In 1998, under the initiave of Christophe Z. Guilmoto, at the time head of the Social Science department of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), the young researchers workshop organized their first session. Its first and foremost vocation was to connect often isolated young researchers, from the MA to post-doctoral students, doing their fieldwork in different parts of India and South Asia.
These workshops rapidly proved to be very fruitful both for MA students, who got to share with their more experienced counterparts the ways and means of productive fieldwork, as well as for the Ph.D. students who got the opportunity to present, sometimes for the first time the preliminary results of their work. These yearly sessions have created a mobile, interdisciplinary meeting of researchers from different horizons initiating fruitful institutional and scientific exchanges.
After the first workshop, the Association Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI) has been created in order to make such meetings easier for those interested in exchanging fieldwork experiences.
Since its creation in 1998, the activities of the association have responded to a triple vocation:
Our Web site offers a large range of practical information for students (administrative procedures, affiliations, funding, useful addresses…) as well as a regular update regarding upcoming seminars, conferences and workshops, held in France and India, in the field of the Social Sciences.
Our main objective is to set up a pool of information and network of students, young researchers and scholars involved in the field of Indian studies whilst actively promoting dialogue between French and Indian academics.
Publication and Distribution
The association’s activities are enhancing an online updating of papers given during the Young Researchers’ Workshop and seminars as well as the publication of a summary of each workshop, available free of cost in the main research institutes concerned in France and India, such as Delhi and Pondicherry.
We are now encouraging a more rational and institutionalised publication (academic journals) of young researchers’ works.
Our ambition for wider distribution is part of our aim to bring both Indian and foreign research students and scholars together for a better and richer understanding of contemporary social issues in India.
The strength of the association revolves today around three main ongoing projects:
Young Researchers’ Workshop (Ateliers des Jeunes Chercheurs en Sciences Sociales)
Since 1998, we have been holding on a yearly basis a Young Researchers’ Workshop in Social Sciences, which has enables students working in different parts of India to come together and exchange with senior colleagues their own fieldwork experiences and methodologies around interdisciplinary issues.
Seminar in France (Séminaire Jeunes Chercheurs)
Besides these workshops, which take place exclusively in India, the first meeting devoted solely to young French researchers took place in Paris in November 2001. Given the success with which it was received by the scientific community, this seminar takes place now on a yearly basis in France, in Paris or elsewhere.