The Institute During the Covid19 Pandemic:
Summary of events held at IIAS, Shimla, March to December 2020

Far from being an annus mirabilis, a wonderful year full of miracles, 2020 was a testing and troublesome year for most people in the world. The obvious reason was the SARS-CoV-2 virus or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 known simply as COVID19. Better to call it by its complete name now that we hope, with the production of multiple vaccines, to say goodbye to it. Though named after its discovery the previous year, the pandemic that it caused raged across our world in 2020.There are nearly 77 million worldwide coronavirus cases, with close to 1.7 million deaths already. The United States leads the tally in both infections and deaths. Over 18 million have been infected in that country out of which over 300,000 have died. India’s infections have exceeded 10 million, with over 180,000 deaths.
Luckily for us in India, the recovery rates are high. Only some 300,000 active cases persist, with less than 9,000 considered serious. The case load per million is just over 7000, in other words, fewer than one person in a thousand is infected. About 1 in a 1000 has actually died from the disease. But these are small mercies, considering the huge hit that the Indian economy has taken, especially its most vulnerable sections such as migrant workers and marginal farmers. It is believed that poverty and inequality have alarmingly exacerbated by the pandemic despite many government measures to alleviate the sufferings of the poorest of the poor.

At the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, our academic calendar for this year, from 1st March to 15th December 2020, was a challenging and difficult one. The Covid19 took its toll on us too. Of our 25 Fellows, all those who remained at the Institute in Shimla, are safe. We are proud and lucky that owing partly to the safety and health measures taken and partly to the Fellows’ own precautions, not one of them contracted the dreaded disease. However, we note with great sorrow that one of our Tagore Fellows, Prof. Vijaya Ramaswamy, who left for Delhi in March, was taken severely ill a couple of months later.Unfortunately, she passed away in June 2020. Another Tagore Fellow, who Dr. C. K. Raju, never came up to Shimla because he had better access to healthcare in Delhi, had a stroke recently. I am glad to say that he is now safe and well on his way to recovery.
While the pandemic affected our normal activities, especially on-site conferences, we were able to make a successful transition to the webinar. The Institute continued its pursuit of advanced research and academic excellence, both before and during the lockdown, and also during the process of ‘unlock.’ While the platform for such discussions shifted from offline to online due to the outbreak of Covid19, the Institute ensured that a variety of distinguished speakers -- both academicians and thought leaders --continued their interactions with our academic community. In fact, such webinars ensured that not only our current Fellows but also our former guests like Visiting Scholars, Professors, IUC Associates, scholars & administrators in and around Shimla, and other learners in different parts of the globe, could connect and participate in the discussions.

I am happy to report that our Fellows Weekly Seminar series continued throughout.Forty such seminars were held during this period, which made it possible for Fellows to discuss each other’s research, share inputs, and stay connected over online platforms. Please see below for a complete list.
In addition, we started a new webinar series of Distinguished Lectures on the theme “India in the post-Covid19 World: Challenges and Opportunities.”This was perhaps the most significant academic output of IIAS this year. A variety of eminent speakers discussed the impact of the pandemic on different sectors of the country, including the economy, trade, foreign relations, workforce, tertiary services, and the emerging new global world order. Fifteen speakers of international renown spoke live in this recorded series. We have published their lectures on our YouTube channel after they were broadcast live simultaneously on Facebook and other platforms. Please see the list below.

An international Roundtable on Rethinking Indology was organised in collaboration with Indian Council of Cultural Relations, with notable paper readers from US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Please see a description below.

For the first time, we also organised an annual national integration conference on Rivers in our Literary Traditions. Please see a detailed description below.

The Institute also celebrated its 55th Foundation Day with necessary precautions. The Hon. Education Minister, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” also addressed us via webinar. The keynote speech on the new National Education Policy (NEP) was delivered by Dr. Yogendra Nath Sharma “Arun.”

Before the onset of our winter break, the flagship Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture was delivered by Shri Ram Madhavon the significant theme of “Ethical Foundations of Nationalism.”The Hon. Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Shri BandaruDattatraya-ji, presided.

The Institute continued to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of both current and former Fellows through virtual book launches that were scheduled for each such published book by them.A total of 19 books by present and past Fellows were published during this period. Please see the list below.

Finally, I am happy to announce that the Institute also started a series of Extramural Activities. Various special presentations were made at IIAS, Shimla, through the online mode. The Institute celebrated International Yoga Day, Swachhta Week, and Hindi Diwas, with special lectures by experts like Shri Ananthanarayanan and Padma Shri LeeladharJagudi. The Institute also started organising extramural activities every Friday that gave the Fellows not only a space to stay connected but also provided a platform for sharing of thoughtful insights. Fellows read excerpts from their autobiography, read poems that they had composed, gave commemorative lectures on Gandhi, and discussed the sculptural masterpieces of Chattisgarh. In addition, we had poetry readings by distinguished poets, including a reading by noted Israeli poet Dr Diti Ronen.

Eight such events were organised by IIAS.To sum up, a total of 68 events were organized between March and December 2020.
But perhaps our most memorable achievement was the starting of the comprehensive repair and restoration of the main building, formerly the Viceregal Lodge, and the premises, which together constitute a national heritage monument. The work had been pending for decades. Finally, in November 2019, the Ministry of Education was pleased to order the administrative and financial sanction of the repair and restoration works to the tune of nearly Rs. 66 crores. Earlier, in 2014, we had already cleared the repairs of the distressed kitchen wing, but the work was yet to begin on the part of CPWD because they could not hire a consultant. Finally, on 13 August 2020, the work began under the supervision of Epicons structural consultants and Drona Heritage consultants. The tender, opened during Covid19, was awarded to Construction Techniques. The work, I am happy to report, has at last begun.

A detailed list of events is as follows

    1. Roundtables & Conferences: Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla, in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural relations, organised a roundtable on “Rethinking Indology” on 13th March 2020. Conveners included Professor C K Raju, Tagore Fellow, IIAS and Professor Sharad Deshpande, former Professor and Head, University of Pune. This conference was postponed due to Covid 19. However, few overseas scholars had already arrived in Shimla. To make the best possible use of their presence in Shimla it was thought fit to have a round table discussion and interaction on Indology with IIAS Fellows in residence. Participants included renowned indologists like Prof. Kenneth Zysk, Prof. Balram Shukla, Prof. Dominique Wujastyk, Dr. Peter Scharf, Prof. Herald Wiese, and Prof. C.K.Raju. Professor Makarand Paranjape, Director IIAS made a pitch to differentiate between the ‘Indianist’ and the ‘Indologist’ and stated that the concept of India as a ‘Desh’ and India as ‘Darshan’ had to be dealt separately. Presentations were made on the themes of ‘cross-cultural exchange in antiquity’., ‘Application of Pāņinian Model for Learning Persian’, “revolutions” within the discipline of Indology itself with reference to ‘Patanjali’ sutras with special emphasis on the ‘grammatical traditions’, and the ‘modern attitude of textuality’ with ‘power of modern form of interrogation’, the idea of ‘Parampara (Tatvamasi)’, ‘Bhashya (PrayatnaShaithilya)’ and ‘Hatha Yoga’ in relation to ‘Amrit Siddhi’, pre-modern Indian contributions to both decision theory, and probability, Concepts of Calculus that travelled from India to Europe, the Indian origin of Calculus from 5th Century (Aryabhata) to 16th century (Nilkantha).The Institute also organised its first ever ‘Annual National Integration Conference’, in the month of October 2020 through a webinar (on Cisco Webex). Dr Arzuman Ara, EFLU Shillong, was the convener of this conference on “Rivers in the Literary Traditions of India.” Presentations were made on the themes of River and North-East Indian Narratives, River and Spiritual Culture, River in Modern Imagination, River in the Vernacular Literary Traditions, rivers in the migration narratives of Assam, rivers as a frontier in the Indian literary imagination, with special reference to Odia literature, the Vaangmaya of Rains and Rivers in Indian Traditions, Riverine Trade Routes in Ancient India and the anthropomorphism of rivers in folk songs of Himachal Pradesh.
    1. 55th Foundation Day: The Institute also celebrated its 55th Foundation Day in the month of November 2020. The HonourableEducation Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishankh’ delivered the presidential address on this occasion. The Institute invited distinguished speaker Dr Yogendranath Sharma ‘Arun’ to deliver the keynote address on ‘New Education Policy.’
    1. 7th RKML: The 7th Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture was organised by the Institute on 4th December 2020. The lecture was held both in offline mode. It was delivered by Shri Ram Madhav, Member, Board of Governors, India Foundation on “Ethical Foundations of Nationalism.”The Honourable Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya was the Chief Guest on this occasion.
    1. DLS Covid Series: Due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic Covid19, the upcoming academic events had to be postponed. However, the Institute started a new webinar series during this time in order to continue its academic pursuits.

A lecture series on “India in the Post-Covid19 World: Challenges and Opportunities” was started at IIAS in order to engage with distinguished speakers on the impact on the pandemic on different sectors like foreign relations, trade and commerce, science and technology, future of dining, the status and future of women in the post-Covid world. The Institute invited renowned academicians and practitioners to deliver lectures under this series. 15 such webinars were organised by IIAS.

Details of webinar series on India in the Post-Covid19 World: Challenges and Opportunities.

Sr. No. Name and Bio


Title of Presentation Abstract Date of Presentation



Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain.
Former General Officer Commanding 15 Corps (Srinagar), 21 Corps & Military Secretary.
He is associated with the Vivekanand International Foundation and Centre for Joint Warfare Studies, as Distinguished Fellow, and is on the Governing Council of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies (IPCS). On 13 Jul 2018 The President of India appointed Lt Gen Hasnain as Chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir.



India, The Post Covid World, And The China Factor


Analyzing current security dynamics involving India is almost akin to writing a fresh chapter in India’s national security strategy. In the post-pandemic geopolitical environment which characterizes total unpredictability, the situation seems just developing, and much is based upon assumptions. A real-time assessment of the balance of power as the core of a new world order needs to be carried out. Within that India’s place in relation to other big powers has to be estimated. Only then can matching of military power with geopolitical compulsions be carried out.


05 June 2020




Shri  Navtej Sarna
(former Ambassador of India to the US)
He is an author, translator, diplomat and was India's Ambassador to the US and Israel. He also served as the high commissioner to the Court of St James's.



India, US, and the Changing World Order


It was a discussion on not just the India -US relationship but how it fits into the scenarios of the post-Covid world.
Broadly in these four years the upward graph has been maintained.Also, the growing role of Indian Diaspora, which is becoming politically active, funding elections, lobbying, increased presence in US Congress was examined.
The areas of cooperation will continue to be strategic – Indo Pacific cooperation and defense; economic cooperation including pharmaceuticals, health, vaccine development,science and tech, space. Lastly, people to people relationship will need to be worked upon.


08 June 2020




Professor Radhavallabh Tripathi,
Former Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi and former Fellow, IIAS



काशी का शास्त्रार्थ


विचारों के द्वारा हम दूसरों को जितना चाहते हैं लेकिन शास्त्रों से नहीं जीतते|अथर्व वेद में लिखा है कि भारत वर्ष में केवल संस्कृत ही नहीं अपितु अनेक भाषए बोली जाती रही हैं| 400 संस्कृत पत्रिकाएं 19वीं सदी में निकली हैं जिस जमाने में अंग्रेज हम पर शासन कर रहे थे|अतः,यह कहना उचित है कि आर्य समाज ने सनातन धर्म का कितना उदधार किया है


09 July 2020




Dr. Shekhar C. Mande,
Secretary, DSIR and Director General,
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research,
Anusandhan Bhawan.



S&T Challenges for the Post-Covid-19 Era


Innovation does not require any formal training. The common people with their “Jugaad” attitude for dealing with their local problems have big potential to make something new and innovative.Science & Technology was Integral Part in 18th century and calculation of Planetary motion was done in India much before Newton. But during colonialism we lost/forgot our knowledge.
The talk stressed on the need to become vocal for local and for citizens to actively participate in the R&D efforts in India.


30 July 2020




Ms. Sunanda Vashisht,
a writer, political commentator and a columnist.
Sunanda Vashisht is a writer, political commentator and a columnist. She has written extensively about the conflict-ridden region of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2015, she co-founded MyIndMakers- a new age media company that enables the exchange of global ideas and solutions.




Dismantling the Status Quo: Kashmir after Abrogation of Article 370


Up until August 5th 2019, India had only one Kashmir policy, which was ‘maintaining the status quo’. Successive governments in the last seven decades did everything they could, simply to maintain the status quo in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It helped no one. The series of systemic reforms that have been witnessed in two union territories in the last one year makes it amply clear that abrogation was not merely a political statement or an ideological commitment. Revocation of Article 370 has unshackled Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and it is now time for the people to actually enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy.


05 August 2020





Dr. Swapan Dasgupta
(Honorable Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha) Conservative by inclination; writer on politics & history;



The Ayodhya Experience 1988-2020 13



Does the history of Ayodhya tell us something about how India has evolved? The manner in which we have tried to negotiate our own history has not been upfront. In that case Ayodhya opens the questions of whether there is a need to do so. We have added a new dimension to our nationhood through Ayodhya. Narendra Modi spoke astutely of Ayodhya as a symbol of modernity, as something which complements the constitution and does not contradict it. It enriches democracy.


13 August 2020




Ambassador TCA Raghavan,
Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs, Sapru House, New Delhi



Handling Pakistan



The talk gave an overview of India-Pakistan relations and the dilemmas of framing policy towards Pakistan in the context of wider changes in the neighborhood, regionally and globally


26 August 2020




Professor Anand Ranganathan,
Special Centre for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
He became a full Professor in 2019. His laboratory works in the area of Directed Evolution and Pathogenesis, with special emphasis on Tuberculosis and Malaria.




To change or not to change in the post-CoVid world



There have been many pandemics but no other pandemic has affected us as has the CoVID-19 pandemic. Doubtless, a path for our future has appeared what is being described in the common lexicon as the "New Normal". Question is, do we really need to take it? What happens if we don't? By definition, taking a path means that we have chosen it, and are not being forced to walk on it. What is this new normal and how is it going to be better than the "normal"? Taking examples from various disciplines, notably Science, the lecture tried and explored the implications of accepting, or indeed rejecting, to take this path.


01 September 2020




Shri Amit Kashyap,
Deputy Commissioner, Shimla.
Shri A Kashyap is an Indian Administrative Services officer of the 2008 batch. He was formerly Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Himachal Pradesh



India in the post-Covid19 World: Challenges and Opportunities


The lecture explained the efforts of the district administration of Himachal’s capital-Shimla and the principles followed by the executive authorities in order to curtail the pandemic while ensuring that citizens of the city were never faced with challenges with regards to the supply of various services by the government. It highlighted the administration’s efforts both before and during the lockdown, and also during the process of ‘unlock.


02 September 2020





Ms Lalitha Kumaramangalam
Former Chairperson,
National Commission for Women (2014-2017),
New Delhi.
She has worked on a range of issues such as healthcare and HIV/AIDS prevention, sex-workers, the LGBT community, migrant and construction workers, SHGs and urban slum women.



The Status and Future of Women in Post-Covid India”


The pandemic has hit the Indian women in the worst ways. Domestic violence has increased during lockdown. A large number of women who were in the unorganised sector have become unemployed and hence left more vulnerable. Women have not only been physically but also mentally abused. Also, the deterioration of a woman’s health has compromised the health of Indian children as well.
Women have a lot of talent. The only challenge is to tap that potential and make them employable so as to secure their health and future


21 September 2020




Shri Vir Sanghvi,
Co-Founder, Eazy Diner & Former Member, Broadcasting Content Complaints Council, Indian Broadcasting Foundation.
Since January 2016, he has been a Resident Commentator on CNN News 18, the revamped CNN IBN news channel and hosts the weekly political show Virtuosity.
Vir Sanghvi has won many awards during his career for both TV and print including the Rajiv Gandhi Award, the Lokmanya Tilak Award, and the Cointreau Award for Best Food Literature Book in the world for Rude Food.



“The Future of Food (and Eating)”


The talk focussed on the evolution of Indian cuisine over the last four centuries and will discuss where we are headed in the 21st century.
It covered the medieval influences and the role played by European colonizers as well as the possible future impact of globalization on Indian food.


28 September 2020




Shri Sanjay Kundu,
Director-General of Police, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla.
Some of his key former assignments in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation were as follows:-

  • Joint Secretary (Public Policy, River Development, Peninsular Rivers, Parliament) and CVO
  • Chairman Brahmaputra Board (the Board controlling the largest river basin in India)
  • Director General-National Water Development Agency (Agency responsible for Inter-Linking of Rivers Project in India)


Water Resource Management in India-Challenges and the Way Forward


The talk discussed, in detail, about the spatial and temporal variability of rainfall in India, the distribution of water resources, the challenges of India’s water management, and a comprehensive solution to our water crisis.


19 October 2020




Dr. Vikram Sampath
Bangalore based historian, Dr. Vikram Sampath is the author of four acclaimed books. Vikram was awarded the Sahitya Akademi's first YuvaPuraskar in English literature and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical research in New York for his book on GauharJaan. He has established the ‘Archive of Indian Music’, India's first digital sound archive for vintage recordings, is the Founder-‐Director of the Bangalore Literature Festival, Indic Thoughts Festival and the ZEE Group's ‘ARTH-‐ A Culture Fest’.



The Challenges of Writing a Biography of Veer Savarkar


Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is undoubtedly one of the most contentious and contested political thinkers and leaders of the twentieth century. Savarkar was a bundle of delightful contradictions---an avowed and staunch anti-ritualistic rationalist who opposed orthodox Hindu customs and beliefs, encouraged inter-caste marriage and dining, and dismissed cow worship as mere superstition. Drawing from a vast range of original archival documents across India and abroad, reconstructing the life and times of the man, his life and philosophy, his many contradictions and the litany of controversies that surround him and putting him in a new perspective that looks at him with all his achievements and failings, has been a rewarding challenge.


02 November 2020





Dr. Yogendra Nath Sharma ‘Arun’
लेखनकार्य-लगभग50 कृतियाँ प्रकाशित हुई हैं, जिनमें दो महाकाव्य "वैदुष्यमणिविद्योत्तमा" एवं "युगस्रष्टा स्वामी रामानंद" चर्चित एवं पुरस्कृत, 'नदियासेसीखो', 'अंधियारों से लड़ना सीखें' बालकाव्य और 'सभी धर्म महान', 'बहती नदी हो जाइए', ग़ज़ल संग्रह,  'डॉ' निशंक' के उपन्यासों में जीवन-मूल्य', 'डॉ' निशंक' का प्रेरणा मूलक चिंतन' और 'डॉ' निशंक' का सृजनात्मक चिंतन', 'अपभ्रंश' एवं' पुष्पदंत' समीक्षा  सम्मान- साहित्य अकादमी का "भाषा सम्मान"   (एक लाख रूपए) केन्द्रीय हिंदी संस्थान, आगरा का "विवेकानंदसम्मान"  (पांच लाख रूपए) सहित अनेक सम्मान |




समाज,साहित्य और संस्कृति का अन्तर्सम्बन्ध


जब समाज प्रगति करता है और स्वस्थ जीवन- मूल्यों की स्थापना समाज में होने लगती है,
तो समाज में सौहार्द्रऔरआपसी तालमेल बढ़ जाता है।तब समाज एक जुटता और परस्पर सहयोग के बंधनों में बंध जाता है।
यही वह समय होता है,जब व्यक्ति दूसरों के हित की भावना से भर जाता है।राष्ट्र कवि मैथिली शरण गुप्त ने बहुत बड़ी बात कही है -
‘जिस प्रकारआकाशसे बारिश का पानी अपने लिए नहीं बरसात, उसी प्रकार हमें भी व्यक्तिगत हित से हटकर समष्टिगत हितों के लिए जीना चाहिए।‘ वास्तविकता यह है कि समाज यदि उच्चता की  ओर बढ़ता है, तो साहित्य भी व्यापक चिंतन से पूर्ण हो जाता है।
जब-जब ये सकारात्मक चिंतन से पूर्ण होते हैं, तब- तब व्यक्ति और समाज प्रगति के पथ पर चलते हैं|


20 November 2020




Lord Meghnad Desai
Meghnad Desai was associated for thirty-eight years with the London School of Economics (LSE) where he was Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance (1991-2003
He is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board of Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF). He received the Pravasi Bhartiya Puraskar in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2008.



Heteropolarity and the New World Order


Since 9/11, there has been Islamism, rise of China and the weakening of NATO under Trump to create heteropolarity. We have G5, G20, BRICS, Shanghai process and many smaller groupings such as ASEAN.
Covid19 has disrupted the rhythm of global developments. But after Brexit, UK will drift lower. EU is facing internal divisions on its Eastern front.There will be no single superpower but a heightened chance of conflict. India will be exposed to higher risks of conflict.


14 December 2020


    1. Fellows’ Weekly Seminars: The Fellows’ weekly seminars continued to be organized during the pandemic. While the platform shifted from offline to virtual ones like Zoom and Cisco WebEx, there was no halt in the academic engagements and discussions among the Fellows. The academic community of IIAS continued their interactions with each other over their research projects through emails and online meeting platforms. A total 40 fellows’ seminars were organized between March and December 2020.
Sl No. Name of Fellow Topic of Presentation Date of Presentation Venue/Platform
1. Dr. Bindu Sahni Siwalik Erosion: British Policies and the Introduction of Chos Act (1900) 02 March 2020 Seminar Hall
2. Dr. Sharmila Chandra A Generalised View of the Crafting and Morphology of Masks and Masked Performances in India (excluding the Bengal Region) – An Insight into Folk Culture 05 March 2020 Seminar Hall
3. Dr. Sutapa Dutta Content and Context of Textbooks in Bengal 06 March 2020 Seminar Hall
4. Dr. Vikram V. Kulkarni  मरीआईवाले:  भक्त से भिखारी तक 09 March 2020 Seminar Hall
5. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar Bhan The Archaeology of Harappan Craft and Technology with Specific reference to Gujarat, Western India Ca. 2600 – 1900 BCE 11 March 2020 Seminar Hall
6. Professor Vijaya Ramaswamy Many Tamil Mahabharatas: A Survey from the Pre-Colonial to the Colonial Era 12 March 2020 Seminar Hall
7. Professor Ramesh Chandra Pradhan The Metaphysics of  Consciousness: Problems and Prospects 18 March 2020 Seminar Hall
8. Professor Anita Singh Staging Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Performance in Contemporary India 19 March 2020 Online (By Circulation)
9. Professor Sujata Patel Sociology in India: Its Disciplinary History 26 March 2020 Online (By Circulation)
10. Professor Mundoli Narayanan The Body as ‘Live Archive’: The Culture of Training of Kutiyattam 30 March 2020 Online (By Circulation)
11. Dr. Ashwin Parijat Anshu Re-enchanting Modernity: A Study of Swami Vivekananda’s American Engagement 03 April 2020 Online (By Circulation)
12. Professor Rajvir Sharma Political philosophy of Kautilya: The Arthashastra and after 07 April 2020 Zoom
13. Dr. Abhishek Kumar Yadav अरुणाचल प्रदेश की जनजातियों द्वारा लिखित हिन्दी साहित्य: कविता एवं नाटक 09 April 2020 Zoom
14. Dr. Md. Aadil Salam  Indian in contemporary Arabic literature 15 April 2020 Zoom
15. Dr. Peter M. Scharf The Structure of Verbal Cognition Translation and Analysis of Kaundabhatta’s Vaiyakaranabhusanasara 15 April 2020 Zoom
16. Dr. Sumandeep Kaur Ecological Concerns in Select Punjabi Fiction 16 April 2020 Zoom
17. Professor Madhav Singh Hada पद्मिनी विषयक एतिहासिक कथा- काव्य की देशज परंपरा का विवेचनात्मक अध्ययन 16 April 2020 Zoom
18. Dr. Balram Shukla प्राकृत कविता की चारुता के भाविक प्रयोजक 20 April 2020 Zoom
19. Dr. Anjali Duhan: Dvādas Bhāv: Edifying the Royalty 23 April 2020 Zoom
20. Dr. Nimmi Herath Hudiyanselage Religion, Literature and the Other: Interruptions, Interventions, and Inventions 27 April 2020 Cisco Webex
21. Professor C.N. Subramaniam Gopalakrishna Bharatiyar’s Nandanār Charitra Kīrttanai – A Study 14 May 2020 Cisco Webex
22. Dr. Alka Tyagi The Concept of Bhairava, the Supreme Reality and ‘Bhāvanā’, Creative Contemplation in the Trika Śaivism of Kashmir 21 May 2020 Cisco WebEx
23. Dr. Sharmila Chhotaray BENGALI JATRA Mapping a Popular Folk Theatre from the 16th to early 21st Century in West Bengal 04 June 2020 Cisco WebEx
24. Dr. Satendra Kumar Popular Democracy in North India: An Ethnographic Study of Culture, Identity and Politics among the Other Backward Classes 18 June 2020 Cisco WebEx
25. Dr. Prasenjeet Tribhuvan Decolonizing Cannabis: History, Hegemony and Opportunities 06 August 2020 Cisco WebEx
26. Dr. Sumandeep Kaur Ecological Concerns in Select Punjabi Fiction 20 August 2020 Cisco WebEx
27. Professor Madhav Singh Hada पद्मिनी विषयक ऐविहासिक कथा-काव्य की देशज परंपरा का विवेचनात्मक अध्ययन 27 August 2020 Cisco WebEx
28. Dr. MD. Aadil Salam India in Contemporary Arabic Literature 03 September 2020 Cisco WebEx
29. Dr. Kuldeep Bhan The Archeology of Harappan Craft and Technology with Specific Reference to Gujarat, Western India 17 September 2020 Cisco WebEx
30. Dr. Sumit Dahiya Women Singers of Western Rajasthan: Art, Patronage, and Community Life 24 September 2020 Cisco WebEx
31. Dr Venusa Tinyi An Inquiry into the Foundation of Deontic Logic Problematizing Kripke’s Possible World Semantics for Deontic Logic and Framing an Alternative Model for Re-Thinking the Basic Concepts of Deontic Logic and Their Counterparts in Other Normative Systems 05 October 2020 Cisco WebEx
32. Dr. Balram Shukla प्राकृत कविता के चारुत्व के भाषिक प्रयोजक 22 October 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco Webex)
33. Dr. Alka Tyagi  Bhairava in Kashmir Śaivism (Trika Darśana) 05 November 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
34. Dr. Maheswar Hazarika To Translate Vyākaraṇamahābhāṣya of Patañjali into Assamese with Notes and Explanations 12 November 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
35. Shri C.N. Subramaniam Representing and De-familiarising the Paraiya 19 November 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
36. Dr. Prasanjeet Tribhuvan Decolonizing Cannabis: History, Hegemony and Opportunities (with special Focus on the Himalays) 26 November 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
37. Professor Hitendra Kumar Patel हिन्दी औपन्यासिक साहित्य में ‘गांधी और नेहरू युगीन’ भारत का राजनैतिक इतिहास: चार उपन्यासकारों के विशेष संदर्भ में 27 November 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
38. Dr. Pavithran Nambiar Culture, Corruption And Insurgency: Threats And Quest For Survival In Nagaland 01 December 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
39. Dr. S.K. Chahal Hindu Social Reform: A Study of the Framework of Jotirao Phule 03 December 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)
40. Dr. Peter M. Scharf


The Structure of Verbal Cognition Translation and Analysis of Kaundabhatta’s Vaiyakaran Abhusanasara 10 December 2020 Both offline and online (Seminar Hall & Cisco WebEx)


  1. Extramural Activities: Besides the above, various special presentations were made at IIAS Shimla through the online mode. Institute celebrated International Yoga Day, Swachhta Week, and Hindi Diwas etc with special lectures by experts like Shri Ananthanarayanan and Padma Shri Leeladhar Jagudi. The Institute also started organising extramural activities every Friday that gave the Fellows not only a space to stay connected but also provided a platform for sharing of thoughtful insights. Fellows read excerpts from their autobiography, read poems that they had composed, gave commemorative lectures on Gandhi and discussed the sculptural masterpieces of Chattisgarh.8 such events were organised by IIAS.

Publications: The Institute started the publication of its books once the restrictions imposed by the pandemic were eased. Many books were co-published by IIAS along with Sage, D K Printworld, Springer, Oxford and Vani Prakashan. The Institute organized a ‘virtual’ book launch for each such book that was authored by its former or current Fellows.

List of Books PublishedApril 2019-31 March 2020

IIAS Books
1. Reference As Action: Space and Time in Later Wittgenstein by Dr. Enakshi Ray Mitra IIAS
2. TripunithuraGrandhavari- A Study by Dr. P. Narayanan IIAS
3. Need for Inclusive Reforms: Varying Perspectives edited by Dr. Arun Kumar IIAS
4. Structuring Advaita Dialectic: A Study of Sriharsa’sKhandanakhandakhadyam and Naisadhiyacaritam by Dr. A.P. Francis IIAS
5. बनारसीठुमरीकीपरंपरा–ठुमरी गायिकाओं की चुनौतियाँएवं उपलब्धियां (19वीं-20वी सदी) –डा. ज्योति सिन्हा IIAS
6. Food in the Life of Mizos: From Pre-colonial Times to the Present by Dr. Jagdish Lal Dawar IIAS
1. The Yoga of Netra Tantra Third Eye and Overcoming Death by Professor Bettina SharadaBaumer D.K. Printworld
2. Spatializing Popular Sufi Shrines in Punjab Dreams, Memories, Territoriality by Dr. Yogesh Snehi Routledge
3. Sanskrit Parsing Based on the Theories of Sabdabodha by  Dr. Amba Kulkarni D.K. Printworld
4. Tracing Gandhi Satyarthi to Satyagrahi by Dr. Samir Banerjee Routledge
5. (Hi) Stories of Desire Sexualities and Culture in Modern India edited by Dr. RajeevKumaramkandath&Dr. Sanjay Srivastava Cambridge University Press
6. 23rd Dr. SarvepalliRadhakrishnan Memorial Lecture “The Dharma of Translation Sanskrit Classics in Contemporary Times” by Shri Bibek Debroy IIAS
April 2020 onwards
1. Science and Spirituality Bridges of Understanding edited by Professor Bettina SharadaBaumer and Dr.Shivam Srivastava D.K. Printworld
2. Metaphysics of Consciousness: The Indian Vedantic Perspective by Processor Ramesh Chandra Pradhan Springer
3. हरी भरी उम्मीद चिपको आन्दोलन और अन्य जंगलात प्रतिरोधों की परम्परा लेखक – डॉ. शेखर पाठक वाणी प्रकाशन
4. Land Reforms to Land Titling Emerging Paradigms of Land Governance in India By Dr. Pradeep Nayak Sage
5. Indo-German Exchanges in Education Rabindranath Tagore Meets Paul and Edith Geheeb by Dr. Martin Kampchen Oxford
Books by Fellows
6 Meera vs Meera (translated from Hindi to English by Professor Pradeep Trikha) by Professor Madhav Hada, Fellow, IIAS. Vani Prakashan
7. Betrayed by Hope: A Play on the Life of Michael Madhusudan Dutt by Prof. Malashri Lal (former Fellow, IIAS )and Dr Namita Gokhale HarperCollins India

To sum up, a total of sixty-eight events were organized between March and December 2020.