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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Summer school "Changing India"

The Department of Indian Studies at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies is pleased to announce a summer school program in India.

Changing India: understanding nation-building in the world’s largest democracy

In the early 1990s, India exchanged the socialist economic model it had adopted at independence for a market-based one and subsequently went on to become one of the world’s fastest growing and largest economies. However, the benefits of growth have been spread unequally and have come at the cost of significant environmental degradation. Moreover, the recent decades have also been a period of competing political projects, marked by the rise of Hindu nationalism. Along with its new economic model, the country appears to have abandoned the principles of secularism and “unity-in-diversity” on which it was founded at independence. This has affected India’s reputation on the global stage, with great fears about the authoritarian turn affecting the “world’s largest democracy”. Nonetheless, India’s soft-power strategy also draws on long-standing common representations, many of which bear a colonial history. These include, for instance, projecting India as a land of spirituality through the promotion of the “International yoga day”. This summer school in India’s capital Delhi and in Amritsar aims to introduce students to these contemporary changes by interrogating the multiple ideas of the Indian nation. Through visits of major monuments and institutions, combined with lectures by renowned academics, students will understand the way conflicting visions of the Indian nation shape contemporary political, economic, and cultural issues.


18 August to 4 September 2023


6 ECTS (HS 2023)

Students will be evaluated based on a written assignment that they will have to turn in after the summer school, during the Fall semester (deadline for submission: 10.01.2024)


Students are expected to cover the flight and visa expenses, or about 1000 CHF. Students may apply individually for sources of funding. We invite students with limited resources to contact us to find sources of funding they could apply to.

To apply

Send a motivation letter and a CV to by April 15, 2023.

Important dates

Important dates

Information meeting

Thursday, March 9th, 4 PM

Room RAA-E-21

Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Rämistr. 59, 8001 Zürich

Application deadline

April 15, 2023

Send a motivation letter and a CV to

Confirmation of enrollment

By the end of April 2023

Preparation meeting

May 2023 (date to be announced)

Flight booking and visa application

May-June 2023


Weiterführende Informationen


Application by 15. April 2023


Send a motivation letter and a CV to:

This program is supported by the UZH Alumni-Fonds.