About the India Study Circle
Based in the United Kingdom, the India Study Circle (the ISC) can trace its name to a group of 28 formed by Mr NJ Mills, an auctioneer and dealer from Eastbourne, who produced five editions of‘News and Notes’ in 1950 before it lapsed after only a few months. The name was revived in the following year by RA (Reg) Killick of Brighton and the first edition of the ISC ‘News Sheet’ No.1 in December 1951 named 22 members including CT (Terry) Sturton, who was still a member more than 50 years later. The words ‘for philately’ were added to our title in 1976, to clarify our purpose.
Since 1951 we have maintained an unbroken sequence of journals. In 1955 the ‘News Sheet’ evolved into the ‘News Bulletin’ and in 1967 into ‘India Post’. ‘India Post’ is now widely regarded as the most eminent, single source of information on the stamps and postal history of India over the last 250 years.
But the ISC is more than just a journal. We have a long tradition of members’ meetings, dating back to 1952. They have been held mainly in London but also regularly in other parts of the country. They has given us the pleasure of seeing displays by the most eminent Indian specialists and members. Our meetings have provided wonderful opportunities to share views and discuss Indian philately; and many a long-lasting friendship can trace its origin back to a meeting of the ISC. When physical meetings were suspended in 2020 for the Covid-19 crisis, we were quick to adapt to virtual meetings, and for the first time, they have given members from around the world an opportunity to participate in real time.
Membership of the ISC grew steadily during the early years, gradually reaching 300 by 1970 and 500 by 1980. From a peak of more than 600 in the mid-1980s, we have seen a slight decline but we still enter the third decade of the 21st century with more than 450 from all corners of the world. An increasing proportion of members now come from abroad, mainly India and the USA, and they play an important role in our activities. The aims of the India Study Circle are to research and study postage stamps, postal stationery, postal history and fiscal and revenue stamps of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Indian States, including Indian postal services used outside the sub-continent. Many parts of the Indian sub-continent have changed over the years and independent areas such as Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Burma and Bangladesh now have their own specialist philatelic groups and societies. Similarly, some aspects of philately in general have developed their own specialisms: for example Airmail, Perfins, Censorship, or Forces’ mail, to name but a few. We try not to overlap with these special interests, but it would be impossible to study India without overlapping to some extent.
For a better understanding of the breadth of our subjects, we recommend the series ‘An A to Z of Indian philately’ by Basil Cheverton, published in 26 parts in India Post between 1983 and 1989 (to read it you need be a member).
EDITOR of INDIA POST
AJAY KUMAR MITTAL
PHILL OLDS DOMINIC BURD