Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

SAI - News        

SAI - News

SAI-Award 2010
On March 26th 2010 the Association of Friends and Patrons of  the South Asia Institute has taken its decision concerning the SAI Award for Graduates and Doctoral Students. This year the award goes to  

Sandra Bärnreuther, Department of Anthropology, for the publication of her M.A.Thesis „Geburt in Ladakh. Theoretische Konzepte - gegenwärtige Praktiken - aktuelle Entwicklungen“ and

Astrid Zotter, Department of Classical Indology, for the publication of her doctoral thesis „Puja-Blüten in Nepal: Bestimmungen des Puspacintamani“

The official awarding ceremony will be held during a public event at the SAI in the summer term 2010. The date of this will be announced seperately. For the winter term 2010/2011 the SAI-award will offered again.

Summer School "Intensive Course in Spoken and Written Urdu" in August 2010

Summer School “Intensive Course in Spoken and Written Urdu”


The South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University, Germany, will offer introductory and intermediate courses in Urdu during the summer vacations 2010. In the introductory course, students develop speaking, reading, listening and writing skills and acquire basic vocabulary as well as knowledge of the main grammatical structures and conversational etiquette of Urdu.

At the intermediate level, students expand their vocabulary, their knowledge of grammatical structures and develop ease and confidence in dealing with communicative tasks.

The instructors, Ms Amtul Manan Tahir, Ms Bushra Iqbal and Dr Christina Oesterheld, have taught regular Urdu courses at Erfurt and Heidelberg and intensive courses at Erfurt and Heidelberg.

Classes are scheduled to take place from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3.30 pm. Participants who take part in the full programme and pass the written tests will be awarded 7 ECTS or equivalent credits.

All participants are requested to acquire a basic knowledge of the Urdu script prior to the course. For this purpose, we recommend: Richard Delacy, beginners urdu script (teach yourself series), ISBN 0-340-86028-6.


Time: 2 - 20 August 2010

Venue: South Asia Institute Heidelberg

Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of the Urdu alphabet

Fee: 220 Euro (incl. teaching materials)

Deadlines: Application May 31, 2010, Payment 30 June 2010

Accomodation: Hostel on request

Contact: Dr Christina Oesterheld, E-mail:

Summer Schools Spoken Sanskrit and Nepali in August 2010 at SAI
The Department of Classical Indology will conduct two summer schools in August 2010. Application is now possible for "Spoken Sanskrit" and "Nepali Intensive Course". Both summer schools run from August 2nd - 27th 2010 at SAI. Detailed information can be obtained from the website.
Former SAI-lecturer Dr. Rolf Steltemeier became Press Secretary at BMZ
Former SAI-lecturer Dr. Rolf Steltemeier - who conducted a seminar on EU-India relations last semester in the Department for Political Science South Asia at SAI - has become press secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ). Congratulations!
Geography at SAI contributes to Clima Debate

In the recent issue of the Journal of Glaciology <> Dr. Susanne Schmidt and Prof. Marcus Nüsser have published an article on changes of glaciers in the north-western Himalaya. The article is a significant contribution to the clima debate. In the last weeks the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and its chair Rajendra Pachauri have been criticized for predictions regarding the impact of climate change on glaciers. The IPCC had promoted the view of dramatic melting of glaciers that included severe miscalculation of the time frame of the scenario.

The two geographers from SAI have now delivered a study grounded on long-term measurements in the Nanga Parbat region and studied the fluctuation of a particular glacier over a period of 70 years. The study shows that in the given example there is no dramatical glacier retreat during the last decades to be observed. As such the study supports results of similar research operations that have been conducted in the neighboring Karakorum region. Regarding the size of the region and its different local conditions, single studies that prove the retreat of glaciers cannot be generalized for the entire Himalaya-range with a scope of 2500 km.

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