ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Changing Colonial Mindsets

My talk at the Penang conference on “Decolonising Our Universities” was misreported by Srinivasan Ramani in his article “Decolonising Knowledge Systems” (EPW, 23 July 2011). The hard sciences are critical for the project of decolonisation: Macaulay pointed to them and, today, it is the desire for...

Kosambi the Mathematician

Apart from his more popular work on numismatics and genetics, D D Kosambi worked on path geometry, exploring the foundations of general relativity. He also worked on statistics in infinite dimensions, computing, and probabilistic number theory. His whole mathematical career appears as one long clash of values. A rejection of the value of specialisation saw him leave Harvard. The high value he placed on research saw his exit from Banaras Hindu University and Aligarh Muslim University. His attempt to impart real knowledge of mathematics saw him sacked from Fergusson College, Pune. His insistence on ethical and relevant research led to his exit from the Tata Institue of Fundamental Research where, too, the diversity of his interests was portrayed negatively, though he continued his mathematical research till the end of his life. His mathematical career raises a number of questions regarding science management in post-independence India. These questions are vital today when the state is again making huge investments in science and technology.
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