String theory has transformed our understanding of geometry, topology and space-time. Thus, for this special issue of Foundations of Physics commemorating “Forty Years of String Theory”, it seems appropriate to step back and ask what we do not understand. As I will discuss, time remains the least understood concept in physical theory. While we have made significant progress in understanding space, our understanding of time has not progressed much beyond the level of a century ago when Einstein introduced the idea (...) of space-time as a combined entity. Thus, I will raise a series of open questions about time, and will review some of the progress that has been made as a roadmap for the future. (shrink)
Equity, equality and inclusivity have been themes of abiding interest to philosophers, politicians, social reformers and activists alike. In the modern Indian context of political and social reformation spearheaded by Gandhi during the first half of the twentieth century, the imperatives of mainstreaming women in public and private spheres of activity was a theme that engaged many scholars and statesmen and attracted his serious concern. Not giving women their due share of responsibility and authority was to him as much a (...) case calling for greater inclusivity as was the exclusion of vast proportions of the population from equal opportunities based on other legacy prejudices of caste, creed, and so on. Despite remarkable progress in many other spheres, countries in general are still way behind in rectifying the gender inequalities that still persist. This article discusses, within the broader framework of equality and inclusivity, the theme of women in corporate governance with particular reference to India. Corporate boards, key instruments in governing corporations, are still too thinly populated with women directors; there is comparatively little representation of women in positions of influence and importance within the bureaucracy associated with corporate legislation and market regulation; active involvement of women in policy-making legislative bodies like the parliament and its committees as well as in the ministerial ranks in post-independent India is minimal. This situation calls for speedy correction in developing countries like India, which can arguably benefit most from such inclusion. (shrink)
A human being is a complex entity consisting of the Self (also known as Consciousness), mind, senses and the body. The Vedānta tradition holds that the mind, the senses and the body are essentially different from the Self or Consciousness. It is through consciousness that we are able to know the things of the world, making use of the medium of the mind and the senses. Furthermore, the mind, though material, is able to reveal things, borrowing the light from consciousness. (...) From the phenomenological point of view, we have to answer the following questions: how does one know the mind/the mental operations/the cogitations of the mind? Does the mind know itself? Is it possible? There is, again, the problem of the intentionality of consciousness. Is consciousness intentional? According to Vedānta, consciousness by its very nature is not intentional, but it becomes intentional through the mind. The mind or the ego is not part of the consciousness; on the contrary, it is transcendent to consciousness. It is difficult to spell out the relation between consciousness and the mind. How does consciousness, which is totally different from the mind, get related to the mind in such a way that it makes the latter capable of comprehending the things of the world? The Vedānta tradition provides the answer to this question in terms of the knower-known relation. Consciousness is pure light, self-luminous by its very nature, that is, although it reveals other objects, it is not revealed by anything else. When Sartre describes it as nothingness, bereft of even ego, it is to show that it is pure light revealing objects outside it. (shrink)
The Journal of Oriental Research was started in 1927 by Prof. S Kuppuswami Sastri, who was also the founder of the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute. Originally an annual journal, its regularity has been disturbed due to financial difficulties. Th e present issue comprises volumes eighty-three to eighty-four and has been funded by the Dr V Raghavan Memorial Endowment.