Programmes & Projects > Programmes > Border Studies Programme


The border studies programme aims to study the whole of the India-China border, including the boundary dispute, with a special focus on the North East India and the BCIM region. One of the core programmes of the ICS is the Border Studies Programme which incorporates research work on a number of inter-related themes in an overarching, multidisciplinary framework.

In 2013-14, the main activities of the Border Studies Programme were focussed on the BCIM-Economic Corridor agreed to between India and China as part of the BCIM framework. Three ICS Honorary Fellows were appointed to a Govenment of India Joint Study Group on the BCIM-EC. ICS-supported researchers also undertook several field trips to Arunachal Pradesh as part of a project on infrastructure connectivity in India's northeastern border regions. The ICS also supported the organisation of a major national conference at Guwahati titled, Continuities and Discontinuities of Asian Engagement: Borders, Mobility and Identity in Northeast India and Asia, together with the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati in October 2013, Also under the ambit of the Border Studies Programme, ICS researchers participated in several conferences in China related to its new 'one belt, one road' or modern Silk Roads initiative. 


  • Delimiting the Northern frontiers of British India: A Study of Colonial India’s Border Making Project vis-à-vis China (1890-1947)

Vinod C. Khanna, Emeritus Fellow, ICS (Project Director); Vijay K. Nambiar, Honorary Fellow, ICS (Co-Project Director) & Nirmola Sharma, Visiting Research Associate, ICS (Lead Researcher)

The two-year research project supported by the ICSSR, titled ‘Delimiting the Northern frontiers of British India: A Study of Colonial India's Border Making Project vis-à-vis China (1890-1947)’, that commenced from April 2018, has recently come to an end. Our Emeritus Fellow Amb. V.C. Khanna was the Project Director, while Amb. Vijay Nambiar was the Co-Project Director. Dr. Nirmola Sharma, former Research Associate and currently Visiting Research Associate, ICS, was the lead researcher in the project. The final report was submitted to the ICSSR in the beginning of 2020-21.

  • Infrastructure Projects in India's Border Areas

Jabin T. JacobHonorary Fellow, ICS (Project Director)

The project seeked to understand central government motivations for development projects in India’s border areas, and the expectations that state governments and local interest groups have from these projects. The project leg in the state of Mizoram focused specifically on the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, connecting the state with Myanmar, and a showcase item in current India-Myanmar cooperation.

  • India-China Relations, A Comprehensive Database: Special Reference to the Boundary Dispute and 1962

M V Rappai, Honorary Fellow, ICS (Project Director)

This project intended to make an extensive database of all issues involving the India-China boundary dispute and eventually make the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) a key repository of data on all aspects of India-China relations in the long term. The first phase was from 1914 to 1916 (the period with the most direct relevance to the current project; the second phase looked at the historical evolution of this issue from 1945 to 1954, coinciding with the period when the two nations evolved as modern independent states and the third phase covered the period 1955 to 1964, encompassing the decline in the relationship from the bonhomie of 1954-55 up to the outbreak of the border conflict in 1962 and the end of the Nehruvian period. 

About the Database: The attempt was to compile a bibliography (as also copies) of all relevant materials, including books, articles, archival material available; all relevant doctoral theses produced/published in major Indian universities; material/copies from relevant state/district archives; and possible tie-ups with the archives of some leading newspapers of India. The plan also includes - over the longer period - collecting all relevant material available in Chinese language, including in the archives of P. R. China, Taiwan and the U.K. 

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