Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) has turned down a request to financially assist Aligarh Historians Society’s (AHS) annual seminar which was held last year. This was the first time that the ICHR had turned down AHS’ request to fund its annual seminar on India’s regional history. ICHR had been funding seminars in Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) history department since the year 2000. AHS is headed by ICHR’s former Chairman Professor Irfan Habib, who is currently the professor emeritus of the department of history of AMU. Habib had been the Chairman of ICHR from September 9, 1986, to July 1, 1990, according to the Indian Express.
The Research Projects Committee (RPC) of ICHR, which evaluates funding proposals had in August 2016 met to consider the seminar titled ‘India and its Parts — Past and Present.’ According to the minutes of the meeting of the RPC, of which the current ICHR Chairman is a member, the seminar was not funded as it did not find the proposal adequate to finance it. Professor Purabi Roy and Professor Michael Danino had also attended the meeting, according to the Indian Express.
Professor Habib told the Indian Express that he wasn’t satisfied with the response he received from ICHR. Habib said that ICHR by its rules is supposed to give special attention to regional history.
In 2015, ICHR had stripped Indian History Congress (IHC) of its special status. Habib is the vice president of the IHC. A seminar titled ‘India and its Parts: Past and Present’ was held in Kerala last year, according to the Indian Express.