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LSE Director announces new South Asia Centre during official visit to India

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is set to create a new academic centre dedicated to strengthening its research and engagement with South Asia.

South Asia Centre logoThe LSE Director, Professor Craig Calhoun, announced the creation of the South Asia Centre on the India at LSE blog during his second official visit to the country.

At present LSE has over 70 academics, across a range of disciplines, whose research engages with India and South Asia. The new centre will bring together these individuals, along with many other LSE academics, to support and highlight the world-class research undertaken at the School which is of vital importance to the region. Areas which the centre will focus on include economic growth, politics, poverty reduction, urbanisation, gender, the environment and health.

As well as promoting cross-disciplinary work, the new centre will host a number of public events on themes relating to South Asia, and help facilitate collaborations between LSE and South Asian universities, public bodies and businesses.

The South Asia Centre will officially open in January 2014 and will be led by Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at LSE.

Explaining the creation of the new centre on India at LSE, Professor Calhoun said:

“The study of South Asia offers unique potential to inform general knowledge by bringing distinctive cases and perspectives. It is not too much to say that questions about growth, development, voting systems, health and education reform, and the environment cannot be tackled well on a global level if researchers do not consider developments in India, and across South Asia.”

This announcement marks a strategic decision by LSE to develop further its long-established links with South Asia and India in particular. These links stretch back to 1912 when a gift by the Indian industrialist Sir Ratan Tata led to the establishment of the Department of Social Sciences at LSE, whose first lecturer, Clement Attlee, went on to become the British prime minister who oversaw Indian independence.

Prominent alumni at LSE have included B.R. Ambedkar, one of the architects of India’s constitution and Tarlok Singh, who was Nehru’s secretary. Dr IG Patel was the ninth Director of LSE, from 1984-90, and Nobel Laureates Muhammad Yunus and Amartya Sen have been awarded an honorary doctorate and honorary fellowship respectively.

The LSE has also established a fruitful research partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). During the Director’s previous visit to India in February 2013 it was announced that LSE and TISS were developing a major research project on gender equality. During the same trip it was also announced that LSE had set up generous scholarships for Indian students to study at LSE at postgraduate level.


Countries which the South Asia Centre will focus on include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

For more information please contact the LSE Head of Press and Information, Daniel O’Connor on 44 (0)20 79557417 or pressoffice@lse.ac.uk .

Professor Craig Calhoun’s full blogpost can be viewed here: India at LSE

02 December 2013