Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Delhi Branch Office



Heidelberg Centre South Asia launched with grand celebration

Heidelberg University or Ruperto Carola, named after its founder has launched its Heidelberg Centre South Asia at Max Mueller Bhavan here in Delhi on Tuesday 17th November with a grand opening ceremony followed by a garden reception.

The Ceremony was hosted by the branch office of Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute (SAI) and Cluster ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’, which has joined the SAI branch office in May this year.

Max Mueller Bhavan's entrance, dressed in the colors of Heidelberg University and South Asia Institute

Special guests from Germany included the University’s Rector Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, Virendra Gupta, Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), with whom a Memorandum of Understanding on an endowed chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History was signed just a day before, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Government of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) Horst Tappeser.

Rector of Heidelberg University lighting the lamp at the inaugural ceremony.

More than 110 guests participated in the celebrations, among them representatives from academic partners such as Delhi University, JNU, Jamia Millia, CSDS, and many more, as well as the representatives from the German science organizations in Delhi, the German Embassy, and numerous Heidelberg Alumni, some of whom have traveled as far as from Kolkata, Lucknow and Jaipur to be part of this event and refresh their links with the Ruperto Carola.

An attentive audience in MMB's Siddharta Hall

Heidelberg University has, as all speakers emphasized, always played a leading role in Indo-German academic cooperation and exchange. It has been represented through the SAI’s branch office for 47 years. The SAI was founded in 1962, and combines the classical cultural studies with the social sciences, economics and geography in an interdisciplinary approach, a setup which is unique in Germany and most of Europe. Its research and teaching focuses on the countries of South Asia, viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maledives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Prof. Dr. Eitel an Prof. Dr. Michaels interacting with an Alumna

Heidelberg’s involvement with India, as Prof. Dr. Michaels pointed out, taking the audience for a virtual walk to the physical manifestations of India in Heidelberg, has started much earlier, with outstanding scholars like Max Weber and Heinrich Zimmer who have lived and taught in Heidelberg, and have considerably shaped the perceptions of India in Germany and Europe.


In this sense, it has been emphasized by all speakers, the opening of the Heidelberg Centre South Asia is a logic continuation of the University’s long- and outstanding academic relations with India.

It is a commitment towards expansion and intensification of academic relations, and a means to defend Heidelberg’s leading role in cooperation with South Asian countries and improving its visibility, with more and more German and international universities discovering the potential and establishing their branch offices in the region.

Besides pooling information about activities and opportunities in all faculties and departments of Ruperto Carola, the establishment of a Postgraduate Study Centre is one of the major strategies to achieve this.

Posted on 23 Nov 2009
MoU to be signed between Heidelberg University and ICCR
Starting from April 2010, Heidelberg University will be endowed with a long term chair for  'Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History', which will be affiliated to the Cluster 'Asia and Europe' and the South Asia Institute (SAI). The chair is being endowed by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and is the first of its kind granted to a German University.
A Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the 'Heinrich-Zimmer-Chair', named after the German Professor for Indian Languages at Heidelberg University who was expelled because of his Jewish Origins in 1938 under the Nazi Regime, will be signed during a ceremony at the ICCR on Monday, 16th November 5 pm in the Multipurpose Hall at Azad Bhavan, Indraprasta Estate.
Posted on 13 Nov 2009
Saraswati Sanskrit Prize will go to Miguel Peralta
The Saraswati Sanskrit Prize, which has been awarded to the faculty of Classical Indology of the South Asia Institute for the successful conduction of the annual Summer School in Spoken Sanskrit under the aegis of Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels, will be confired to Miguel Peralta this year. The awarding ceremony will take place on Monday, 16th November at the ICCR, Azad Bhavan, Indraprastha Estate at 5 pm.
Posted on 12 Nov 2009

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