Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Delhi Branch Office
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New Delhi Branch Office


The South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University is the only interdisciplinary research and teaching centre focussing on South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maledives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) in Germany. The SAI aims to impart intercultural competence by combining social and economic sciences with historically and philologically orientated cultural sciences. Students are taught in seven departments: Development Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures, and Cultural and Religious History of South Asia. In order to facilitate communication and exchange with academic and non-academic institutions in the region, SAI operates branch offices in Delhi and Kathmandu, and is represented by local affiliated scholars in Islamabad (Quaid-i-Azam University) and Colombo (University of Colombo). The South Asia Institute opened its Branch Office in New Delhi in 1962, and thus was one of the first European academic institutions to be represented in India. The Branch Office is mentioned under the cultural exchange agreement between India and Germany and operates under the auspices of the German Embassy in New Delhi. Its main tasks include

  • enhancing scholarly exchange between India and Germany in the fields of social sciences and humanities
  • supporting the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between the SAI/University of Heidelberg and academic institutions in India
  • facilitating collaborative research between local institutions in both countries
  • assisting scholars in administrative and bureaucratic procedures
  • supporting research projects of SAI staff and students in India
  • administering the Baden-Wuertemberg Fellowship

Furthermore, the branch office organises workshops, lectures and seminars in collaboration with German and local partners.

Since Mai 2009, the SAI Branch Office houses the New Delhi Liaison Office of Heidelberg University's Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe'. The Liaison Office supports researchers and doctoral students field stays in the region, administrates the visa processing of Indian PhD students in the Cluster's Graduate Programme, assists in organizing conferences and workshops, and monitors affiliated local research projects.

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