Projects

Projects

Social Sciences, Indology

The study of Indian mathematics has traditionally focused on a list of canonized Sanskrit treatises. This focus on elite scholarly sources highlighted abstract conceptions, using contemporary or other major historical mathematical cultures as reference points. This research has largely ignored vernacular mathematics, often assuming it was derivative, inferior or insignificant. But mathematics was part of the everyday lives of many Indians through labor, craft, commerce and taxation. In South India (in particular Tamil Nadu and Kerala), we have substantial vernacular mathematical literature (in Tamil and Malayalam). The focus on the canon has significantly biased our understanding of the history of mathematics in India and detached it from its particular historical and contextual...

The study of Indian mathematics has traditionally focused on a list of canonized Sanskrit treatises. This focus on elite scholarly sources highlighted abstract conceptions, using contemporary or other major historical mathematical cultures as reference points. This research has largely ignored vernacular mathematics, often assuming it was derivative, inferior or insignificant...
Coastal Transformations and Fisher wellbeing
      This research project examines how government policies with regard to coastal development have transformed the physical, ecological and social character of coastal areas in India and select European countries and how this has impacted the wellbeing of fishing communities, who are historically the main coastal inhabitants. While the modernization of fisheries that...
From a case study in Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu (South India), this project aims at analyzing the craft production of terracotta pottery. This production is characterized by its subaltern position in the field of so-called « cultural industries »: it concentrates a series of challenges related to its sustainability and territorial heritages, and, at a larger scale, it embeds...
Kāvyadarpaṇa of Rājacūḍāmaṇidīkṣita is a Sanskrit rhetorical text that explains in detail the concept of merits, demerits and consistency of poetry. By understanding this text the composing of poetry becomes easier. Likewise, the grammar, essential for understanding the etymology of language, the Alaṅkāraśāstra (rhetorical treatise) is essential, too, for gaining expertise in...
Objectives Śivopaniṣad, consisting of approximately 700 verses and spread out in seven chapters, deals with Siva-temple construction, some important festivals such as the Car festival, various forms of special offerings and services to the common people and the devotees of Siva.  Unlike the Agama-s this text teaches a general form of Saivism that can be called the ‘Saivism...
Objectives The KARANAGAMA, a voluminous text belonging to the Saivasiddhanta Agama corpus, is an authoritative canonical text, of which IFP possesses many manuscripts in its collection. It is one of the oft-consulted text of authority for the plan and construction of the Siva-temple, for the various rites of installation, worship, and festivals inside the temple. The proposed...
Objectives The Amsumadagama is one of the hitherto unedited canonical texts of the Saivasiddhanta system. Consisting of many chapters on various rites - both private and public -, detailed instructions for temple building and other less known but interesting ceremonies concerning royal personnages, this voluminous text is a storehouse of important subjects that throw...
Objectives Kriyakramadyotika is an extensive Saiva ritual manual composed in Tamilnadu by the 12th century Saiva teacher-cum-commentator, Aghorasivacharya. All aspects of Saiva ritual are clearly expounded in detail. Two commentaries that further explain the source as well as the intricacies the Saiva ritual system have been composed around the 16th century, again, in...
Objectives   Production, exchange and redistribution practices based on solidarity can be found in almost all areas of economic activity. Long ignored, these Social and Solidarity Economic (SSE) practices are receiving growing attention by scholars and by public authorities. This increasing interest however, remains gender blind, even though these practices are highly...
Objectives   This research project aims at analysing the multiple facets of financialisation by considering them as illustrative of wider structural processes- the retreat of public provisioning and the withering away of “welfare state” politics, the emergence of new forms of risk-sharing between society and individuals, and the transformation of the very nature of...
Sambhupuspanjali
Objectives:   The main objective of this project is to bring out critical edition of rare unique and old manuscript for the future scholars. The Śambhupuṣpāñjali is a ritual manual (paddhati) containing the details of the mantras as well as the rituals for the performance of daily worship (nityapūjā) of Lord Śiva. This text is a compilation and it liberally draws from the...
Objectives:   Photography arrived in India in the 1840s. The first photographic society in South India was created in Madras in 1856. During the early decades of Indian photography, photography was accessible almost exclusively to the colonial administration and Indian elite. However by the 1880s, commercial photography studios had found their way into the bazaars of the...
Objectives:   a. Inventories of Magnolia species from the northeast region of India and conservation in the southern region of India. In India, there are 11 species in the wild, of which four are endemic. Most of them are distributed in the eastern Himalayas and northeast regions of India.  In addition, two species are under cultivation. b. Taxonomic study and preparing...
Objectives For centuries in India, the management of water and risks associated with the monsoon climate system, its variability and anomalies has been central to interactions between people, societies and their environment. It played a crucial and, in many ways, structuring role in cultural, socioeconomic, political developments and landscape transformations. In medieval...
General objectives Inequalities continue to be one of the major challenges in the world. Although they are multidimensional, most researches focus on income inequalities and neglect other dimensions, such as the populations’ access to (non)cognitive skills and social networks. Innovations of this programme include: i. grounded and longitudinal methods for appraising these...
Axis 2. of the Ecology Department /   Objectives:   To jointly conduct interdisciplinary research in the field of Melissopalynology and Honeybee Ecology in south India through systematic collection and analyses of honey samples and monitoring of surrounding vegetation.   Materials and methods:   This research study will be based on experiments and field work...
Axis 2. of the Indology Department /   Objectives:   The Saivasiddhanta is one of the ancient religio-philosophical systems. It was wide spread in many parts of India as well as in many countries of the South-East Asia since the first millennium. It is still very much in practice--both in private and in public—in Tamilnadu. In the course of its spread and development...
Axis 2. of the Indology Department /   Objectives:   The Saiva Agama-s are one of the fundamental canonical texts that serve as the basis for the Religio-phiosophical system of Saivasiddhanta that are still in use and practice. The French Institute of Pondicherry from its inception has been engaged in collecting the manuscripts of the Saiva Agama-s, critically editing...
Axis 2. of the Social Sciences Department /   Objectives: The Institute holds a strong tradition of multidisciplinary works on rural and environment issues and more specifically in the water field. The works on water underwent various development phases from the 1960’s and the study of the geography of irrigation (Adiceam, 1966, Landy,1992, 2003, Marius-Gnanou, 1991,...
The Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry (SSWSP) is a multi-year programme of intensive and multidisciplinary training workshops addressing theoretical and methodological issues in social sciences research. The SSWSP originates from an Indo-French cooperation in social sciences between the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) and Pondicherry University. The school...
Axis 1. of the Social Sciences Department /   Objectives:   Medicines, and more generally the means of which people avail to prevent, relieve or heal suffering and disease are formed, transformed and reformed in the field of health and beyond. The constitution of therapeutic spaces appears as the product of social, political and economic conditions and intra-actions...
Axis 4. of the Social Sciences Department /   Objectives:   This project aims to constitute a digital archive of vulnerable and scattered documents of relevance for the study of issues of land, caste and legal culture in rural Tamil Nadu over a period of three centuries (1650-1950). These private documents have never been available to the scientific community as they...
Axis 4. of the Indology Department /   Objectives:   Given the favourable geographical location of the IFP in the heart of the Tamil country, the Department of Indology endeavours to study the Tamil language, history and culture in all its diversity.  An important direction of research within the "Tamil Studies" programme relates to contemporary Tamil Nadu. The...
Axis 3. of the Social Sciences Department / Objectives: Since 2003, this research programme has been working on labour, finance and social dynamics in rural southern India, starting from financiarisation. Southern economies, including rural southern India, are increasingly monetarized but also increasingly financiarised. Households have growing needs for financial services,...
Axis 4. of the Ecology Department /   Objectives:   Accurate knowledge of the identity, geographic distribution and uses (or harmfulness) of plants underpins the success of agriculture and biodiversity conservation. In addition to the lack of readily accessible information on the species and data on their distribution impedes biodiversity conservation and...
Axis 3. of the Indology Department / Objectives:   Tamil, one of the classical languages in India, is also an ever-evolving contemporary language practiced in more than three continents. The IFP, situated in the heart of Tamil Nadu, has consistently developed over the last five years a small research unit on Contemporary Tamil studies with focus on the transition to...
Axis 1. of the Ecology Department / Objectives:   Ecosystems worldwide are changing as a result of myriad anthropogenic processes viz., deforestation, fragmentation, hunting, changes in CO2 concentrations, increasing temperatures and altered rates of nitrogen deposition etc. It may be easy to measure these physical and chemical drivers with reasonable accuracy and...
Axis 1. of the Indology Department /   Objectives:   In Sanskrit culture, Grammar (vyakarana) is given a central place. It is even considered as the first science (sastra). The Astadhyayi of Panini ( 4th century BC), codifies what we term as " classical " Sanskrit. A long series of commentaries have elucidated this over more than 2000 years old complex seminal text....
Axis 2. of the Ecology Department /   Objectives:   (i) To reconstruct the dynamics of land-cover changes in the study area and its catchments using biological proxies (pollen, if required – phytoliths) by understanding the vegetation history through time and land-use changes during the most recent periods. (ii) To systematically document pollen vegetation markers,...
Axis 4. of the Ecology Department /   Objectives:   The Western Ghats, a mountainous ridge running parallel to the west coast of India’s ancient peninsula, has a rich and intriguing history. The Western Ghats Portal seeks to provide a platform for aggregating diverse information on the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats Portal has now been...

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