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Science Fiction and Fantasy | An Indian Experience

20th Annual Online Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary National Conference - A Report
Issue 32

20th Annual Online Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary National Conference – A Report

Spread the Love of Sci Fi

About the Conference

The following information is based on the Conference Brochure.

Organized by

Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies ®, Bangalore, Karnataka
Indian Science Fiction Writers Association, Ayodhya, Uttara Pradesh
Kalpabishwas & Kalpabigyan, Kolkata, West Bengal
Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, Mumbai, Maharashtra &
Host Institution: Devagiri College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Held on

August 30-31, 2021

Conference Theme

Indian Science Fiction

About the Conference

IASFS has organized 14 National and 5 International Science Fiction Conferences at different locations in India. It has encompassed all branches of knowledge to one stream namely, “All Roads Lead to Science Fiction” Hence, it has overcome the barriers of age, gender, caste, religion, nationality, race, position, profession, departments, subjects, and others. Presently, with the impact of science and technology, SF is the study of the change in the attitude of humans attempting to lessen the Future Shock.

Indian Science Fiction is unique in combining the myth with technology to find plausible solutions for contemporary societal problems projecting them to future time and space.

The host college has already made preparations to hold the virtual interactive live sessions from the conference inaugural function to the valedictory function. Paper Presentations, Plenary Sessions. Panel Discussion and Special Lectures will all be live.

(Those who are outside the country; those who are engaged otherwise during the scheduled time slot for various reasons; and those who will have technical problems could send pre-recorded videos).

The video recordings of this event will be made available in the “Library” section of the website: https://iasfs.in after 15.09.2021.

Publication

All research papers, reviews, book introductions, SF stories, and others related to science fiction in English, Hindi, Marathi languages will be accepted for publication. They will be published in an online ISBN numbered Peer-reviewed UGC listed journal by the host College. The length of the paper must at least be one page and there is no restriction on the maximum number of pages. Rules of plagiarism, copy-right & IPR acts, MLA research methodology are applicable. One can publish a maximum of two items in the same name: Fees prescribed hereunder is for a single paper/story publication.

Highlights

Special Lectures:
1. Dr. Bal Phondke, Formerly Nuclear Biologist, BARC, Formerly Chairman, Former Director, Publication &Information, CSIR, Former Science Editor, “Times of India”, Editor, Science Today, Chief Editor of It Happened Tomorrow, Eminent first row Indian Science Fiction Writer, Mumbai, MH.
Topic: Indian Science Fiction – Today and Tomorrow.
2. Dr. Arvind Mishra, Secretary, ISFWA, Ayodhya
Topic: Science Fiction: A Contemporary Mythology.
3. Mr. GS Unnikrishnan Nair, Trivandrum, Kerala, Former Additional Director of Agriculture, Government of Kerala, National and International Documentary Awardee. Topic: “Farmland reforms and the outcome of the study of the Tribal People in Kerala state: A Film Maker’s Perspective and A Brief Account of Malayalam Science Fiction.”

Keynote address

Mr. Dinker Charak, Entrepreneur & Product Manager, and Webmaster: https://www.adbhut.in/.

Journal Release

Release of the Journal: Insight: Special issue Peer reviewed, ISSN numbered journal of scholarly papers of Science fiction presented during the 19th International Science Fiction Conference held during December 2020.

Video Talks

(In no specific order)

About the Organisers

Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies

IASFS was established on Asimov’s birthday on January 2, 1998. The day not only marks Isaac Asimov’s birthday but also coincides with the centenary publication of the Indian Science Fiction story “Agosh” by Scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose. The objectives of the Association are to provide material and guidance to students who would pursue their research for their Masters and Doctoral degrees in the field of Science Fiction and to provide a platform for the SF enthusiasts to share their views in the form of presenting papers during the annual Conferences. From its inception, IASFS has organized 14 National and 5 International Science Fiction conferences at different locations in India. The first conference was attended only by a dozen delegates. But from the second conference, there was no turning back. The Association had begun to collaborate with many Colleges, Universities, Local Bodies and Institutions in organizing conferences. Hence, it could bring together hundreds of academicians, scholars, scientists, writers, publishers, critics, movie makers, journalists, fans, webmasters, industrialists, technologists, farmers and readers. So far the Annual Conferences were held at Chennai, Coimbatore, Gandhigram, Gudiattam and Vellore in Tamil Nadu, Bangalore (National Conference normal mode Year 2001) and (International Conference virtual mode Year 2020) and Yelahatti and Mysore in Karnataka, Varanasi in UP, Aurangabad and Pune in Maharashtra States, Pondicherry a Union Territory and Ernakulum in Kerala State in India. During the annual conferences, participants have shown keen interest in discussing the following topics: the forms of science fiction, Artificial Intelligence, Cinema and SF, “Science Fiction Film: Seventy Years of Synergy, 1926 to 2003”, Aliens, A Tribute to Kalpana Chowla, Technology and Science Fiction, Fantasy, Genetic Engineering, Hindi SF, Indian Responses to World SF, Indian SF in Vernacular languages, Literary Criticism on Indian SF, Myth, Fantasy, Utopia, Feminism, Colonialism, Popular Science, Genetic Engineering, Robotics, Media and SF, Information Technology, Nanotechnology, Print versus Visual SF, Science and Science Fiction, Space travel, Time, Science Fiction Today, Science Today, SF and Mainstream Fiction, Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary perspective, SF Narration, SF the Human Aspect, Women in Science Fiction, SF & Technology and others. Each conference had plenary sessions and story reading sessions by respective authors in addition to the paper presentations. IASFS had also arranged an SF Story Writing Workshop conducted by Eric Miller and a story reading session by respective SF writers. The association had a video conference with Professor James E Gunn Director, Center for Science Fiction Studies, Kansas University, Kansas, USA.

The Association publishes a quarterly magazine entitled Indian Journal of Science Fiction Studies. It comprises of papers and stories presented in the previous conferences, a review of books, and interaction by the readers.

This non-profitable association is registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act. Website: https://iasfs.in.

Indian Science Fiction Writers’ Association, Ayodhya, UP

ISFWA is an autonomous organization which was established in 1995. The headquarters of the association is the said birthplace of Lord Rama. It has organized more than a dozen science fiction writing workshops in various parts of India in collaboration with NCSTC, DST (GOI). Its quarterly publication of SF stories’ Vignyan Katha is pioneer work in India. Its present President is Dr. Rajiv Ranjan Upadhaya and Dr. Arvind Mishra is Secretary who could be contacted at meghdootmishra@gmail.com Presently ISFWA has closed ordinary/general membership. However, Life membership of the society is open only for those who have put in outstanding contributions in the enrichment of the genre. ISFWA organized successfully the 17th ISF conference at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, Mumbai

Marathi Vidnyan Parishad (MaViPa) is involved in propagating science in society. In Maharashtra, MaViPa works mainly in Marathi. However, programmes are also conducted in English, whenever required. Registered under Society Registration Act: BOM 81/66/GBBSD (Date – 12-8- 1966), Bombay Public trust Act: F-1429/BOM (Date – 6-9-1966), FCRA Certificate no.: 084020008 (Date – 14/05/2012), (Donors can claim Income Tax rebate under clause 80G of Income Tax Act) MaViPa works with objectives such as: To disseminate scientific knowledge mainly through Marathi language, To enrich the Marathi language for the expression of scientific thought, To enhance the importance of science in life, To contribute to research and advancement of science. MaViPa has total 64 chapters in Maharashtra. In addition, it has 4 Chapters outside Maharashtra. This includes Goa, Belgaum, Vadodara and Bhopal Chapters. These Chapters work through languages like Konkani, Kannada, Gujarati and Hindi, respectively, along with Marathi and English. MaViPa is a recipient of 1992 National Science Award from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

FIE Foundation has also felicitated MaViPa. Marathi Vidnyan Parishad Patrika has been awarded Best Magazine by Maharashtra Foundation in the year 1998. Marathi Vidnyan Parishad Patrika has been awarded ‘Kavivarya Mangesh Padgaokar Bhasha Sanvardhan Puraskar’ by Governmaent of Maharashtra in the year 2018. MaViPa trustee board consists of following 7 members: Dr. Jayant Narlikar, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Sh. Prabhakar Deodhar, Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Sh. Pramod Lele, Smt. Achala Joshi, Dr. Vijaya Wad. Prof. J. B. Joshi (Ex-Director, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai) is President of Marathi Vidnyan Parishad. The managing committee of MaViPa is comprised of 23 members. Office bearers include five vice-presidents, three secretaries and a treasurer. In addition, each MaViPa chapter has one representative on managing committee. The managing committee meets twice in a year in Mumbai. Managing committee has appointed a standing committee for operational convenience. Standing committee consists of all office bearers of MaViPa and managing committee members staying in Mumbai. This committee meets once in every month. MaViPa has a permanent staff of 15 members to execute the programmes chalked out by the managing committee. Managing committee members are working voluntarily for MaViPa. Annual turn-over of the organization is
around Rs. 50 lakhs. Main sources of income for the organization include donations from individuals as well as institutes, programme fees, subscription from members and to some extent advertisements for Patrika. MaViPa is a science propagating organization, working prominently in Maharashtra since 1966. While organizing lectures, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, essay competitions, MaViPa started conducting SF story writing competitions since 1970. Thus, it has created writer ship and readership of SF. Dr. Jayant Narlikar, Dr. Bal Phondke, Mr. Laxman Londhe, Dr. Niranjan Ghate, Mr. Subhodh Jawdekar, who are the frontliners in SF story writing in Marathi language today, have all participated in the competitions of MaViPa and won the prizes.

Deogiri College, Aurangabad, MS

Affiliated to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Deogiri College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, is a part of Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, the oldest and the biggest educational establishment in the region. DCA is at the top in Marathwada region with A++ grade accredited by the NAAC and recognized as College with Potential for Excellence by the UGC. Right from the very establishment it has been undertaking novel programs for the enlightenment of students, teachers and the society in general. The college runs 16 UG Programs, 24 PG Programs and provides research facilities through the university recognized Research Centers for Ph. D. in the subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, Geology, Commerce, Sociology, Marathi, Hindi, English, Psychology, and Political Science. Central library is enriched with 130100 books, about 2030+journals and periodicals for ready references. Library has 2 specious reading halls which are favorite destinations for talented and hard-working students. More than 43472570+ eBooks, 58031+e-journals are made available for students, hence they earnestly avail internet & CD’s/DVD’s library facilities. Other services like paper clipping, references, CAS, and photocopies are also provided. Library provides not only syllabus books but also competitive examination books to visually impaired students in audio format in memory card on the mobile phone. The college has campus with full of beauty and bounty of about 13 acres in the heart of the city with fine research and sports facilities and well preserved play-ground. It has independent buildings for degree and higher secondary classes with spacious classrooms, well equipped laboratories, library with two reading halls, symposium hall, assembly hall, computer laboratories with an independent express feeder-line electricity connection. Virtual class room for UG & PG classes, with multimedia facilities are available as the mark of ideal teaching-learning conditions. It has also independent laboratory buildings for science subjects with separate well-furnished and highly equipped laboratories with uninterrupted power backup for UG & PG classes and for research activities are available. The college, a center with 764 Computers, Server, Scanner, Printers with 24 hrs. internet facility, is a mark of ICT based teaching. College has UGC sponsored Instrumentation Maintenance Facility (IMF) to maintain college laboratory instruments. The other vital salient features of the said college include: Six Separate hostel buildings with modern facilities for students (boys and girls) are available. Two independent N.C.C. units for boys and girls working efficiently at state and national level. The N.C.C. units are known for participation in Republic Day Parade and different expeditions. Three units of N.S.S. are engaged in useful social services. The college provides all the necessary facilities to sports persons of the college. It is proud of its 18 students who bagged Shivchhatrapati Award in various games. Furthermore, several Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at state and national level competitions have been seized by college students. Some other important features are: Gandhian Study Center; Phule-Shahu-Ambedkar lecture series since the academic year 1991 -92; Women Empowerment Cell; Earn and Learn Scheme Counseling center for students. Last but not the least, the college has a reputed Centre for Campus Interviews and immediate Placements. National and international companies conduct placement drives in the college and offer jobs immediately with attractive salary. The College is ever in close contact with potentially job assigning companies. The college has an independent Training & Placement cell for employment. More than 300 students are placed in the year 2019-2020 in various companies. The college has four Language & Literature Depts. (Sanskrit, English, Hindi& Marathi) having UG & PG courses and Ph. D. Research Centers run through highly experienced and research oriented faculty. To maintain the march towards excellence the institution has planned to enter into persistent collaborations, linkages, and MoUs with par-excellent literary and scientific institutes and organizations like Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, the reputed apex scientific and literary forum perpetually working exclusively for the cause of science and literature and have been inculcating scientific, literary, professional, corporate, spiritual and especially constitutional values and ethics among students, teachers and society in general.

Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, Aurangabad

Having established in 1959 by Late Mr. Vinayakrao Pandurang Patil, Mr. Dadasaheb Sawant and their colleagues, the Mandal under the leadership of the Secretary, Mr. Satish Chavan has been leading the academic world in providing educational services to the socially and economically backward classes for more than one lakh students in 136 branches in five districts of the State. The Mandal is also channelizing its resources to strengthen the career oriented as well as technical and management streams of education for providing highly skilled human resource through self-employment potential. Website: www.mspmandal.co.in.

Patrons

• Mr. Prakash Sundarrao Solanke, President, M.S.P. Mandal, Aurangabad
• Mr. Satish Bhanudasrao Chavan, Secretary, M.S.P. Mandal, & M.L.C

Chief Organizer

• Prof. Dr. Ashok Tejankar, Principal, Devagiri College, Aurangabad. (Host College):

Constituting Members

• Prof. C. S. Patil;
• Prof. DilipKhairnar; &
• Dr. Anil Ardad.Vice-Principals

Convener

• Dr.Balaji A Navale, HoD, Departmentof English, Devagiri College, Aurangabad.

Program

The following information is based on the Program Profile.

Day 1: 30th August 2021

TimeSchedule
8.30 amOpening of the Meeting
8.30am to 8.40amInvocation and welcome songs: Music Department, Deogiri College, A’bad,
8.40amWelcome Speech: Prof. Ashok Tejankar

Principal, Deogiri college, Aurangabad

08.50am
Orientations of the SF Conference: Dr. M. H. Srinarahari,

Secretary-General, IASFS, Bangalore, Karnataka

The organizing institution and organizations
9.00amIndian Association for Science Fiction Studies ®, Bangalore, Karnataka

 

Dr. K. S. Purushothaman

Principal (Rtd.), Muthuraman Government Arts College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Founder-Chairman Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies, Tamil Nadu.

9.05 amMarathi Vidnyan Parishad, MumbaiMr. A. P. Deshpande,

Hon.  Secretary, MVP, Mumbai

 

9.10amBengali SF Magazine, Kalpabiswa,

 

Dip Ghosh

Founder & Editor of the Bengali SF Magazine, Kalpabiswa, Kolkata, West Bengal.

9.15amIndian Science Fiction Writers’ Association, Ayodhya, UP.

 

Dr. Arvind Mishra,

Secretary, ISFWA, Ayodhya, UP.

 

International Guest

09: 20 am

 

Mr. Damien Walter:  writer, storyteller & sci-fi critic for The Guardian, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. He teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide, and is the host of the SF podcast.

Topic: Place of Indian Science Fiction at Global-Level

9.35amInaugural speech: Ms. Mugdha Sinha,

Secretary,  Department of Science and Technology,

Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur India.

10.00amManagement Representative:

Mr. Satish Chavan

(MLA Graduate Constituency), Secretary, M.S.P. Mandal, Aurangabad.

 

 

 

 

10.05 am

Indian Science Fiction: Contexts, Texts and Practices

Dr. Bal Phondke:

Formerly Nuclear Biologist, BARC,   Chairman, Former Director, Publication &Information, CSIR, Former Science Editor, “Times of India”, Editor, Science Chief Editor of It Happened Tomorrow, Eminent first row Indian Science Fiction Writer, Mumbai, MH.

10.30 amKeynote-Address: Indian Science Fiction: Identity, Issues and Priorities

Mr. Dinker Charak,

Entrepreneur & Product Manager, Bangalore. Webmaster: https://www.adbhut.in/

11.00 amScience Fiction Ideas in Indian Mythology

Dr. Arvind Mishra,

Former Deputy Director of Fisheries,

Government of Uttar Pradesh

Secretary, ISFWA, Ayodhya, UP.

11.30amVaignanika Kathegalu: Science Fiction in Kannada

Mr. T. Gautham Shenoy

SF Columnist &Critic,

Bangalore, Karnataka

12.10amPast, Present and Future of Bengali Kalpabigyan and      Kalpabiswa’s Role in it.

Mr. Supriyo Das,

Editor, Kalpabiswa.

12.30Noon Release of the Journal:

Insight: Peer-Reviewed, ISS Numbered journal of scholarly papers of Science fiction presented during the 19th International Science Fiction Conference held during December 2020 – by Dr. Sowmya Murukesh, Chief Editor and Publisher, Insight, University Research Publications, North Mazhuvannoor P.O, Valamboor, Ernakulum, Kerala State.

12.40amScience/Science Fiction Authors’ Communication

Topic: “My Recently Published Science/Science Fiction Work”

 1. Dr. Shantala,

Gynaecologist and SF Writer, Bangalore, Karnataka.

“My  Recently released 3019 AD hardcopy, e-book and audio version.”

 2.      Dr. Kiran Kumar Singh,

Professor of Civil Engineering (Rtd), SF Writer,     Agra, UP. “My   recently published SF: The Five Friends: Battle Against Aliens.

3.      Mrs. Archana   Mirajkar,

SF writer, Canadian Consulate in India, New Delhi

4.      Dr. Zeashan Zaidi,

Eminent Hindi SF writer, Assistant Professor, Era’s Medical College, Lucknow, UP.

‘My Sci-fi 2021.”

5.      Dr. Ranjan Garge,

Director, COSMOS, Principal (Rtd), SF writer, Aurangabad, MH.

“Wi-Fi to Sci-Fi and other Science and Science Fiction Works”

6.      Mr. Pradip Sengupta,

SF writer and translator, West Bengal

“Geo-Science Fiction: A Critical Overview.”

7.      Mrs. Savitha Srinivas

IPS, Bangalore, Karnataka

My Recently published SF: Triloka Sanchari Neere

Research paper Reading session
Dr. Shakun Mahajan

Assistant Professor in the Department of English                                       Govt. P.G. College for Women, Gandhi-Nagar, Jammu.

Science Fiction and Globalization in Manjula Padnabhan’s Harvest

6.45 Evening

(Dept. of Eng. & Dept. of Math.)

Special Attraction

Monday August 30, 2021 18.45 hours (Same id and password of the Zoom Meeting)

Magic Show: Mentalism and Science Fiction

Mr. Harish Yadav,

Former Chief Manager, Dena Bank, Jaipur, Rajasthan, Magician, Mentalist & Science Communicator

Eminent SF Critic

Day 2: 31st August 2021

TimeSchedule
8.15 amDr. Devraj Maulik, Young & Dynamic SF Scholar, Mumbai

Mr. Abhaysinh Deshmukh, an aspiring Scholar, Solapur

8.30 amMr. Soham Guha, Young & Dynamic SF Scholar, Calcutta

Topic: “Dystopian Society in Bengali Kalpabigyan.”

9.00amMr. Nilesh Malvankar – Maryland, USA
09:10 amDr. Rupesh Gaikwad:

Eagle Eye on the Journey of HI FI-  SCI FI- WI FI

Dr. Smitanjali Mitkari &

Prof. Dr. Laxmikant Dama

10.00amMr. G. S. Unnikrishnan Nair,

Trivandrum, Kerala, Former Additional Director of Agriculture, Government of Kerala, National and International Documentary Awardee.

“Farmland reforms and the outcome of the study of         the Tribal People in Kerala state: A Film Maker’s Perspective and

A Brief Account of Malayalam Science Fiction.”

11:00 amMrs. Subha Das Maulik,

“Meet the Indie sci-fi filmmaker Mr. Sudipto Shankar Roy”

known for  Onibarjo (2019), The Bounty (2017) and Crossing Bridges (2013)

12.00 NoonScience/Science Fiction Authors Speak

Topic: “My Recently Published Science/Science Fiction Work”

Dr. Ravi Kopparapu, Planetary Scientist, NASA, Washington DC, USA. “A Scientist’s Journey into Science Fiction.”
 Mrs. Pragnya Goutham– Rajasthan
Mr. Rishab Dubey – Lucknow, UP. “My SF Work Krikos.”
Mrs. Kalpna Kulshresta, Aligarh, UP
Dr. Urvashi Kuhad – New Delhi

Science Fiction and Indian Women Writers: Exploring Radical Potentials

Mr. Aad Ram Nayak, Rajasthan, “My Hindi Science Fiction Novel Scientific Mind (2020).
Mr. Shirish Nadkarni, Mumbai, MH. “My Science fiction humorous Works.”

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Spread the Love of Sci Fi
Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains as Industrial Automation, Home Automations, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. His books #ProMa, Absolute and None & The Murmurs of the Dawn are available on Amazon.