; University of Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm University, Sweden. The programme is tailor-made for the Advanced Hindi students from the Nordic countries. The course has been developed by NCI Director Mirja Juntunen, who is also the Academic Coordinator of the course and Senior Lecturer in Hindi at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University. The course will again be given in the Fall 2012, and is open for applicants from the NCI Nordic member universities. More information.

• Time to apply for 2012 Tamil Summer School in Puducherry

The Puducherry (Pondicherry) Institute of Linguistics and Culture holds its regular Tamil Summer School from 30 July – 8 September 2012. The summer school offers an intensive education in spoken Tamil language at basic and intermediate levels, and it combines classroom lessons with field visits so that the participants can practice at most their language skills in the course of studies. Registration is open from 1 March – 30 April 2012.
The Tamil Summer School was initiated in 1998 by the Department of Social Sciences, French Institute, Puducherry to offer training to language researchers in Humanities and Social sciences. PILC has been organising this course since 2004. Read an article from The Hindu about the Tamil Summer School 2008, (with a photo by T. Singaravelou).
The medium of teaching is English as well as Tamil. The TSS focuses on Spoken Tamil rather than on the classical and written forms being taught in European Universities. The level of spoken Tamil course is INTERMEDIATE.
More information (as pdf-file).

• New MA programme in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan at SOAS

From September 2012, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London introduces a new MA programme on the Study of Contemporary Pakistan. The masters program aims at creating an understanding of contemporary Pakistan in all of its complexities: culture, nation, politics, religion, law and economics. The programme is interdisciplinary and structured around analysis of the diversity and richness of Pakistan. Students who enrol in the program will be members of the Centre for the Study of Pakistan that runs a fortnightly seminar series including roundtables and panel discussions with leading academics, policy makers and NGO representatives. The Centre also offers internship opportunities to students registered on the MA Programme. Admissions are now open. Read more about this programme.

• Summer course at Harvard on Social Development in Pakistan

Harvard University organises a 4 credits summer course on ”Social Development in Pakistan”. The course will take place on campus between 25 June and 10 August 2012 with lectures and seminars twice a week. The course is given on campus at Harvard University, with seminars twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the mornings from 8.30 to 11.30 A.M. The course aims at enabling the participants to re-frame and re-think acrimonious rhetoric in a bilocational setting, which is created by connecting the main campus classroom with an Islamabad studio via a video conference.
Pakistani academics, advocates, and change-makers will share their strategies for countering inequality and injustice in an engaging series of real-time video conferences. Through conversations with these guest experts, participants will gain grounded insights on culturally attuned and sustainable practices of poverty alleviation and, more broadly, on a dynamic human-centered development story. Three-hour modules will address social mobilization, capacity building, and human rights claims, focusing on such topics as education, health care, rural and urban development, microfinance and rehabilitation, socio-political and religious expression, and the arts as social critique. Read more about the course.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Uppsala symposium on Emergent cities and Conflicting claims

The Swedish Development Research Network on Nature, Poverty and Power (DevNet), and the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University, organise a symposium entitled ”Emergent cities. Conflicting claims and the politics of informality” on 9th March 2012, 10.30 – 16.30. The symposium will address the various processes through which people are creating space in the city; sometimes manifesting an emergent insurgence that challenges existing hierarchies and whereby people claim new forms for urban and national membership. This symposium is also co-organised by the Nordic Africa Institute, the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, and it will be preceeded by a series of public lectures given on 7 March and focuses primarily on African urban development.
Keynote lecturers include Professor Ananya Roy from the Department of City and Regional Planning Education, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Prof. Roy will speak about ”Making Postcolonial Futures: The ‘Slum-Free’ Cities of the Asian Century”. Prof. Roy is the author of the book “City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty”, and an eminent researcher and teacher of urban studies for which she has received numerous awards.
Venue: Geijersalen, Engelska Parken (House 6-1023), Thunbergsvägen 3P, Uppsala. Read more.

• Aarhus lecture on Popular Politics in Contemporary India

On Friday 9 March 2012, the Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA) in Denmark organises a seminar on ”Popular Politics and Interest Articulation in Contemporary India” with Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Research Fellow at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo. In this lecture Kenneth Bo Nielsen locates the current configuration of Indian popular politics in the context of the evolution of India’s democratic setup. Popular politics in contemporary India gravitates around the articulation and aggregation of interests from a diversity of groups, communities and populations. Interests are articulated both through and in opposition to the state, and involves both democratic and non-democratic means. Drawing on this own research on Muslim mobilisation in the state of West Bengal, and on the widespread opposition to forced land acquisition in the same state, Nielsen explores the interplay between contemporary forms of popular mobilisation, and the larger political and democratic structures within which they are embedded.
The seminar will also include screening of Dayabati Roy’s and Partha Banerjee’s film ”Unnayaner Name” (In the Name of Development). Dayabati Roy has earlier produced the film ”100 days” that was screened duringSASNET’s Third Conference on South Asian Studies 2011 in Falsterbo.
Venue: University of Aarhus, Bulding 1483, Room 348.

• Oslo seminar on Nuclear and Conventional Postures in South Asia

The Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) organises a seminar on ”Nuclear and conventional postures in South Asia” on Friday 9 March 2012, 12.00–13.30. Dr Vipin Narang (photo) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, will examine the evolving postures and escalation dynamics in South Asia. The seminar is chaired by Professor Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema from the Pakistan National Defence University.
Dr Narang, Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT, conducts research on evolving postures and escalation dynamics in South Asia. His presentation will examine the region’s multilevel deterrence problem. He will outline India and Pakistan’s evolving nuclear postures and look at the interaction between sub-conventional threats and strategies, such as the Cold Start doctrine. Venue: Håndverkeren Konferansesenter, Rosenkrantzgate 7 (entrance from Kristian IV gate), Oslo. Preregistration should be done to​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.
More information.

• CISCA seminar on Kinship Classification among Adivasis in Orissa

On Tuesday 13 March 2012, the Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA) organises a seminar on ”Kinship Classification in Patterns of Public Order” with Professor Georg Pfeffer from the Department of Ethnology at Freie Universität Berlin. Comparative anthropological studies of kinship and marriage reveal the artificial character of such concepts. What most people conceive to be a ‘natural’ order of kinship differs in multiple ways in different socio-cultural contexts, since the domain of kinship and marriage is applied to classify societal wholes. The presentation will illustrate this classificatory quality by examples taken from (1.) the Book of Genesis, since this model is also applied (among others) in many contemporary Muslim societes, and (2.) from the Adivasi community of the Gadaba, about 100 000 people in District of Koraput in Orissa state of India.
Venue: IKS, Aarhus University, Bulding 1461, Room 316. More information

• Uppsala seminar on the making of Santiniketan

The Forum for South Asian Studies for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Uppsala University organises a public seminar on Monday 19 March 2012, 13.15–15.00, with Associate Professor Shouvik Mukherjee from University of Calcutta in Kolkata, India. Dr. Mukherjee will lecture on ”The Making of a Small University Town Santiniketan: Interface between Tradition and Modernity”. Venue: Hall 8, University Main Building (universitetshuset), Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala
Abstract: Santiniketan is situated in the south-central part of Bengal, a state in the eastern corner in India. This locality became the centre of a pedagogical experiment in the early 20th century by Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore. From 1925 onwards it became an ‘university’ based on the traditions of India with the goal of showcasing the ‘quintessence’ of the ‘East’ to the ‘West’. In a way, it was a place where ‘minds could meet without fear’ – a nest for the microcosm of the world.
Santiniketan is situated on a laterite area of India, with its peculiar landscape. It has denudational features typical to laterite and brought about by erosion and leaching. As Rabindranath developed the ‘university’, carried out various pedagogical experiments and academic exchanges, he was also involved in the planning of a ‘university town’. The seminar will look into two particular aspects related to the making of Santiniketan.
Firstly, it will look at the ways various minds in Santiniketan grappled with denudational features (Khoai in local language) and planned the town. The approach selected for denudation, i.e. desertification of soil resulting from unchecked erosion, resulted in the construction of a bund and the creation of a waterbody known as Lalbandh.
Secondly, the seminar will discuss the planning of University itself. For this purpose, two well-known minds of the time, Rabindranath and Patrick Geddes, a noted sociologist and town planner, worked together. With the help of archival material and correspondence between leaders of the project, it is now possible to reconstruct this and other cooperations.
The challenge of urbanization has become a key issue in public life in South Asia in the last half of twentieth century with wide ramifications, and it is important to view this issue from a historical perspective as well. Recent debates about how urbanization and real estate development threaten some of the unique features of Santiniketan is a case at hand. The question of the role played by ‘Tradition’ and ‘Modernity’ have been raised, but public debates regrettably tend to be devoid of historical awareness. The seminar aims at situating the debate about urbanization on both historical and geographical terms and explore how tradition and modernity have jointly played significant roles.

• Stockholm seminar on living in multiple realities in India and Japan

Professor Emeritus Anders Törnvall lectures ar Stockholm University on Wednesday 21 March 2012, 15.00–17.00. He will speak about ”Gudar, Förfäder och Heliga Män i Indien och Japan – om konsten att i dag leva i flera verkligheter” (Gods, Ancestors and Holy men in India and Japan – on the art of living in multiple realities today). The seminar is one of the regular Wednesday lectures arranged by the Dept. of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University. Venue for the lecture: Sal B, Kräftriket 4 A (earlier Roslagsvägen 101), Stockholm.

Anders Törnvall retired from the School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalen University in 2006, where he was Professor of Intercultural Communication. Besides, he was also connected with the Dept. of Management and Economics at Linköping University. His research focused on Asia, mostly Japan and China. At Mälardalen University he was in charge of several courses on Asia and Asia related issues in the last years, and he was also involved with SWETECH, Swedish Technology in Foreign Countries, a supplementary postgraduate programme for MSc students interested in international marketing as well as for engineers actively working in Swedish International companies.

• Jagat Weerasinghe lectures in Oslo on Srilankan Archaeology

Professor Jagath Weerasinghe, Director for the Post-Graduate Institute of Archeology  at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, holds a public guest lecture in Oslo on Thursday 22 March 2012, at 14.15. Venue: Museum of Cultural History, Fredriksgate 2, Oslo. Professor Weerasinghe will talk about ”Archaeology and Heritage in Sri Lanka”, briefly tracing the history of colonial interests in Sri Lanka’s past that simultaneously developed along two different but complementary paths: studying and recording the ‘civilized’ and the ‘non-civilized’ ancients. In other words retrieving and recording the history of the kings and the pre-history of the Vaddas were the two main colonial interests that gave rise to the discipline of archaeology and to the current notions of heritage in Sri Lanka. Interests in heritage are inevitably and inseparably associated with archaeology, and as such implicated in the rhetoric of nationalism. The power of heritage in contemporary Sri Lankan society is immense, and my presentation will end with illustrating the problems encountered in managing living sacred sites that are also important archaeological sites in Sri Lanka.
In terms of profession, Professor Weerasinghe is a double capacity. On the one hand he is an academic expert on archeological mural paintings, on the other hand he is one of the most credited contemporary artists in Sri Lanka and co-founder of the Colombo Art Biennale. He is in Oslo to take part in the opening of the exhibition ”Don’t measure me”, an exhibition of Srilankan contemporary art at the Museum of Cultural History. The exhibition will open on 22 March at 17.00, just after his lecture.
More information about Jagat Weereasinghe and his art.

• Constitutional Roundtable on Protection of Minority Rights in Nepal’s Federal System

SUPPORT Nepal, a Nepalese non-governmental organisation is organizing a Constitutional Round-table on the ”Protection of Minority Rights in Nepal’s Federal System” in Kathmandu, on 25-26 March, 2012. The objective of the gathering is to share experiences and successful approaches of minority rights protection in federalism. Expected participants are policy makers, leaders, researchers and practitioners working in the field of protecting and promoting minority rights in federal countries. The round table focus will be on three major elements: – constitutional provisions for protecting minority groups; – secondary legislation; – laws and policies of protecting minority groups; – appropriate approaches to ‘benefiting all’ in federal systems with a focus on dispersed and smaller groups. Some of the topics for paper proposals can be – Mechanisms for participation of minority communities in a federal country and issues around the practical implementation of these mechanisms; – Balancing the interests of ”new” and ”old” minorities and majorities in particular at various levels of state (provinces, local and autonomous areas); – Distribution of powers between federal, provincial, local levels and autonomous areas in respect to minorities; – Affirmative action measures to address the situation of economic, social, cultural and political marginalization of minorities, taking into account the inequality within minorities; – Strategies for winning support from authorities and dominant communities at all state levels for participation and minority rights measures. Deadline for papers submission is 16 March 2012 and happens via email to
More information.

• Mirja Juntunen lectures on Cultural Belonging

During the spring semester 2012, the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, organizes a lectures series on Mondays. The theme is ”Space as a theoretical starting point, and lectures focus on different regions of Asia”. On Monday 26 March 2012, 15–17, Dr. Mirja Juntunen, Division of South and Central Asian Studies, Department of Oriental Languages, will lecture on ”Strategies of Cultural Belonging: Creating a Hegemonic Space from ‘In-Between’“. Venue: Main hall, Dept. of Oriental Languages, Kräftriket 4 A, Stockholm.

• Oslo seminars on the development of the Hindi and Urdu languages

Dr. Barbara Lotz, Institute of Cultural Studies of East and South Asia Würzburg University, Germany, holds public three guest lectures on the development of the Hindi and Urdu languages, at University of Oslo 27–29 March 2012. The seminars are organised by the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages.
Tuesday 27 March, 12.15–14.00, ”Hinduī, Urdū and ‘Hindoostanee’: Invented by the British? 1800–1854”. Venue: PAM seminar room 10.
Wednesday 28 March, 12.15–14.00, ”Politics and Strategies: Hindi for Hindus, Urdu for Muslims 1860-1900”. Venue: PAM seminar room 454.
Thursday 29 March, 12.15–14.00, ”On the Way to Partition: Hindi and Urdu in the ‘National’ Discourse 1900-1947”. Venue: PAM seminar room 14.
More information.

• Bergen conference on inclusive growth and good governance in Bangladesh

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen, Norway, organises a conference focusing on Inclusive growth and good governance in Bangladesh on Thursday 19 April 2012, 09.15–16.30. The conference, entitled ”Bangladesh conference: New Context and New Challenges”, aims at highligting the fight against poverty, a fight that should  be won. The fight against poverty howevere depends on knowledge and political will. The morning session focuses on “Corruption, Governance and Development”, and the afternoon session on “Development of Productive Capacity and Governance”.
The conference is part of a joint three-year research programme on inclusive growth and good governance between CMI and  the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in Bangladesh, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). More information about the research programme.
CMI has more than 50 years’ experience in research, consultancy and capacity building in Bangladesh. The overall objective of the programme is institutional research co-operation on issues relevant to the poor in Bangladesh, support policy-relevant research and to build capacity that may contribute to improved governance and inclusive growth in Bangladesh. CPD and CMI will also collaborate with the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). Senior Researcher Arne Wiig is the contact person at CMI while Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem is the contact person at CPD. Invited speakers to the conference include Professor Rounaq Jahan (CPD, Colombia University); Professor David Lewis (London School of Economics); Professor Arild Engelsen Ruud (University of Oslo); Dr. Willem van der Geest (Senior Advisor and former Chief Economist of ITC). Venue: Bergen Resource centre for International Development. More information about the conference.

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Sylhet conference on Construction Engineering for Sustainable Development

The 2nd International Conference on Environmental Technology and Construction Engineering for Sustainable Development (ICETCESD 2012) will be held in Sylhet, Bangladesh, 10–12 March 2012. The conference is organized by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST). It has been preceded by a successful first conference on the same issue (ICETCESD 2011) that was held in March 2011. More than 100 papers were presented and more than 120 paper were published in the conference proceedings of which more than 50 papers were authorized by the scientists, engineers and specialists coming not only from Bangladesh, but also from USA, Canada, UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, India, Nepal, and Afghanistan (see the proceedings from ICETCESD 2011). More information.

• Annual meeting of the American Association for Asian Studies in Toronto

The 2012 AAS (American Association for Asian Studies) Annual Meeting will be held 15–18 March 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 1941, AAS is a scholarly, non-political, non-profit professional association open to all persons interested in Asia. It seeks through publications, meetings, and seminars to facilitate contact and an exchange of information among scholars to increase their understanding of East, South, and Southeast Asia. It counts among its members scholars, business people, diplomats, journalists, and interested lay persons. Full information.

• Varanasi conference on the Ganga Basin: Physical and Cultural Issues

A National Indian Seminar on ”The Ganga Basin: Physical and Cultural Issues” will be held in Varanasi 16–17 March 2012. The conference is organised by The Geographical Society of India, based in Kolkata, and the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith University in Varanasi. The Ganga runs its course of over 2525 km from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal. The Ganga is not an ordinary river. It is a life-line, a symbol of purity and virtue of millions of people of India. Ganga river basin is the largest among river basins in India. Already half a billion people live within the river basin, at an average density of over 500 persons per sq. km and this population is projected to increase to over one billion people by the year 2030. The present day population in the Ganga basin are being faced with the reduction of flow of water, pollution, changing course of river, bank erosion, floods etc. The concomitant effect of them on physical and cultural issues of the region is becoming serious day by day. The theme of the seminar  is expected to stimulate the discussion on them and suggest remedial measures. More information about the conference.

• 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. It will focus on 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. 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.

• Oxford Symposium on Indian Religions

The 37th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions will be held at Merton College, the University of Oxford, UK, on 23–25 March 2012. The Spalding Symposium is an annual conference bringing together scholars from many disciplines who are working in the general areas of Indic Studies. This year the organisers encourage papers relating to ecology and related matters, such as animals; however, they will also consider papers on other themes. The symposia are funded by the Spalding Trust. It is expected that a selection of papers from the Symposium will be published in our peer-reviewed journal, Religions of South Asia (RoSA). More information about the Symposium.

• Aligarh conference on Population Dynamics and Sustainable Resource Development

An International Conference on ”Population Dynamics and Sustainable Resource Development” will be held in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, 25–27 March 2012. It is being organized by Dept. of Geography at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and aims to form a platform to discuss and debate about population dynamism and sustainable resource development. Sub-themes include – Population Dynamics. Fertility, mortality, migration; – Modern Innovation in agriculture and Changing Land Use Pattern; – Human Resources, Health and Hygiene; and – Remote Sensing and GIS Application in Resource Development, Management and Planning. Abstracts should be submitted before 28 February.
Моre information about the Aligarh conference.

• Syracuse conference on Health, Nutrition, and Agriculture in South Asia

The South Asia Center at Syracuse University (SU) has issued a call for papers for its annual SU-Cornell South Asia Consortium Conference 2012. The conference will be held at Syracuse 29–30 March 2012 and the theme of the conference is ”Health, Nutrition, and Agriculture in South Asia: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions”.
The purpose of this conference is to create an open, creative environment for academic researchers andapplied practitioners (in the social and biological sciences) working on topics related to health, food studies and agriculture in South Asia to share insights and experiences across disciplines to stimulate new collaborative ideas for research and practice. The conference incorporates traditional elements (didactic sharing) with innovative experiences involving South Asian food and creative networking strategies to stimulate new thinking. Full 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. More information.

• Shillong conference on Border Haats along Indo-Bangladeshi border

The North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong, Meghalaya, India, invites to a two days national seminar on ”Border Haats and Economic Development Of Meghalaya: Emerging Scenarios & Assessment of Risks & Benefits”, 29 – 30 March 2012. It focuses on the Border Haats (Bazars) that India and Bangladesh have decided to set up along their border in Meghalaya, Assam and Tripura to boost local trade and business. The aim of this seminar is intended as an analytical exercise and contribution towards the ongoing debates and search for new ways of sustaining the process of opening and continuation of Border Haats in the interest of the common man who has been long denied his say in the local and regional economy and various policies being followed by various actors, both State and non State actors.
If you are interested to present a paper in this conference, abstracts should be submitted before 7 March 2012, by sending e-mail to the convenor, Dr Biswajit Mohapatra, Dept. Of Political Science at NEHU. Papers presented at the National Seminar will be published as book chapters in an edited book. More information.

• Second South Asian Governmentalities Workshop in London

The second South Asian Governmentalities Workshop will be held at the British Academy in London on Friday 30 March 2012. This is part of a series of workshops organised through the BASAS South Asian Governmentalities Research Group. Attendance is free but limited to those who pre-register. The concept of governmentality has exerted an ever growing influence in South Asian studies, for scholars working on both colonial and post-colonial contexts. It has inspired South Asian work on “deep democracy” and urban governmentality (Appadurai, 2002), the politics of the governed (Chatterjee, 2004, 2011), the Indian public sphere and economy (Kalpagam, 2000, 2002), agrarian capital (Gidwani, 2008), cinema and the end of empire (Jaikumar, 2006), knowledge transfer and urban politics (McFarlane, 2011), colonial urbanism (Legg, 2007), health and hygiene (Heath, 2010), aesthetics and slum politics (Ghertner, 2010), gender and imperial social formations (Sinha, 2006), the colonial economy (Birla, 2009, Goswami, 2004), and race and violence (Kolsky, 2010). Such works have raised governmentality to the status of near-orthodoxy for much South Asian research. The workshop has been generously funded by the British Association of South Asian Studies and the British Academy. More information about the South Asian Governmentalities Workshops.

• Commonwealth anthropologists 2012 conference in Delhi

The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) will hold its 2012 conference in New Delhi on 3-6 April 2012. The theme for the conference will be ”Arts and aesthetics in a globalising world”. Every five years or so, ASA tries to hold its annual conference outside the UK, in a Commonwealth country. The aim is to widen the possiblities for participation by Commonwealth colleagues, and so the 2012 conference will be hosted for the first time in India – at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Art and aesthetics will be explored 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.
Among interesting panels at the ASA 2012 conference, one will be convened by Tereza Kuldova, PhD Fellow at the Department of Ethnography, Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, Norway. The panel is entitled ”Exploring the Aesthetics and Meanings of Contemporary Indian Fashion: From Craft to Catwalk”. More information.
Associate Professor Paolo Favero (photo) from the Lisbon University Institute, but previously at the Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, co-organises another panel on the role of contemporary digital practices in offering new forms of representation of/in India. The panel is named ”Screening India through digital image-making”. More information about this panel. Eswarappa Kasi from the National Institute of Rural Development in Hyderabad, India, and Smita Yadav, University of Sussex, UK, co-convene a panel entitled ”Narratives of coping with marginalization: impact of state policies on natural resources and tribal lives”. More information.

• Yale University Modern South Asia Workshop

Yale University Modern South Asia Workshop 201 will be held 7–8 April 2012 at New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Abstracts are now invited for this two-day workshop that brings together the ongoing work of advanced graduate students and recent PhDs working on topics of current interest in modern South Asian Studies. Submissions of paper proposals from all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences are invited, particularly those that will foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and exchange of ideas from across the diverse regions of South Asia. Past papers have tackled issues ranging from film and ethnomusicology to state formation and elections and have presented new theoretical and methodological alternatives in the study of South Asia. The workshop is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Council at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. More information.

• Hamedan conference on Religion in the Mirror of Art

A group of academic, governmental and cultural organisations from Iran and Scotland organise an International Conference on Religion and Art to take place 10 to 11 April 2012 at the Islamic Azad University in Hamedan, Iran. The conference will explore the theoretical and philosophical estheticism of religion (Islam and Christianty), and various aspects of interaction between religion and art. Special focus will be paid on the role of religious art, as well as the role of religion in global equations. Deadline to submit papers is 6 March 2012, while registration deadline is 25 March 2012. Among the organisers are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, Center for Dialogue among religions and civilizations, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Islamic school of Art, and Saint Andrews University in Scotland. Full information.

• Future of South Asia theme for the BASAS Conference 2012

The British Association for South Asian Studies, BASAS, invites for its Annual Conference 2011 to be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), in London between 12 and 14 April 2012. The theme for the conference will be the future of South Asia.
The conference aims to lay bare the diverse and complex ways in which future trends and developments in the South Asia region and the way in which we understand and encourage interdisciplinary conversations about the region.
The conference organizers are Dr. Lawrence Saez, and the Centre of South Asian Studies at SOAS.
Proposals for panels and papers are welcome and can address some of the following issues: community, class, caste, ethnicity, gender, nation, governance, law, geography, development, culture, environment, history, language, art, linguistics, and representation.
Deadline for submission of papers abstracts is 31 January 2012. More information about the BASAS 2012 conference.

• 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.

• 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. More information.

• Kansas University conference on Afghanistan 2014 and Impacts on Global Security Identities

The Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies at Kansas University (KU) in Lawrence, USA, organises a conference entitled ”Afghanistan 2014 and Impacts on Global Security Identities” on Wednesday 25 April 2012. 20-minute papers are invited from experts in all world areas. Abstracts should be submitted by March 15, 2012, to Bart Redford at
With the reduction of the United States and international military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 the global security environment will change. The United States and its partners consider that Afghanistan will have adequate means of security, albeit with long-term assistance. However, the specific security perspectives and concerns of other regional and global actors have not been as well articulated. Who are the key regional and global players? What do neighboring states think are critical concerns in the post-Afghan-war environment? How do other, more distant countries and global actors view anticipated changes in the global security environment? Is there a helpful, reinforcing narrative that underscores a scenario of stability? What are the serious possible impediments to regional and global security?
Keynote speakers include Dr. Graeme Herd (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), Dr. Roger Kangas (Dean, Near East and South Asia Center), and Dr. Marlene Laruelle (Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), George Washington University). More information.

• 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.

• 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. More information.

• 4th annual Educators for Teaching India Conference at Harvard

The 4th annual Educators for Teaching India Conference will be held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on 27 April 2012. The theme for the 2012. conference, hosted by The South Asia Initiative at Harvard University, will be “Holy India: Religion in the Modern Subcontinent”. The conference will explore why India is so often defined by its spirituality and re-examine the stereotypes of a “sacred” India. What function does religion actually play in India and its individual faiths?
Keynote speaker Diana Eck, professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard Divinity School, will address these issues, and participants will examine them through compelling workshop topics that consider pedagogy and other implications for teaching India in the middle and high school classroom. The day will close with a panel discussion of the role of religion in 21st century India and an outdoor reception. Venue: South Asia Initiative, Center for Global and International Studies (CGIS), 1730 Cambridge Street. More information.

• Kolkata conference on Tagore’s contribution to a Multi-Cultural Society

The International Forum for Studies in Society and Religion (IFFSR) organizes its Third International Conference on ”Universalistic Religion & Multi-Cultural Society: Tagore’s Contribution (A Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on completion of his 150th Birth Anniversary)” at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, 6–8 July 2012. Abstracts are now invited.
IFSSR aims at bringing together scholars from various parts of the world to participate in this multicultural phenomenon with its universal approach. The conference convenors are Professor Piyali Palit and Professor Asoke Bhattacharya. Last date for abstract submission has been extended till 31st March, 2012 for getting a large number of experts from Europe. More information.

• Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference in Tbilisi

The Central Eurasian Studies Society’s (CESS) Third Regional Conference will be held 20–21 July 2012 at Tbilisi State University in Georgia, hosted by the Center for Social Science. CESS is a private, non-political, non-profit, North America-based organization of scholars who are interested in the study of Central Eurasia, and its history, languages, cultures, and modern states and societies. Its purpose is to promote high standards of research and teaching, and to foster communication among scholars through meetings and publications.
Panels and paper proposals relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship on Central Eurasia are welcome. The geographic domain of Central Eurasia extends from the Black Sea and Iranian Plateau to Mongolia and Siberia, including Afghanistan, Tibet, and Central Asia. Practitioners and scholars in all humanities and social science disciplines with an interest in Central Eurasia are encouraged to participate. Deadline for submitting panel/paper proposals is 1 April 2012. Full details about the Tbilisi conference.

• Fourth annual Indo-Global Education Summit

The Indus Foundation, a non-profit making educational organization dedicated to the promotion of higher education in India, organises the fourth annual Indo-Global Education Summit in Hyderabad, India, 7–11 September 2011. Indo-Global Education Summit 2012 is a unique event which is being organized in India as a sequel to the highly successful Education Summits held in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The Summit 2012 will have sessions on collaborative research programs, joint / dual degree programs, twinning & transfer programs, faculty & student exchange programs, study abroad in India programs, distance education programs, vocational education programs, and other academic partnerships. There will be separate sessions for student recruitment. An important feature of the Summit would be visits to well established and prominent Indian educational institutions.
Major fields covered would be Engineering & IT, Business & Management, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Natural Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Educational Technology. There will be one-on-one meetings between representatives of Indian institutions and those of foreign universities for forging academic collaborations. The Summit 2012 is specifically designed for university presidents, vice-chancellors, provosts, deans, enrollment / recruitment officers, and their executive-level team members. More information about the Indo-Global Education Summit 2012.

• 41st Annual Madison Conference on South Asia

The 41st Annual Madison Conference on South Asia will be held 11–14 October 2012. 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. This year a plenary session will be organized around the theme of ”Corruption and Culture.” Panels that similarly address questions of corruption and its cultural manifestations and understandings from a variety of disciplinary and evidentiary perspectives are especially welcome. Venue: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Abstracts should be submitted by 1 April 2012. More information.

• Fukuoka conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh

The 3rd International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB) will be held 13–14 October 2012 in Fukuoka, Japan. Researchers from all over the world are invited to participate in the conference, hosted by the University of Kitakyushu, that covers not only the environmental issues of Bangladesh but other parts of the World as well. It is a follow-up to the International Symposium on Environmental Issues of Bangladesh & Japan held in 2009, and the 2nd International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh held in 2010. The ICEAB provides vibrant opportunities for researchers, industry practitioners, volunteers, students and fellow citizens to share their research experiences, research results, ideas, review of various aspects and practical development experiences on environmental aspects of Bangladesh, Japan and other regions. Topics of interest include: River issues and water pollution; Forest and biodiversity conservation; Fisheries and marine biology; Green energy, renewable energy; and Waste management. Abstracts should be submitted before 15 April 2012.
More information.

• Central Eurasian Studies Society’s Annual Conference in Bloomington

The Central Eurasian Studies Society’s (CESS) Thirteenth Annual Conference will be held 18–21 October 2012 in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. CESS is a private, non-political, non-profit, North America-based organization of scholars who are interested in the study of Central Eurasia, and its history, languages, cultures, and modern states and societies. Its purpose is to promote high standards of research and teaching, and to foster communication among scholars through meetings and publications.
Panels and paper proposals relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship on Central Eurasia are welcome. The geographic domain of Central Eurasia extends from the Black Sea and Iranian Plateau to Mongolia and Siberia, including Afghanistan, Tibet, and Central Asia. Practitioners and scholars in all humanities and social science disciplines with an interest in Central Eurasia are encouraged to participate. Deadline for submitting panel/paper proposals is 1 April 2012. Full details about the conference.

• New York conference on Sikhism, Literature and Film

On 19–21 October 2012, the Department of Religion at Hofstra University, New York, USA, organises a conference on ”Sikhi(sm), Literature and Film” with the purpose to explore the literary and visual cultures within, or pertaining to, Sikh traditions both in Punjabi and Diasporic contexts. The conference aims to chart new territory by exploring the aesthetic and expressive traditions within Sikh and Sikhism and proposals for papers are invited in two major areas: literatury cultures, and visual cultures. For the former, proposals that work with the broader literature such as –romance (kissaa), – ballad (of war/strife, vaar), – lyric (revelation), – hagiography and biography (Janamsaakhiis), – didactic and devotional (revelation, commentarial), – revival and reform (political, nationalist, moral/didactic tracts), – fiction and short story, – poetry and new poetry, – prose, – drama and play, are welcome.
For the virtual cultures track proposals are welcome from the on – Cinema/Film (Bollywood, Hollywood, Lollywood and Independent productions, Internet websites, YouTube, Vimeo, Music video-Rap, Bhangra), – TV (terrestrial and satellite stations), – Comic (Amar Chitra Katha, Sikhtoons), – Fine Arts (miniature paintings, court paintings, modern art, photography, contemporary art), – Commerical Art (calendar art, lithographs), – Fashion and Advertising (e.g. Sonny Caberwal ,Vikram Chatwal, Waris Ahluwalia), – Museum Exhibitions (V&A, Rubin Museum, Smithsonian etc), – Architecture (monumental, temple and residential). Deadline for abstracts submission is 1 May 2012.
Deadline for final paper submission: 1 September 2012.
Proposals and requests for more information are to be sent to, S.K.K. Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies, Associate Professor of Religion.

• Second Students’ Conference on Bengal Related Studies in Halle

The Second Students’ Conference on Bengal Related Studies will be held in Halle (Saale), Germany, on 27–28 October 2012. It is hosted by the South Asia Seminar, Institute of Oriental Studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg along with the association Bengal Link e.V. and the Arbeitskreis Neuzeitliches Südasien of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde e.V. (DGA). The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is one of the two German universities where research on the Bengal regions, Bengali language and culture has been an integral part for a long time. After the emergence of numerous studies on the Bengal regions disciplines other than South Asian Studies (e.g. Social Anthropology, Sociology, Development Studies, Urban Planning), the conference organisers realised the necessity of giving students and young scholars an option to discuss their various topics and research ap-proaches among each other across disciplinary borders, and of building up an interdisciplinary network for Bengal Related Studies.
The aim of the conference is to provide an inter-disciplinary venue for young scholars who focus on the Bengali regions in their studies. Halle-Wittenberg is one of the two German universities where research on the Bengal regions, Bengali language and culture has been an integral part for a long time. After the emergence of numerous studies on the Bengal regions from other disciplines (e.g. Social Anthropology, Sociology, Development Studies, Urban Planning) the conference organisers realised the necessity of giving young scholars an option to discuss their various topics and research approaches among each other and of building up an interdisciplinary network for Bengal Related Studies. After the success of the first conference in 2010 the organisers are very much looking forward to hosting the second one.
There is no overarching theme. Any topic from the humanities and social sciences is welcome as long as the region of study is either Bangladesh or Bengali speaking India. Abstracts are invited from graduate and postgraduate students and young scholars at any stage of their career. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 April 2012.
More information about the Halle conference.

• International Research Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences at Sri Jayewardenapura University

The University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, organises its First International Research Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHS) on 8–9 November 2012. The main theme is “Honouring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Navigating the Future: Making Knowledge to Deliver”. This is intended to be a premier forum for academics and professionals to share their research on various perspectives of Humanities and Social Sciences. The conference tries to identify the multiple dimensions associated with the advancement of humanities and social science related disciplines through past to present and to the future so that a proper appreciation of the past, evaluation of the present, and envisaging the future can be readily acknowledged. The proposed tracks/themes are a doorway to establish this vital link in order to survey the related disciplines with an open mind. The conference is chaired by Professor Sunethra Thennakoon. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 April 2012.
More information.

• Call for papers for an event on ethnografic films on India

PhD student Tereza Kuldova from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo organises a two day conference on ”The Indian Phantasm: On Ethnographic film, objects, images, multiple Indias and beyond”. The focus of the event will be on the interrelationships between object-(moving) image-phantasm and ethnographic research with reference to South Asia. The principal idea is to follow various images, objects, narratives and dialogues from which contemporary India (or South Asia) is woven together and through these grasp the Indian phantasm that is created at various intersections of these voices, images and objects. Submission of papers is currently open and welcomes such based on ethnographic fieldwork as well as more theoretical papers discussing the notions of following objects, images, narratives in research. Though the conference will focus predominantly on India, it also invites papers on Indian imagery elsewhere. Read the full announcement.
Venue: Museum of Cultural History, Oslo. Date: Still to be confirmed, in December 2012.

Business and Politics

See SASNET’s page,

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Indian Art Exhibition at Lunds Konsthall during April-May 2012

Lunds Konsthall in Sweden presents an art exhibition with Indian artists 6 April – 27 May 2012. The exhibition is entitled ”Social Fabric” and consists of works by Alice Creischer, Celine Condorelli, Archana Hande, The Otolith Group, Sudhir Patwardhan, Raqs Media Collective, and Andreas Siekmann. There will also occur film programmes by visual artists Ashim Ahluwalia, Anjali Monteiro, K.P. Jayasankar, Madhusree Dutta, Tushar Joag, and Anand Patwardhan. The exhibition has been produced by the UK based Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), and is currently on display at its Rivington Place premises in London. The curator has been Grant Watson.
More information about the exhibition.

On Saturday 14 April 2012, at 14.00, an Indian Cultural Mela with art, music, dance and lecture will take place at Lunds Konsthall, Mårtenstorget 3. The event is jointly organised by Lunds Konsthall, SASNET, Kulturskolan/Lunds kommun and ABF.
Indian Ambassador H E Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar will participate and hold an introductory speech, and then Senior Lecturer Tania Alyhr (photo) from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm will lecture on ”Indian Textile Arts”. More information will follow.

• Release function for five new Swedish books on India

On Monday 5 March 2012, at 18.30, the Embassy of India in Stockholm organised a book release function to celebrate five recently published books on India by Swedish authors.
The books are:
– Moguler, Maharajor och Feringis. Bilder och berättelser ur Indiens senare historia (Moghuls, Maharajas and Feringis) by Samuel Strandberg, 2011 (in Swedish). Read a short review by Lars Eklund.
– Kerala Sydindiens Pärla: Guidebok för resor på egen hand(Kerala. Pearl of South India) by Eva Norlander and Marianne Hård af Segerstad, 2011 (in Swedish). Read a short review by Lars Eklund.
– Jaipur Quilts by Krystyna Hellström, 2011 (in English). A book celebrating the exquisite traditional Rajasthani craftsmanship, the aesthetic beauty as well as the high utility value of the ‘Jaipur Razai’. More information about the book.
– Indien, möjligheter och framtid. En berättelse om företagande, samhälle, kultur, Sverige och världen (India, Potential and Future) by Jonas Landahl (in Swedish). Published in February 2012.
– Han som visste att Gud finns (The one who knew that God exists) by Gunnel Emia Eriksdotter, 2011 (in Swedish). A story about the strong impact that Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry and music has made on the author’s consciousness since her childhood.
More information about the book.

• Lund Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange revitalized

A group of interested people in Lund has revitalized The Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange, a registered cultural organisation exisiting since the early 1990s but with no activity in recent years. The Lund based organisation will henceforth actively work to organise Indian and South Asian concerts, dance performances and other cultural activities in southern Sweden, in cooperation with the Indian Music Association in Copenhagen, local theatres and concert organisers.

Bubu Munshi Eklund
Thomas Wiehe

The Association is membership based and open for all interested persons.
The Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange board consists of Lars Eklund (chairman), Christer Fahlström (treasurer), Julia Velkova (secretary), Thomas Wiehe and Pia Holmberg. Go for the Association’s web page

Besides organising cultural events, the Association has also launched a choir to sing Indian songs, classical and modern. Members for the choir are now being recruited.
The choir, led by Bubu Munshi Eklund and Thomas Wiehe, will have its first public performance during the Indian Mela to be held at Konsthallen in Lund on 14th April 2012. More information.

• Indian Association in Malmö launched

A new Indian Association in Malmö has been established. The organisation was launched with a grand event at Tangopalatset in Malmö on Saturday 3 March 2012. It was duly inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, Indian Ambassador to Sweden; Mr. Kent Andersson, Chairman to Malmö Municipal Council; Professor Björn Kjerfve, President, World Maritime University (WMU); and SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund. A large part of the approximately 300 Indians living in Malmö participated in the event.
The Indian Association in Malmö has been founded by Kannan Krishnan  and Naresh Mehta, who are now the chairman and vice-chairman respectively for the new association. More information.

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics edited by Paul R Brass

The British publishing house Routledge has published a significant volume on South Asian Politics, edited by Professor Emeritus Paul R. Brass from the University of Washington. The book, entitled ”Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal” introduces the reader to the politics of South Asia by presenting the prevailing agreements and disagreements in the literature. In the first two sections, the book provides a comprehensive introduction to the modern political history of the states of the region and an overview of the independence movements in the former colonial states. The other sections focus on the political changes that have occurred in the postcolonial states since independence, as well as the successive political changes in Nepal during the same period, and the structure and functioning of the main governmental and non-governmental institutions, including the structure of the state itself (unitary or federal), political parties, the judiciary, and the military. Further, the contributors explore several aspects of the political process and political and economic change, especially issues of pluralism and national integration, political economy, corruption and criminalization of politics, radical and violent political movements, and the international politics of the region as a whole. Go for the book.

• Nepal Migration yearbook for 2010 published

The Nepal Institute of Development Studies (NIDS) recently published the Nepal Migration Year Book 2010. The book is a result of a research project funded by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, and carried out in collaboration with NIDS, which is a non governmental research organization established in 1998. NIDS contributes to the development process by conducting research, implementing effective programs to create environment through initiation, facilitation and coordination of activities and networking/lobbying and advocating on equitable development strategies.
Nepal Migration Year Books have been published yearly since 2006. The 2010 issue responds to the lack of basic data on migration like different forms of migration, the numbers of migrants their actual remittances etc. which has systematically hampered the clear understanding of migration in Nepal. It is envisioned to be an important document to policy makers, political parties, government and non government personnel and students working on this issue. Go for the book.

• Excreta Matters: CSE Report on Indian Water Pollution

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in New Delhi has published a shocking report on the problems of water and environment in India. CSE is a prestigious Indian research institute with several Swedish connections, including receiving a substantial financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Sida since 1989 and onwards. Its Director Sunita Narain was also previously a member of the board of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and she has been a regular key speaker at the Stockholm World Water Week, held in August every year.
The report, entitled ”Excreta Matters: How urban India is soaking up water, polluting rivers and drowning in its own waste” is the first and most comprehensive survey bringing light on the horrendous crisis of water scarcity and growing threat of water pollution in Indian cities. It presents a detailed city-by-city analysis of the situation on the ground. The findings are based on a nationwide survey, in which primary data on the state of water and waste provisioning was collected. The authors used this data for analysis and also put together an assessment of the challenges ahead. The book would be of immense value to professionals and decision makers in the Central and State Governments besides academicians, researchers, NGOs and all major Libraries. Go for the report.

• Report on Health and Security Challenges in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

In February 2012, the US National Bureau of Asian Research released a report on the ”Health Security Challenges in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh” written by Amal Jayawardane (Regional Centre for Strategic Studies) and Abbas Bhuiya (ICDDR,B). The report examines the health challenges confronting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and evaluates the political, economic, and social implications for each country. It is a result of a three-year study on ”Non-Traditional Regional Security Architecture for South Asia” and is organised in two major parts: one on Emerging Health Challenges for Sri Lanka in the New Millenium, and another on Health Threats as Nontraditional Security Challenges for Bangladesh. The report is available for free until 25 April 2012. Go for it.

• 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 nearly 300 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! Newly added departments this month are:

‡ School of Engineering, Blekinge Institute of Technology
‡ Department of Physics, Atomic Physics Group, Stockholm University

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. Read for example about warning advises for the Maldives after the step-down of President Nasheed on February 6th, 2012.

Best regards

  Lars Eklund

Deputy director/webmaster
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network