The Institute is primarily a social sciences institute, set up by the second President of India, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, and has a large number of visiting fellows in disciplines ranging from political science to philosophy who are encouraged to come and use their time there to study and write a book or monograph or treatise. However the present Director is a very charming forward looking person who would like to bring the social sciences and humanities closer to the sciences (remember C. P. Snow's Two Cultures ?) and therefore encourages scientists to organise meetings there. Thus a meeting on Gravity was held last year and we are organising a meeting on Particle Physics Phenomenology during the teeth-chattering cold of December. Our interaction with the Director and staff there was extremely positive and they are keen to provide all the local facilities needed to host a meeting. They prefer if some general talks are given which are understandable by the social sciences Fellows of the institute. With a guest house capacity of about
35, small meetings are easy to arrange.
The place literally oozes history. Thus, one can see the table where the partition papers were signed during the tripartite conference between the Congress, the Muslim League and the British Government. (The table is also in two parts joined together!) An earlier meeting called by Lord Wavell in the same place and attended by Nehru, Patel, Azad, Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan and others had ended in failure, making India's partition a certainty and there is the historic conference room where this and many other meetings among the various delegates of the political establishment took place in pre-independence India.