Past events

Some of the exciting events we have hosted or been involved with.


2017 UK–India Year of Culture

The UK-India Year of Culture 2017 involves a festival of events celebrating 70 years since Indian Independence, and the vibrant cultural connections between the UK and India. Top UK institutions will partner with Indian counterparts to highlight existing cultural ties between the two nations, and to build new ones. Throughout the Year, activities are being organised by the British Council and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. More information on the official events can be found here and here.

Colonial Period Films of India

Of particular interest are early films  on India that have been digitised by the British Film Institute:

BFI head curator Robin Baker said: “Cumulatively, these films offer an extraordinary social and political story of Indian history, seen through the eyes of the filmmakers, and putting flesh on the bones of book facts with real people and very tangible places.”

“The potency of the films is remarkable and undeniable. They are as close as any of us are going to get to time travel.”

Find them here.

Key Events

Scotland has a strong set of historical and contemporary links to India in heritage, culture, ideas and the arts. A variety of events will celebrate and take forward Scotland-India links in Edinburgh and elsewhere throughout 2017 and up to March 2018. The Edinburgh India Institute will provide information on any events brought to our attention, so please contact us if you have information about exhibitions, performances, lectures or discussions concerning India up to the end of March 2018.

If you would like to join the mailing list to receive regular up-dates, send us an email 

Currently planned events include:

In Edinburgh


INDIA DAY 2017: A Talk by Dr Shashi Tharoor

Renowned Indian politician and former diplomat, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, will deliver a lecture, entitled 'Looking Back at the British Raj in India', and discuss how the British Raj has shaped the narrative around India-UK relations.

A book signing of Dr Tharoor's latest publication, 'Inglorious Empire', was available after the lecture.

Venue: McEwan Hall (Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG)


HIGHLANDS TO HINDUSTAN: Indian Art from University of Edinburgh Collections

The University of Edinburgh enjoys a long-standing and productive relationship with India and an exhibition in the Library opening during the Fringe Festival this year, the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence, provides an excellent opportunity to showcase and celebrate the University’s historic collections relating to the sub-continent.

These objects – books, manuscripts, sculptures and paintings – collected over a period of 300 years, span two millennia of art and culture and are rich both in variety and depth. Most of the objects have never been exhibited in public before; this will be the first ever public exhibition of University Collections devoted to the art and culture of South Asia.

Curated by: Dr. Yuthika Sharma, Lecturer in Indian/South Asian Art, Edinburgh College of Art

Dates: 28th July - 28th October 2017


Venue: Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, University of Edinburgh, George Square; more details here



A photographic exhibition

Dates: 17th September - 1st October 2017

Venue: Mound Precinct. Here's the link to the project



This opened at The Queen's Gallery, Edinburgh on Friday 15th December 2017 and ran until Sunday 15th April, 2018.

More details here


TREASURES ON DISPLAY at the National Library of Scotland

Images of India 

This display showcases images of India with highly visual treasures, some indigenous and some created by Scots in India. These include hand-coloured printed books, early Indian printing and manuscripts in various South Asian languages, especially sacred texts, poetry and histories. The exhibits are all visually stunning; many are unique and rare.

Dates: Open from 6 July - 20 August 2017


Venue: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW



A taste for Indian sculpture: India, Moray and Elgin Museum

A talk by Professor Roger Jeffery, University of Edinburgh and Friederike Voigt, Senior Curator, Middle East & South Asia, National Museums Scotland

Part of the Moray Society Lecture Series: Winter 2016/17

7.30 pm, Friday 28th April, 2017

Elgin Museum Hall, 1 High Street, Elgin, IV30 1EQ


Scotland in India, India in Scotland: 

Legacies of Enlightenment, 1750 to 1918

An Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of Glasgow

May 12-13, 2017


More details here


Meeting of Traditions: an Indian Arts Connection Event

Traditional music from India and Scotland come together to connect as part of UK India Year of Culture 2017. This was a unique event that showcased the talents of young musicians from India and Scotland, to place the foundation of a life time of working together in collaboration.

Assembly Roxy

2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Sunday 23 April, 2017 17:00-20:30


An evening of Carnatic Music, with Sanjay Subramanyam

Organised by Indian Arts Connection

Friday 17 February 2017, 19:00-22:00

Venue: Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

This well-attended concert was the inaugural event of the UK-India Year of Culture in Edinburgh. Contact details: @indianartsconnection, or via their Facebook page 


Schools’ Day for Scotland – RSAA, SCEN & CIS, October 2015

Working with the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and Scottish China Education Network, the Confucius Institute for Scotland invited senior students from schools across Scotland to attend a day of talks on aspects of Asia on Wednesday 28 October 2015.

This was an inaugural event for RSAA and built on the well established and most successful Schools’ Day in London.

Open to students in the 16-18 age group, the conference both inspired and educated in equal measure. Featuring a number of speakers, including James Brodie of the China Britain Business Council, and explorer and adventurer Jamie Bunchuk there were also career-focused sessions with professionals and language tasters on offer – in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Japanese.

There was no charge for  attendance and lunch was provided.

If you require further information please contact Shaun McPhee, of the RSAA by email to or by telephone on 0791 334 6611, during normal office hours.


The University of Edinburgh in India, February 2015

The University of Edinburgh is proud of its India partnership - both historic and current - that has evolved and grown rapidly since the establishment of the India Office in 2010.

Edinburgh’s India partnerships now include a prestigious joint research centre in the neurosciences in Bangalore - the Centre for Brain Development and Repair at inStem Bangalore, a joint Master’s in Family Medicine programme with the Christian Medical College Vellore and high impact partnerships in Education, Energy, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine and the Natural Sciences.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Edinburgh, Professor Charlie Jeffery, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor James Smith, Vice Principal International led a delegation of over 30 faculty to India during February 2015, who engaged with their Indian partners at leading institutions via symposia, public lectures and other meetings.

These were designed as platforms for the development of innovative partnerships and opportunities for faculty, students, alumni and the University’s partners in India.


India Day lecture by Gopalkrishna Gandhi: 'India Yesterday, India Today'

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, the distinguished scholar and statesman, Gopalkrishna Gandhi was a keynote speaker during the University of Edinburgh's first India and South Asia week, which took place at the University of Edinburgh from 29 September until 5 October 2014.

His India Day lecture, 'India Yesterday, India Today' was held on Thursday 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

Dr. Gandhi also gave a speech at the the Scottish Parliament on the 30 September, entitled "Independence: Dream and Reality".

Mr Gandhi has held a number of senior posts including High Commissioner of India to South Africa; Director of the Nehru Centre, London, and Governor of West Bengal.




Edinburgh India Institute Inaugural Conference, May 2014

The EII hosted its Inaugural Conference in May, welcoming collaborative colleagues from India to a busy schedule of presentations and events. We were honoured by the presence of APJ Kalam, ex-President of India, who was presented with an Honorary Degree by The Principal, Dr. Tomothy O'Shea.

Edinburgh India Institute Inaugural Conference


Tai Chi - Chai Tea, March 2014

As part of the University's cultural festival Gather, the India Institute collaborated on a new intercultural event, Tai Chi - Chai Tea, with the Confucius Institute and the International Office.

This event for staff and students an introduction to both cultural institutes and to with a presentation about tea in Indian society and Bollywood. Chai and samosa were served to underline these cultural themes.


Namaste Edinburgh, October 2013

A welcome event for new students to Edinburgh, Namaste Edinburgh was jointly held by University of Edinburgh under the Edinburgh India Institute and the International Office along with Edinburgh Napier University, Heriott-Watt University, Queen Margret University.

The event was organised in the City Chambers and the welcome address was given by dignitaries like Baillie Work (from the City Chambers), Jim Eadie (MSP) and Mr. I.P. Lakra (Indian Counsul).

The event was very successful with over 100 attendees. It also paved the way for further collaboration between the four universities of Edinburgh.


College on Wheels, September 2013

Students and staff from University of Edinburgh joined their counterparts from the Delhi University to go on the College on Wheels’ - GYANODAYA III Educational Train Journey 2013.

Edinburgh India Institute, the International office and India office (Mumbai) undertook the responsibility of making this partnership initiative possible.

The journey spanning a week took the train from Delhi into the cultural, economic and agricultural heartland of Punjab, allowing the travellers to better understand the dynamics of the region’s emerging economy, as well as its importance in terms of farming and heritage.

It then went on to Amritsar, the spiritual centre for the Sikh religion; Ludhiana, the industrial hub of North India; and Chandigarh, the first planned city in post-independence India.

The journey not only provided the students from Edinburgh to know India better but also opened up new channels of student interaction and exchange.


Delhi University student visit, July 2013

The EII hosted 11 undergraduate students from the Delhi University and 4 staff members on 4th July 2013.

The students and staff interacted with their counterparts from University of Edinburgh. EII organised Interactive sessions and presentations by members of staff and students for the guests.There was a dinner held afterwards where people were able to interact informally.

The event was yet another milestone in fostering the already deep ongoing collaborative relation the University of Edinburgh has with the Delhi University.