October 2014 \ Diaspora News \ Cover Story—Indians in France
Maison de l’Inde – A home for the Indian students in Paris

  • Dr Bikas Sanyal and Mrs Priti Sanyal

The Maison de l’Inde or India House was built by the Government of India in 1960 and gifted to the International University Campus of Paris (called Cité U) located in the 14th district of Paris.

It is managed by a Board chaired by the Ambassador of India, His Excellency Arun K. Singh and the Director Dr. Bikas Sanyal.

Dr. Sanyal, who is a Knight of the Legion of Honor in France, received in January 2014 the Pravasi Bharatya Samman Award from President Pranab Mukerjee for his achievements in the field of education and his transformation of the India House into a great home for the students but also a famous center spreading Indian culture in Paris.

He joined Maison de l’Inde in 2000 after a brilliant career at UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning. After retirement, he put all his energy with his wife Mrs. Priti Sanyal to give a new life to the place.

They first had to make the India House financially autonomous while providing a comfortable and safe home to the students coming from all over India.

Then Mrs Sanyal, cultural “attachée” of Maison de l’Inde, developed the cultural activities with artists but also students, giving them an opportunity to perform in front of a large public.

Her constant effort to spread the Indian culture in France was recognized by the French Government who awarded her with the Knight for the Order of Academic Palm in 2008.