Welcome to the website of the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS)!
After its prolonged marginalisation in the second half of the 20th century, the South Asian Subcontinent has now returned to greater international relevance. South Asia’s weight in global affairs has grown in the 21st century, thanks to high economic growth in many parts of the region, the region being at a critical location at Asian cross-roads, the strategic importance of its waters that host some of the world’s busiest sea lines of communication, its role as major provider of talented human resources to other geographies, and the impact of its military capabilities on the regional and global balance of power. The Subcontinent’s multiple conflicts – intra-state and intra-state – that threaten international peace and security have lent an urgent and sharp edge to the study of this region. The birth of ISAS in 2004 and its evolution since then have reflected the Subcontinent’s rising international salience.
Over the past few years, ISAS has become a key link in the global network of research institutions interested in the Subcontinent. Through its research and outreach, ISAS has helped explain the complexity of the region’s developments to its stakeholders, partners and constituents in Singapore, Asia and the wider world. Looking ahead, ISAS hopes to further enhance its role as a vibrant hub of international scholarship on contemporary South Asia. It will continue to bring together the region’s influential community of government officials, corporate leaders, policy researchers and civil society representatives to promote the Subcontinent’s integration with itself and with the rest of the world.
ISAS seeks a better appreciation of the unfolding technological revolution, especially in the digital and genetic domains, and how it might generate new solutions to the Subcontinent’s long-standing challenges, promote South Asian regionalism and deepen its globalisation. ISAS will strive to become a valuable bridge between the technological innovators, business entrepreneurs, policy professionals and government leaders in Singapore and the Subcontinent. ISAS hopes to build on the synergy between the rich intellectual resources at the National University of Singapore, the dynamic policy environment in Singapore and the new impulses for positive change in South Asia.
Professor C Raja Mohan