Established June 2004

 Chairman, Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar


Associate Faculty
Dr. H. N. Chanakya
Centre for Sustainable Technologies
Prof. S. Ramakrishnan
Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Visiting Faculty
Amrita Shah
Columnist & Writer
Dr. Uday Balakrishnan
Former Registrar, IISc,
Member, Postal Service Board, Govt. of India
Prof. Tejaswini Niranjana
Senior Fellow CSCS,
Lead Researcher HEIRA, Bangalore




Prof. Rajan Gurukkal
Sundararajan Visiting Professor,
Former Vice Chancellor,
M. G. University, Kottayam, Kerala



The Centre for Contemporary Studies, a relatively new experiment at the Institute,  endeavours to bring to the campus some of the best practitioners of different disciplines in the human sciences, such as philosophy, sociology, economics, law, literature, poetry, art, music, cinema etc. These scholars, drawn from all over the world, visit and lecture at the Institute and some are in residence for periods ranging from a few days to several months. Students, faculty and staff of the Institute as well a number of people from other institutes in Bangalore attend these lectures.  The aim of this experiment is to forge useful and meaningful interaction between the natural sciences and human sciences with special focus on understanding the diverse research methodologies of different disciplines and create opportunities to rethink the foundations of our own disciplines - often the opportunity to criticise the methodological foundation of another discipline leads to a re-examination of the foundation of one’s own discipline. In addition to such one-off lectures, the Centre offers (presently, once in two years), a one-semester course entitled “The Production of Knowledge – A comparison of Natural and Social Sciences”. The Centre has now moved to the former JNCASR building near the Health Centre.

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Forthcoming Events



Invites you to a lecture on:

Judicial Independence and the Appointment of Judges

Speaker: Prof. Dieter Grimm
Visiting Professor of Law and Gruber Global Constitutionalism Fellow, Yale Law School,
Professor of Law at Humboldt University, Berlin,
Permanent Fellow and former Director of Wissenschaftkolleg zu Berlin Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin

Day and Date: Thursday 12 January 2017
Time: 4.00 pm
Venue: CCS Seminar Hall, IISc

Tea/Coffee will be served at 3.30 pm

Abstract: In constitutional democracies independence of the judiciary is a precondition of the separation of powers, which, in turn, prevents a concentration of power that would threaten individual freedom. However, the weak point of judicial independence is the appointment of judges, especially of judges of supreme or constitutional courts. The control that these courts exercise over politics is endangered if politicians are able to freely choose their controllers. The lecture will discuss the purpose of judicial independence and the solutions that various countries have developed in order to safeguard the independence.



Invites you to a talk on:

Yoga is not What Most of Us Think

Speaker: Prof.Rajan Gurukkal
Visiting Professor,
Centre for Contemporary Studies,
Indian Institute of Science

Day and Date: Thursday 19 January 2017
Time: 4.00 pm
Venue: CCS Seminar Hall, IISc

Tea/Coffee will be served at 3.30 pm

Abstract: Patanjali’s Yoga, integral to Sankhya, relates to the ontological unity of Consciousness of the Self with that of the Cosmic, and Yogasana means a comfortable, stable posture that suits the Self’s transcendental communion with the Cosmic Consciousness. Over centuries its different strands manifested finally distinguishing Rajayoga from Hathayoga, but with no certainty about which of the two preceded the other. Nevertheless, Yoga with precedence of acrobatics and physical culture over meditative means of thought control (chittavrutti nirodha) is modern. Its therapeutic claims are of recent origins. Let us discuss what it meant and how it worked across Ages, and where it tends to go from here through experimental researches.



Invite you to a talk by Venu Madhav Govindu on the occasion of the release of the book:

The Web of Freedom: J. C. Kumarappa and Gandhi's Struggle for Economic Justice: by Venu Madhav Govindu and Deepak Malghan

Day and Date: Thursday 20 January 2017
Time: 4.00 pm
Venue: CCS Seminar Hall, IISc

Abstract: 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 the 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.