Samvada Centre for Research Resources is a research centre with international collaborations offering world-class research programmes in the Human Sciences. With its strong network of scholars and research institutions, Samvada strives to transform society through research and intellectual enquiry while influencing the broader academy through its unique dialogical approach.
Every research is done by a researcher belonging to a tradition of inquiry and therefore requires Knowing oneself
Every inquiry into an ‘other’ requires Understanding the ‘other’
Research inquiries are Dialogical in nature necessitating the researcher to become poly-lingual
The optimal functioning of any society in its diverse spheres such as politics, economics, religious, etc is directly dependent on the knowledge [practical (phronesis) and theoretical (theoria)] possessed by the society at large and particularly those in leadership in these spheres.
In our contemporary world knowledge of these social spheres are resourced by the modern educational system and particularly by the Department of Human Sciences which offers programs in politics, economics, religion, history, philosophy, psychology etc. Therefore the successful functioning of society is directly proportional to the success of its educational system, or in other words, education and research are foundational for the optimal success of society because they are the institutional vehicles through which society trains itself by theorizing, modifying and transmitting the practices and knowledge that it has received from both its past as well as from other societies.
However in South Asia, because of its colonial past, contemporary education and educational institutions, have been wholesale borrowed from the West causing a disjunction between the functioning of the various social spheres and the education about these spheres (the human sciences) that is being passed on to society. This has resulted in a lack of appropriate resourcing of society and particularly of those in leadership in the various social domains with education and in institutions that are native and hence relevant to the societies of South Asia. In other words, the present educational system is not only alien to the South Asian cultures, but they are unable to effectively resource the functioning of its different social domains.
Philosophically, in South Asia, the contemporary study of the Human Sciences is conceptually studied against the background and framework of western modernity or through its recent post modern critique resulting in two problems:
a) These frameworks are alien and artificially imposed upon from the outside and therefore are unable to legitimately represent and make meaning of native phenomena and history of thought.
b) Moreover, this dominance of modern and counter modern conceptual frameworks have edged out the manifold conceptual frameworks and modes of inquiry which are historically native to the rich and diverse intellectual traditions of South Asia.
Equally, intellectual inquiry in the Western academia has reached an impasse through (a) a postmodern deconstruction of modern inquiry, and (b) the insufficiency of postmodern inquiry to provide an alternative viable proposal. The western academia is currently responding to this impasse through the proposal of a hermeneutically inspired dialogical mode of inquiry, which however is precisely the hallmark of modes of inquiry arising historically out of South Asia – intellectual inquiry in South Asia has historically progressed against the backdrop of dialoguing traditions of inquiry, or Samvada.
Samvada historically is a tradition of inquiry that has dialogued different intellectual inquiries such as Buddhist, Jaina and Hindu thought with each other in South Asia. Although the Samvada tradition of inquiry is uniquely located in history, it can be taken to be representative of inquiry in general in South Asia, because its presupposition of diverse traditions of inquiry is shared by most forms of inquiry in South Asia, due to the commonality of diversity which is integral to South Asia.
Therefore the Samvada tradition of inquiry has to be revived and developed as an alternative viable mode of inquiry. This will enable intellectual inquiries arising out of South Asia to make a critical contribution to Western academy by enabling it to go beyond the modern-postmodern impasse that it is faced with currently. Furthermore, being native to South Asia, Samvada will be better suited as a conceptual framework to make authentic meaning of phenomena native to South Asia than borrowed and imposed frameworks.
Who are we?
Samvada consists of a network of scholars who are passionate about using research to bring about transformation in our societies. Based in New Delhi, it is currently developing an international research centre, offering research programmes that equip its students for postgraduate research in the Human Sciences in world class institutions. Samvada has three divisions – Samvada (Humanities), Samvada (Social Sciences) and Samvada (Theology and Religious Studies). In the past two years, Samvada has been running a One-Year Research Preparatory Programme and a Summer Research Programme every year. Hence building a network of scholars from around the world.
Samvada is developing a fleet of programmes that will train students to do post-graduate research in the Human Sciences (a) with world-class research skills and (b) with the ability to critically engage with important local issues, in the best of institutions in the world.
(i) PhD Preparatory Programme (12 months)
(ii) Summer Research Programme (8-12 weeks)
(iii) Winter Research Programme (2 weeks)
(iv) Visiting Research Fellowships (1 term)
Samvada Centre for Research Resources
A Project of Touch India Trust
Registration No. 2900. Book No. 4 Vol. No. 1902
1612 (First Floor) Outram Lines, Near NuLife Hospital, Delhi 110 009
C–56 Panchsheel Vihar, Near Khirki Gaon, New Delhi 110 017
Phone: +91 11 29543409