Since 1961, American knowledge of India has been shaped by the American Institute of Indian Studies.
The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) was formed to further the knowledge of India in the United States by supporting American scholarship on India. The programs of AIIS promote and advance mutual understanding between the citizens of the U. S. and of India. With offices and research centers in the United States and India, research centers at its campus in Gurgaon, and a centrally located office in Delhi, the Institute:
- provides research fellowship support for scholars, Ph.D .candidates and artists
- offers training in Indian languages where they are spoken
- extends knowledge of Indian culture through its two research centers, the Center for Art & Archaeology and the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology
- supports book publications and articles about India
- Facilitates service learning programs and internships for American students with Indian NGOs and provides a range of services to U.S. study abroad programs in India
- Organizes conferences, workshops and special programs to advance the understanding of India and to foster exchange and collaboration between scholars in India, the U.S. and other countries in South Asia
More than 6,000 scholars and creative artists have received AIIS support, with their work spanning the humanities, social sciences, social policy and natural sciences. The Institute has been directly responsible for fostering several generations of new scholars, and its senior fellows have returned to classrooms where they have taught tens of thousands of American college students.
Recognized as an educational institution in India in its own right, AIIS can directly recommend issuance of student visas for language study and for programs that bring students to India.
AIIS is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). Founded in 1981, CAORC is a private not-for-profit federation of 22 independent overseas research centers that promote advanced research, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, with focus on the conservation and recording of cultural heritage and the understanding and interpretation of modern societies. CAORC fosters research projects across national boundaries, encourages collaborative research and programmatic and administrative coherence among member centers, and works to expand their resource base and service capacity.
CAORC member centers maintain a permanent presence in the host countries where they operate—in Europe, Latin America, the Near and Middle East, West Africa, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia. The centers are the primary vehicle through which American scholars carry out research vital to our understanding of and intersection with other cultures. Nearly 400 American universities, colleges, and museums hold more than 1,000 memberships in the centers, which serve their institutional members, individual fellows and members, as well as affiliated scholars through a broad range of services. CAORC and the centers are supported by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as foundations, businesses, and individuals.
CAORC and the centers promote international scholarly exchange, primarily through sponsoring fellowship programs, foreign language study, and collaborative research projects. The centers facilitate access to research resources, provide a forum for contact and exchange, offer library and technical support and accommodation, and disseminate information to the scholarly and general public through conferences, seminars, exhibitions, and publications. Because of the centers’ contributions to the generation of knowledge, the creation of area expertise, and cordial relations between the United States and the host countries, scholars often seek CAORC’s help in establishing similar centers in other parts of the world.