IUCAA - Khagol # 111 - July 2017

Available online at http://ojs.iucaa.in/ ISSN 0972-7647 A quarterly bulletin of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (An autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission) KHAG L Editor : Aseem Paranjape (aseem@iucaa.in ) Editorial Assistant : Manjiri Mahabal (mam@iucaa.in ) No. 111 JULY 2017 Follow us on our face book page : inter-university-centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics Yash Pal: A Man for Many Seasons (1926 - 2017) Contents... Reports of Past Events Congratulations Colloquia, Seminars Public Outreach Activities Visitors 1 to 9 5 10 10 to 11 12 | KHAG L | | No. 111 - JULY 2017 01 The IUCAA story as it developed is well known. The purpose of referring to it now is to recall the wonderful personality that we lost when Yash Pal passed away on July 24, 2017. When he took over the reins of the UGC, he brought with him valuable experience from his varied assignments like a research scientist in cosmic rays, the enabler of earth bound use of space technology, the organizer of a science and technology department for the government, etc. IUCAA was different from these, because we had to grow human resources. We had to have high quality research scientists motivated to guide budding scientists from universities as well as carrying their own research. We needed state-of-the-art facilities, an excellent library, computing facilities, and last but not the least, an instrumentation centre. Yash, of course, demanded rapid progress on all fronts, but was not ever close fisted when need for finances arose. I recall a finance committee meeting in our first year of existence, where the Finance Adviser was recommending an across the board cut, which would have seriously hampered progress on all the above programmes. Yash in his soft voice opined: “Inko mut kaato yaar!” (Friend, do not cut these people's grant, …because they are only just starting.) The FAagreed. I could see how In the early days of IUCAA, when we still had to find our permanent location, Yash Pal suggested that we should start an institutional newsletter. Our instinctive reaction would have been to buy time; to say to Yash to give us some time to settle down. We did not do that, for we knew that Yash was accustomed to action and not prevarication. It gave me great pleasure to hand him the first issue of Khagol and to see his delightful surprise that IUCAA hadmet his challenge on this occasion too. Ever since I was invited by him to a meeting in which he aired the concept of an inter- university centre for astronomy, I came under his spell of ideas. There I came to know that provision existed for such centres of excellence in the university sector for supporting teaching and research in those subjects that were important but not adequately represented. Thus, he explained that in an IUC for astronomy, there will be centralized state-of-the-art facilities to be shared by the academics, students and teachers from universities. Rais Ahmad from the UGC, and Naresh Dadhich from the University of Pune, who were present at the meeting, also provideduseful inputs to the discussion.