The cooperation project “New Directions in ‘Active Ageing’ and ‘Age-friendly Culture’ in India and Germany” between Heidelberg University (HU), Germany, and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India offers an innovative, multifaceted program for an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange. The initiative is funded within the framework of Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education (IGP) by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for a period of four years from 2016 to 2020. Both Germany and India face the challenges of “active ageing” and “age-friendly culture,” but in different ways. With this purpose, the program has been established to enhance “active ageing” and “age-friendly cultures” in India and Germany through various forms of knowledge exchange and to expand the focus through research-based teaching in Heidelberg and Delhi. The exchange program comprises researchers, students, doctoral candidates as well as post-doctoral fellows. It relies on a mix of research (short-term stays), teaching, discussion (spring, summer or winter schools) and the incorporation of the “Film Festival for Generations“. It will develop further research profiles on themes related to “active ageing“ and “age-friendly culture“ through pilot projects and PhD research. The core themes are namely:

  • Images of Age and Ageing
  • Political and Ethical Discourses on Responsibility in and for Old Age
  • Medical and Non-medical Intervention, Caring
  • New Technologies and Gerontechnology
  • Ageing and Gender in India
  • Ageing and Residence in India
  • Environmental Gerontology, Urban Anthropology
  • Migration and Care
  • Media Representation and Production


In this program, participants from Heidelberg University include the Institute for Gerontology (Prof. Andreas Kruse, Dr. Michael Doh), the South Asia Institute (Prof. William S. Sax, Dr. Martin Gieselmann), and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (Prof. Christiane Brosius). The New Delhi partners from Jawaharlal Nehru University are the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies (Prof. Minati Panda), the Centre for the Study of Social Systems (Prof. Surinder Jodhka), and the Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health (Prof. Mohan Rao). The project is designed to build upon existing synergies between JNU and HU by introducing a new topic that is of great relevance to both Germany and India.

Mission Statement

The aim of the project “New Directions in ‘Active Ageing‘ and ‘Age-friendly Culture“ in India and Germany is to initialize and foster cooperation between Heidelberg University, Germany and Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

The aims of the project are:

  • Intensify the partnership between RuprechtKarls-Universität Heidelberg (HU) and Jawahahrlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in general;
  • strengthen ties and foster cooperation between the following institutions at both Universities: the Institute of Gerontology, the South Asia Institute and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies at HU with Indian partners at JNU, especially the Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies, the centre for the Study of Social Systems as well as the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health;
  • develop research profiles along the themes of “Active Ageing“ and “Age-friendly Culture“ through pilot projects and PhD research;
  • develop and implement an innovative teaching profile through a series of prominent lectures, summer, spring and winter schools and the incorporation of the Film Festival of Generations; exchange MA and PhD students, postdocs, faculty and scientific managers