The Centre for Diaspora Studies was established in the year 2012 at Punjabi University Patiala to promote the diasporic research and studies. The university had allocated a grant of Rs 5.00 Lac to support the Centre financially. Since its inception, it has been striving to accomplish a holistic study programme related both to Diaspora in general and Punjabi Diaspora specifically.
In the year 2012-13, the research proposal was forwarded under UGC Area Study Programme (XII Plan) for financial assistance. The standing advisory committee of UGC held on 05-12-13 had recommended the proposal and allocated the grant of Rs 15,00,000/- to start the research for the establishment of Area Study Centre for Advanced Research in Indian Diaspora Studies and Research in Indian Diaspora, with Special Focus on Punjab/ Punjabi Diaspora Punjabi University, Patiala. It was mentioned in the UGC letter that the performance of the Centre will be reviewed/assessed from time to time. The allocation of funds was made for a period of five years from 1-4-2014 to 31-3-2019. The 50% amount of total amount (i.e., Rs 7,50,000/-) allocated was released as per UGC letter dated August 2014.
The Centre for Advanced Studies and Research in Indian Diaspora, with Special Focus on Punjab/Punjabi Diaspora is envisioned in line with the strong and dedicated commitment of Punjabi University to engage in quality research and academic pursuits for creating a holistic environment. Punjabi University is committed to the promotion of Punjabi language, culture, literature, art and other allied areas for strengthening its focus on Punjabi life, ethos while providing space for multilingual and multicultural regional Indian social character and plurality.
Considering the growing importance of diasporic groups/communities and their involvement in world culture today, the Centre envisions engaging in advanced research and exploration of the significant aspects of diasporic geo-political, economic and cultural shifts from its beginnings, to the present post-colonial and globalised scenario affecting patterns of complex forms of adjustments and involvement of migrant populations. There is dire need to research and articulate the multidimensional features of the new face of diasporas in late stage of global capitalism. Indian regionally oriented diasporas with cultural, ethnic, religious, specificities, present hybrid patterns of resistance and response across the developed and developing world, whether it is professional/skilled work, labour, issues of gender, race, activism, economic productions or the darker side of deprived oversees populations. The centre aims to focus on several of these and related issues in an interdisciplinary frame of study.
The Punjabi diaspora and its patterns of migrations; the historical frames of reference and their changing configurations; the several models of Punjabi/Sikh diasporic identity in terms of pre-and post-colonial, post-partition mutations; the need for close study of a collective Punjabi diasporic experience, as well separately articulating the special Sikh identity in terms of its historical, cultural, ethical, religious, political, economic and sociological variants is self-evident.
The vision of the Centre is not only to research the obvious or ostensible aspects of Punjabi migrant population in terms of its gradations and demography in extremely diverse geographical cultural settings, but also the problems and imperatives of adjustments in the face of global, transnational equations, the U.S. sponsored conflicts in Middle East and Asia, influencing other Indian diasporic groups as well Punjabi diasporic community, ever expanding numerically carrying ahead its vibrancy, has been confronting challenges in facing identification issues, attempts at self-definition and affirmation, both to ascertain and stress the transformative shift in defining ‘Punjabiat’ as well as the newer inputs in economic and professional fields to India in general, and Punjab in particular.
The late capitalist developments affecting post modernity, the impact of computerization and new digital technologies, advanced media studies, the new discourses of local-global relationship, the unprecedented explosion in professional fields, opened up by corporate industries, world bodies and institutions resulting from global/economic networks of expansion. The Centre is envisaged to initiate and conduct research and advanced studies in the above diverse areas to achieve a measure of excellence in this premier institution encouraging interdisciplinary academic climate.
Komagata Maru and Punjabi Diaspora: Emerging Trends and Dimensions. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2017.
As per the approval of the Dean Academic Affairs on the decision of Advisory Committee of Centre for Diaspora Studies (CDS), Punjabi University, Patiala on 9th Oct., 2017, the Punjabi Bhawan, Toronto, Canada has initiated a two year project which was proposed to the Centre in June 2017 i.e. “Planning the Strategic Measures to Promote Punjabi Language at School Level Education for Punjabi Diaspora in Canada” for which it has committed to provide a financial grant of Canadian $ 20,000/- to the Centre for Diaspora Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala. They also want to sign MOU with the university.