Monday, 21 March 2016

An Evening Well Spent: Meeting Rahul Bose, Lamaakan, Hyderabad, 2016

In this post we bring snippets from a talk delivered by Actor and Rugby Champion, Rahul Bose.
QlC member Ms Jhilam Chattaraj attended the event held at Lamaakan, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad on 18 March 2016

Rahul Bose
The Venue
Curious Audience

"I don't want to be remembered", said Rahul Bose, the Bollywood actor who delivered a talk on " Workable Leadership Principles". For almost two and a half hours, the charming, intelligent, articulate and incredibly funny actor kept the audience engaged in an evening that was full honest, humorous, insightful, inspiring stories and conversations. 

The venue was packed. There were people all over. The seats were full, the balcony was over crowded, the big boulders were taken, the floor was hardly visible, people sat on the boundary wall and I finally parked myself on a trunk of a tree leaning towards the ground. 
Never underestimate the Balcony

In conversation

Rahul's talk covered several elements. It began with memories of his early days in Bollywood. He recalled the days of struggle and pain and the joy of leading India's Rugby team in various countries. He emphasized on how as a leader of the team he had to under-promise and over-perform to instill a team spirit in everyone. Rahul highlighted the importance of being cordial and empathetic to others as a secret success mantra. Later, on a lighter note, he also revealed little tricks celebrities master over time to deal with rumours , scandals, gossip and criticism. The audience asked him several questions and he answered them with impeccable wit and patience. He sportingly posed for the selfie crazy young girls and boys.   

Elahe Hiptoola, fashion designer and founder of Lamaakan

Rahul's unbelievably self-effacing nature, moderate career aspirations, spartan lifestyle and a genuine concern for the society makes him a very uncanny Bollywood actor. He is a star living out of stardom in a little Innisfree of his own. His joy is in being the ordinary man doing extraordinary things. Thus his talk was about locating the qualities of leadership in our everyday regular lives and not in some grand aspiration to save the world. 

In a world of his own
Rahul encouraged the audience to understand the power of the present and their immense capacity to make a difference in the world just by doing one good thing each day. He has no desire to be quoted or remembered in the annuls of history and culture. He described himself as an ordinary man who loves to play Rugby and act in films with equal passion and give something  back everyday to the society. 
In the initial years, he enjoyed the fame and fanfare. However, looking back, he regrets his once apathetic approach towards many of the social and cultural evils around him.   He now tries to do his bit through his NGO, Rahul Bose- The Foundation which is dedicated to remove any kind of discrimination from all aspects of life. 

The evening with Rahul ended at about 8.30 p.m. I was full of thoughts and emotions. I carry back his confidence, humour, and the courage to live life authentically. 

An actor and a keen listener

Friday, 11 March 2016

A Tailor Made Event: A Report on the Taylor and Francis Journals Editorial Roundtable, 2016 Hyderabad

QLC member, Assistant Professor, Ms Jhilam Chattaraj recently attended the Taylor and Francis Journals Editorial Roundtable, 2016. In this post, she shares her experience. 

Journal titles kept for display

Just Getting Ready!


9 March 2016, was indeed an interesting day for me. It was a journey that began in atmospheric darkness and ended in intellectual illumination. I am talking about the early morning solar eclipse and The Taylor and Francis Journals Editorial Roundtable, held at Taj Vivanta, Hyderabad. It was an unique academic exercise. The theme of the event was Indian Authors in the Global Arena.
           It began at 10.30 am with the Registration. The hall was filled with rich aroma of coffee, sumptuous cookies and murmuring voices of participants exchanging pleasantries and visiting cards. At the Registration desk, I met a young lady beaming with confidence and warmth. After collecting  my kit, I straight away headed to the conference room and took my seat at a table in the third row. I always take the third row. It has a beauty of its own. Neither am I too far from the podium nor too close. I can participate as well as be a wallflower.  And on a lighter note, I have noticed that apart from the first and last rows,  photographers concentrate a lot on the third row :)

At 11.15 a.m, the programme began with a Welcome Address by Ms Nitasha Devasar, Managing Director, T&F India.  She greeted the participants and summarised the purpose of the event and what the audience could take back. It was followed by an enlightening talk by Dr. David Green, International Publishing Director, Taylor and Francis. Through several graphs and pie charts, he elaborated the different aspects of publishing in journals. He encouraged  Indian writers  to concentrate more on their visibility, outreach, Impact and public engagement. He acknowledged the fact that academicians around the globe are under tremendous pressure to publish. But as an Editor, he assured that he would never compromise on the quality of writing.
The gift hamper won by a lucky participant

The next talk was delivered by Prof. Ajaya K. Sahoo Faculty, University of Hyderabad and Editor of the journal, South Asia Diaspora. His brief presentation was titled, “Indian Authors in the Global Arena”. He highlighted the recent trends in submission of articles to journals by Indians and rest of the world. He further indicated the possibilities of co-operation between Taylor and Francis and Indian researchers to bring out journals on issues related to Indian culture and traditions. Prof. Sahoo perceived the journals as a way of archiving traditional knowledge systems of the nation; which is very important in times when cultures have become representative of what Zigmut Bauman calls as “liquid modernity”. 

To familiarise the audience with such novel ways of thinking  and writing,  Mr Gerald Dorey, Associate Editorial Director, South Asia presented a talk on “Digital Trends and Developments”. He explained in detail the aspects of Open Access Journal and the different forms of access to journals. His conclusions also pointed out that Indian research in  Social Sciences and Humanities was disappointingly low. This fact created quite a stir. The panel members and the audience for some time debated upon the reasons for such poor research production by Indian authors. Mr Dorey suggested that Indian writers could either collaborate with authors from first world countries or attend workshops that could guide them to publish in major journals. This session was followed by many questions and it thus left no time for the next presentation. We had to break for lunch.
A poster highlighting the use of social media for promoting research

The post lunch session began approximately at  about 2.15 p.m. Ms Anindita Pandey, the Regional Publishing Manager, South Asia spoke on the “Impact and Engagement: Authors, Articles, Social Media and Altmetrics”. She offered useful tips on how authors could use Facebook and Twitter to promote their work. The next and the last talk of the day was delivered by Mr Colin Bulpitt, Publisher , Physical Science on “Peer Review and Publishing Ethics-Introduction and Context”.
In his engaging talk, he drew attention to several peer-review policies, aspects of plagiarism and the intriguing nature of self-plagiarism. He also put forth certain case studies on dispute regarding authorship of articles before the audience asking them for their response.  The Roundtable winded up at  about 3.30 p.m. 
In Conversation: Ms Nitasha Devasar with a Participant

Colin Bulpitt and his presentation

Dr. Sarumathy and Dr. K. Papamma: Representatives from NIRD, Hyderabad


It was a useful and fruitful day for me: Thank You Taylor and Francis! I would like to list down a few points that have caught my attention. I intend to discuss about these in detail with interested faculty members and scholars. And They are:
      1. Why are Indian academicians writing and publishing less? Do we shy away from promoting and engaging others with our work?
      2. What could be done ? Can we organise some workshops or seminars where young researchers can be encouraged and initiated into the process of publication?
      3. Publication is not just about scholarly writing. It is about the visibility, discoverability and impact of scholarship.
      4. The process of writing and access to exclusive pieces of information is going to change. Digital culture has changed and will further complicate the way we perceive and approach the publication process.

Acads love to pose too!
Click, type, enter: Mr Robinson Raju, Publishing Editor, Journals

In the context of contemporary “time-space compression” as elucidated by David Harvey, I wonder how young academicians of the nation who want everything to happen “right here and right now" will sustain the culture of knowledge production and distribution. I have a feeling, that we the young and restless have to learn the hard way. We must inculcate the ability to work and rework our writings. If at all we wish to save our words for posterity then we must produce the finest possible versions of our work  no matter how laborious and time-consuming the process may be. I once again recall the words of Dr David Green, and say that Quality and only Quality can survive the storms of time, technology and cultural changes.