The Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University (ISAS) was founded in 1978 upon the erstwhile India Studies Office (established in 1964 under late Premier Zhou Enlai's instruction on reinforcing the studies of foreign affairs). In January 2001, with the confirmation of the Ministry of Education, ISAS was entitled as a Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities (KRI). Years of efforts has made ISAS an effective and influential South Asian studies agency with a fair reputation home and abroad. As the only Chinese higher educational institute specializing in South Asian studies, ISAS enjoys the most complete collection of research data for South Asia studies in China and boasts its rich academic achievements. The institute has 19 full-time researchers, and most of them have furthered their academic careers in the U.S, U.K., India, and Belgium for at least 1 year. The present Executive Director of ISAS is Professor Li Tao.
ISAS devotes itself to study South Asian economy, security, social/cultural developments, China-South Asia relations in general and Sino-Pak relations & Sino-Indo relations in particular. It has completed more than 30 research projects entrusted by the National Social Sciences Foundation, Social Sciences Foundation of the Ministry of Education, and other relevant governmental agencies. Since 2001 when it was entitled as a Key Research Institute (KRI), ISAS had been entrusted with 16 major research projects, i.e., WTO and India's Economical Development, India's Security Strategy after Cold War, A Study on Regional Cooperation among China, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, Sino-Indo Relations: Tendencies in Early 21st Century, A Study of Economic Globalization: India's Experiences, Political Developments in South Asian Nations, Indo-Pak Relations Studies, A Study on India's Strategy for Developing High Technology, On the National Problems in India, India's Economic Reform: Experience and Lessons, Prospects for South Asian Regional Cooperation, India Rises: Implications and Countermeasures, A Study on Hindu Nationalism, Terrorism and Anti-terrorism in South Asia, Economical Development: the Indian Mode. Six of the above-mentioned projects has been completed, and the rest are under intensive research.
In addition, ISAS was entrusted with one research project from National Social Sciences Foundation, a number of projects from National Scholarship Foundation of the Ministry of Education, 1 project from Sichuan Provincial Social Sciences Foundation. About 10 cross-cutting projects (CW) deserve special attention. They include A Study on the Internationalization of Tibet Issue, Sichuan-South Asia Economic/Trade Cooperation Studies, South Asia-West China Cooperation and Development Studies, etc. ISAS received an accumulated research funding of RMB￥ 5.6938 million during 2004-2008 and RMB￥ 996.2 thousand in 2008 alone, ranking 1st (per capita) in Sichuan University at that year.
Some 30 academic monographs have been published since ISAS’s entitlement as KRI. South Asian Forefront Issues Studies Series, including Sichuan-South Asia Economic/Trade Cooperation Studies (Prof. Yang Wenwu), India in British Literature (Dr. Yin Xi'nan, Associate Professor), A Study on the Internationalization of India’s Software Enterprises (Dr. Dai Yonghong, Associate Professor), A Study on the Development of South Asia Regional Cooperation and China-SAARC relations (Prof. Li Tao), A Study on Regional Cooperation among China, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh (Prof. Chen Jidong), A Study on South Asian Countries' Trade and Environment-Protection Laws (Prof. Yang Cuibo). Moreover, India's Environment-Protection Laws (Prof. Yang Cuibo) has become the first outcome of a latest ISAS series publication, i.e. South Asian Studies Translations. In 2008, another 2 prestigious academic monographs of ISAS, i.e. Prof. Wen Fude's A Study of Economic Globalization: India's Experiences and Prof. Zhang Li's China's Concerns over the Indo-Pakistan Conflict and Sino-Indian Relations (English), published.
In addition, since 2001, more than 400 academic articles, including 34 published in CSSCI source journals in 2008 (2.4 per capita), are credited to ISAS. Among them, one is published in authoritative core journal, 5 are reprinted in Replicated Journals Series of Renmin University of China, and 2 are published overseas.
Research Team and Discipline Constructions
Thanks to years of teaching/researching practices, ISAS managed to consistently focus itself on four clear-cut research fields, as is listed below.
The first focus is South Asian economic and developmental studies (directed by Prof. Wen Fude), which mainly concentrate on the economic development and external economic linkages of South Asian countries in general and India & Pakistan in particular.
The second one is South Asian diplomatic and security studies (directed by Prof. Zhang Li), which focus on strategic studies of major South Asian countries, relevant international hot issues and China's strategic concerns.
The third focus is South Asian social and cultural studies (directed by Prof. Li Tao). South Asian religions, cultures and China-South Asia communications/interactions in this respect are its main focus. It put forward theoretical studies of religious & cultural affairs in general and transnational interactions and exchanges of South Asian religions and cultures in particular.
Fourthly comes China-South Asia relations studies (directed by Prof. Chen Jidong), which studies China's interactions with all South Asia countries in general and Sino-India/Sino-Pak diplomatic, economic relations in particular.
As an academic and educational agency, ISAS has established itself as a major cradle for professionals specialized in South Asian studies. The institute enrolls and teaches doctoral postgraduates majoring in World Economy (focus on South Asian Economy) as well as master-level postgraduates majoring in International Relations (including the study of Economic Relations, the study of Great Powers Interactions and the study of Foreign Relations of South Asian Nations). The postgraduate program of International Relations of ISAS was listed as a Key Discipline of Sichuan Province in October, 2008. The institute has 3 doctoral candidate supervisors and 8 master-level postgraduate supervisors. Some 130 master-level postgraduates and 9 doctoral candidates have graduated from ISAS and some 70 postgraduates and 10 doctoral candidates are working on their degrees in ISAS presently.
ISAS commits itself to enhance the interactions and exchanges among South Asian researching institutes home and abroad. It hosts domestic/international academic conferences every year. ISAS members attend a variety of academic events home and abroad each year. A number of political figures and scholars visit ISAS frequently, offering thought-provoking lectures and making academic exchanges there. ISAS has established long-term exchanging and cooperative relations with a number of foreign academic institutes. Pakistan Studies Center, Sichuan University was established with joint efforts of Punjabi University (Pakistan) and Sichuan University in 2007. ISAS has joint hands with the Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad and the Institute of South Asian Studies of Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences to sponsor international academic conferences every year. All sorts of cooperation and exchanges with the Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies (India), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) and Kyungpook National University (Republic of Korea), etc. have been established.
ISAS attaches great importance to information works and major progress in this regard has been made since 2008. Recently, ISAS library made a latest enrichment of 1000 strong academic books and a number of major academic journals in Chinese/English. ISAS’s official website (www.isas.net.cn) was opened and timely upgraded; It updates its contents at least every 3 days and ensures 1000 hit everyday.
ISAS publishes South Asian Studies Quarterly, a platform for intensive academic studies on South Asian politics, economy, external relations, history, society, and culture. South Asian Studies Quarterly was listed as a CSSCI source journal in late 2007. It is the only CSSCI source journal specializing in South Asian studies.
ISAS has constructed 4 data bases, i.e. the e-collection of South Asian Studies Quarterly, ISAS Research Achievements, Journal for International Relations, and International Relations and South Asia Studies e-Library.
Add: Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, P. R. China
Postal code: 610064
Tel: 86-28-85412638, Fax: 86-28-85417102