American Institute of Indian Studies

Mahabodhi temple
Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar, India, ca 600-699 CE

American knowledge of India is shaped by the American Institute of Indian Studies, a consortium of universities and colleges in the United States at which scholars actively engage in teaching and research about India. Since 1961, the Institute has provided fellowship support for scholars and PhD candidates in America. It has offered on-site training in Indian languages through the superb facilities of its Language Centers. And it has extended knowledge of Indian culture through its two Research Centers. As a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), AIIS's online photo archive is also linked as part of CAORC's Digital Library for International Research.

More than 5,500 scholars have received AIIS support. Their work has spanned fields ranging from anthropology to zoology. The outcome of their work has resulted in literally hundreds of books and thousands of articles, the basis of America's knowledge about India. Collections of some 3,000 books directly or indirectly resulting from AIIS-sponsored research have been given to major libraries in India, including the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi, National Library in Calcutta, the Adyar Library in Madras and the Deccan College in Pune. The listing of these books forms the core of a widely used and highly appreciated work by N. Gerald Barrier, India and America, published by the Institute.

AIIS scholars also have come together with colleagues from India and often from other countries as well at major international conferences organized by the Institute. These conferences have resulted in the publication of selected papers that often form the core of knowledge in many disciplines. Nearly seventy books have so far been published directly by the Institute.

Through its programs of research and documentation, the Institute has endeavored to achieve an accurate and probing knowledge of India's cultures, history, languages and present-day dynamics. Through its own publications and those of its fellows, the Institute seeks to make the results of this research widely and easily accessible to people in the United States and India, indeed throughout the world.

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