The Bahá’í Chair for Studies in Development at Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya was established in 1991.

The Chair promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the field of development from a perspective that regards human prosperity as an outcome of both material and spiritual progress. This perspective is based on the conviction that for development endeavours to bear profound and enduring results, they cannot be concerned merely with the material and economic aspects of life. The majority of the world’s people see themselves not just as material beings responding to material exigencies and circumstances, but rather as moral beings concerned with spiritual awareness and purpose. Thus for development plans and programs to succeed in their true purpose – which is the enabling of people to take charge of their own progress - they must recognize the spiritual dimension of life. The knowledge that will empower the people in the path of development will have to draw on both science and its methods and spiritual insights and principles from religion.

Implicit in this conception of development is the centrality accorded to knowledge as the driver of progress. The two systems of knowledge and practice that have propelled the advancement of civilization throughout humanity’s long evolution have been science and religion. Science is concerned with the workings of the physical universe, the human psyche, and social structures and processes, and religion sheds light on the powers of the human spirit and its operation in society. This conception of religion is not concerned with sectarian movements, superstition, fanaticism and dogma. What is being referred to is religion as a system of knowledge and practice that has civilized human nature throughout history, that has explored the deepest motivations of human behavior, provided spiritual principles to guide action and whose contributions to law and morality have helped to preserve the social fabric.

About the University

Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV), formerly University of Indore, is a premier University in Central India. It is the only State University of Madhya Pradesh which has been recently accredited with “A” grade by NAAC. It was established in 1964, by an Act of Legislature of Madhya Pradesh.