INSTUCEN—India Study Centre— Trust is a non-profit educational trust founded in April 2010 and is registered under section 80G and 12A and 12 AB of the Indian Income Tax Act. INSTUCEN is an organisation committed to opening the vistas of studying Indian culture, civilization, history, art, languages and literature, philosophy, architecture, medical science, natural science, astronomy and mathematics. Ever since its inception, INSTUCEN has made waves in the field of archaeology, geology and biodiversity education and outreach in Mumbai and beyond.
INSTUCEN—India Study Centre
Vision and Mission:
The beginnings of human footsteps on the Indian subcontinent date back 2.2 to 1.5 million years. Successive waves of prehistoric colonizers left Africa and made it to the peninsula and shores of the Indian sub-continent over the years. In later, more recent years, during the Bronze Age, the Indian continent became a great melting pot of civilizations, religions, social structures and traditions. Also, being a tropical sub-continent, India’s cultural diversity is matched only by its biodiversity and geo-diversity. There are a great many people, all over the world, interested in various aspects of this land.
We rue the fact that, India is often presented as the land of mystics and mysticism. The land of wisdom and scientific enquiry that was India, is forgotten under the debris of religiosity, miracles, astrology and the so-called spirituality.
At INSTUCEN, we would endeavour to open the vistas of studying Indian culture, civilization, history. art, languages and literature, philosophy, architecture, medical science, natural science, astronomy and mathematics in a rational and scientific manner.
To cater to the international community that is interested in understanding the real India, and in studying this India as a great laboratory of human effort, INSTUCEN will provide an umbrella.
This will be a facility for serious research scholars, young enthusiasts, college students and special interest groups, of Indian and other nationalities. We plan to undertake research projects, restoration and conservation projects in all the spheres of Indian history and culture with International and governmental assistance.
Dr. Mugdha Karnik is a sociologist and an educationist with a special interest in science education, Archaeology, Nature and literature. She was the Director of the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies in the University of Mumbai for 27 years. She is particularly active in the field of Conservation and Awareness projects. She has edited a coffee-table book on Trees of Mumbai, titled ‘Sentrees of Mumbai’. She also co-edited and published a Marathi book on ‘Science through the Millennium’ at the advent of the third millennium. Mugdha has 35 years of experience in reaching out to people of various backgrounds and engage them in educational enrichment. While working as the Director of Extra-Mural Studies, she has designed and developed over 40 courses in variety of subjects for educational outreach programmes for rural and urban audiences.
A very active rationalist, Mugdha Karnik writes on various relevant issues in print and electronic media. She has translated Ayn Rand’s path-breaking novels ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ into the Marathi language, along with the famous ‘Tales from Urals- Malachite Casket’ by Pavel Bazhov. She has also translated J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’; ‘God Delusion’ by Prof Richard Dawkins. She has also translated ‘I Am a Troll’ by Swati Chaturvedi, ‘Shadow Armies- Foot soldiers of Hindutva’ by Dhirendra K Jha, Reunion by Fred Uhlman, On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder. Her doctorate is in Translation Studies.
Prof. (Dr.) Sridhar Rajeswaran is a Visiting Professor of Humanities at the Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, University of Mumbai and Department of Atomic Energy. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the CoHaB IDE Constructions of Home and Belonging Indian Diaspora Centre, University of Mumbai. He is Global Faculty at the Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, USA. He has studied at the Universities of Madras and Bombay. His doctoral work dealt with postcolonial perspectives on the poetry of W.B. Yeats His postdoctoral areas of research are Modernist Poetry, Modern Indian Drama, Postcolonial Studies and Studies of the Indian Diaspora in Literature and films.
Prof. (Dr.) Nilufer E. Bharucha, is Director of the Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging-Indian Diaspora Centre Visiting Professor of Humanities, Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences and Former Senior Professor and Chair, Department of English, all at the University of Mumbai Professor Bharucha is Faculty Associate Emeritus, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley, B.C., Canada and Global Faculty, Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, USA. She has served on the jury of the Commonwealth Literature award and the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi Literature award in English. She has also been on the jury for the Rhodes scholarship She has authored and edited & books in the areas of Postcolonial Indian Writing, Diasporic Indian Literature & Cinema and the Writing of the Parsis. One of her recent books is entitled Indian Diasporic Literature and Cinema. She is co-editor of the CoHaB IDC’s Diaspora Studies Series She has contributed 3 modules on Indian Diasporic Literature and Cinema to the University Grants Commission’s online Postgraduate E-pathshala.
Dhananjay Karnik an Ecologist by training and journalist by profession, has worked in the field of Political journalism in print media for twenty years, and has written extensively on current socio-political issues. He was one of the few straightforward and hard-hitting journalists when in print media. He has spent three years of his youth working with the Warli tribals whilst working on his research in Ecosystem study of the village of Aswali in Maharashtra.
The Trust, formed for academic purposes is not affiliated to any university, although it has collaborated with the University of Mumbai; Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Maharashtra; Sanjeevan Trust, Mumbai; Mumbai Educational Trust, Bandra, Mumbai; Prabodhankar Thackeray Kreeda Sankul, Vile Parle, Mumbai; Birla Education Trust, Pilani, and the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, Pune for multiple programmes.
INSTUCEN Trust is well known for sponsoring programmes like the Annual Explorations in Maharashtra Workshop (2014-2019), the Annual Archaeology of Maharashtra (International) Conferences (2013-2018), ArchaeoBroma, the first-ever conference on the archaeology, history, ethnography and sociology of food, the annual Geology and Archaeology Mega-Exhibition, and many other workshops on Stone tools, Heritage Walks, Arabic Epigraphy and Calligraphy, Ancient Indian Games, Site Seminars on the Caves of Mumbai, and other subjects. Along with this, Excavations at Chandore, Raigad District, Maharashtra (2012-2015), Salsette Explorations Project (2015 and 2016), Playing with the Past, the first ever national conference on ancient and medieval Indian Board Games, Glory of September (Nature Trail) in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (2019), Archaeological Excavations at Mandad in Raigad District (2019) and a unique Tree Walk for Women at Jijamata Udyan on the occasion of Women’s Day 2020 are some of our endeavours. INSTUCEN Trust has also sponsored and otherwise supported many young researchers who have done exciting work in mapping Gadhegals in Maharashtra and Goa, studying the ethnoarchaeology of Bene Israel, and exploring and reviving Ancient Indian Games.
Adapting swiftly to changed circumstances, INSTUCEN Trust launched online lectures in April 2020 on subjects as diverse as Archaeology, Forts and Fortifications, Archaeo- Astronomy, Epigraphy, Evolution, Genetics, Literature, Numismatics, Board Games, Language and Literature, Geology, Indian Classical Music, etc. to cater to students from all fields around the humanities, arts and sciences, and all allied fields that are a delight to study. Apart from courses in humanities and sciences, we have also hosted a myriad of guest lectures based on various topics including research done on COVID-19 in the state of Maharashtra. Over 8,000 students from all over the country have benefited from these 100+ online courses and 35+ free public lectures conducted so far. The faculty for these courses includes some of the best names in the respective fields drawn from the world of academia.
We also organised a successful event commemorating 100 years of the discovery of the Harappan Civilisation in October, 2020 with lectures by celebrated archaeologists in the field. In December 2020, we had an International E-Conference on Games designed to bring like-minded students, researchers, thinkers and aficionados of board and non-board games to discover games and highlight the new aspects of traditional games and bring more games to light from all over the world. Both these events were organised in association with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra State.
Now we step into 2021, with a roster of several certificate courses, diploma courses and special lectures ranging across several different topics.