Oxford is both a thriving location for the study of India and a partner in collaborative work with many Indian institutions. Collaboration with India is a priority for the University, and its India–Oxford Initiative (IndOx) acts as a hub to co-ordinate Oxford’s India-related activity and as a contact point for potential external partnerships. IndOx's aim is to develop and sustain equitable partnerships between the University and institutions and individuals in India.
Oxford University Press in India
Oxford University Press (OUP), the University's academic publishing department, established a branch in India in 1912. Since then, OUP India has become one of the largest publishers in the region, with a presence also in the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
India studies at Oxford
The Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme (CSASP), part of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, is one of the centres for the study of India at the University. It collaborates with other parts of the University, such as the Oriental Studies faculty, the Ashmolean Museum and the Department of International Development. It also runs a number of master's and doctoral programmes relevant to India.
The University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies is a leading centre for the study of the languages and cultures of the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The faculty has specialists in a number of subjects relevant to India, such as Hindi and Sanskrit, and offers a variety of relevant options to students, such as a dedicated BA in Sanskrit and an MPhil in classical Indian religion.
Libraries and Museums
The Bodleian Library is the repository of some 8,700 Sanskrit manuscripts, the largest known collection of Sanskrit manuscripts outside the Indian sub-continent. It also has one of the most important collections of Mughal paintings.
The Ashmolean Museum’s India collection includes works from around 2,000BC to the modern period. A particular strength of its collection is in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain stone, terracotta and bronze sculptures. Another highlight is its Newberry Collection of early Gujarati printed cotton fragments, which is the most important study group of its kind in the world.
The Pitt Rivers Museum’s large India-related collections include a variety of bronzes, paintings and carvings relating to Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh communities. The museum also holds the world's most important collection of Naga artefacts from Assam, some 5,000 items covering virtually all aspects of Naga material culture.
Collaborations with Indian institutions
Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences collaborations
The Global Jet Watch study of black holes is both a scientific project in itself and a way of promoting an interest in science to children. The project studies the behaviour of matter around black holes, using a collection of five small telescopes worldwide of which one is in India. Four of the five telescopes are located at boarding schools, whose pupils are assisted and encouraged to experiment with using the equipment. The project’s leader, Oxford’s Professor Katherine Blundell, was honoured in 2017 with an OBE for ‘services to astronomy and the education of young people’.
Medical Sciences collaborations
The SMARThealth Pregnancy project uses an app to support community healthcare workers in rural India diagnose and manage medical and nutritional complications in pregnant women. A collaboration between Oxford and the George Institute for Global Health, it aims to reduce the occurrence of complications during pregnancy that put women at a higher risk of developing certain diseases later on. After a pilot study in India in 2020, a further trial of SMARThealth Pregnancy is taking place in the Indian provinces Haryana and Telangana to assess whether the system can reduce the incidence of anaemia in women during and after pregnancy.
Social Sciences collaborations
The Young Lives project on childhood poverty is a long-term international study following and documenting the lives of 12,000 children in 4 study countries (the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India alongside Ethiopia, Peru, and Vietnam). Investigating the drivers and impacts of child poverty, it aims to generate evidence to help policymakers design programmes that can break the poverty cycle.
PEAK Urban aims to understand how cities work as systems, and is run from Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS). The project’s research is intended to inform decision-makers on ways of improving urban life, and ultimately to contribute towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 11: making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. PEAK Urban is an international and multi-disciplinary project, whose partners include the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS).
The UK government’s Chevening programmes bring professionals from around the world to study in the UK, to create relationships between the UK and potential future leaders and decision-makers. Chevening has two fellowship programmes with Oxford for individuals from India: their flagship Gurukul Fellowship, with Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations, and the Chevening Research, Science and Innovation Leadership Fellowship (which also accepts fellows from Sri Lanka) with Oxford's St. Cross College.
Scholarships and travel assistance
There are many schemes offering funding for international undergraduate students and particularly funding for international graduate students to study at Oxford, as well as schemes to help students already at Oxford travel abroad.
Oxford has official clubs and societies for people interested in, or who have a connection to, many different countries and regions.
Oxford alumni in India
Oxford has a large number of alumni groups around the world.
Notable Indian alumni
Notable Indian alumni of Oxford include:
- Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India;
- Dr. Manmohan Singh, former prime minister of India;
- Amitav Ghosh, writer;
- Sujata Vasant Manohar, former judge of the Supreme Court of India;
- Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, former captain of the Indian cricket team;
- Vikram Seth, writer;
- Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female lawyer and, in the 1890s, the first woman to study law at Oxford.