Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Delhi Branch Office



SAI Anniversary Programme: Conference on the Future of Social Science Research in Sri Lanka

  Headed by Prof. Sax the SAI has conducted a conference in Sri Lanka together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation as part of its anniversary program. The event was entitled "The Future of Social Science Research in Sri Lanka". [More...]
Posted on 07 Mar 2012
Lecture by Prof. Dietmar Rothermund: 60 Years of Indo-German Diplomatic Relations, 20 March, 7 pm, Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi

Siddhartha Hall was once again packed as Dietmar Rothermund unwound the evolution of the engagement of democratic Germany and India after World War II. Garnered with quotations from historical sources and the wittiness of the close observer, this ride from 1949 to the present managed to captivate the audience  without the aid of powerpoint and multi-media applications.


German interest in India has a long history but it entered a new phase after the Second World War when Nehru and Adenauer established diplomatic relations between the independent Republic of India and the new Federal Republic of Germany. The steel plant at Rourkela, the IIT Madras (Chennai) and the establishment of German cultural institutes (Max Mueller Bhavan) marked the beginning of closer cooperation. The opening of the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University in the presence of Vijayalakshmi Pandit in 1962 also belongs to these early highlights.

Indira Gandhi’s economic policy and the transatlantic preoccupations of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt then marked a period of mutual indifference. The last two decades of the 20th century witnessed a revival of closer cooperation. The Indo-German Consultative Group which held its first meeting in 1992 as well as the Indo-German Parliamentary Group helped to strengthen this cooperation. Academic contacts fostered by the German Academic Exchange Service and recently also by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and by the Max Planck Society as well as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation must also be mentioned in the context of intensified cooperation. Indo-German relations will have a great future.

Dietmar Rothermund is professor emeritus of South Asian History at Heidelberg University. He has been director of the South Asia Institute for 15 years, and is one of the widest published and translated European scholars on South Asia, and particularly India. His seminal works include 'A History of India' co-authored by Herman Kulke, 'An economic history of India', and 'India: the rise of an Asian giant'.

This event was jointly organised by the Heidelberg Center South Asia and Heidelberg Club International.
Posted on 07 Mar 2012
Heidelberg Lecture: Heidelberg as UniverCity. Knowledge Milieus and International Scientific Relations, 25th March 5 pm, Siddhartha Hall, Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi

What makes a knowledge environment attractive for academics? What impedes their creativity? How do spatial relations of scholars and the local knowledge milieu affect research processes? This talk by Prof. Dr. Peter Meusburger will deal with the spatial dimension of scientific practice using the example of the city of Heidelberg and its University and numerous other research institutions.

Peter Meusburger is Professor of Human Geography at the Heidelberg University. He has researched extensively on the geography of knowledge, science and education, and their economic, social and environmental impacts. He is also the editor of the “Heidelberg Research Atlas”, a richly illustrated and thoroughly researched documentation of research and teaching at Heidelberg University since its foundation in 1386, which has been published in 2011 on the occasion of the university’s 625th anniversar


Academics and students do not work in a social, cultural, and economic vacuum; they are inspired or impeded by societal and organizational structures; they depend on research infrastructure, libraries, evaluators, critical audiences and a multitude of other factors whose local interaction results in a knowledge milieu. Such knowledge milieus are nourished by the experience and networks of the particular scholars involved, by the spatial dimension of scientific cooperation, by the geographical mobility of academics and students, the autonomy and reputation of universities, as well as many other important factors and aspects. Each university location provides scientists and students a different knowledge environment, which, in turn, has a bearing on whether and how soon new scientific concepts, practices, or technical innovations are accepted and acted upon -  whether it is possible to discuss contested ideas, to conduct expensive experiments, to become part of important networks, to hear promptly of crucial developments, or to meet with agreement or criticism upon airing new ideas. Taking Heidelberg as an example for an early European university town, this lecture will focus on development of its unique ‘knowledge milieu’ throughout its 625 years of history.


Posted on 07 Mar 2012

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