Upinder Singh

Upinder Singh (born 22 June 1959) is an Indian historian and the former head of the History Department at the University of Delhi.[1][2] She is the dean of faculty and professor of history at Ashoka University. She is also the recipient of the inaugural Infosys Prize in the category of Social Sciences (History).[2]

Upinder Singh
Head of the Department (History) University of Delhi
Personal details
Born (1959-06-22) 22 June 1959 (age 61)
ParentsManmohan Singh and Gursharan Kaur
EducationPhD from McGill University, Canada
St. Stephen's College, Delhi

Education and professional lifeEdit

Singh is an alumna of St. Stephen's College, Delhi and received a PhD from McGill University in Canada. She has a Master of Arts in History and an M.Phil. in History, both from the University of Delhi. She has a Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, with a thesis titled Kings, Brahmanas, and Temples in Orissa: an epigraphic study (300-1147 CE).[2]

She is a Professor in the Department of History at Ashoka University.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

She is daughter of Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, and Gursharan Kaur.[3] Singh is married to Vijay Tankha, a professor of Philosophy. They have two sons.


Singh was awarded the Netherlands Government Reciprocal Fellowship in 1985, to pursue research at the Instituut Kern, Leiden. She was awarded the Ancient India and Iran Trust/Wallace India Visiting Fellowship to pursue research in Cambridge and London in 1999. She was also a visiting fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Singh has received the prestigious Daniel Ingalls Fellowship at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University in 2005.[2]

She is the National Coordinator for History at the Institute of Life Long Learning at the University of Delhi.[2]

She was visiting professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium, as the recipient of the Erasmus Mundus Fellowship, May–June 2010.[1]


On 25 February 2008, right wing activists demonstrated in the University of Delhi campus, in protest of an essay by A.K. Ramanujan, titled Three Hundred Ramayanas. The activists felt the essay was offensive, and alleged that Singh was responsible for its inclusion in a list of recommended readings for the BA programme in history. The University denied the allegation and stated that Singh was "… neither the editor nor compiler of the book on Cultural History of Ancient India."[3]


Books (authored)
  • Kings, Brāhmaṇas and temples in Orissa: an epigraphic study AD 300-1147. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publ. 1994. ISBN 9788121506212.
  • Ancient Delhi. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 1999. ISBN 9780195649192.
  • Mysteries Of The Past: Archeological Sites In India. India: National Book Trust. 2002. ISBN 9788123739793. (for children)
  • The discovery of ancient India: early archaeologists and the beginnings of archaeology. Delhi: Permanent Black. 2004. ISBN 9788178240886.
  • A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. New Delhi: Pearson Longman. 2008. ISBN 9788131716779.
  • Rethinking Early Medieval India: A Reader. OUP India. 2012. ISBN 9780198086062.
  • With Dhar, Parul Pandya & Vatsyayan, Kapila (2014). Asian Encounters: Exploring Connected Histories. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198099802.
  • Political Violence in Ancient India. Harvard University Press. 2017. ISBN 9780674975279.
Books (edited)
  • "Amaravati: the dismembering of the Mahācaitya (1797–1886)". South Asian Studies. 17 (1): 19–40. January 2001. doi:10.1080/02666030.2001.9628590.
  • "Cults and shrines in early historical Mathura (c. 200 B.C. – A.D. 200)". World Archaeology. 36 (3): 378–398. September 2004. doi:10.1080/0043824042000282803.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Prof. Upinder Singh". University of Delhi. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "PM's daughter has nothing to do with book on Ramayana". Indian Express. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2012.