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India Research Programme - GHIL

The India Research Programme of the German Historical Institute London came into existence in early 2018. It originated in the collaborative Transnational Research Group on Poverty Reduction and Policy for the Poor between the State and Private Actors: Education Policy in India since the Nineteenth Century, which was set up in 2013 under the direction of the German Historical Institute London (GHIL) with funding provided by the Max Weber Stiftung. Since 2015 it has been part of the M.S. Merian - R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies 'Metamorphoses of the Political: Comparative Perspectives on the Long Twentieth Century' (ICAS:MP) as member and coordinator of the module History as a Political Category. In continuation of its interest in the theme of education and poverty in 2017 the Programme started another research group on Education and the Urban.

Research Group: Education and the Urban in India

A research group on the topic started in late 2017. The group aims to examine the relation between education and the urban in a society that has undergone rapid and complex processes of urbanisation in the seven decades since independence from colonial rule in 1947. A special focus of the group is on marginalisation and its relationship with education and the urban. The project takes a multi-sited approach to understanding the way in which marginalisation in education is configured in the urban space. The core group consists of four principal investigators who investigate specific aspects of education in four different cities of India (Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata); postdoctoral researchers and a network of scholars working on the theme in both larger and smaller urban centres.

Selling History: Tourist Guides, Bazaar Histories, and the Politics of the Past

(Indra Sengupta; subproject in module History as a Political Category of ICAS Metamorphosis of the Political)

Preserving India’s Past: Law, Bureaucracy and Historical Conservation in Colonial India 1904-1925

(Indra Sengupta)

Archives of Indian Labour

(Robert Raman, IBO Delhi)



The MWS India Branch Office Annual Report 2019 is now available online at

New articles of our former TRG fellows:

Arun Kumar (2019), Letters of the Labouring Poor: The Art of Letter Writing in Colonial India, The Past and Present Society, Oxford. (PDF file

Arun Kumar (2019), 'The Untouchable School': American Missionaries, Hindu Social Reformers and the Educational Dreams of Labouring Dalits in Colonial North India, Journal of South Asian Studies, Volume 42, Issue 5, p.823-44. (PDF file)

Vidya Subramanian (2019), Parallel partnerships: Teach for India and New Institutional Regimes in Municipal Schools in New Delhi, International Studies in Sociology of Educational Journal. (PDF file)


Past Projects

Transnational Research Group: Poverty and Education in India (2013-2017)

German-speaking Jewish refugees and India, 1930s–1950s (Joseph Cronin)