The Alliance Française de Delhi (AFD) was registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act 1860 on 30th June 1956. Earlier known as the Cercle Français, it began its new existence in a bungalow on Hailey Road, and then moved, via Ratendon Road and Jorbagh, to South Extension (1967-2004). It shifted to its present building, designed by Stephane Paumier, Rajesh Dongre and Anupam Bansal, at 72 Lodi Estate in 2004. Its Founder-President, Dr B.V.Keskar, was a Union Minister under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Ambassador of France at the time was Comte Ostrorog (1951-60). Dr France Bhattacharya was the first French Director (1960-62) and the first Indian teachers included Monisha Kapoor, Vasanthi Gupta, S. Somasundaram and Padma Natrajan.
Dr Keskar was succeeded as president by Ambassador C.S.Jha (1957), Mrs Tara Ali Baig (1958-59), Dewan Jarmani Das (1959-64), Mr N. Bhattacharjee (1964-67), Mr S Bhoothalingam (1967-83), and Mr V.C. Vijaya Raghavan (1983-90). More recently, it has benefited from the services rendered by Prof G.P.Talwar (1990-96 and 2004-06), Mr Niranjan Kirpalani (1996-2000), Ambassador G.J.Malik (2000-02), Mr R.P. Khosla (2002-04) Mr M. Varadarajan (2006-10) and Mr Francis Wacziarg (2010-12). The Alliance Française has thus a rich history and tradition, which it celebrated at its golden jubilee (2006-07), and which inspires it to rise to greater heights.
The management of the AFD is entrusted to an elected Governing Body of 12 members, headed by a president. It is assisted by two experts on deputation from the Embassy of France, a Director and an Academic Director, who are also ex-officio members of the Governing Body. It also includes the immediate past president, co-opted members, and a representative elected by the teachers. Since September 2011, the office of the Délégué général of Alliances Française in India and Nepal, who represents the Fondation Alliance Française (Paris), is also located on the AFD premises.
The Alliance Française de Delhi, with its team of 53 dedicated teachers and 36 administrative staff members, is at your service!