New Imaginations : Centre for North East India Studies


Interdisciplinarity; Contemporary; Information as Public Good; Institution Building as a Process.


Output oriented; Brand oriented; Collaborative; Outreach.


New Imaginations marks O P Jindal Global University’s commitment to creating an international research centre in the comparative study of journalism and conflict studies in one of India’s forgotten homelands- India’s Northeast.

This region is typically studied and perceived through stereotypical framework by the media as well as the academia. The idea of this centre evokes New Imaginations to challenge the stereotype and offer an interdisciplinarity and contemporary platform for thought-experiments to understand, document and imagine the regions in ways that would make it a first of its kind research centre that contributes for public good. Here journalism as reportage and interpretation breaks the conventional stereotype that has reinforced current misunderstandings.

The very idea of New Imaginations rather than Re-imaginations spurs a whole set of questions pertinent to the two regions for example:

  1. Was the Partition a tragedy or birth of three nations?
  2. The Tribal Question in Modern India
  3. Sustainability and Society
  4. Securitising the Exotic
  5. “Imagined Communities” -the ideas for the future
  6. “The Art of Not Being Governed”
  7. Multiple Ethnicities
  8. Water Wars and River Stories

The Centre will incubate, curate and train a generation of young scholars making it the most imaginative approach anywhere to understand people and regions. This will generate an entirely different genre of storytelling about the regions that literally opens up new horizons in resolution, transformation and changing perceptions. The future of journalism is about defying the ‘single story’ and opening up the possibility of multiple narratives. This then will be the breeding ground for the best in journalism practice and research that will also serve as the most invaluable documentation centre. If the Journalism School proposes to train students to be future ready then the school must create the academic framework and professional skills necessary for such an exercise.

While each affiliated scholar will have an individual focus and expertise, the research undertaken at the New Imaginations will be clustered around 5 sub centres:

  • Research unit –India’s Northeast(NE) This unit shall produce research papers and books, institute calendar events of conferences and public policy lecture series in collaboration with institutes based in the regions.
  • Case Studies Research Group Questions of culture, community practices, oral memories and the relation of NE and rest of India will be explored through a case study series.
  • Reportage Group– will analyse news and current affairs.
  • Archival Centre– for key investigations, civil rights reports and human rights reports. This centre will be an invaluable repository for documentation that has tremendous profit generating potential. Qualitative research completed on strategically chosen areas will be archived to obtain an understanding over long durations.