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Barun De, the Renowned Historian and Academician Passed Away at 80

Jul 17, 2013 10:03 IST

Barun De, the renowned historian and academician passed away on 17 July 2013 in Kolkata following brief illness. He was 80 years of age. He is survived by his wife, one son and one daughter.

Life History of Barun De

• Barun De was born on 30 October 1932.
• He was an eminent scholar and his primary research area was modern India.
• He specialised in economic history of India in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Bengal Renaissance and British constitutional history.
• He was an alumnus of Presidency College and Oxford University.
• He authored Secularism at Bay: Uzbekistan at the Turn of the Century, which is an autobiographical work.
• He also completed D.Phil in Indian history in 1961 from the Presidency College.
• His thesis called Henry Dundas, and the government of India, (1773-1801): A Study in Constitutional Ideas was acclaimed all over.
• He was also the faculty at universities of Calcutta and Burdwan, Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta as well as at various institutes and universities of Duke, Paris, Milan, Sydney and Tokyo.
• He also worked as the fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta.
• Between the year 1998 and 2001, he held the India Chair at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent.
• He also remained the Tagore national fellow at the Victoria Memorial from 2010 to 2012.
• He was also appointed as the first director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), in 1973. He remained at that post till the year 1983.
• He was the first Indian Post-Graduate Programme Director at IIM-Calcutta.
• Barun De served as the general secretary (from 1973 to 1975) of the Indian History Congress.
• In the year 1988, he was appointed as the general president (1988) of Indian History Congress’s Dharwar session.
• He remained the state editor of the West Bengal District Gazetteers from 1979 to 1983.
• He was also the Chairman of West Bengal Heritage Commission (WBHC) from 2008 to 2011.
• His notable students included Sumit Sarkar, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and Suranjan Das.
• He won some of the notable awards and prizes such as Curzon Prize (1957) and Banga Samman (2008). Other awards and honours in his account included Gopimohan Deb Scholarship, Presidency College, Calcutta 1953–54; Curzon Memorial Essay Prize, Oxford, 1957; Beit Senior Research Scholarship, Nuffield College, Oxford, 1958–61; Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa by North Bengal University, 2000 and Banga Samman Award, 2008–09.

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