The French Institute in India and Collège de France have created an Itinerant Chair in India.

In the heart of Paris, Collège de France is a highly reputed French higher education and research establishment. Since the 16th century, it has been a forum for cutting-edge research and education in all fields of knowledge, from mathematical and natural sciences to social sciences and humanities.

Over a course of three years, the French Institute collaborates with the International Relations Department of Collège de France. We invite reputed French scholars from diverse fields (demography, informatics, philosophy, history, sociology, biology, physics, cybersecurity, etc) to conduct seminars in leading Indian institutions of superior learning.

The programme encourages long term exchanges of knowledge between the two countries.

The Chair was inaugurated by Professor François Héran, demographer, in 2019.

Professor Thomas Lecuit has conducted conferences in collaboration with Indian academic institutions : TIFR in Mumbai, IISER in Pune and NCBS in Bangalore.

Thomas Lecuit is a group leader at IBDM in Marseille and studies the biophysical principles of cell and tissue morphogenesis.He is director of the Turing Centre for Living Systems, an interdisciplinary centre studying the complexity and self-organization in the area of development, neuroscience and immunology. He is a Professor at the Collège de France in Paris, chair “Dynamics of Living Systems”, an elected member of the EMBO, French Académie des Sciences and Academia Europaea.

Professor Anne Cheng has conducted conferences in collaboration with Indian academic institutions:

  • 9 February 2023 – “Is Zhongguo the Middle Kingdom or Madhyadeśa?” at Ashoka University, Sonipat
  • 10 February 2023 – “The Chinese claim to universality” at Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad
  • 13 February 2023 – “The future of cultural memory in China” at Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Mumbai
  • 15 February 2023 – «Challenging the concept of China-world» at NIAS, Bangalore and “China vision of the world: a long-standing heritage” at St Joseph University, Bangalore

Born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents, Anne Cheng was educated in the French state school system, focusing on classics and European language and literature, until she entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure, where she opted to devote herself exclusively to Chinese studies. For forty years she has been involved in teaching and research on the intellectual history of China and Confucianism in particular, initially at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), then at INALCO (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations), before her appointment to the Institut universitaire de France, followed by her election to the Collège de France in 2008 on the Chair of Chinese intellectual history.

Professor Gérard Berry is conducting webinars in collaboration with Indian academic institutions in Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. Dates: 2-10 November 2020. He was initially supposed to give these lectures in person in March 2020.

Seminar Programme


  • 2 November, 18h30 – Webinar in collaboration with India Habitat Centre: Why Computing is Turning the World Upside DownWatch the replay or download the presentation.
  • 6 November – Webinar for the Lycées français en IndePourquoi l’informatique ?


  • 3 November, 16:00 – Webinar in collaboration with Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), in the framework of STC seminars (School of Technology and Computer Science):
    Math and informatics, ever more fruitful interactions (Read more)
    Mr Olivier Fudym, Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation for West India, will introduce the webinar.
    Watch replay on YouTube
  • 4 November, 17h00 – Webinar within the framework of the Institute Colloquium, IIT Bombay
    Time, from Physics to Informatics and Music
    Watch replay on YouTube


  • 10th November, 18h30 – Webinar in collaboration with Chennai Mathematical Institute and Institute of Mathematical Sciences Math and informatics, ever more fruitful interactions. (Read more) – Watch replay on YouTube


  • 16 December, 17:00 – Webinar in collaboration with ACM India CouncilThe Science of Cyberphysical System Safety and Security.  Register here.  Dr. Nicolas Gherardi, Deputy counsellor for Education, Science and Culture, along with Dr. François Xavier Mortreuil, Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation for South India, will introduce the webinar concept and launch the official partnership with ACM India.

Gérard Berry, a member of the French Académie des sciences and Gold Medal of CNRS in 2014, studied at Ecole Polytechnique and Corps des Mines in Paris. He was a researcher at Ecole des Mines and Inria from 1970 to 2001, Chief Scientist of the Esterel Technologies company from 2001 to 2009, Director of Research at Inria from 2009 to 2012, before being appointed as Full Professor at Collège de France in 2012 on the Algorithms, Programs and Machine Chair; he had previously held there two-yearly chairs in 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. He officially retired in 2001. His main scientific contributions concern the formal development of programming languages in relation to mathematical logic, parallel and real-time programming, high-level design of computer circuits and systems, and formal verification of programs and circuits. He is the creator of the Esterel synchronous reactive language. Through his courses, books, and conferences, he is also active in the dissemination to a general audience of the new algorithmic way of thinking and acting.

François Héran is one of the leading authorities on social demography. A philosopher by training, he first carried out his research in rural France, southern Spain and Bolivia as a sociologist and ethnologist. He was elected in 2017 professor at the Collège de France (Paris) on a newly elected chair, “Migrations and Societies”. He has founded in 2017 an “Institut des Migrations” which supports 380 fellows of all disciplines. François Héran has published extensively in rural sociology, sociology of religion, kinship studies, demography and migration.
François Héran gave conferences in India in October 2019.

In collaboration with