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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 term.

Application kits may be requested from Mr. Bodhisattva Kar, SSRC Project Associate at the address of CSSSC or by e–mail to ssrccal@cssscal.orgfrom 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 (EAP921):

Early-modern texts and modern legacies: Digitisation of Manuscripts, Books, Newspapers in southern West Bengal .

The project is a continuation of earlier pilot on the huge body of diverse literature available in public institutions and private collections of southern West Bengal and expected to continue from January 2017 - December 2018.

Abhijit Bhattacharya, Rajarshi Ghose and Jayeeta Mazumder are investigators of the project.

Any query relating to the project may be sent to abhijit@cssscal.org

For more information please visit: http://eap.bl.uk/database/overview_project.a4d?projID=EAP921;r=41 

Endangered Archives Programme funded project (EAP781):

Shantipur and its neighbourhood: Text and images of early modern Bengal in public and private collections – Major Research Project

Project Overview: The project is an outcome of the pilot research on sources of historical records in the district of Nadia coordinated by the Archives team of CSSSC during 2013 -14. Based on findings in pilot the major project expected to digitise and catalogue thousands of old manuscripts from the collection of Santipur Bangiya Puran Parishad; books from several small holdings in Santipur and Phulia; paintings and photographs of Lalitmohan Sen from the private collection of Shri Prabartak Sen and municipal records of the Santipur Municipality, one of the oldest municipal towns with full native representation in India.

Abhijit Bhattacharya and Rajarshi Ghose are investigators of the project.

Any query relating to the project may be sent to abhijit@cssscal.org

For more information please visit: http://eap.bl.uk/database/overview_project.a4d?projID=EAP781;r=153 

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 ngered Archives 341 Project of the CSSSC received the pre Any query or suggestion can be forwarded to Abhijit Bhattacharya.

The Endangered Archives 341 Project of the CSSSC received the prestigious 11th Manthan Award South Asia and Asia Pacific for Digital inclusion for Development for the year 2014

The project awarded for best practices in Information Technology and Access policy and for digitising 3,700 books from libraries in remote areas of West Bengal districts. Abhijit Bhattacharya, Documentation Officer and Project Director of Endangered Archives Projects at the CSSSC received the Award on behalf of the Archive team of the institute in an award ceremony followed by presentation of the project at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The project awarded in the category of e-Culture, Heritage and Tourism. Jayeeta Majumder, Kamalika Mukherjee and Tapan Paul are members of both Archive and Project team with Abhijit Bhattacharya
SEPHIS:
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 SEPHIS. 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 project.
History of the United Bank of India:
This is a story project of the UBI which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Starting from a review of the Social History of Banking in Bengal in the 19th and early 20th century, the 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 bank.

Principal Investigators: Indrajit Mallick and Sugata Marjit.
ENRECA:
A collaborative project for research and training being funded by the ENRECA programme of DANIDA. Under this the Centre’s faculty worked with the International Development Studies group at Roskilde University, Denmark, and the Centre for Basic Research, 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 Susanta Ghosh.
INDIA FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS & JAPAN FOUNDATION:
The India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore and Japan Foundation Asia Centre are funding the extensive documentation of textual and visual material of 19th and 20th century Bengal held at the Centre’s archive.
DFID:
A project on Social Development Research in West Bengal sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the Government of UK was completed in 2002.
SANEI:
“Groundwater Markets in West Bengal, India: Emergence, Evolution and Market Structure”: The project is sponsored by the South Asia Network of Economic Research Institutes (SANEI), 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 welfare issues.
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 Macroeconomics Annual through Sage India, U.K. 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 Marjit.
  • ‘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 Kumar Das.
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 Foundation:
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 the project.
DFID sponsored project on Strengthening Rural Decentralisation (SRD) in the state of West Bengal:
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 faculty.
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), and 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 http://dsal.uchicago.edu/csal/surveys/bengali-survey-india.doc. 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 South 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 Bhattacharya 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 for conservation.

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 facilities.

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 1950.
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 project.

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 of Calcutta.

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 Endangered Archives 341 Project of the CSSSC received the prestigious 11th Manthan Award South Asia and Asia Pacific for Digital inclusion for Development for the year 2014

The project awarded for best practices in Information Technology and Access policy and for digitising 3,700 books from libraries in remote areas of West Bengal districts. Abhijit Bhattacharya, Documentation Officer and Project Director of Endangered Archives Projects at the CSSSC received the Award on behalf of the Archive team of the institute in an award ceremony followed by presentation of the project at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The project awarded in the category of e-Culture, Heritage and Tourism. Jayeeta Majumder, Kamalika Mukherjee and Tapan Paul are members of both Archive and Project team with 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 Access’, aimed at forming a consortium of libraries and archives and training workshops towards setting up digital catalogues and shared resources in India.

Project personnel:

  • 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 publicarchivesindia@gmail.com, or Rochelle Pinto or 09830986757 and Abhijit Bhattacharya. This project is housed at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore.
Collaborations:
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.
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