On Monday, 16th November the Rector of Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, and Director General of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) Virendra Gupta signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards the establishment of the Heirich-Zimmer-Chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History. Prof. Dr. Gita Dharampal-Frick and Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels signed the MoU on behalf of Heidelberg's South Asia Institute and Cluster 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context', respectively.Left to right: Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, Virendra Gupta, Prof. Dr. Gita Dharampal-Frick
The first of its kind in Germany, the chair is being endowed to the University by the ICCR, in recognition of its outstanding achievements in research, teaching and academic cooperation with India. It will be affiliated to the South Asia Institute and the Cluster 'Asia and Europe' but also fostering intensive cooperation with the Philosophical Faculty. This is what makes it, in the eyes of Prof. Dr. Dharampal-Frick, so unique:" The Heinrich-Zimmer-Chair will contribute a great deal to liberate Indian philosophical thinking from its niche existence and integrate it into the mainstream of philosophical teaching and research in Germany."Virendra Gupta, Director General, ICCR delivering his speech
A renowned Indian scholar will take up teaching and research activity on this position from April 2010 onwards, for an initial period of two years.
The signing of the MoU is part of Heidelberg University's overall strategy of strenthening academic cooperation with India and South Asia a s a whole. Towards this end, the Heidelberg Centre South Asia has been openend just a day after the signing ceremony.