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About Pattrika
This biannual newsletter is conceived to give a glimpse of the many and varied projects conducted by the French research centres in India.This third issue in the new online format covers the first half of 2018. Click here for previous issues
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IFP: ifpinfo{at}ifpindia{dot}org

EFEO: administration{at}efeo-pondicherry{dot}org

CSH: communication{at}csh-delhi{dot}com

After contributing a few lines to the very first issue of Pattrika, which appeared in September 1999, it happens to fall to the EFEO, and so to me, to write the editorial for the 50th issue. Initially, Pattrika consisted of a single double-page-spread thrice a year, the only pictures being those of the covers of a couple of books. (One of my own books was also announced in Pattrika 1, but the indological publications at the time had no jacket-illustrations, and so these sober covers required no illustration!)

The French ambassador to India at the time, H.E. M. Claude Blanchemaison, wrote the first editorial, alluding to the creations of the three French institutions, the EFEO in Hanoi 1900, the IFP in Pondicherry 1956 and the CSH in Delhi in 1990, thus very roughly charting in time and space the contours of France's evolving preoccupations with India.

Pattrika was the first effort to showcase in a concerted fashion the activities of the three French institutions of research in India, which, up until that point, had pretty much limited such "outreach" activities to the production of institutionally separate annual or quinquennial reports. Since then, what with colour screens, the computing power to deal with any number of images and the explosion into all our lives of the internet, such newsletters have proliferated online, which is where the Pattrika began to migrate in 2009, becoming eventually the exclusively electronic publication that it is today.

Like Groucho Marx, who is credited with the sentiment that he wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have people like him as a member, I sometimes think that I would not wish to be a reader of the sort of institutional newsletters to which I find myself having to contribute. And yet Pattrika does in fact again and again prove helpful, both as a log of dates and events for those working in these three French research institutions, and as a platform for passing news to a much wider audience about the activities conducted. Indeed I am often surprised by people mentioning information that they have acquired from Pattrika and found useful.

Dominic Goodall, Head of the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO

Contact: dominic{dot}goodall{at}efeo-pondicherry{dot}org