Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations is one of the prime and leading Institutes in Pakistan in the field of research on Asian Civilizations, mainly dealing with the following disciplines:
- Archaeology & Tourism
- Comparative Civilizations
- Comparative Religions
- Ancient languages and Scripts
In 1967 Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, was authorized by Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, to establish a Centre for the Study of the Civilizations of Central Asia in order to cooperate with UNESCO as a participating member representing Pakistan in its program on Central Asia. In UNESCO there was proposal to expand the scope of the centre and make a comparative study of the civilizations of whole of Asia. With the consent of the Government of Pakistan, QAU accepted the proposal and accordingly the name of the centre was changed to Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations (TIAC). The syndicate of the University approved the project, thus, accepted the TIAC as a constituent part of the University and permitted it to enroll students for M. Phil and Ph. D programs. Accordingly, TIAC got approved its courses for M. Sc, M. Phil and Ph. D in 2010 and enrolled students in all the three programmes in 2010 – 2011.
In 2007 the Institute was merged with the QAU after the decision of its Board of Governors (BoG). This was the last year of Professor Dani’ Directorship. During his 40 years he published many books, hundreds of articles, conducted archaeological fieldworks, participated in numerous conferences around the world, and recorded interviews for promoting archaeology and tourism. It was under him that PhD program in Asian Studies was launched in TIAC.
After a transition period of acting directors, Prof. Dr. M. Ashraf Khan joined the Institute as Director in 2009 and served it till May 2016. During his tenure we started MPhil Asian Studies and MSc Archaeology, conducted field excavations and surveys, organized seminars, and conferences, thus playing his role in the improvement and development of the Institute.
After him, I was given the responsibility of advancing the objectives of the Institute in 2016. During the last two years we have started BS Archaeology Program. The Government of Pakistan has approved funds for the new building of the Institute and Museum that will soon materialize. We are going to start MPhil and PhD Archaeology, BS Tourism and BS Art and Design in the Institute so that the plant of Dr. Dani can grow into a tree.
Our regular faculty, now, includes four Assistant Professors and one Associate Professor and several other renowned young and senior visiting Professors.
The whole objective of the TIAC is now changed from the history given above in regard to its predecessor, Center for the Study of the Civilizations of Central Asia. Earlier the Centre was primarily concerned with Central Asia while the focus of the TIAC is on the comparative studies of the civilizations of entire Asia. Earlier the focus was mainly on seminars, conferences and contacts with Central Asia which culminated in the production of the history of Central Asia. Now the focus is on field work. For the first time such an institute has been provided in the university so as to prepare the students to have a broader view of the history and culture of the entire Asia.