The Centre often takes up work on behalf of outside agencies provided such work
merges with the academic interests of individual scholars and of the institution.
Teams of the Centre’s scholars have worked in the past for projects assigned
by the World Bank, ILO and UNDP. Several governmental agencies have also
commissioned important projects.
South Asia Regional Fellowship Programme:
The CSSSC also acts a partner organisation for SSRC
’s South Asia Regional Fellowship
Program. This is a multi year fellowship opportunity for college and university
teachers based in South Asia. Every year, a theme of regional significance is chosen
and fellowships are awarded through a competitive process. Applicant eligibility is
restricted to those permanently residing and teaching in Bangladesh, India, Nepal,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There are no citizenship restrictions. Eligible applicants
must hold a Ph.D. in the social sciences, humanities, or related fields. As many as
20 fellowships may be awarded to college teachers and university faculty teaching in
the social sciences and humanities across South Asia annually. Up to fifteen
fellowships are reserved for junior scholars (less than Professor rank), and no more
than five for senior scholars (Professor rank and above). The primary intent of the
fellowship is to write up completed research. We expect the fellowship period to be
used to prepare an article of sufficient quality to be published in a major social
science journal or to ready a monograph for publication by an academic press.
Fellows may also apply to begin new research or to continue ongoing projects but
these will have lower priority. The average fellowship period will be between
3–4 months. Fellows are required to (a) apply for leave from teaching and
other responsibilities (b) affiliate with a research centre during the fellowship
Application kits may be requested from Mr. Bodhisattva Kar, SSRC Project Associate
at the address of CSSSC or by e–mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
from February onwards, every year.
Fellows are expected to participate in an annual regional conference and training
and may take up the fellowship between January and December in the following year.
The program is supported by a grant from Ford Foundation.
Endangered Archives Programme funded project (EAP643):
Shantipur and its neighbourhood: Text and images of early modern Bengal in public and private collections
Project Overview: This pilot project aims to document available non-copyrighted and endangered literature from private collections and public institutions in the district of Nadia. Shantipur, the old cultural hub in pre-colonial Bengal, will be in the centre and the project will survey collections of books, manuscripts, photographs and other images with historical importance. A list will be prepared and all published documents will be cross-checked with other holdings for rarity - only the unique items will be planned to be digitised in a future major digitisation project.
Principal Investigator: Abhijit Bhattacharya.
For more information please visit: http://eap.bl.uk/database/overview_project.a4d?projID=EAP643;r=18467
Any query or suggestion can be forwarded to Abhijit Bhattacharya.
From 2001, under the South–South Exchange Programme for History and Society,
a Dutch initiative, CSSSC has become a resource centre for South Asia for
. A number of
activities (such as lecture tours, publication of occasional papers and conferences)
are being planned under this scheme. SEPHIS will also make possible the admission of
a number of international scholars from Southern countries to the RTP course in
January 2004. For information please contact the SEPHIS South Asia Regional Desk
at the Centre.
Project on Documentation of Bengali Advertisement supported by SEPHIS:
The Centre begun the work of documentation of Advertisement in Bengali in its
archive, the project initially supported by the India Foundation for the Arts and
from 2002 being supported by SEPHIS. Under this project, the Centre so far
documented a huge collection of texts and visuals of Bengali advertisement in its
archive. Professor Gautam Bhadra is the over all in–charge of the project and
Abhijit Bhattacharya of the Archive working as co–investigator for the
History of the United Bank of India:
This is a story project of the UBI
which recently celebrated its
anniversary. Starting from a review of the Social History of Banking
in Bengal in the 19th
and early 20th
investigation under the project discovers the roots of the bank in the merger of the
four prominent bengal banks and dwells briefly on their individual histories. The
next phase studied is the growth of the private bank prior to nationalization. The
nationalization question not only brouht a big debate in banking but also put
enormous pressure on the bank to grow and meet the challenges of development
banking. The recent years witness a crisis, stabilization and turnaaround for the
Principal Investigators: Indrajit Mallick
and Sugata Marjit
A collaborative project for research and training being funded by the
programme of DANIDA. Under this the Centre’s faculty worked with the
International Development Studies group at Roskilde University
, Denmark, and the
, Kampala, Uganda. There have been joint research workshops and
publications on the institutional foundations of industrialization’ and urban
culture and democracy. PhD students from Uganda and India have been trained at
Calcutta and Roskilde. For more information please contact
INDIA FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS & JAPAN FOUNDATION:
Foundation for the Arts
, Bangalore and Japan Foundation
Asia Centre are funding
the extensive documentation of textual and visual material of 19th
century Bengal held at the Centre’s archive.
A project on Social Development Research in West Bengal sponsored by the
for International Development (DFID)
of the Government of UK was completed in
“Groundwater Markets in West Bengal, India: Emergence, Evolution and Market
Structure”: The project is sponsored by the South Asia Network of Economic Research
, a subsidiary of Global Development Network of the World
Bank. The project is being supervised by Pranab Kumar Das. This is a collaborative
project with Dr. Bhaswar Moitra, Department of Economics, Jadavpur University,
Kolkata. This study aims at an investigation of the nature and patterns of
development of groundwater markets across distinct agro–climatic zones in West
Bengal, in particular what physical, technological, social and economic factors
foster or impede the establishment and growth of private groundwater markets. Future
research requires careful documentation of salient ground level features of the
Groundwater markets across agro–climatic zones in the state. Further the study
tries to capture the patterns of evolution – ownership, technology and market
structure–of these markets. Recent advances in game theory and industrial
organization theory can offer valuable insight into the nature and pattern of
contracts, contract enforcement, entry barriers and persistence of concentration and
Reserve Bank of India Research Endowment:
This Reserve Bank of India
Endowment is located within the Centre for
conducting research primarily in the fields of Banking, Industry, Finance and
Macroeconomics. Economists within the Centre participate in this specialized
research programme. The endowment is chaired by Prof. Sugata Marjit
as the RBI Professor of Industrial
Economics. The endowment publishes India
through Sage India
A number of research projects
partially or fully funded by the endowment are in progress. Some of the completed
research projects are :
Financial Sector Reform for Stimulating Growth on Investment in India.
- Regional Trade Openness Index and Income Disparity – A New Methodology
and the Indian Experiment.
- Pro–Market Reform and Informal Wage – Theory and the
Contemporary Indian Perspective.
- A Portfolio Based Theory of Excessive Foreign Borrowing and Capital Control
in a small Economy.
- ‘Collateral Monitoring and Banking Regulation’, Sugata Marjit
and Indrajit Mallick.
- ‘Real Sector, Banks and Policy Issues: An Exploration in a Dynamic
Macroeconomic Model’, Pranab Kumar Das.
- ‘Trade Reform, Internal Capital Mobility and Informal Wage –
Theory and Evidence’, Sugata Marjit and Saibal Kar.
- ‘Entrepreneurial Culture, Occupational Choice and Tax Policy: A Simple
Theoretical Note’, Saibal Kar.
- ‘Interest Rate Policy and Macroeconomic Performance’, Sugata
- ‘Investment of Indian Firms in an Imperfect Capital Market’,
Sugata Marjit, Pranab Kumar Das and Jayati Bhattacharyya.
- ‘A Macroeconometric Model for India: The Credit View’, Pranab
For more information please contact Dr. Saibal Kar
Economic Analysis of Corporate Bankruptcy Law Reform in India:
This is a project done on behalf of the CSSSC and funded by the WB National
University of Juridical Sciences
. A team of lawyers, economists and accountants
have contributed to the project report which deals with the genesis of corporate
bankruptcy in India, the contemporary problem and the issues raised. Theoretical
Literature and Empricial Literature have been reviewed to specify the problem and
the nature of the query.
For more information please contact Dr. Indrajit Mallick
Writing New Cultural History of Eastern India supported by the Ford
The project began in March 2004 and work has begun on further acquisition at the
archive of relevant historical documents from all over Eastern India. The process of
selection of Doctoral and Post–doctoral fellows with specialization in Eastern
India has already Began. Professor Partha Chatterjee is over all in–charge of
DFID sponsored project on Strengthening Rural Decentralisation (SRD) in the state of
The DFID sponsored project on Strengthening Rural Decentralisation (SRD) in the
state of West Bengal is currently in progress. The Centre is involved in the
creation of baseline data and purpose level indicators that would facilitate the
programme to be carried out in all 18 districts of the state by the Department of
Panchayat and Rural Development. The first phase of the project has recently been
concluded. Six districts were studied and the findings were shared with DFID and the
Government of West Bengal. The second phase of the project has now been completed.
The study was conducted on behalf of the Centre by a study team drawn from the
Survey of Libraries and Archives in Eastern India and Bangladesh:
The CSSSC is currently engaged in a survey of libraries and archives in Bangladesh
and in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura among Eastern Indian provinces. This is a
collaborative project with the Center for South Asia Libraries (CSAL)
the survey aims to a broader project on South Asia Union catalogue (Phase: II) in
collaboration with University of Chicago and Center for Research Libraries in USA
and Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai as member institute in South Asia. The
project will be housed in the CSSSC with an aim to compute all available
bibliographic records published in any South Asian languages from Eastern India,
Bangladesh, Bhutan and Colonial Burma in a single database and upload the same in
Online Public Access Cataloguing system. An earlier version of the survey, conducted
independently by the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta is available on
Abhijit Bhattacharya is coordinating the project on survey and bibliography on
behalf of the Centre. The final report of the survey is expected to be published by
the middle of May 2006 and the bibliography project will start from June 2006 and
will continue for three years with financial support from National Endowment for
Humanities, USA. For more information please contact Mr. Abhijit Bhattacharya
Indexing of Articles from 19th and early 20th century periodicals:
This is a collaborative project between the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences,
Calcutta and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL
), Chicago. The purpose of the project
is indexing of articles in selected periodicals, especially on health and hygiene,
published in 19th
and early 20th
century journals those are
already documented by the archive of the CSSSC. The index will be published in
electronic format along with the journal articles, wherever possible following the
Online Public Access Cataloguing system. Abhijit Bhattacharya
is the coordinator of the project.
South Asia Union Catalogue Project:
The project is sponsored by the Center for South Asia Libraries (CSAL
Chicago for computing all bibliographic records published in South Asia from its
earliest instance to 1959 in a central server and gives open access to the database
to the scholars. The initiative of preparing such a database taken in 2003 as
Asia Union Catalog
and for smooth functioning of the project the South Asian
region divided in four phases and The CSSSC, a member institute of the CSAL for the
bibliographic and archiving projects is the base for the Phase – 2 to cover
Eastern Indian provinces, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Colonial Burma. This is a
quadrangular project with University of Chicago, Center for Research Libraries,
Chicago, CSSSC and Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai and is expected to be
completed by 2009. Abhijit
is acting as coordinator of South Asia for the project.
The pilot research project titled “Rescuing text: retrieval and documentation
of printed books and periodicals published prior to 1950 from public institutions in
Eastern India” is aiming at systematic documentation of printed literature
published prior to 1950 and from public institution libraries lacking infrastructure
This pilot project will prepare an index of books from eastern India, available in
public libraries in West Bengal and Assam but which are lacking basic preservation
The history of printing in Eastern India dates back to 1778, with the establishment
of public libraries in Calcutta and neighbouring districts from the 1850s. These
public institutions played a crucial role in the formation of civil society under
colonial surveillance. They were not only hubs of intellectualism but also created a
depository for documents emerging from within and outside the modern European
disciplinary approach. Many contain unique books and monographs on subjects such as
caste, religion, regional history and and social practices in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth century Bengal.
The majority of public institutional libraries in eastern India are not adequately
funded, with most of them running on voluntary services and very little in the way
of funding from the provincial governments. This lack of funding is leading to a
crisis for the documents in their custody, from damage due to lack of maintenance to
pilering. Just the one example of Chaitanya Library shows that more than 5,000 of
pre–1930 publications have disappeared since the production of the catalogue
in 1936. Paper documents in the libraries are often laminated with cheap lamination
papers that will lead to the total destruction of the document. Hence, the fragile
nature of paper documents produced in colonial India and the lack of conservation
measures make these documents endangered.
A survey will be conducted of approximately fifteen public libraries in these
regions to identify unique books and periodicals published prior to 1950 –
those titles that are already held elsewhere as shown by cataloguing records will be
eliminated. Approximately 5,000 titles will then be prioritised for microfilming and
digitisation as part of a future major digitisation project. The prioritisation will
be based both on the nature of endangerment and the subject specific interest of the
documents. Principal Investigator: Abhijit Bhattacharya
Endangered Archive Programme funded project on “Retrieval of two major and
endangered newspapers: Jugantara and Amrita Bazar Patrika” (EAP262)
This project aims to digitally retrieve and store two leading newspapers, Jugantara
patrika (Calcutta, Bengali, daily: 1937 – 1980) and Amrita bazar patrika
(Jessor / Calcutta, bi–lingual / English, bi–weekly / daily: (1872
– 1890; 1892 – 1905; 1911; 1919) – two of the most important
newspapers from colonial and post–colonial Bengal. Most issues of both these
newspapers are not available or usable in any safe archive.
The project will retrieve the available volumes and eventually provide unrestricted
open access to the documents. Abhijit Bhattacharya
is the Principal Investigator of the
project and the project is funded by the ARCADIA through Endangered Archive
Programme of the British Library. For further details please see: http://www.bl.uk/about/policies/endangeredarch/2009/bhattacharya.html
EAP341 – Major project: Rescuing text: retrieval and documentation of printed
books and periodicals from public institutions in eastern India published prior to
The previous EAP pilot project created a database of 26,579 books in minor archives
and libraries located in districts without any infrastructure. From this database
5,000 unique and endangered books will be selected for digitisation for this
A combination of the lack of availability in safe archives, either within India or
internationally, and poor storage conditions make the fragile printed books
endangered. The priority is also further based on more vulnerable libraries and for
digitising non–fiction documents first. The books will be digitised from eight
public libraries in the districts of Howrah, Hooghly, 24 Parganas North and 24
Parganas South, all located in semi–urban and rural areas within the proximity
The history of printing in Eastern India dates back to 1778 when the pioneering
effort of Charles Wilkins with the assistance of Panchanan and Manohar Karmakar led
to the first metal typecasts in Bengali. This ushered in the era of Bengali
printing. Public libraries were established in Calcutta and in the neighbouring
districts from the 1850s. For example, with the patronage of Jayakrishna Mukherjee,
the zamindar of Uttarpara, a library for the public was established in 1854 with an
initial holding of 3,000 books. Other public libraries were set up in Konnagar and
Bali in the same year. Mohiary Public Library in Howrah district was established in
1886 with the initial patronage of local elites and then by common people –
the library is now a depository of hundreds of unique titles of books and
monographs on caste, religion and social practices in late nineteenth and early
twentieth century Bengal. These public institutions played a crucial role in the
formation of civil society under colonial surveillance. They were not only hubs of
intellectual exercise but also created a depository of all sort of documents that
emerged within and outside the modern European disciplinary approach addressed for
the public sphere.
Most of the public libraries are now suffering from a severe financial and
management crisis that make most of the documents completely unsuitable for
consultation and the remainder are disappearing fast. This project will provide
visibility of those documents to the historians of present and future.
The project team will capture images of books following the EAP guidelines for
digitisation. On completion of the project the Centre for Studies in Social
Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) will provide access both from its reading room and online
through CSSSC – University of Heidelberg cooperation. Copies will be given to
the British Library.
Principal Investigator: Abhijit Bhattacharya
For more information please visit: http://eap.bl.uk/database/overview_project.a4d?projID=EAP341;r=41
Any query or suggestion can be forwarded to Abhijit Bhattacharya
The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta in partnership with UNICEF (West
Bengal Office) has established the Social Inclusion Cell to pursue the larger goal
of improving the situation of socially excluded communities, especially children and
women in the state.
Archive And Access
This is to announce the beginning of the project ‘Archive And
, aimed at forming a consortium of libraries and archives and
training workshops towards setting up digital catalogues and shared resources in
- Rochelle Pinto (Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore).
- Aparna Balachandran (Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore).
- Abhijit Bhattacharya (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata).
Supported by the Jamsetji Tata Trust.
This project connects archives, libraries and private collections of texts in India
through online catalogue sharing and helps to serve a community of local scholars
who would otherwise find it difficult to access resources.
As an archive / library of some significance, we hope to interest you in this
project. It involves the following:
- Participation of your archivists or librarians in our training programme to
be held in Bangalore, to learn how to digitize catalogues.
- We hope that participating institutions will agree to being part of a
consortium with shared responsibilities towards maintenance of online
catalogues and providing open access to their catalogues.
- All databases and digital documents that you may generate if you have the
funds to digitize your collection can be stored in a single server with
mirroring within one institute that maintains an online server.
- We will maintain contact with you and help with overseeing the digitizing
processes if undertaken.
- Maintenance and subsequent workshops will be planned.
If you are interested in participating in our first training programme to be held in
Bangalore between November and December this year, or in any aspect of this project,
please contact us at email@example.com
, or Rochelle Pinto
This project is housed at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore.
A number of faculty members serve as office bearers for various academic
associations such as the Council of the ICSSR, the governing body of the Institute
for Studies in Industrial Development (New Delhi), and the Standing Committee on
Women’s Studies of the UGC.
Many are on the editorial boards of academic journals such as the Aitihasik,
Sociological Bulletin, Global Governance, Identities.