As more and more alumni of Nalanda Academy enter academia and spaces of learning, they have also taken up initiative for knowledge creation and research. To better facilitate this and establish our scholars as thought leaders, as well as create a research ecosystem for our current students, we set up the Samyak Centre for Interdisciplinary Research.

To support and facilitate their intellectual work, we have recently set up an Interdisciplinary Research Centre. As a part of this, we have already conducted an intensive 6-week residential workshop on ‘Critical Theory & Epistemic Knowledge Traditions’ with 10 post-graduate Nalanda alumni.

2nd Annual Ayyankali Conference

The 2nd Annual Ayyankali Conference builds on the discourses laid out in the inaugural conference (online/ 26-27 March 2022), where scholars young & senior alike laid bare structural inadequacies of academic systems. This year, we attempt to build on those realities by seeking contributions from scholars on the theme of social knowledges of marginalized communities, their lived realities & their vision for the futures.

The theme of the conference is ‘Critical Caste Studies: Social Knowledges, Lived Realities & Pending Futures’. Selected scholars will be funded to travel to Nagaloka, Nagpur to present their work and the Best Three Papers will be awarded the Ayyankali Research Award of Rs 5000 each.

Abstracts may be submitted at:  

Last date of submission of abstracts is 31st January 2023.


Inaugural Ayyankali Conference on Knowledge Production

The inaugural Ayyanakli Conference (26-27 March 2022) was convened online owing to COVID-19 mandates still being in place. The conference saw curated panels unpack many different themes pertaining to knowledge production and distribution. It featured young upcoming scholars along with veteran researchers leading discussions over a wide range of topics from pedagogic and epistemic practices, social inclusion and cultures of mainstream academia. The first Ayyankali Memorial Lecture for the occasion, was graced by the writer-poet and painter, Mr M.R. Renukumar.

It also featured a first of its kind symposium of 8 different social initiatives/organizations working to provide education and research opportunities to marginalized youth.

Ek se Anek: Oral History Colloquium
Led by Nalanda alumni, we initiated an oral history project to uncover the micro-histories of the Ambedkarite community. Findings of Phase-1, which covered 51 interviews across Maharashtra and Rajasthan undertaken by a team of 19 researchers were shared in an online colloquium. Currently Phase-2 of the project is underway which covers the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka, along with other regions of Maharashtra.

Residential Workshop on ‘Critical Theory & Epistemic Knowledge Traditions’

A six-week workshop was organized in (Sep-Oct 2022) in Wardha for 11 scholars. The workshop was led by interdisciplinary faculty from within Nalanda Academy, Wardha as well as via online mode by a academics from leading institutions. Scholars engaged in a variety of lectures, discussions and exercises which covered major philosophical traditions from Liberalism, Marxism, Existentialism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Post-Modernism as well as discussions on Nationalism, Fascism, Gender and Caste theory.

Academic Writing Workshop

A four-month online workshop on academic writing was led by Dr. Nidhin Shobhana (JNU/ IIT Bombay). Selected scholars received weekly personalized inputs in the craft of academic writing, research methods and guided training on how to conduct literature review as well as on how to ‘read’ academic papers to uncover core argumentation.

Nalanda Reading Circle Led by Anoop Kumar, the Nalanda Reading Circle has been curated as a space where our alumni can come together to read and discuss intellectual works of selected intellectuals. Weekly discussions on research papers as well as books is organized to stimulate an atmosphere of vibrant academic discussion and theorizing.