Seed funding for the Centre for South Asian Civilizations has been provided through a generous endowment from Mr. Vasdev Chanchlani, over a 10 year period, and a commitment from the University of Toronto Mississauga over five years. In addition to the funds directly associated with the Centre, the Department of Historical Studies is home to several related endowments and initiatives that provide opportunities for cooperation:
- The Yehan Numata Programme in Buddhist Studies funds one the world’s most prestigious international academic lecture and conference programmes for the study of Buddhism and is housed at the Department of Historical Studies.
- The Toronto Initiative for Iranian Studies (TIIS) funds conferences and workshops focused on the study of Iran, broadly construed. Much of South Asia’s history is written in Persian, which was the language of governance for centuries and was widely spoken in the country until recently, particularly among the elite classes.
- The Department of Historical Studies has benefitted from a donation in the form of a bequest from the Bagli Family, which will support programs in Zoroastrian and related studies. The largest community of the world’s Zoroastrians lives in Gujarat, India, while Toronto is the city with the largest number of Zoroastrians outside of India.
- A generous donor has committed to fund a program in Sikh Studies in the Department of Historical Studies for three academic years, from 2013-14 through 2015-16.