Nalini Balbir

Nalini Balbir (born in 1955) is a French Indologist who lives in Paris. She is a scholar of Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. She was a direct student of Indologist Colette Caillat. She is known for her work on the publication of the Catalogue of the Jain Manuscripts of the British Library published by the Institute of Jainology.[1]


Nalini Balbir was born of a French mother and an Indian father. She started her career as a teacher of French, Latin and Greek in secondary schools (1977 to 1980), before completing her PhD in Indian Studies (Études indiennes) with the edition and annotated translation of the Danastaka-katha, a book of Jain narratives in Sanskrit, which was published in 1982.[2] Between 1982-1988 she was a Research scholar in the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, where she completed her DLitt in Indian Studies with a magisterial work on the complex Jaina Avasyaka literature which was published in 1993 under the title Avasyaka Studien.[3] In recognition of her outstanding contributions to classical and modern Indian philology she became Professor of Indian Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of New Sorbonne) in 1988. Dr Balbir is currently Professor for Indian Studies (Études Indiennes) at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris-3), and since the year 2000 also Directeur d'Etudes for Middle-Indian Philology at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris (Section des Sciences historiques et philologiques). As a trained philologist, her main areas of research are Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Theravada Buddhism, Jainism, and Hindi language and literature of the 20th century. She is also a member of Pali text society in London and editor since 1983 of Bulletin d'Etudes Indiennes, an Indology Journal.[4]



  1. "Jaina Studies". Newsletter of Centre of Jaina Studies. University of London: School of Oriental and African Studies (2). March 2007. Retrieved 17 Dec 2009.
  2. Granoff, Phyllis (1993). The clever adulteress and other stories: a treasury of Jaina literature. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1150-X. p. 4
  3. Hans Bakker; Johannes Bronkhorst (1990). The History of sacred places in India as reflected in traditional literature: papers on pilgrimage in South Asia. New York: BRILL. ISBN 90-04-09318-4. p. 208
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