Dharma and Ethics IV: Rethinking Political Thought in Modern India

The fourth Dharma and Ethics conference will interrogate the contributions of the canonical Indian political thinkers of the modern period: Rammohan Roy, Vivekananda, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Jyotiba Phule, Dadabhai Navroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Aurobindo, Maulana Maududi, Maulana Azad, M.K. Gandhi, V.D. Savarkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, B.R.Ambedkar, M.S. Golwalkar, and Rammanohar Lohia. These thinkers are generally divided into two opposing camps: "traditionalists" and "modernists"; a distinction that often corresponds to that between "cultural nationalists" and "secularists". However, the thinkers slotted in these two camps unexpectedly share common views, attitudes and presuppositions, when it comes to their understanding of Indian society and politics. How do we account for this situation? Is it because they share a common cognitive framework and/or borrow from the same sources of knowledge about Indian culture? What actually distinguishes these two camps then?

Dharma and Ethics V: De-colonising the Social Sciences

Organised by the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures Kuvempu University, Shivamogga in collaboration with the Research Center Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap Gent University, Belgium. and Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies, Mysore. Dates: 22nd and 23rd January 2011 Venue: Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies, Mysore. Time: 9.30am-5.30pm

Symposium: 'Theology of Religions and Comparative Theology'

A Conversation with Professor Francis Clooney. An International Symposium. Both professor Balagangadhara and researcher Sarah Claerhout give a lecture in this symposium.

'Social Sciences and Humanities': Pilot course at BMS College of Engineering- Bangalore (2011) -

In the course of two weeks (from 12 to 26 July 2011) a group of 5 scholars from Ghent University Belgium, under the leadership of Prof. S.N. Balagangadhara, is teaching an experimental course on 'Social Sciences and Humanities' at the BMS College of Engineering.

Lecture series (10) by Prof. Balu in Karnataka - July-August 2011

Series of lectures given by Prof. Balu and his team, for a general public in Karnataka: academics, teachers, students, lawyers, generally interested people...

Rethinking Religion in India III: European Representations and Indian Responses (2011)

The third conference of the five-year conference cluster Rethinking Religion in India III: European Representations and Indian Responses, took place from 11 to 14 October 2011 in Pardubice in Czech Republic.

MOU between UGent and Kuvempu Universtiy - Karnataka

Start: 18/8/2006 - Duration: 3 years + 5 years - End: 17/8/2014

Dharma and Ethics VI: Tradition, Religion and Law

The Dharma and Ethics conferences are organized every year by the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures, established at Kuvempu University in collaboration with the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap at Ghent University, Belgium. The conferences are part of a larger project to address some of the problems with the existing theories about India in the domain of social sciences.

Visit to the University of Aveiro (Portugal), by the UGent Rector a.o.

Visit by: * Prof. Paul Van Cauwenberge, Vice-Chancellor (Rector) * Prof. Koen Goethals, Chief Academic Administrator * Prof. Renaat Peleman, Chief Medical Officer of the University Hospital, * Prof. Geert De Soete, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and Member of the Supervisory Board of the University Hospital * Prof. Guy Vanderstraeten, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences * Dr. Sarah Claerhout, Coordinating Team of the India Platform UGent * Mrs. Nele De Gersem, Coordinator India Platform UG

Dharma and Ethics II: Caste Discrimination: Hinduism, Buddhism or Liberalism?

Second Dharma and Ethics Conference was held in Kuvempu University on 6th and 7th December 2006. One of the prominent political scientist and eminent philosophers of our time Prof. Charles Taylor of Canada was present on the occasion. Dr. Jacob D Roover Ghent University Belgium and Vivek Dhareshwar of CSCS Bangalore, made preliminary remarks on the theme of the conference and highlighted serious problems in teaching social sciences and difficulty in understanding the key concepts in terms of the discrepancy between what we say and experience. Prof. Valerian Rodrigues of JNU, Prof. D.L.Sheth

Dharma and Ethics III: Representation of Caste in Kannada Literature, Social Scientists’ Perspective

Papers were presented by the scholars like Raghavendrarao, Dharma, Ashok Settar, Rajaram Hegde, Sarah Clarhout, , Balgangadhar, Vijaya Poonachcha. The discussants were Rajaram Tolpadi, Harish, Shanmukha, Nele Gersem, Sadanand, and Marianne Keppens.

Lecture by Prof. Balu at Sahyadri College of Engineering & Management

In the framework of the Workshop on Transformation of Sudents into Industry Workforce, Prof. Balu gave a lecture on the future and tasks of engineering students in India.

CA with Kuvempu University - Shankaraghatta (Shimoga) - Karnataka

Start: 01/10/2007 - Duration: 4 years - End: 30/09/2011

Lecture by Prof. Balu 'Who needs a worldview?'

Lecture given in the context of the 8th ECCO Seminar Series (2011-2012)

Lecture by Prof. Balu and by J. De Roover in Groningen

Contribution by members of the Research Centre to the 'Wetenschapsdag' ('Science Day'), organised by the Medical Faculty of the University of Groningen.

Rethinking Religion in India IV: Secularism, Religion and Law (2012)

The fourth edition of the 5-year conference cluster Rethinking Religion in India: Secularism, Religion and Law took place from 24 to 27 November 2012 in Mangalore, India.

Rethinking Religion in India II: Rethinking Secularism (2009)

The second conference, which took place from 10 till 13 January in New Delhi, proceeded from the questions raised in the first: If the theoretical framework of religious studies is inadequate in the Indian context, then how should we understand certain conflicts and problems in India that are generally linked to ‘religion’? The different sessions

Rethinking Religion in India I: Are there native religions in India? (2008)

The first conference of the five-year conference cluster took place in New Delhi, in January 2008. During the first conference, we realised that the need and urgency to develop an alternative theoretical framework for the study of the Indian traditions is acknowledged by many scholars of religious studies. More than anything else, we felt an intellectual enthusiasm among the participating scholars and a willingness to engage in extensive discussions on this topic. Most participants felt part of a larger project that needs to be supported and extended beyond the confines of a conference.

DEVHAS (2006-2008) - Asia-Link Project of the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap

Title of the project: Development of Human Resources and Strategies for Education on the Stereotypical Images and Cultural Differences Between Europe and South Asia. Background: Stereotypes create a variety of problems in the interactions between Europe and South Asia, in the business world, media coverage, international political relations, and development cooperation. Europe is often seen as a static, protectionist and even racist culture; while South Asia is seen as a deeply religious region where poverty, religious strife and caste discrimination prevail.

VLIR project: Development of a Centre for the Study of Local Cultures at Kuvempu University (2007-2012)

Local partner: Kuvempu University, Shimoga, Karnataka The project aimed to reinvigorate social scientific research and education at a rural university located in a remote region of South India. Problems: Social science students and staff at Kuvempu University are prevented from developing research skills. The University fails to produce social scientific research on local cultural and social problems. Therefore, it is unable to address problems of caste and pluralism in local society.

Svā - Experience Europe as an Indian

The European Commission has agreed to fund a four year Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project for Indian students and staff coming to Europe. From September 2013 onwards, 116 Indian students and staff members will be able to come to 8 European universities. For more information, please click on the 'read more' button below.

Visit to Pardubice (Czech Republic) by the research group of Ghent - June 2011

Visit by Prof Balgangadhara, Sarah Claerhout, Jakob De Roover and Nele De Gersem to the University of Pardubice (Czech Republic). During this visit several meetings with students and faculty members were organised.

Higher education and the study of India in the 21st century (in Tartu - Estonia)

Meeting (in Tartu) about higher education and the study of India in the 21st century with representatives of the University of Pardubice (Czech Rep) and of Tartu

Brussels Book Launch "Reconceptualizing India Studies" S.N. Balagangadhara

Oxford University Press 2012, 288 pages | 978-0-19-808296-5 | Hardback “Balagangadhara's work presents both a dare and an invitation to venture outside our comfort zones of accepted ideas about "religions", politics, and culture. His sustained and profound immersion in the intellectual legacies and social worlds of India and Europe grounds a scholarship that is as rigorous as it is visionary…” Naomi Goldenberg, Professor, Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa. Registration:

Let globalization work for us - Two lectures about 21st century India

Asian companies buy Western companies and become their employers; the West has a shortage of highly-skilled youngsters while Asia has plenty of them; the welfare of the people in the West is decreasing while in Asia it seems to increase... Two Indians will give their vision on these developments: Prof. Balu will speak about “Collaboration with India in the 21st Century: A Vision” and Dr. Shankara Prasad about “India is Booming: What About the Villages?” Registration:

London Book Launch "Reconceptualizing India Studies" S.N. Balagangadhara

The School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London, is delighted to present a special lecture hosted by GLOCUL: Centre for Culture and Law: Professor S.N. Balagangadhara on his book "Reconceptualizing India Studies". The Centre for Culture and Law’s research agenda links legal pluralism, legal culture, and socio-legal studies more broadly, to culture, ethnicity, religion, migration, citizenship, diasporas, and transnationalism. An interdisciplinary blending of these fields is at the focus of GLOCUL’s research agenda.

VLIR Project: Towards a research network in the Social Sciences and Humanities in Karnataka (2012-2014)

The Flemish Interuniversity Counsil (VLIR-UOS) has awarded a project (South Initiative 2012) to the Research Center Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap from Ghent University. This project will enable the creation of a research network in Karnataka, building on the experience of the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures (CSLC) at Kuvempu University.The creation of the CSLC was the result of a previous VLIR-UOS project.

Meetings of the research group during visit in Bangalore - July 2011

Lecture Cafés: Health care in India

The Lecture Cafés are a joint initiative of the Ghent University China platform, the India platform and the International Office of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. The lectures are held in English, in an interactive way open for discussion, and are open to anyone with an interest in academic research and/or collaboration within the region of China, India or Vietnam. For a list of all Lecture Cafés, and for registration: see We hope to meet you at one of the Lecture Cafés!

Lecture: The Bengal Renaissance

By Dr. Abhishek Dutta (Group-T, Leuven) Chair: Prof. Dr. Idesbald Goddeeris (KU Leuven) Participation is free, but prior registration is required at

India Lecture Café: Asia and the Challenges for Social Sciences and Humanities

The Lecture Cafés are a joint initiative of the Ghent University China platform, the India platform and the International Office of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. The lectures are held in English, in an interactive way open for discussion, and are open to anyone with an interest in academic research and/or collaboration within the region of China, India or Vietnam. For a list of all Lecture Cafés, and for registration: see We hope to meet you at one of the Lecture Cafés!

Lectures Sunita Narain

Sunita Narain is director of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in India , where she has been working for more than 30 years on the relation between ecology and development. She is one of the most authoritative voices from the Global South when it comes to global debates about environment and climate. Entrance: 5€ per lecture. (Subscribe via The lectures will be held in English MO*lectures are an initiative of MO* and the Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren. Partners are Kaaitheater, Beursschouwburg, Vooruit and Zuidcafé - De Roma.

Scriptum Award Contest of Belgo-Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BICC&I) 2013

Since 2006 BICC&I organises a Scriptum Award Contest where they hand out an award of Eur 1000,00 and 2 return tickets to India to a student who has written the best thesis about the enhancement of economic cooperation between Belgium and India. This contest is open to any student graduating at a Belgian Institute of higher education or university. Registrations are open till October 1st, and the winner will be announced at our seminar “Catching the Indian Tiger” More info and rules: see link below.

Lecture by Prof. Balu: 'Hinduism - A religion or a way of life?'

UGent Professor Balagangadhara receives golden medal and Doctor Honoris Causa title from the University of Pardubice

Upon proposal of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and upon approval by the Scientific Board of the University of Pardubice Prof. Balagangadhara will be awarded the title of "Doctor Honoris Causa" of the University of Pardubice. A special academic ceremony will be held in which besides the title, a golden medal will be given to Prof. Balagangadhara.

Roundtable on an India strategy

Roundtable about the possibility of an India strategy for Belgium, Flanders and Wallonia towards closer and increased collaboration in science and innovation.The roundtable will bring together representatives from four different communities: research, higher education, federal and regional policy or funding institutions and business in an informal brainstorm session. Three speakers will start the discussion after which all participants will have the occasion to share their experience and expertise.

Author Meetings: Modern Society in Indian Literature

Indian society is so diverse and complicated that literature is perhaps the best lens through which to grasp it. Prof. Dr. Idesbald Goddeeris (KU Leuven) will talk to a dozen famous Indian writers from several states and generations. With each discussion, he will elaborate on a particular aspect of contemporary Indian society that is central to their works. The conversations are preceded by an introduction to the author’s bio and oeuvre. Each roundtable discussion will be followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

Belgian Economic Mission to THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA

presided over by HRH PRINCESS ASTRID OF BELGIUM Representative of His Majesty the King, in presence of HE DIDIER REYNDERS Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs, HE KRIS PEETERS Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, Flemish Minister for Economy, Foreign Policy, Agriculture and Rural Policy, HE CÉLINE FREMAULT Minister of Economy, Employment, Scientific Research, Trade and Foreign Trade of the Brussels-Capital Region. Ms. Nele De Gersem will be joining the mission as representative for the India Platform.

Dharma and Ethics VII - The Travails of “Modernity"

In the last six years, the Dharma and Ethics meet has emerged as a forum where important issues, problematics and texts that have shaped the Kannanda and the Indian intellectual traditions are taken up for serious theoretical scrutiny and tested for their soundness, coherence, validity and relevance.

SAMVADA LAHARI II (Waves of discussion - II)

SAMVADA LAHARI III - Nyaya: East-West (Thinking about alternatives)


This programme: Yakshagana in torch light, on 2-2-2013 at Ainakia Mane in Sirsi. Programme was attended by 300 people which was Organised by Jivanmukhi.Performed by traditional artists. Target group was farmers, professionals, and traditional artists.The yakshagana's were performed in torch light before the introduction of electricity. This yakshagana was organised in order to give an idea about such performance to the current generation and yakshagana critics.

"Mukhamukhi" in conversation with the readers of Vasahathuprajneya Vishwaroopa

Aarohi organised an interaction program 'mukhamukhi' with Dr.S.N Balagangadhara and Dr.Rajaram Hegde in the background of columns published in vijayavani, a Kannada daily news paper. The program was held at Rashtrottana parishad on 05/04/2013 at 6.30 pm. Readers of these columns attended the program and asked questions and clarifications about the articles. The programme came an end at 9,00 pm.

IMETE Summer School 2014: Resource Recovery from Wastewater

Until recently, wastewater treatment technologies were mainly focused on remediation. However, in recent years technologies for resource recovery from wastewater also became increasingly important as major economic and environmental drivers currently exist to develop better resource recovery from wastewater. The IMETE summer school 2014 will help to drive the development of integrated technologies for recovery of resources from wastewater, which on the long run will bring along a further environmental benefit.

European Hindu Forum: lecture by Marianne Keppens of the India Platform

Lecture on "The anti-caste discrimination legislation in the UK and its implications for Europe." by Marianne Keppens at the general assembly of the European Hindu Forum in Altare, Italy.

Lecture at World Hindu Congress (21 - 23 November)

The World Hindu Congress is a global event for Hindu's, taking place in New Delhi from 21 to 23 November. Ms. Sarika Rao (Research Centre Comparative Science of Cultures) will give a lecture to the Hindu Youth Conference. Professor Balu will give a lecture on the challenges of HIndu society in the 21st Century.

Comparative Study of Religions course with guest lectures from Prof. Em. Etienne Vermeersch, Autumn 2014

In Autumn 2014 Prof. Jakob De Roover teaches Comparative Study of Religions in Ghent. On 19 and 26 November Prof. Em. Etienne Vermeersch, known in Belgium for this thorough knowledge of Christianity and many other religions, gives a guest lecture.

Dharma and Ethics VIII: Revisiting Swami Vivekananda

On the 16th of June, The Eighth Dharma and Ethics Conference was organised. In this conference, we took up Swami Vivekanandas views on Nationalism, politics, Hinduism, social reform, and cultural difference. Select scholars will be invited to present their papers on the following themes: To probe into the significance of Vivekananda’s intuitions for the 21st century social scientists. 2. To probe into the mechanisms of distortion of the Western concepts for developing alternative theories.

IPU Meeting on Belgo-Indian Cooperation

This IPU Meeting on Belgo-Indian Cooperation took place in the Federal Parliament of Belgium. There were three main speakers: - HE Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union - Mr. Philippe Baron Vlerick, Chairman of the Belgo-Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Chairman & CEO of UCO Textiles - Prof. Jakob De Roover, Representative of the India Platform UGent

Lecture Prof. Jakob De Roover on yoga and the search for happiness

Prof. Jakob De Roover participated in a debate on Indian culture on the 21st of June (International Yoga Day).

Discussion on the book " Buddhijeevigala Moodhanambikegalu "

Manthana - A forum of intellects and writers from Mysore , has organised a discussion on the new book by Nilume publication , " Buddhijeevigala Moodhanambikegalu " a translation by Prof .Rajaram Hegde, on Prof. Balagangadhar's research work. The discussion would be headed by Mr. M .S. Chaitra from India Platform. The event will be held on 2nd of October, 2015 , morning at 10.30 am. Venue :Madhava Krupa Sabhangana, J L B Road, Lakshmi Puram , Mysore

Performance of "Women Speak", a kathak dance performance

On November 4, 2015, there is a performance of "Women Speak", a kathak dance performance by Shila Mehta & Maya Sapera, accompanied by live music. Shila Mehta & Maya Sapera let their body speak in Kathak dance language – A North Indian Classical Dance.

Lecture at Sastra University , Tanjore

Prof. S. N. Balagangardhara, Director of the India Platform and the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cutuurwetenschap (Comparative Science of Cultures), University of Ghent, Belgium , delivered a speech on the relevance of Social Sciences in the current higher education scenario in India.

Two-day workshop on the theme of caste - Comparative Science of Cultures International Research Group

A two day workshop based on the theme of Castes in India, is held in Bangalore on 12th and 13th of January, 2016, for the members of the international research group Comparative Science of Cultures. The reading material was taken from an upcoming book on caste that is being put together by several members of the research group spanning across India, Ghent, London and Pardubice.

Two Day Workshop for Public Intellectuals - Swarajya

ndic Academy and Swarajya are hosting a two-day workshop for public intellectuals on 16-17 January 2016, Bangalore. Indic Academy is a not-for-profit think thank that seeks to nurture and nourish scholarship in Indology, arm and groom Indic public intellectuals into developing a narrative that is based on reason, research, rigour and respect.

Talk by Prof. Jakob de Roover at BMSCE, Bengaluru

On account of celebration of Yuva Diwas , a talk was organised jointly by India Platform, NSS and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at BMS College of Engineering on 16th January 2016. The theme of the lecture was ""Beyond the Western Stories about India. Today's India for the youth". The talk was attended by over 100 students, who were very interactive and received the talk well.

Samvada Lahari V - at Sirsi

The annual " Samvaada Lahari " will be held at Sirsi on th 6th and 7th of February 2016. The theme of this years event would be " Samskruthika Vyatyasagalu " ( Cultural differences ).

Book Launch "Europe, India and the limits of secularism" by Jakob De Roover

"Europe, India and the limits of secularism", an Oxford University Press Hardback book by Jakob De Roover, will be presented and discussed on 22nd of April 2016. Opening of the evening by: Prof. Dr. Koen Goethals, Ghent University Chief Academic Officer A conversation on the limits of secularism with: Prof. Dr. Prakash Shah, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London Dr. Stijn Latré, Centrum Pieter Gillis, University of Antwerp Ms. Sarika Rao, Department of Comparative Science of Cultures, Ghent University Prof. Dr. Jakob De Roover, Department of Comparative Science of Cultures

The student-teacher relationship in the 21st century education - 29 October 2016

The India Platform and the Maya Sapera Dance Company cordially invite you to a conversation between: • Ms. Shila Mehta (Nupur Zankar, Mumbai - India) • Prof. Dr. Jakob De Roover (Research Centre Comparative Science of Cultures, Ghent University) • Ms. Maya Sapera (Maya Sapera Dance Company, Gent). India, teaching and learning is what binds our three speakers. From their own international experience, they explore the student – teacher relationship in traditional Indian dance and the possibilities to introduce it in 21st century education.

This is not India II – Ceci n’est pas l’Inde II ::: Indian Welcome Evening

The India Platform would like to cordially invite you to its annual Indian Welcome Evening. For however long you stay, Europe will be your new home away from home. That is the reason we organise this evening: all of us know that living in an alien culture is not always easy. During the evening experiences can be exchanged, new friendships can be built, and we can think together about how to bring Europe and India closer together. This year we will build on the theme of our 2014 event “Ceci n’est pas l’Inde - This is not India”.