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Several British universities have started research projects and online initiatives to focus on the forthcoming general elections in India, the largest such exercise in the world.
For a host of reasons, the study of India at various levels has been one of the most prominent themes in UK university research, particularly at centres of Indian expertise at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The focus on Indian elections has increased with the recent opening of some ‘India centres’, such as the one at King’s College London, where experts including Sunil Khilnani, Christophe Jeffrelot and James Manor last week discussed the challenges and post-poll scenarios.
Bournemouth University is in the process of launching ‘Project India’ for producing news coverage and research on the elections. It has tied up with journalism departments of some Indian universities.
“The idea is to cover the event via a website and on social media channels. The project will run from March to end of May. We are also working with two media partners — rediff.com and wonobo.com — to provide an alternative take on the Indian elections,” Bournemouth lecturer Chindu Sreedharan said.
The London School of Economics would be running a series of articles and blogs on the Indian polls in coordination with academic partners Columbia University.
London School of Economics experts on India include authors Mukulika Banerjee and Sumantra Bose.
Katherine Adeney, professor at the University of Nottingham, said the School of Politics and International Relations has started a blog titled ‘Ballots and Bullets’ with academic contributions from the UK, India, Europe, Pakistan and America.