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Annual Report of Research Fellowships & Grants (2020-21)

Annual Report of Research Fellowships & Grants (2020-21)

Indic Academy (IA) has adopted a three-pronged strategy for research:

  • Short Term Research Fellowships originated through Thought Centers/Curated & Crowdsourced. 
  • Research Fellowships in Partnerships with other Universities and Institutions
  • Research Grants in response to applications by Individual Scholars and Public Intellectuals.


  1. A) Short Term Research Fellowships (STRF): Themes originated through Thought Centers/Curated & Crowdsourced.

Initially the themes for research were announced by in house curators. There was no overarching theme as such. Subsequently research themes were crowdsourced an announcement was made on November 19, 2019. Senior scholars, gurus, teachers, public intellectuals, and researchers were requested to suggest themes into a 100 Ideas Bank, which could then be announced as short-term research fellowships. A structure was given to the kind of themes we sought to focus our research efforts on. The next and final stage of research themes were driven by the heads of thought centers.

  1. I) Annual Report of STRFs for the Year 2020-21

Vishal Aggarwal, an eminent public intellectual and a repository of Shastras, Indic Knowledge Systems, and Indology, came forward with a list of 21 topics. Some of which he agreed to mentor and some even co-author. Out of Vishal’s 21 topics offered, 12 candidates were awarded in June 2020 and started working under the mentorship of Dr. Nagaraj Paturi & Vishal Aggarwal.


Topic Scholars Duration/Status
Representation of Muslims in the Bhakti Literature (01) Omkar Supekar Upto July 2021
Pre-shankara Vedānta (3) Subramanian Chidambaran Upto July 2021
Hindu dharma without varna and jati Ganesh Bharate Upto July 2021
Hindu dynasties outside India Brannon Parker Upto July 2021
Interrelationships between the Jain and the Hindu Puranas (1) Sneha Nagarkar Upto July 2021
Yoga Peace & Conflict Sowmya Ayyar Upto July 2021
The Tantra Tradition and the Varnashrama System (3) Antra Vijay Upto July 2021
Temple, Environmentalism and Cultural Ecosystem Kandarp Talati Upto July 2021
Hindu Dharma for Teenagers Gayatri Iyer Upto July 2021
Hindu Dharma for Teenagers Avatans Kumar Upto July 2021
Hindu Dharma for teenagers Niraj Mohanka Upto July 2021
Temple, Environmentalism and Cultural Ecosystem Saksham Agarwal Upto July 2021


In July 2020, Indic Academy’s Centre for Indigenous Sustainability (CIS) under the advisory & mentorship of experienced environment scholars- Rahul Goswami & Viva Kermani, announced six topics under the themes of i) Agriculture and Food, ii) Crafts, Weaves, Household Industry and iii) Ayurveda. After receiving an overwhelming response, the following Eight candidates were selected for the STRF.


Topic Scholar Duration/Status
Anna Hey Poorna Brahma: Sustainability in Traditional Food Ways and Eating Practices: A Retrospective Dr Rachana Bhangaonkar and Ms Anushree Gokhale Completed March 2021
‘The diversity of Bhoga (Prasadam) tradition of the Temples in Vrindavan’ Sushant Bharti Completed March 2021
Exploring Sacred spaces between food cultivation and naivedya and prasad with respect to kuldevi, Jakkha, Snake and Ganesh worship within the Kutchi jain community of Kutch’ Dr. Kamini Gogri Completed January 2021
‘Documentation and synthesis of the Indic Academy’s Conference on Indigenous Environmentalism held on 16-17 May 2020’ Kavita Krishna Meegama Completed January 2021
‘Handloom Lungis as an endangered traditional livelihood, with special reference to Orakartpattai village in Tamil Nadu’ Nithin Kumar Navasivayam Completed March 2021
Conservation, cultivation and utilisation of medicinal and aromatic plants of ayurveda Dr. Chandramouleeswaran Completed February 2021
Terracotta mobile amplifier project Vinay Prashant Completed February 2021
‘Anthropology of Jagannath Mahaprasad’ Shalini Mahapatra Completed March 2021


CIS, again in the month of September 2020, announced another research fellowship for conducting a Survey of Environmental Activities Landscape in India. After receiving a good number of applications, Four candidates were selected and offered grants in the month of November 2020 for a period of six months and are due to complete in April 2021.


1. Nishanth Gurav Complete in April 2021
2. Nagendra K Jain Complete in April 2021
3. Shagufa Kapadia Complete in April 2021
4. Bhavana  K R Complete in April 2021


With our commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the society, Indic Academy, in July 2020, offered a short term research fellowship on Indic Ideas and traditions of Non-binary Gender and Sexual OrientationsDr. Rajarshi Chakrabarty from the Dept. of History, The University of Burdwan was offered a grant in the month of November for the project of Transgenders in Indian History for a tentative period of six months.


In the month of July 2020, IA offered a short term research fellowship on the issue of History of Bharatiya Tradition of Creative Liberty in Literature focusing on the contemporary responses to the contemporary creative works based on traditional oral and written texts while briefly tracing the history of creative liberties taken across various time periods in the past. After receiving several applications, Three candidates were selected and offered the fellowship in the month of November 2020.

1. Komal Agarwal 3-6 months in progress
2. Kanchan Gogate 3-6 months in progress
3. Shivakumar GV 3-6 months in progress


Indica Yoga, in August 2020, invited applications for a Short-Term Research Fellowship to map the academic landscape of Yoga programmes (including online) that are being offered by various institutions and universities across the world. This would also include major research projects being undertaken by these institutions. Two candidates were selected and offered the fellowship in the month of December 2020 for a period of three months, and have successfully completed the research fellowship.


1. Auroshikha Rath Completed February 2021
2. Varalakshmi Completed February 2021


In February 2021, we invited applications for research on Indic Feminism as the Indic/Hindu space has been captured, exclusively almost, by a particular ideological position; that of the conflict theory of Marxism. The woman question then, is always posited in terms of contempt for the epistemology, structure and understanding of the Indic tradition; the Vedic corpus and the Dharma Shastras. The traditional organisation of society is seen as implacably against women, traditional being a synonym for regressive, exploitative and backward. This framework needed to be challenged on epistemological, methodological and evidentiary grounds and some rigorous research work is needed for this. We received an overwhelming response and will be announcing the 8 fellowships soon.

In March 2021, our newly launched Center for Global Polytheist & Indigenous Traditions (CGPIT) announced three short term research fellowships as part of its mission to build alliances among polytheist and indigenous traditions worldwide on the following themes. 

  • Chinese Polytheistic Traditions
  • African Traditional Religions
  • Reviving Polytheisms


  1. II) Annual Report of STRFs for the year 2019-20


In order to comprehensively scope the entire body of academic work on Advaita philosophy, and to make the entire gamut of literature  available to the world , IGUC, in August 2019,  announced an invitation to work on ‘Advaita-Vedanta Literature – A Bibliographical Survey’ (1980) by R ThangaswamiThis project still floats and is waiting for a suitable & credible candidate to compile the great work.


As a celebratory marker of Jammu & Kashmir’s complete integration with the Union of India in August 2019, Indic Acadedmy announced a three month research fellowship on Kashmir’s relationship with pre-modern Sanskrit & Indic culture. Three topics were announced for guided book writing:


1. Shankara, Advaita and Kashmir Awaits Applicants
2. Abhinava Gupta ‘s influence beyond Kashmir Awaits Applicants
3. Tirthas and Kshetras of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in oral and written literature.  Awaits Applicants


Out of these, grants were awarded to three scholars in November 2019 with their topics as:


1. Karma Tantrism of Kashmir and Kerala: A Study on a Sole Living Ritualistic Tradition Dr Ajithan PI Yet to be commenced 
2. Works of Kshemendra, the Kashmiri polymath scholar known for his contribution of ‘auchitya’ to Aesthetics Jahnavi Bidnur Yet to be commenced 
3. Kāśmīra in the Aṣṭādaśavidyā Itihāsa Mahābharatā: A survey Megh Kalyanasundaram Yet to be commenced 


In the month of October 2019, another three month short-term research fellowship was announced on Western Buddhism to bring forth the issues of cultural appropriation of Buddhism by Western Academia. Two topics were announced on these themes which still float and await credible candidates to work on it.


1. On Traditional Buddhist Critique of Cultural appropriations by Western/Secular Buddhism Awaits applicants
2. On Issues for Hindus with Western Buddhism and Buddhist Studies in Western Academia and westernized Indian Academia Awaits applicants


Along with this, in the same month of October 2019, a fellowship on Preparing a Directory of Indological Studies was announced with the following topic, whose candidature is still awaited:


1. Indological publishers in India and abroad Awaits applicants
2. Indological journals in India and abroad Awaits applicants
3. Indological authors in India and abroad Awaits applicants
4. Departments and their members focusing on Indological Studies in India and abroad in public and private academic institutions. Awaits applicants


To study the phenomena of Inclusion and Exclusion in society, another announcement was made, in October, offering the topics:


1. Comparative study of Social Inclusionism in World Cultures Awaits applicants
2. Social inclusionist mechanisms and movements in Hindu Tradition. Prerna A./ Completed in 3 months


Parallel to these fellowships,  Centre for Soft Power during the year 2019-20 had announced 9 other research fellowships highlighting India as a soft power hub and inviting research into topics, whose candidature is still awaiting.


1. Research into Bollywood Dance Studios Awaits applicants
2. Clusters of Excellence: Indian Migration and Soft Power Awaits applicants
3. Research into ‘Holi as a Global Celebration Awaits applicants
4. Research for a Monograph on Dr.Hansa Mehta Awaits applicants
5. Research into ‘Making India a Gap Year Destination Awaits applicants
6. Research into Indians’ Prowess in Spell Bee Competitions Awaits applicants
7. Research into ‘Ramayana in SouthEast Asia Awaits applicants
8. Global Directory of Indophiles Awaits applicants
9. Research into ‘International Collaborations in Indian music’ Awaits applicants


III) Annual Report of STRFs for the year 2018- 19

In October-November 2018, IA had initiated the research fellowship  process by subsequently announcing 11 topics. Out of which two were awarded and the rest are floating to be taken up.


Environmentalism as the hallmark of Vedic and Indian folk worldview Awaits applicants
Dharma and Human Rights Awaits applicants
Introduction to Indic ethno-aesthetics Awaits applicants
Pre-modern versus modern view towards tribes and their culture in India Awaits applicants
Non-dualism (Advaita ) as mass/popular worldview Awaits applicants
Psychological aspects of Saankhya Philosophy Awaits applicants
Discussion on good governance in Mahabharata Awaits applicants
Introduction to Vaakyapadiiyam: A Universal Model of Communication Awaits applicants


Cultural Unity Of India vis-a-vis folk traditions Awaits applicants
Gorakhnath : Folk Culture Priyank Kumar Chauhan Upto May 2021 
Svara Yoga: The Science of Breath Based Body-Mind Wellness K Vidyuta Upto July 2021


Apart from fellowships offered by our various Centers of excellence, IA has also generated research fellowships in partnership  with various other Universities & Institutions.


  1. B) Annual Report of Research Fellowships in Partnerships with other Universities and Institutions:


In January 2019, Indic Academy announced the establishment of the DP Santhanam- Indic Academy Chair at Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute (KSRI) ChennaiA joint research project was announced on these topics :

  • Critical Edition of Hathasanketa Candrika of Sundaradeva;
  • Varaha Upanishad; & Yoga Kundalini Upanishad.


These projects were undertaken by three scholars and work is currently underway.


In April 2019, Indic Academy, in collaboration with MIT SVS & Veda Vijnana Gurukulum, announced a Shaastra Mining Project on Concept Mapping of Vaakyapadiiyam. Based on the outcome of this project, IA, SVS and VVG will jointly design and deliver a 45-hour online certification course on Introduction to Vaakyapadiiyam: A Universal Model of Communication. However this project is currently in suspension.


  1. C) Annual Report of Research Grants to  Individual Scholars and Public Intellectuals:


With an aim to engage and encourage public intellectuals, four research grants have been given to the following scholars & public intellectuals.

    1. Vivek Agnihotri (2017-18)
    2. Vikram Sampath (2018-19) 
    3. Advaita Kala (2020-21) 
    4. Giti Thadani (2020-21)
    5. Shrikant Ramdas (2020-21)


All in all, here’s a comprehensive list of all the research fellowships announced and granted in the years between 2018-2021:

Research Topics Announced Grants Awarded In Progress Completed Awaiting Applicants
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