Videos

The Azim Premji University regularly organizes seminars, webinars and colloquium lectures involving members of the faculty as well as academicians, activists, artists and other distinguished personalities from a wide array of fields. This section consists of video recordings of  major events conducted at the Azim Premji University.

Panel Discussion: India Studies Group -Part I

Probal Dasgupta

03/03/2017

About the Lecture

The panelists will share their views on the possibilities of social research on India. This discussion is the inaugural event of the India Studies Group, a new research initiative at APU.

About Speaker

Probal Dasgupta is Professor of Linguistics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. His publications include, Inhabiting Human Languages: The Substantivist Visualization (2012) and The Otherness of English: India’s Auntie Language Syndrome (1993).Ramachandra Guha is an historian and independent scholar based in Bangalore. He has recently published, Democrats and Dissenters (2016) and Gandhi Before India (2013). Shail Mayaram is an historian at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. Her publications include Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins (2003) and the co-edited Philosophy as Samvada and Svaraj: Dialogical Meditations on Daya krishna and Ramchandra Gandhi (2014)Ashis Nandy is among the leading cultural critics in the country and a Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. His publications include the classic, The Intimate Enemy (1983), and, more recently, Regimes of Narcissism and Regimes of Dissent (2013). Prasanna is a theatre director and founder of Charaka, a Multipurpose Women’s Handloom Co-operative in Bhimanakone.  He has written Indian Method in Acting (2013) and Shudraragona Banni (Let us Become Shudras, 2015).

Panel Discussion: India Studies Group -Part II

Probal Dasgupta

03/03/2017

About the Lecture

The panelists will share their views on the possibilities of social research on India. This discussion is the inaugural event of the India Studies Group, a new research initiative at APU.

About Speaker

Probal Dasgupta is Professor of Linguistics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. His publications include, Inhabiting Human Languages: The Substantivist Visualization (2012) and The Otherness of English: India’s Auntie Language Syndrome (1993).Ramachandra Guha is an historian and independent scholar based in Bangalore. He has recently published, Democrats and Dissenters (2016) and Gandhi Before India (2013). Shail Mayaram is an historian at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. Her publications include Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins (2003) and the co-edited Philosophy as Samvada and Svaraj: Dialogical Meditations on Daya krishna and Ramchandra Gandhi (2014)Ashis Nandy is among the leading cultural critics in the country and a Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. His publications include the classic, The Intimate Enemy (1983), and, more recently, Regimes of Narcissism and Regimes of Dissent (2013). Prasanna is a theatre director and founder of Charaka, a Multipurpose Women’s Handloom Co-operative in Bhimanakone.  He has written Indian Method in Acting (2013) and Shudraragona Banni (Let us Become Shudras, 2015).

Persian in India's Literary Ecology: The Case of a 17th Century Persian Ramayana

Prashant Keshavmurthy

17/02/2017

About the Lecture

Following a brief survey of the millennial life of Persian in South Asia, this lecture will offer the case study of Masih’s early seventeenth century Masnavi-i Rām va Sitā, a Persian verse translation of Vālmiki’s Sanskrit epic Rāmāyana. It opens by remarking on a shift in the study of the relations between poetics and politics of Persian translations of Indic texts. Then, purporting to complicate understanding of this relation, it takes issue with prior studies of this poem before answering the following questions these studies fail to pose: how does the prophetological metaphysics of the prefatory chapters relate to the poetics of emotion in the main body of his tale? And: what does this relation let us infer of Masih’s theological conception of translation?

About Speaker

Prashant Keshavmurthy is Associate Professor of Persian-Iranian Studies in the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal. He is the author of Persian Authorship and Canonicity in Late Mughal Delh :     Building an Ark   (https://www.routledge.com/Persian-Authorship-and-Canonicity-in-Late-Mugh..., Routledge, 2016) and is currently working on a study of Mughal Persian reading practices. His interests include pre-modern literary theory and Persian-Urdu literatures.

Riding Singularities with Second Half Technologies

Vijay Chandru

10/02/2017

About the Lecture

We are in an exceptional era in which we have the confluence of at least three technologies (mechanical automation, computing & communications and molecular biology) that have reached exponential scale. We call them second half technologies invoking the metaphor of exponential growth embodied in the fable of Paal Payasam and rice grains doubling on the squares of a chessboard. How do we work, progress and prosper in this context of brilliant technology innovations that are appearing out of the woodworks at an alarming rate? Recombinant innovation seems to be a key strategy that translational research and entrepreneurship in India can look forward to in the next decade.  

About Speaker

Vijay Chandru earned his doctorate in Decision Sciences at MIT in 1982 and joined the faculty of Engineering at Purdue soon after. He served as a professor at Purdue for the next ten years before returning to join the faculty at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. He was elected a fellow of the Indian Academies of Science and Engineering. He is the current president of the Operations Research Society of India for a two year term 2017-2018. Professor Chandru serves as an adjunct faculty member of BioSystems Science & Engineering and a visiting professor of the Robert Bosch Centre for CyberPhysical Systems at IISc.  He was a co-inventor of the “Simputer” which was India’s visionary contribution to handheld computing that was launched in 2001.  He now leads India’s leading precision medicine company Strand Life Sciences, the first example of faculty entrepreneurship in India.  He was awarded the President’s Medal of INFORMS (Institute for Operations research and Management Science, USA) and Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum in 2006. India Today included him in the list of 50 Pioneers of Change in 2008.

Panel Discussion: A Feminist Lens on a Digital India

Aruna Roy

03/02/2017

About the Lecture

How do women feature in the digital imaginaries of the nation? How might we unpack Digital India as a gendered narrative? This panel interrogates the vision, discourse and trajectory of Digital India from a feminist standpoint. Panelists will examine the gender question in the digital policy framework, ways in which the digital economy touches the lives of women, the everyday digital encounters of citizens and the construction of gender in the digital imaginary of the nation state. (This panel discussion is the part of a workshop on 'The Gendered Digital: Power, Politics & Rights in the Network Society’ (3-4 February) organized in partnership with IT for Change and Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung - India Office).

About Speaker

Bishakha Datta is an Indian film maker, activist and a former journalist. She is the co-founder and executive director of Point of View, based in Mumbai, a non-profit working in the area of gender, sexuality and women's rights. Usha Ramanathan is an internationally recognized expert on law and poverty. Her research interests include human rights, displacement, torts and environment.Anita Gurumurthy is founder and Executive Director, IT for Change, an organisation working to promote social and gender justice in the information society context.

The Web of Freedom

Venu Govindu

02/02/2017

About the Lecture

Freedom fighter, economic philosopher, environmentalist and Gandhian constructive worker, J. C. Kumarappa (1892-1960) was a man of many parts. A champion of agrarian India and a proponent of a decentralised economy, Kumarappa was also an ecological thinker who was ahead of his times. Indeed, if Gandhi's swaraj was more than political self-rule, it was Kumarappa who imbued it with economic meaning. A dogged and creative advocate of economic justice, Kumarappa also critically examined many important public issues in the years before and after 1947. Based on his recent biography, the speaker will present a narrative of the fascinating story of Kumarappa's life, his philosophical arguments and practical ideas that have a striking contemporary relevance, and his illuminating critique of some key episodes of modern India's economic history.

About Speaker

Venu Madhav Govindu is a computer vision researcher with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. He also has a serious interest in the history and political economy of modern India, especially the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. After the publication of his recent work, an intellectual biography of the Gandhian economic philosopher and constructive worker, J. C. Kumarappa, he is working on a thematic history of Gandhi's Sevagram period.

Gender Differences in STEM Courses and Careers

Kamala Mukunda

27/01/2017

About the Lecture

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): these are almost completely male bastions in every country in the world. The proportion of women in these careers is even less than one would predict from the gender imbalance in society in general. Diversity is essential in STEM, because it makes for more creative research and design, and applications that are relevant to women too. So the question of why this particular gender gap persists definitely deserves investigation. The presentation will explain four hypotheses--average ability, variability, interest and bias--and review the fascinating psychological evidence for each.

About Speaker

Kamala Mukunda is a teacher at Centre for Learning, a school outside Bangalore. She did her PhD in educational and developmental psychology at Syracuse University some years ago, and has since been interested in communicating the findings of this research to those who would most benefit from knowing about it. She has published a book, What Did You Ask at School Today (2009, HarperCollins India). 

Gender Differences in STEM Courses and Careers

Kamala Mukunda

27/01/2017

About the Lecture

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): these are almost completely male bastions in every country in the world. The proportion of women in these careers is even less than one would predict from the gender imbalance in society in general. Diversity is essential in STEM, because it makes for more creative research and design, and applications that are relevant to women too. So the question of why this particular gender gap persists definitely deserves investigation. The presentation will explain four hypotheses--average ability, variability, interest and bias--and review the fascinating psychological evidence for each. 

About Speaker

Kamala Mukunda is a teacher at Centre for Learning, a school outside Bangalore. She did her PhD in educational and developmental psychology at Syracuse University some years ago, and has since been interested in communicating the findings of this research to those who would most benefit from knowing about it. She has published a book, What Did You Ask at School Today (2009, HarperCollins India).

What on Earth is Sustainability? / Play : Thermos

Vijay Padaki

20/01/2017

About the Lecture

A famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet goes thus: “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god!" The god-like character assumed by the human species might well be the main problem in sustainability! It turns out that the animal with the most superior intelligence acts in the most stupid way, determined to destroy itself and many other forms of life alongside. Even the concern for sustainability is from the point of view of its own selfish needs of survival, rather than the needs of the myriad and diverse forms of life all around itself.

About the Play:
 In the play, two characters are running away from the Northern hemisphere, where the highly developed civilizations have succeeded in destroying themselves in what appears to be the ultimate thermonuclear war. The two survivors reach Antarctica to start a new life. However, they see that the glacier-island they have reached is shrinking in area steadily because of the rising sea levels. They try to understand why that is happening.  More important, what is it about human behavior that causes it.The play ends with the survivors giving the students assembled a task in diagnostics. For it is their survival too…

About Speaker

Vijay Padaki  is a management professional and theatre practitioner. Padaki is a psychologist and behavioural scientist by training, and founder-director of The P&P Group, a management resource centre that has programmes of consultancy, research and training in the areas of Organization and Institutional Development. A good part of the work of The P&P Group is devoted to the effectiveness of non-profit organizations, especially in large development programmes. He has headed the Human Resources Division of India’s oldest co-operative R&D institution, Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA), which also helped set up the first Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Later, he was a member of the founding faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, the founder of a Centre for Management for the textile industry in Ahmedabad, and a Visiting Professor at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to initiate a programme in R&D Management. Padaki joined Bangalore Little Theatre in 1960, the year of its inception, and later served the company in many capacities – as actor, director, trainer, writer, designer and administrator, including three stints as President. The several activities of Bangalore Little Theatre that he has initiated include the annual summer workshop for newcomers to the theatre (from which has emerged a large number of the theatre personalities in Bangalore), the History of Ideas programme of biographic plays, the Storytelling Theatre programme and the annual children’s play as a partnership production to support a charity. He has written over 40 original plays. In addition, he has adapted or translated several other play scripts. Seagull Books has published a volume of two Gujarati plays translated by him. In 1993 Padaki won the award for the best contemporary play script instituted by The Hindu for the play Credit Titles. He is presently at work on a collection of short stories. Currently Padaki is spearheading a new Theatre-in-Education programme, with a focus on environment-sustainability education.

What on Earth is Sustainability? / Play : Thermos

Vijay Padaki

20/01/2017

About the Lecture

Lecture : A famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet goes thus: “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god!" The god-like character assumed by the human species might well be the main problem in sustainability! It turns out that the animal with the most superior intelligence acts in the most stupid way, determined to destroy itself and many other forms of life alongside. Even the concern for sustainability is from the point of view of its own selfish needs of survival, rather than the needs of the myriad and diverse forms of life all around itself. Play : In the play, two characters are running away from the Northern hemisphere, where the highly developed civilizations have succeeded in destroying themselves in what appears to be the ultimate thermonuclear war. The two survivors reach Antarctica to start a new life. However, they see that the glacier-island they have reached is shrinking in area steadily because of the rising sea levels. They try to understand why that is happening. More important, what is it about human behavior that causes it.The play ends with the survivors giving the students assembled a task in diagnostics. For it is their survival too

About Speaker

Vijay Padaki  is a management professional and theatre practitioner. Padaki is a psychologist and behavioural scientist by training, and founder-director of The P&P Group, a management resource centre that has programmes of consultancy, research and training in the areas of Organization and Institutional Development. A good part of the work of The P&P Group is devoted to the effectiveness of non-profit organizations, especially in large development programmes. He has headed the Human Resources Division of India’s oldest co-operative R&D institution, Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA), which also helped set up the first Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Later, he was a member of the founding faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, the founder of a Centre for Management for the textile industry in Ahmedabad, and a Visiting Professor at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to initiate a programme in R&D Management. Padaki joined Bangalore Little Theatre in 1960, the year of its inception, and later served the company in many capacities – as actor, director, trainer, writer, designer and administrator, including three stints as President. The several activities of Bangalore Little Theatre that he has initiated include the annual summer workshop for newcomers to the theatre (from which has emerged a large number of the theatre personalities in Bangalore), the History of Ideas programme of biographic plays, the Storytelling Theatre programme and the annual children’s play as a partnership production to support a charity. He has written over 40 original plays. In addition, he has adapted or translated several other play scripts. Seagull Books has published a volume of two Gujarati plays translated by him. In 1993 Padaki won the award for the best contemporary play script instituted by The Hindu for the play Credit Titles. He is presently at work on a collection of short stories. Currently Padaki is spearheading a new Theatre-in-Education programme, with a focus on environment-sustainability education.