DECEMBER 2019

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the IFP's newsletter!

Every two months, this newsletter will give you information on the past and future activities of our research centre. Science must be shared and the results of research should reach the widest possible audience. The stakes are particularly high in this post-truth era. The newsletter also aims to increase our visibility. Take the time to discover our new research projects, the new kinds of scientific questioning that happen behind the walls of our heritage building, the use they make of cutting-edge technology. Come and attend the free lectures of a new series that we have launched, visit our library and explore its rich collections ...The journey of discovery has only just begun.


Ms. Catherine Suard, Consule générale à Pondichéry et Chennai inaugurated the 5th edition of the Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry (SSWSP) organized by the French Institute of Pondicherry on December 2, 2019 at Alliance française de Pondichéry


The thousands of ex-voto statues in the sacred grove of Thennampakkam (Tamil Nadu) symbolize the diversity of IFP's research: on society and culture, in their contemporary and historical dimensions, but also on ecology and environmental dynamics.


NOVEMBER 2019 - MARCH 2020

Les conférences de l’Institut Français de Pondichéry
« Un autre regard sur l’Inde » L'Inde au-delà des clichés
Lectures on Culture and Society

On Tuesdays 6:30 PM

DECEMBER 20, 2019

'Transmission and Preservation in a multi-linguistic society'
Conference on Indigenous languages of India

JANUARY 22-25, 2019

Workshop on Local food system of Pondicherry: A discussion on food sovereignty and agro-ecology

FEBRUARY 2, 2020

World Wetlands Day  - Photography Contest 2020


OCTOBER 1, 2019

Water as an urban asset in Pondicherry region: paradoxes in planning, challenging social practices

Her research is part of IFP's RUSE project: “Pour une Résilience Urbaine, Sociale et Environnementale”. Supported by AFD, RUSE aims to develop an interdisciplinary approach to monitoring urban and socio-ecological dynamics in the Pondicherry region.

At the scale of Pondicherry, the analysis focuses on the ways in which water is factored in planning documents. Two case studies, the Uppar drain and the Thengaitthitu lagoon, aim not only to confront planning and on-site observation, but also to examine social practices towards water bodies. This analysis is therefore an attempt to approach the social dimension of water bodies, considering people’s perception towards their very presence, their uses and the eventual necessity of their "valorization".

OCTOBER 8, 2019

Mid-term presentation of the WaterPondi project, funded by Région Centre-Val de Loire
What new raison d’être for Kanagan and Ossoudu tanks when surface irrigation has disappeared?

One of the priorities of the Water-Pondi project is to characterize all the mechanisms of degradation (in quantity and quality) of the surface and groundwater bodies that surround two ancient lakes, one in a rural area, the Ousteri/Ossudu lake, and the other in an urban area, the Kanagan tank. Both are no longer used for surface irrigation. What new raison d’être can allow their protection? While supporting colleagues in bio-physical sciences from other institutions (hydrology, sedimentology…), the IFP's team of social scientists is focusing on studying the multifarious – sometimes competing –  uses of the tanks and their multiple stakeholders, including representations of the two water bodies in the popular imagination. This research is conducted in synergy with the programme on conservation ecology launched by the department of Ecology of the IFP (Ousteri and Kaliveli lakes).

OCTOBER 17-18, 2019

Knowledge Summit, Lyon

This event was an important step towards reinforcing Indo-French Cooperation in higher education, research, and innovation. It brought together a wide range of stakeholders from the economic and academic ecosystems, who enthusiastically took part in intensive exchanges. IFP participated in the follow-up meeting of the Living Lab that had taken place in Bangalore and is a partner of the inclusive Indo-French network Agriculture, land, water, food, and nutrition.

NOVEMBER 8, 2019

Fungal endophytes: Ecology and technological potential

Lecture by T.S.Suryanarayanan, Vivekananda Institute of Tropical Mycology, Chennai.

Fungal endophytes invariably reside in the living tissues of plants without causing any disease. They produce, in culture, an array of secondary metabolites with novel molecular architecture exhibiting desirable bioactivities; these include anti-bacterial, anti-malarial, anti-insect, anti-algal and anti-cancer activities. Some endophytes produce the metabolites of their host plant as well. Furthermore, endophyte presence enhances the stress tolerance of their host plants to abiotic and biotic stressors leading to the view that they could be used as an alternative for plant breeding aiming towards crop improvement. Recent investigations confirm that endophytes also produce novel industrially important enzymes.  

NOVEMBER 19, 2019

Les conférences de l’Institut Français de Pondichéry - Un autre regard sur l’Inde

L’agriculture indienne pe ut-elle nourrir la population sans détruire l’environnement ? by Frédéric Landy (IFP-Université Paris Nanterre)

Housefull! The first talk in our new series of lectures, held on Nov. 19, was a resounding success. Frédéric Landy, the director of the IFP, gave a talk entitled “Can the population be fed without destroying the environment”?  India is statistically self-sufficient in cereals and milk, but food security is far from being achieved for all the citizens. Furthermore, the green revolution has seriously damaged the Indian environment. Other tracks must be followed such as agroecology or the payment of ecosystem services to farmers.

Other talks are scheduled for Tuesdays, 6.30 pm, first in French and later in English.They will touch upon various aspects of Indian culture and society. Admission is free.


Hilger A., Nordman C.J., 2019. Coping with a policy shock in rural South India: Social networks as a determinant of trust, Ideas for India:

Trust and participation in social networks are inherently interrelated. This article identifies the determinants of trust in rural South India, where a mechanism of coping with shocks through transactions based on trust and credit has been well established, and has intensified as a result of the demonetisation shock of 2016. It shows that social interactions can foster trust, though this is dependent on the type of interaction occurring as a result of the shock.

Isabelle Guérin, F. Roubaud, F. Bédécarrats. "Prix Nobel d’économie 2019 : les limites de la méthode des essais cliniques". La Conversation, October 25, 2019.

A critical assessment of therandomized control trials” advocated by Esther Duflo, Abijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer who just received the 2019 Nobel prize in Economics.

Ponceaud-Goreau E.,Goreau-Ponceau A., 2019. In: Marmion J-F. (ed.). Histoire universelle de la connerie, Éditions Sciences humaines, Paris, pp. 151-164.

Bautès, N., Soares Gonçalves R. Cidade Nova, Praça Onze e a abertura da Avenida Presidente Vargas: do apagamento à ressurgência da memória da Pequena Africa do Rio de Janeiro, in A.L.D.Lanna et al., 2019, Transiçõesmetropolitanas e Centralidadesnascidadesbrasileiras no breveséculo XX. Sao Paulo: Ed. Anna Blume, Coll. Fapesp/IRD editions.

From the erasure to the resurgence of the memory of Little Africa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Richard-Ferroudji A., 2019, Ambivalence about groundwater: promoting conservation while justifying over-exploitation in an Indian newspaper, RILE, RevistaInterdisciplinar de Literatura e Ecocrítica, v. 1 n. 2 : DiálogosEcocríticos, pp. 64-92.

This text analyses the wording and representation of groundwater by The Hindu. This journal contributes to making these resources more visible and promotes their conservation while justifying exploitation. We identified four qualifications of groundwater: (a) endangered heritage whose access must be regulated, (b) limited resource that must be optimized, (c) issue of survival with access ensured and (d) a source of emancipation that must be granted.

Malangin R., 2019. « L’anti-gouverneur » André Boyelleau. Hommes de la Compagnie et hommes du Roi à Pondichéryen 1766, In: Chaillou-Atrous V., Penot P.-E. (eds), Outre-terre, outre-mer : cultures, colonialisme, impérialismes : mélanges pour Jacques Weber, Les Indes savantes, p. 55-76.

Shortly after its Indian territories were returned to France by the British at the end of 1764, the “Compagnie des Indes” sent André Boyelleau back to India. He was handed the settlement’s interim government. From that point, he started to challenge systematically the powers of the Governor General in the name of the "superiority of his council". The analysis of this episode highlights the upheaval created by the policy of the Choiseul who distrusted the Company, the competing  ambitions and precedence within the Company's staff and the party-based solidarity that prevailed in the colonies.

Sébastia B., 2019. From siddha corpus to siddha medicine. Reflection on the reduction of siddha knowledge through exploration of manuscripts, In: Mishra A. (ed.).Local Health Traditions: Plurality and marginality in South Asia, Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi, pp. 129-155.

In many manuscripts dedicated to the South Indian siddha knowledge, the medical compenent is inextricably enmeshed with other subjects, namely alchemy and magic, philosophy and spirituality, ascetic practices and astrology. This corpus differs from the content of what it is today called siddha medicine, whose institutionalisation in schools modelled on the British educational system led to a clear separation between subjects defined as medical and those considered as falling under philosophy and history of sciences or of religions.

The IFP a research centre is accessible to all for visits: Permanent exhibition and Library. Public visiting time 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On demand the extended services that shall be rendered: Organisation of Events (scientific /corporate), Cocktails, Photo/film shootings which are subject to conditions. Please contact: