University of Leicester spearheads development of new urban studies centre in India

Posted by ap507 at Oct 15, 2015 10:39 AM |
Unique collaboration between Leicester and MSU Baroda to examine the consequences of urbanisation

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 October 2015

The University of Leicester has spearheaded the development of a new research Centre for Urban Studies in India.

Academic leaders from the University of Leicester will be involved in the launch of the new Centre for Urban Studies at Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) Baroda, Gujarat.

Professor Martin Halliwell, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs will be joined by Dr Prashant Kidambi, Senior Lecturer in Colonial Urban History, for the inauguration of the new collaboration. As part of their visit, they will also be forging links with academic institutions in Mumbai and Chennai.

Professor Halliwell said: “The cities of Baroda in Gujarat, India, and Leicester in England are united by a story of migration.

“Earlier this year, the University of Leicester hosted a special event and workshop ‘Migration Stories: South Asian Histories and Cultures’. The event hosted by our School of Museum Studies and Centre for Urban History was sponsored by the British Council (India). We are delighted that Manjula Rao of the British Council will be joining us for the historic launch this week.

“South Asian migration and diaspora is of great significance for understanding the complex and historically evolving relationship between the Indian subcontinent and the wider world. Specifically, this project brought together scholars from two distinguished universities – MSU Baroda and the University of Leicester – and sought to extend a dialogue on this theme, which began in 2013,” Professor Halliwell noted.

The international workshop was the second in a series of collaborations between the University of Leicester and MSU Baroda initiated by a Knowledge Economy Partnership award from the British Council. The first international workshop ‘Futures Past: The City in Gujarat’, was held at MSU on 18-19 December 2014 and attracted over 150 delegates.

The two international workshops highlighted the synergies between the two universities and generated a number of ideas for future collaboration focusing on the themes of urban conservation, heritage and sustainability. It is this ambitious agenda that the new Centre for Urban Studies will pursue over the coming years.

Dr Kidambi added: “This new Centre for Urban Studies in Baroda will twin with Leicester’s Centre for Urban History and act as a unique resource for understanding one of the most pressing concerns of twenty-first-century South Asia: the consequences of urbanisation.”

Professor Sharad Bansal, Director of International Affairs at MSU said: "The MS University of Baroda and the University of Leicester enjoy a very active academic partnership. In a short span of time, scholars from a range of departments at both universities have initiated very fruitful intellectual conversations.”

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Media Interviews:

Professor Martin Halliwell: mrh17@leicester.ac.uk

Dr Prashant Kidambi: pk64@leicester.ac.uk

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