Welcome to the Centre for Advanced Studies in India
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin
The Centre for Advanced Studies in India (CASII), is a registered, independent, non-profit institution set up for the promotion of excellence in higher research and for academic cooperation. It is committed to fostering cutting edge research in Cultural Studies, Sustainable Development and Methods of Clinical Research and Research Design in Social Sciences. CASII also offers Study India Programmes (SIPs) for students from foreign universities and individual groups, which will be tailored to the needs of the concerned groups. In its area of social responsibility, CASII offers vocational training to women and young men from weaker sections of society in areas such as basic computer skills and communication skills in English to enable them to take their rightful place in an information technology oriented society.
CASII is open to ideas and proposals from the entire range of Cultural Studies, Sustainable Development and Research Methodology in Social Sciences. Initially its principal emphasis in research will be in the areas listed below:
The construct of culture as a codification of knowledge; cultural studies as problematisation of discourses of knowledge; cultural studies as enabler of ideological discourses such as that of nation, gender, community, religion and race.
* Sustainable Development of the region through environmental friendly policies and focus on alternative energy resources.
* Provision of training in research methodology especially in the fields of Clinical Trials and Social Sciences
* Provide training in computer and English language skills to weaker sections of society
The overarching priority would be to achieve the above through improvement of higher education and academic research in the region, nation and further abroad.
Events and Happenings at CASII
On 30th July 2016 CASII had organised a meeting of Young Scientists from the Centre of Excellence in Basic Sciences, University of Mumbai, on the ‘Future of Science in India’. This was followed by a dinner and informal discussions.
* Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran Director CASII, gave the Introductory Lecture and Chaired the Panel Discussion on Diaspora Studies Past Present and Future at the Study India Day Programme at Muenster University, 13 June 2016. Professor Nilufer Bharucha, Director CASII participated in the panel Discussion.
* Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran and Professor Nilufer Bharucha, Directors CASII, delivered Guest Lectures at the Bayreuth University, Germany on 7th June 2016 on the Indian Diaspora in Africa.
* Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran, Director CASII, was invited in May 2016 as Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Apart from the three lectures he delivered during this time, he also wrote three other papers for publication. The beautiful peaceful surroundings and the library and conference hall in the grand Viceregal Lodge being very conducive to academic pursuits. The company of senior and young scholars and fellows from all around India and discussions with them were also very fruitful for the generation of new ideas.
* Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran, Director CASII was invited by the Department of English, University of Kashmir to deliver the Inaugural lecture at the National Conference on “Revisiting Literary Classics in the Postmodern Secular World” 21st and 22nd October, 2015.
* The CASII-CoHaB Joint International Interdisciplinary Conference on the theme of ““Beyond Borders and Boundaries: Imaginings and Representations” ,held from 2-4 March 2015 was a great success. The inaugural address was given by Professor AvtarBrah and the valedictory address by Professor Klaus Stierstorfer. Among the 13 distinguished keynote speakers were Professor Harish Trivedi and Professor Somdatta Mandal. At the parallel sessions 28 academics and research scholars made their presentations.
* Speakers were drawn from different parts of India, Germany, U.K., USA, Italy, Mauritius and Romania. Two more publications were launched by CASII at the conference. The book by Principal Pednekar entitled The East in the Mirror of the West: Oriental Influences in English Literature was launched by Professor Stierstorfer in the presence of the German Consul General for Mumbai Mr. Michael Siebert and Mrs. Siebert. The book by VanajaDhruvarajan, Crossing the LaxmanRekha: Disporic Women and their Struggles for Autonomy, was launched by the Feminist and Tamil author, C.S. Laksmi – Ambai .
* Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran visited Canada from 12-29 May,2014.His first stop was at the University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., where he participated in a workshop on ‘Unmooring the KomagataMaru’. This was on the centennial of the event in May, 1914 when a ship full of Indian immigrants had been turned away from the Vancouver harbor in an act of racism, aimed at keeping Canada ‘white’.He also held a viewer-response session with Indo-Canadians in Victoria on Deepa Mehta’s films.
He then went to the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, B.C., where he made a presentation on Deepa Mehta’s films and discussed research possibilities and collaborations for CASII with the Indo-Canadian Centre there.He also discussed Mehta’s films with viewers in Abbotsford. In Vancouver he participated in the remembrance ceremony for the KomagataMaruincident at the Simon Fraser University and at the Vancouver harbor. He also met with Indo-Canadians to discuss Mehta’s films with them.
He then moved on to Toronto to see first-hand diasporic Indian lives there. This being the city depicted in Mehta’s films. While in Canada Professor Sridhar had liaised with faculty and administration at the Universities of Victoria, Fraser Valley and Simon Fraser for future collaborations and programmes with CASII.
He was accompanied by Professor Nilufer Bharucha and CoHaB researchers from Mumbai and Muenster Universities.
* As an associate partner in the international European Union funded project on Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging (CoHaB), CASII is responsible for the training secondments for the doctoral researchers from the CoHaB partner universities.
CASII had organized the first CoHabSecondmentat theL.V.Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai (October, 2013). Melanie Wattenbarger (CoHab Researcher from USA at Mumbai University), Ruby Rana (CoHab Researcher from Canada at Mumbai University) and Iulia Rascanu (CoHab Researcher from Romania at Mumbai University) were trained in Film making, Film Appreciation and in still photography.
In the month of October 2013 CASII had also organized a CoHabSecondment for Holly Morgan (CoHab Researcher from Canada at Muenster University) at SnehaSadan Mumbai and Majlis Mumbai.Holly stayed at the SnehaSadan Home for Street Boys in Mumbai and studied the life and progress of homeless children in Mumbai and this helped her research project which is focused on destitute children from India who have been adopted by Indians who live in Western countries. Holly’s experience of working with the NGO Majlis, which works in the area of legal issues connected with destitute and battered women and makes documentary films on the city of Mumbai, helped her understand the legal issues in the context of her research project.
CASII organized the second CoHabSecondment to Guide, BhujKachchh in November, 2013.The Researchers who trainined at Guide were Melanie Wattenbarger, Ruby Rana, Iulia Rascanuand Holly Morgan. This was a one month progrmme in which they got lectures on Environment, Migration and Diaspora.
They made Field visits to Banni Tribal Villages, the Rann of Kachchh, Dholaveera, Mandvi etc. Towards the end of this secondment CASII and GUIDE had called a press conference of the local print and electronic media to familiarize them with the work being done by CASII and GUIDE. Over 25 press and media persons attended the conference and were briefed by Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran, Dr. Vijay Kumar, Jt Director, GUIDE and Mr. Ramnik Shah, Trustee, CASII. The CoHaB researchers also spoke to the media and were interviewed by the T.V. personnel too. Professor Nilufer Bharucha, Founding Trustee and Director, CASII was also gave an interview to the print and TV media.
The third CASII-CoHabSecondmentwas at Vishwabharati University, Shantiniketan, West Bengal for two weeks in December 2013. The researchers who trained at Shantiniketan were once again Melanie, Ruby, Iulia and Holly. They studied the Bengal partition Diaspora on this secondment
* Vera Haelbig (Muenster University, Germany) visited Kachchh for a week from 12 October,2013 to 17 October,2013. She visited Mandvi Beach, Vijay Vilas Palace, Pingleshwar. Naransarowar, Local forts and lakes and the Bhujodi Craft Park. She interacted with students of the Bhuj colleges and university
* Four students from Germany visited Kachchh during the first and the second week of September,2012 - Julia Katharina Kuester(University of Duesseldorf), Michelle Tansina(University of Magdeburg)Kara Liz Julia Grabe (University of Magdeburg)AlinaKiessling(University of Oldenburg). They visited the Black Hills, Khavda Village, Craft Village, Local forts and lakes, Mandvi Beach. They attended lectures and interacted with students of the Department of English, KSKV Kachchh University. They also visited the MuktajeevanSwamibapaMahila Arts, Commerce and BCA College. They also met with Aniruddhbhai Dave, Mayor, Mandvi.
* CASII organized andpart-sponsored the visit of our students from the Department of English, KSKV Kachchh University to Germany - SnehaKanaiya, Monika Barmeda, PriyankaGor and DimpalSolanki. They attended lectures at Muenster university, Bonn university and Cologne university. They stayed in Germany for two weeks from 14th November,2012 to 1st December,2012. They interacted with the students and the professors at above mentioned universities.
* CASII had organized and part sponsored the visit of three students from Muenster University, Germany visited Mumbai and Kachchh -Martina Tornicke, Hamid Younesi and Miriam Cantwell. They were accompanied from Mumbai to Gujarat by two students from the University of Magdeburg too. They interacted with students at the universities of Mumbai, PDPU and Kachchh and made presentations on education in Germany. They also met and discussed poetry with a group of Dalit poets from Gujarat, led by DalpatChauhan.
* Two students from the KSKV University, Kachchh visited Muenster University, Germany for two weeks in May 2011 - Pooja Dave and SnoberPir. They interacted with students and faculty of the Muenster, Dusseldorf and Bonn Universities and presented papers on Kachchh arts and crafts at theInternational Symposium on ‘Global Knowledge and Education’ at the Muenster University, Germany.
* CASII organized a major international conference in partnership with the Osmania University Centre for International Programmes (OUCIP), on ‘Diasporic Indian Cinema and Bollywood Cinema on the Indian Diaspora’, from 22-24 January 2014, at Hyderabad. The inaugural address was given by the Director of the L.V. Prasad Fillm and T.V. Institute the noted film maker, K.Hariharan. Keynote addresses were given by film makers, actors, scholars from India, the U.K., Germany and Sweden. Over 40 young academics and research scholars from India, Mauritius, Canada, USA and Italy presented papers at this conference. The noted diaspora scholar Professor AvtarBrah and CASII director Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran presented a well-appreciated dialogue on Diaspora theories and cinema. A publication has been planned on the papers presented at this conference.
* Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran has been awarded the 2013-14 South Asia Diaspora Fund Research Award by the Indo-Canadian Studies Centres at Mumbai University and the University of the Fraser Valley, B.C. Canada. This award is sponsored by the British Columbia Province, Canada. Professor Sridhar will be researching the films of the Indo-Canadian film maker Deepa Mehta and seeing how she images the diasporic identity and re-images the Indian nation in her works. He will be visiting Canada in May 2014 for in-depth interviews with Mehta and some of her cast and crew. These interviews would value add his work on Mehta which will be published as a book.
* CASII will be training the doctoral researchers of the CoHaB Marie Curie ITN network in its capacity as an associate partner of this European Union project. The researchers would spend October 2013 at CASII's partner institute, L.V. Prasad T.V. and Film Academy, Chennai, learning the basics of film making which will give them insights into their own research projects on Diasporic cinemas.
* CASII will be training the doctoral researchers of the CoHaB Marie Curie ITN network in its capacity as an associate partner of this European Union project. The researchers would spend November 2013 at CASII’s partner institute, GUIDE, Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, where they would study the environmental factors of this region of India which has for centuries seen its inhabitants go out into diverse diasporas in Africa, the Arab world, the U.K. and North America. They would also be studying the villages in Kutch which are still second homes to these diasporics. They would also be studying the Partition Sindhi Diaspora in this region and visit the Sindhi settled township of Gandhidham and other towns. GUIDE would also help them engage with the migratory Bannitribes of the region.
* CASII jointly with Osmania University's Centre for International Programmes (OUCIP) is organising an International Conference on 'Diasporic Indian Cinemas and Bollywood on the Diaspora: Re-Imagings and Re-Possessions' at the Osmania University from 22-24 January 2014. Download the Concept Note here.
• CASII and FDU have signed an MoU and are now partners. Their common area of interest being the Indian Diaspora, they will be researching this aspect of Indian Studies in the context of joint symposiums, projects and publications. Details to be announced soongo to site
• CASII has signed an MoU with the Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE), Bhuj, Gujarat. The cooperation will initially involve exploration of common interests in sustainable development, with a special emphasis on the desert environment of Kachchh and its unique flora and faunago to site
• CASII is now a Cooperating Institution of UNESCO Memory of the World Programme (MoW) Sub-Committee on Education and Research (SCEaR). Planned Activities under this Cooperation are - A project on Documenting the Ship Building, Maritime Trade and Diaspora from Mandvi, Kachchh, Gujarat to the Eastern Coast of Africa and Documentation of the Freedom of the Press in Indiago to site
• CASII and Cohab has entered into a partnership where-in CASII is an associate partner in this international project that comprise six partner universities: Westfalische Wilhelms Muenster, Germany, Oxford University, London University, Northampton University and Stockholm Universitygo to site