A wider world

Immense though the threat of war between India and Pakistan is right now, it’s not the only thing happening in the world. This is The Wire‘s lead story right now: No better way to give peace a chance than to talk about all the different things we can accomplish in peacetime.

Significance of China’s moon mission

I wrote the following analysis for chinaindiadialogue.com and China Pictorial. A big thank you to Mithila Phadke for the opportunity and for working on the text to make it sharper and more readable. Beyond the Far Side China has always publicly advocated for the peaceful use of outer space. It adopted its current Constitution in … Read more

Six concerns over India’s plan to join Coalition S

On February 12, K. VijayRaghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, announced that India would join a global consortium of countries that is attempting to standardise the way their scientists publish their papers, such that the papers are freely available to the public. The consortium is grounded in a scheme called Plan … Read more

Are we obsessed with nominal identities?

In an interview to The Wire Science last month, Venki Ramakrishnan, the molecular biologist, acknowledged that Indians had a bizarre relationship with the fact that he was a Nobel laureate: … the business from India was really strange because I’d left India when I was 19. I had almost nothing to do with Indian science … Read more

Research funds gridlock: who wants what

On January 30, the Union ministry of finance announced a 24-25% hike in the junior (JRF) and senior research fellowships (SRF) amounts effective from January 1, 2019. The decision had been prompted by a longstanding demand of India’s community of young scholars, who availed these fellowships to support themselves at the start of their careers … Read more

The history, culture and science of ‘cardiac coherence breathing’

A recent article in Scientific American on the benefits of “proper breathing” for overall health has ignited anger across social media, with many in India accusing the magazine of rebranding or even appropriating the ancient Indian breathing technique of ‘pranayama’. Detailed description of the benefits of the 2500-year-old Indian technique of pranayama, dressed up in … Read more

Which supercollider will be built?

After CERN announced the plans for its new supercollider, I was surprised no one wanted to address the elephant in the room: the supercollider’s similarity to one announced by China a few months ago. The Chinese machine is called CEPC (Circular Electron Proton Collider) and the CERN machine, FCC (Future Circular Collider). Both CEPC and … Read more