UMISARC – Centre for South Asian Studies
The University launched Post Graduate Programme (M.A) in South Asian Studies in the Centre for South Asian Studies during the Academic year 2008-2009 under the XI plan. Since 2008, the South Asia Foundation (SAF) has been supporting the Centre with 16 Madanjeet Singh Group (MSG) Scholarships to students (two – one male, one female – from each SAARC country) to pursue this course. The teaching and research in South Asian Studies at Pondicherry University received major fillip with the signing of an MoU between Pondicherry University and the SAF on June 20, 2009 for the establishment of the Madanjeet Singh Institute of South Asia Regional Cooperation (MISARC). In the year 2010, the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) agreed to associate with all the institutions of excellence established by SAF including MISARC of Pondicherry University. Hence, it has been now renamed as UMISARC (U stands for UNESCO). The Institute has thus become truly global.
The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Monmohan Singh, inaugurated and dedicated the Institute on 29 June 2012 for promotion of peace and co-operation among the SAARC countries. The syllabus of Post Graduate Programme in South Asian Studies has been uniquely designed to provide cutting edge knowledge of South Asian history, society, culture, economy, governance and politics, etc., from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students are expected not only to develop broad knowledge base to critically understand contentious issues concerning South Asia, but also offer a holistic perspective to address them and contribute towards promoting peace and cooperation in the region. Along with the publication of an International Journal of South Asian Studies, the Institute offers a broad research platform for refined academic debates with regular guest lectures by eminent scholars, diplomats and policy makers etc., besides various academic activities. The Institute offers Ph.D programme from the academic year 2010-11.