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India-Ki-Khoj is an intensive module focusing upon the understanding and appreciation of India through diverse lectures and field visits. The program is designed and led by members of the Humanities and Social Sciences Program at IIT, Gandhinagar. It brings both overseas and IITGN students together to participate in this program for ten days. The first India-Ki-Khoj was held in December 2011 and hosted students from Caltech. India-Ki-Khoj 2017 is now scheduled from 17 to 23 December, 2018. We invite participation of students from different universities across the world.

The historian Ramchandra Guha begins his history India After Gandhi by showing how when India became a nation state in 1947, many prophesised its death. How could a country so tradition bound and diverse in terms of languages, caste, and religions be a democratic modern nation-state, they asked. And yet India has defied many assumptions of nation-making projects as conceived in the West. Current scholarship on India argues that India is an idea; a powerful one that stands despite, and sometimes in opposition to, claims that challenge the idea.

India-ki-Khoj has been designed to help overseas students relate with this idea and the many layers that form identity in India. It will communicate the many imaginations about India, and provide a flavor of its multiplicity as well as some overarching generalities. Through a combination of academic lectures and field-visits, the module will take the students through India of the past, present and future making them relate India’s ancient traditions of philosophy, science and technology to a present-day India and help identify continuities as well as shifts that India has made through centuries. The module will also include discussion on India’s economic trends, culture and history, poetry and films, caste and community structures and enable participants appreciate a country that eludes easy definitions.

This happens in Ahmedabad – a six hundred year old historic city that is also responding rapidly to modernity and globalization. Chosen by Gandhi as the centre of his political campaigns and social experiments, Ahmedabad also has a long-standing tradition of business and entrepreneurship as well as spectacular architecture. It provides to participants an unhurried view of a city that has something of the old as it embraces the new; a simultaneous view of the ‘regional’ and the ‘national’.