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Research Lab
Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for
Advanced Study in the Humanities
and Social Sciences

About the Research Centre

The Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences is a Centre of excellence for advanced research across the humanities and social sciences through a range of interdisciplinary projects. It serves as a hub for independent and collaborative post-doctoral research and provides an environment that stimulates the spirit of active intellectual enquiry and ethical reflection through critical analysis and empirical studies. 

In line with Krea University’s research vision, the centre facilitates exchanges between interdisciplinary hubs focussed on the dominant questions that humanity must understand and address in this century. The Moturi Satyanarayana Centre aims to recognize the enduring value of explorations of the past and critical analysis of contemporary impetus for social change. 

The Centre commemorates the life and legacy of Padma Bhushan awardee Moturi Satyanarayana, a veteran freedom fighter, educationist, social worker, Member of Constituent Assembly, Member of Provisional Parliament, and twice-nominated Member of Rajya Sabha. The Centre is supported by the Padma Bhushan Moturi Satyanarayana Endowment set up by his daughter, Sujata Kumar and son-in-law Tatineni Prem Kumar.

Currently, scholarships and honoraria have been established for post-doctoral research fellows. Scholars of eminence are invited to pursue research, reflection, and writing in areas and themes of their choice. The scholars who successfully complete their studies will be known as Moturi Satyanarayana Scholars.

Through continuous exchange, the Centre contributes towards and engage with the vibrant intellectual culture of Krea university. Besides using the traditional modes such as seminars, workshops, publications, interdisciplinary dialogues, The Moturi Satyanarayana Centre embraces digital methods for reaching out not only to the community at Krea but also to the world outside.

The Centre is headed by a Director responsible for interpreting and translating its vision.

Meet our team

Director

Bishnu Mohapatra

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Numani

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW

Dr Biswajit Sarmah

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr P Arun

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Sayori Ghoshal

Director

Bishnu Mohapatra

DPhil, Oxford University

Bishnu N Mohapatra is a political scientist and poet, an educator and a commentator on society, governance, policy and culture. He is also the Professor of Politics at the School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences, Krea University. Bishnu had taught politics for more than twenty-five years at University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University and AzimPremji University. He has held visiting appointments at Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, National University of Singapore, University of Kyoto, Japan, and National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He has lectured at several universities in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. From 2002 to 2010, he headed the governance portfolio of the Ford Foundation’s South Asia office, New Delhi.

Bishnu has published in the areas of identity politics, democracy, minority rights, urban politics, civil society and social capital. He is currently researching cities and their multiple imaginings in history. He is also in the process of initiating a collective research project that seeks to understand the conceptual universe embedded in India’s Bhasa literature.

Bishnu is also a well-known Indian poet. He has authored four books of poetry and has translated two volumes of Pablo Neruda’s poetry into Odia. A volume of his poetry in the English translation – a fragile world- was published in 2005. He has a Master’s degree in Political Science from University of Delhi, an MPhil in Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a DPhil in Politics from University of Oxford.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Numani

Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Numani has obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kashmir (2007), a Master of Arts in Modern/Medieval Indian History (2009), an MPhil (2013) and PhD (2019) in Environmental History from the Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. He has worked as a short-term research fellow at the Tribal Research Institute, Jammu & Kashmir. Dr Numani has worked as Chief Coordinator and Advisor (2012—2018) of The Peace Gong (now Peace Insight), a global children’s newspaper connecting children for a non-violent planet. He has presented a number of research papers at national and international conferences and published a number of research papers/ book reviews/ book chapters in reputed international publications such as Springer & Rutledge. In 2021 he received the Young Social Scientist of the year Award from the National Environmental Science Academy (NESA), New Delhi. He has also worked as general editor of the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union’s (AMUSU) Annual Magazine, The Aligarian-18, for the session 2017-2018. He is an occasional author/ columnist for The Greater Kashmir, Rising Kashmir, and others. His core area of research is environmental humanities with special reference to Kashmir, India.  

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW

Dr Biswajit Sarmah

PhD, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati

Dr Biswajit Sarmah completed his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati. For his doctoral research, he wrote an environmental history of the Kaziranga National Park, Assam, where he combined extensive archival work (in India, the USA and the UK) and ethnographic research in Kaziranga. His work is published/forthcoming in Environment and History and Conservation and Society. He is working on a book monograph based on his doctoral dissertation.

His research interests are in the history and politics of wildlife conservation, especially large mammals in the global south. While science and law dominate the current conservation discourse, his research foregrounds the agrarian dimensions of wildlife conservation. In doing so, he considers forests, farms and pastures within a composite unit of analysis. This approach takes the history and success of wildlife conservation into exciting directions, such as agroecological variations, interspecies relationships, and cultural politics. His research shows how the cultural politics around large mammals like the greater one-horned rhinoceros, water buffalo and tiger influenced their conservation outcomes. He’s expanding his work into wildlife reintroductions as a process of re-naturing spaces and nation-making. He is passionate about securing quality higher education for students from marginal groups.

Dr Sarmah received the Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Fellowship, Charles Wallace India Trust Travel grant and University Grant Commission-Junior Research Fellowship (UGC-JRF) (not availed). He studied Development at Azim Premji University and Mathematics at the University of Delhi.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr P Arun

PhD, University of Delhi

Dr P Arun holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Delhi. His doctoral research explores the history of telegraph and telephone surveillance and its concomitant effects on fundamental rights and freedoms in liberal democracies. It traces the emergence of communications surveillance, particularly how surveillance in telegraph and telephone communications evolved in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His areas of academic and research interest include law, technology, and politics, with a specialisation in communications surveillance and privacy.

His research has been published in journals such as Indian Law Review, Economic & Political Weekly, Surveillance & Society, and National Law School Journal. He was formerly an Adjunct and Guest Faculty at the Ambedkar University of Delhi and Lakshmibai College, University of Delhi, respectively. He is currently working on the history of telegraph surveillance in British India during 1910-1940, which looks into the surveillance power exercised to control telegraph communications by the colonial state. Such surveillance caused difficulty for people to communicate in colonial India and abroad, leading to the articulation of their ‘freedom to communicate.’

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Sayori Ghoshal

PhD, Columbia University, New York

Dr Sayori Ghoshal holds a PhD in South Asian History from Columbia University, New York. She has around 9 years of experience, which includes her association with University of Toronto as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. She is currently preparing her first book manuscript titled A Sense for Statistics: Constructing Religious Minority in Modern India, which traces the rise and impact of calculative reasoning in formation of community identity and difference in colonial and postcolonial India. Her research has been funded by the International Network for Research in Science and Belief in Society (INSBS), University of Birmingham. She has published in the Economic and Political Weekly and the History Compass, as well as in an edited volume, Nation, Nationalism and the Public Sphere.

Director

Bishnu Mohapatra

DPhil, Oxford University

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Karthick Narayanan

PhD, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Sayori Ghoshal

PhD, Columbia University

Inauguration of Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

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The Honourable Vice President of India Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu, inaugurated the Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Krea University on 08 September 2021. The official inauguration event was hosted at Raj Bhavan in Chennai.

Gallery

The Vision, Philosophy and Work: Hear from the Team