Mrigendra Bahadhur Karki (click to view profile)
The Research Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University holds a glorious history. Since 1950, Nepal, constitutionally, has been opened nationally and internationally, the state had a one door research policy and the Centre was one of the outstanding ‘think tanks’ of the country to advise the government. The State had financially invested to the Centre up to the 1990s. In general, noteworthy contributions came in the humanities and social science research and, in particular, in the domains of foreign policy, diplomacy, history, culture, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and Himalayan studies. Beyond research, the Centre contributed in teaching as well while it functioned of the Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies (INAS). The Centre has been regarded as a mother institute of sociology and anthropology in Nepal for its publications and “degree by dissertation” on Nepal’s first generation sociologists, anthropologists, and linguists. Altogether, CNAS has brought out more than 300 research books along with a bi-annual journal ‘Contributions to Nepalese Studies’ since mid-1973. Exchanged with 57 universities’ journals across various universities of the world.
In pursuit of knowledge, the founding leaders, faculties, and administrative staff of the Centre foster their academic capacity, integrity, intellectual resources, and efforts to make it a vibrant and credible Research Centre – nationally and internationally. It holds the 67th position among Southeast Asia and Pacific region’s to 100 think tanks in the Pennsylvania university survey in 2019.
In the course of political change in the country, the Centre also encountered ups and down in its interaction with the Nepal government policies and programs, on one hand, and the global powers’ interests and priorities, on the other. Since the political changes of the 1990s, outside the universities and government structures, several private and public research institutes have been promoting social, political, and developmental discourse in Nepal in association with national and international governmental and non-governmental agencies.
I, on the behalf of the Centre and myself, extend sincere gratitude to the former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and his cabinet for the decision to set up a “CNAS Endowment Fund” which includes 50 million NPR to accelerate academic research under the research agendas and priorities developed by the CNAS and TU faculties. Consequently, since 2019, the Centre has set up four academic fellowships in the names of Prayag Raj Sharma, Dor Bahadur Bista, Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah, and Dhana Bhajra Bajracharya, including a Ph.D. student fellowship research fund for a Ph.D. student of Humanities and Social Sciences under the Dean’s office, Tribhuvan university. These five fellowships will be offered every year on Shrawan 1, aiming a) to generate humanities and social science research studies, b) to stimulate between CNAS (research) and TU’s central departments and colleges (teaching/class rooms), and finally, c) to generate original priority based research discourse.
The Centre has also revived desks on India, China and Japan which were formerly started by the late Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah in the mid-1980s. The desks are focused on the study of the respective countries from Nepali perspective, employing country-specific academic networking strategies. The Centre is dedicated to generating academic discourse and policy contributions for the Nepal Government through research by organizing national and international seminars and publications – Contributions to Nepalese Studies, books and research reports.
I urge all the retired faculties of CNAS, TU, affiliated students as also these from the other, national and international universities to come forward to help CNAS in replenishing the sprit for which it has stood so far.