The Indian Institute of Advanced Study was set up by the Ministry of Education, Government of India as a Society under the Societies Registration act XXI of 1860, with effect from 6th October 1964. The Institute started functioning at Shimla on 20th October,1965 when it was formally inaugurated by the then President of India, Professor S.Radhakrishnan.
Aims and objectives
The Institute aims at free and creative enquiry into the fundamental themes and problems of life and thought. It is a residential centre for research and encourages promotion of creative thought in areas which have deep human significance, and provides.an environment suitable for academic research, particularly in selected subjects in the Humanities, Indian Culture, Comparative Religion, Social and Natural Sciences and such other areas as the Institute may, from time to time, decide. The Institute provides facilities for advanced consultations and collaboration besides library and documentation facilities.
Areas of Study
The following areas have been selected for studies by the Institute:
(a) Social, political and economic philosophy;
(b) Comparative Indian (including ancient, medieval, modern folk and tribal);
(c) Comparative studies in philosophy and religion;
(d) Development of world-views;
(e) Education, culture, arts including performing arts and craft;
(f) Fundamental concepts and problems of logic and mathematics.
(g) Fundamental concepts and problems of natural and life sciences;
(h) Studies in environment, natural and social;
(i) Indian civilization in the context of Asian neighbours; and
(j) Problems of contemporary India in the context of national integration and nation-building.
(a) Theme of Indian unity in diversity;
(b) Intergrality of Indian consciousness;
(c) Philosophy of education in the Indian perspective;
(d) Advanced concepts in natural sciences and their philosophical implications;
(e) Indian and Asian contribution to the synthesis of science and spirituality;
(f) Indian and human unity;
(g) A Campanion to Indian Literature;
(h) A Comparitive Study of Indian Epics; and
(i) Human Environment.
The ongoing academic activity of the Institute is the research being done at any given time by its Fellows. From time to time, the Institute also undertakes interdisciplinary research project on which scholars from different disciplines work as a team.
The Institute also organizes several national level seminars every year on themes of pressing contemporary relevance as well as of fundamental theoretical significance. Frequently, distinguished scholars from abroad are also invited to these seminars.
The academic activities of the Institute have been backed by interesting cultural and extra curricular activities and celebrations of national events and festivals in befitting manner.
An essential part of the Institute’s activities is the organization of seminars on themes of pressing contemporary relevance as well as of fundamental theoretical significance. Every year three seminars are organized -one to expose the outcome of research at the Institute, another to generate ideas and give direction to the research efforts of the Institute and the third on the theme of National Integration. The Institute also organizes seminars with other Institutions. Themes for discussion are chosen with care and so are the participants.
Lecture Most important academic event of the Institute is annual Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture. The lecture is held during the birth week of Philosopher-President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who had gifted the Rashtrapati Nivas to the Ministry of Education to house Indian Institute of Advanced Study.So far this lecture has been delivered by Professor K.N. Raj, Professor J.S. Bajaj, Professor Simon Blackburn, Professor Richard Sorabji, Professor Andre Beteille, Professor M.G.K.Menon and Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya.
The Institute has also started Inter-Institutional Collaboration with other Institutions like Center for Studies in Civilization; Ved Vidya Pratishthan; Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan; Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies; National Institute of Advanced Study; Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute; Allahabad Museum, Deccan College, Post-Graduate and Research Institute; and the Center for Research in Rural and Industrial Development.
Fellows of the Institute
The backbone of the Institute have been the scholars who come to reside and work at the Institute.
Fellowships are advertised in about 20 national nationwide dailies and through web site. Selection of Fellowships are made through committees set up by the Governing Body consisting of experts in different areas of research, to assist the Director in determining the academic merit of scholars and their projects. There is a multiplicity of approach in selection of fellows. The selection is not necessarily confirmed to those who respond to advertisements. It is open to the Institute to consider the names of eminent scholars suggested by the Director of the Institute, the members of the Governing Body, and the Society. Talents are also identified through efforts on a regional and sub-regional basis. The final decision for the award of fellowships is taken by the Governing Body of the Institute on the recommendation of a common committee for all areas. The Governing Body can invite any eminent scholar to become a Fellow of the Institute.
The duration of Fellowship normally ranges from three months to two years. The initial assignment is given for only a year, and the Governing Body can extend the term of a fellow even upto three years.
1. Fellows are provided modestly furnished rent free residential accommodation in the cottages which are part of Rashtrapati Nivas Estate.
2. Telephones are provided whenever possible through the EPBAX system of the Institute.
All the Fellows are also provided:
1 A study which they may have to share with one or two other fellows,
2 Computer and e-mail facilities
3 Stationary items (to a limited extent)
The Institute protects the salary of scholars in service during the term of their Fellowship. For superannuated persons, the Fellowship grant is fixed between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 14,000 a month so as to ensure that after adding pensionary benefits the total amount does not exceed the last pay drawn. For National Fellows the fellowship grant is Rs.22,400/- less pensionary benefits.
The Institute has a well-developed Library. It has grown into a most prestigious one in the country through tremendous efforts put into its making by a number of dedicated individuals like Shri B.S.Kesavan, then Director of the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre, New Delhi. As Library Advisor to the Institute, he was able to place ten thousand volumes on shelves on the day of the Institute’s inauguration on 15 October, 1965. The library’s collection was soon enriched by acquiring the private collections of eminent scholars and organisations like the British Council, the Asia Foundation, and League of Arab Nations generous gifts of hundreds of rare pamphlets and books. Later, the library obtained rare Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian texts and manuscripts containing miniature paintings.