The two research centres operating from the campus of American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) face shutdown due to lack of funds to sponsor their fellowship and research programmes.
The Centre for Art and Archaeology (CAA) and the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) have their lofty libraries located in Gurgaon’s Sector 32.
“We have only R6 crore left, which will be sufficient for the next two years. After that, we will be forced to shut down the two centres,” said Purushothama Bilimale, director of programmes at AIIS.
According to officials, the institute has not received any fund from the US government in the past two years.
“Due to the economic slowdown in the USA, we have not been getting any funds from them,” said Bilimale.
To avoid closure, the CAA was registered on March 14 with the Societies Registration Act 1860. It means the centre will be able to get direct funds from the Indian government for its fellowship and research programmes.
“To acquire monetary help from the Indian government, we have registered ourselves under the Societies Registration Act,” said Bilimale. Now, the CAA has become an autonomous centre. It will no longer get funds from the US government or organisations.
Prior to the delinking, the research centre used to get grants not only from the US government but also from the Ford Foundation and Smithsonian (a research complex and the world’s largest museum in Washington) in the USA, to name a few.
“At present there are about 25 American scholars in Gurgaon. The numbers are shrinking as the US funding has reduced. We are hopeful to get funds from the government of India. Otherwise we might have to close down,” said Dr Pradeep Mehendiratta, vice-president of AIIS.
The AIIS was established in 1961 to promote India and Indian Studies in the US. Every year, nearly 150 American scholars come to India to pursue their fellowship programmes here.