The Centre for Human Sciences (CSH) is part of a network of research units (the «UMIFRE») of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). It originated in 1980 when the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan left Kabul to settle in Delhi. The CSH was officially created in 1989 and initially specialized in history (classical and medieval India) and Indo-Persian culture. In 1995, it shifted to the study of contemporary social and economic dynamics of India and other South Asian countries (Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka).
Since 1995, the CSH library’s holdings have grown considerably. Today it presents a collection of more than 7000 titles (books, theses, reports), in French and English. This collection is valuable as it is composed of a quarter of books not available in other libraries in New Delhi, and 10% of books sold out. It reflects the successive scientific orientations adopted and a documentary policy of costly acquisitions distinguishing several strong poles: economic development (poverty, growth, social inequalities, agriculture, rural worlds), health, labour, education, urban dynamics (land management, heritage and tourism, slums), environment (waste management, natural resources, energy), religion, gender studies, political representation, public policy and international relations.
This collection is also very rich in classical works (in English and French) from the main disciplines represented at the CSH: economics, history, geography, sociology, political science, demography, urban studies, anthropology and law. In addition to the main collection, the CSH library also holds complete hardcover collections of periodicals from India, France or other countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines, etc.), including titles usually only accessible online (Subaltern Studies).
The CSH library provides the entire scientific community of Delhi with essential bibliographical resources, both for research and teaching activities. To French students, researchers and teachers, as well as to the Indian academics specialized in French Studies, it offers a bibliography in French that is very difficult to consult or acquire in India. To all, and in particular, to Indian social sciences students, researchers and teachers, it offers the opportunity to consult a rich collection of titles in English.