In This Issue
About Us
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.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
This year we have had inspections of our supervisory bodies and have received multiple recommendations for "rationalization", "pooling" and for "mergers" with other institutions. All of these recommendations are partly intended to reduce funding, either directly (by reducing subsidies) or indirectly (by reducing salaries or staff). While we share the broad objective of efficiently using public money at all times, we must be careful not to harm research and the conditions that make it possible: the independence of the researchers, and the means that they have at their disposal.

We have received many recommendations from our supervisory bodies to look for new sources of funding through the selling of our expertise, or the establishment of new partnerships. The IFP is well on its way: it has fantastic assets, with the enhancement of its collections and its historic building; it has created a foundation; it has invested in engaging a public-relations manager and in new partnerships; being the largest of all UMIFREs, it has an important knowledge pool to offer its expertise. All the same, Government assistance will remain essential. The CSH has also significantly raised the fraction of its revenue coming from external sources from 16% in 2016 to 36% this year! And over the last few years, the EFEO Centre has made efforts in this direction, and has played a key role in three important projects funded by the European Research Council. read more

The global debate on food security and the sustainability of farming systems has focused overwhelmingly on small family farms versus large commercial farms. Little attention has been paid to group farming, an intermediate alternative model, even though pooling land, labour and capital could have economic, environmental and social advantages. This is particularly true for many countries in the global South, such as India, where most farms are micro-farms. As the UN launches the decade of family farming, Bina Agarwal (University of Manchester and Institute of Economic Growth) and Bruno Dorin (Cirad and CSH), both economists, have identified the conditions that favoured the development of a model of group farming that is the only one of its kind in the world: the French model of Groupement agricole d'exploitation en commun or GAEC. Their results have been published in the journal Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. read more

The Cluster of Excellence "Understanding Written Artefacts" of the University of Hamburg is contributing to the research programme directed by Professor Dr. Eva Wilden, former member of the EFEO, by helping to finalise the results of the NETamil project (ERC Advanced Grant 339470), which ended on 28 February 2019, by extending the contracts of the Pondicherry NETamil team over a period of one year from the 1st of March 2019 to the 28th of February 2020. The purpose is to obtain a full catalogue and partial compilation of the huge number of additional manuscripts digitised by the NETamil team in view of the expected success of an application for an ERC Synergy Grant, in which Hamburg University and the EFEO will once again join forces in order to explore the transmission of Indian literature over multiple language-boundaries. read more

Past Events
From 9th to 12th of April, CSH co-organized with CNRS, JNU and CPR a 4-day school at JNU, welcoming students from various organizations across the country. Participants received an intensive training session to the R programming language, very widely used in the scientific community. Work groups were constituted to produce analysis on spatial data and propose solutions to contemporary issues read more

Forthcoming Events

This page presents the agenda of the forthcoming activities and events organised by the IFP, the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO and the CSH. Click to view Agenda


Namrata GULATI, Assistant Professor at South Asian University. She has been given the Associate Researcher Status, tu pursue her works about the impact of neighborhood, spatial inequalities and network on the welfare of poors, in collaboration with CSH's teams. read more


Sylvie PAQUIRY who had joined the IFP in March 2005 left on 31st April 2019 after having worked first as the "In Charge" of missions and projects in the General Secretariat and from August 2016, as Assistant Archivist in the Photo Archives section. read more

Tirumaṅkai Āḻvār’s Five Shorter Works: Experiments in Literature.
Annotated translation with glossaries Lynn Ate, Collection Indologie n˚ 140; NETamil Series n˚4, Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient / Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2019, ix, 433 p.
Language: English, Tamil. 900 Rs (38 €). ISBN: 978-81-8470-231-6 (IFP) / 978-2-85539-235-6 (EFEO)

This book is a study of the five shorter works of Tirumaṅkai Āḻvār, an eighth-century Tamil poet who had retired from a military career in South India to pursue his interest in literature. For each work, the book provides the original Tamil in metric feet, transliteration indicating word boundaries, and an English translation as true to the original Tamil as possible, with numerous notations on grammar and textual highlights. The introduction treats the poet’s interest in developing his literary skills by emulating a variety of poetic devices, techniques, structures, and strategies of earlier Tamil texts. read more


Within the framework of the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, the Pondicherry Centre of the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient hosted an exhibition of photographs by Jean-Louis Cardin entitled “Groves of Aiyaṉār / Les bosquets sacrés d’Aiyaṉār” which was inaugurated by Her Excellency Dr. Kiran Bedi, Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry on 31 January 2019.

In sacred groves at the edges of settlements, Aiyanar deploys his army of cows, horses, and elephants of terracotta. They stand in wait, ready for him to mount, so that he may chase away maleficent forces that threaten to disturb the serenity of sleeping villagers after dark. This photographic exhibition was a reflection of the fragile and eerie beauty of such shrines, ancient and modern, that are spread across the length and breadth of the Tamil-speaking South.
read more