This FMSH programme, which was initially only Franco-Indian, has existed for over twenty years. It was later opened to other countries from South Asia: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Its objective is not only to foster mutual interest in one another’s societies for the purpose of comparisons, but also to let French and European researchers interact with high-level scientists from India and South Asia. The goal is to give them the chance to shed the dominant Anglo-Saxon paradigms, which constitute their major international reference due to the widespread use of English as a professional language.
A Programme Open to all Disciplines in the Social and Human Sciences
The areas covered are very diverse: political science, development economics, finance, management, education, demography, sociology, women’s studies, history, philosophy, linguistics, literature, and others. The research, which deals with the essential questions of society, implies significant openness on the part of researchers as well as frequent participation from administrations, civil society, and the economic milieu.
The strategy adopted for reaching this objective was to focus on building networks. Accordingly, the program revolves around the contacts it progressively establishes between researchers, as well as the regular partnerships set up with various French or Indian institutions, partnerships which result in numerous joint projects.
Conditions Implemented by the Program for Reaching these Objectives:
- the bilateral Franco-Indian program between the FMSH and various Indian institutions (University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Indian Council of Historical Research) has funding for twenty-two month/persons to bring Indian researchers to France for one month-long research visits. It is also able to send a comparable number of French scholars to India for research visits.
- The FMSH extends direct invitations to roughly a dozen researchers from South Asia for one-month periods as associate directors of research (DEA).
- Short-stay invitations to researchers, most often those coming to France to participate in conferences, or either researchers passing through Europe and who would like to continue or set up partnerships with French scholars.
The programme also promotes organizing bi- or multi-lateral conferences focusing on comparative approaches in many fields of social sciences (history, anthropology, political and socio-political dynamics, language and cognitive sciences, women’s studies, etc).