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23 June 2022

King's India Institute celebrates ten years of impact

Now in its 10th year, the King’s India Institute has been celebrating its many achievements and the importance of deepening public understanding of contemporary India in the changing global environment.

King's India Institute 10th anniversary graphics

The King’s India Institute has celebrated 10 years of delivering research, teaching and public engagement in a time that sees India at the forefront of the world’s most pressing transformations.

India is the world’s fifth largest economy and will soon be the world’s most populous country – home to more than 1 in 6 people in the world. The Indo-Pacific region is also one of the most strategically significant theatres for global geo-politics.

Since its inauguration in 2012, the Institute has established itself as a world-leading hub for expertise on contemporary India, fulfilling the mission of founding director Professor Sunil Khilnani.

The institute has seen more than 200 students graduate from its master’s and PhD programmes, as well as many more who have undertaken short courses and modules. 

The institute also supports the growing the number of academic staff across King’s who research and teach on India and the wider South Asian region, and it has attracted over £2.6 million in research grants and fellowships.

Speaking at the recent anniversary celebrations, King’s India Institute Director Professor Louise Tillin noted the importance of a space for engaged, critical and independent scholarship on contemporary India.

Today, with challenges to democracy, technological change, strategic rivalries in the Indo-Pacific region, pressing environmental risks and more, it is my belief that the work of the India Institute has never been more relevant – as we nurture the next generation of students and researchers who will have a transformative impact on India’s future.

Professor Louise Tillin, Director of the King's India Institute

King’s India Institute should be commended for bringing together scholarship and engagement on India. I was there when it first began and it’s a pleasure to see the Institute become an integral part of the conversation on India in the UK and Europe.

King’s Principal and President, Professor Shitij Kapur

Celebrations for the institute’s 10th anniversary began in Delhi, India, in April, with an alumni event hosted by King’s Principal and President, Professor Shitij Kapur and the King’s India Institute. Three institute alumni spoke at the event about their impactful work since graduating in the field of data, technology and society to a packed audience of former King’s students.

In May, the institute hosted the Chevening Distinguished Lecture with author, William Dalrymple. He spoke about his book, ‘Anarchy: the relentless rise of the East India Company’. In June, the institute hosted the annual lecture of the British Association of South Asian Studies, delivered by Professor Samita Sen on the struggles for unionisation of domestic workers in India.

The institute partnered with The Dickson Poon School of Law and Jindal Global Law School to host a distinguished lecture on 20 June by Dr Justice Chandrachud, presumptive future Chief Justice of India on human rights and civil liberties, and the role of courts in democracy.

The India Institute’s PhD students also hosted their annual graduate conference between 21-23 June in partnership with the South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore. This year, more than 50 PhD students discussed research around the theme change and continuity in South Asia: unpacking identity, security and technology.

The anniversary celebrations culminated with a reception on the evening of 20 June, bringing together staff, students, alumni and guests. The evening included a special anniversary recital by Hindustani Classical vocalist, Prabhat Rao, with his team of musicians on tabla, harmonium and tanpura.

Photos from the King's India Institute's 10th anniversary celebrations. Credit: David Tett

Photos from the 'Protecting human rights and preserving civil liberties: The role of courts in a democracy' lecture with Honourable Dr Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. Credit: Dominic Turner

In this story

Louise Tillin

Professor of Politics