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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Studies in India: Retrospect and Prospect
Author:Singh, DaleepISNI
Periodical:Africa Quarterly
Geographic terms:India
Subjects:African studies
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:The Indian pioneers of African Studies are M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Both were keen Africanists and had a good grasp of the problems and issues facing Africa. Africa formed a large part in Nehru's external orientation. An important dimension of his espousal of African Studies lay in the promotion of Indo-African relations and mutual understanding. Nehru's profound knowledge of Africa and his genuine regard for Africans also led him to defend African personality. It was Nehru who institutionalized African Studies in India and formally inaugurated the country's first Department of African Studies at the University of Delhi in August 1955. There are in addition two other foci of African Studies in India, one at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and one at the University of Mumbai, Bombay. In all there are about twenty Indian Africanists working at these three centres and the Third World Academy of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. However, lack of proper balance in the subject profile of Indian Africanists and their skewed age structure are cause for concern. The creation of a national African Studies Association, and the introduction of Africa as a subject in the school curriculum, would certainly help promote African Studies in India. Ref.