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D.S. Kothari Centre For Science, Ethics and Education

D.S.Kothari was born on July 6, 1906 at Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. D.S. Kothari completed his secondary school in 1922 from Maharaja Shivajirao School of Indore. After his matriculation he came back to Udaipur and entered the Intermediate College. In his Intermediate Examination, which he passed in 1924, he stood first in the Rajputana Board. He was awarded distinctions in physics, chemistry and mathematics subjects. For his excellent performance in the Intermediate Examination, the Maharana of Mewar granted him a monthly scholarship of Rs.50/- pursuing higher studies. He passed his B.Sc in 1926 from the Allahabad University. He also passed M.Sc in 1928 under the guidance of the well-known physicist, Megh Nad Saha.

In 1934, Prof Kothari began his working career with Delhi University as a Reader, Professor and Head of the Physics department. He worked there from 1934 to 1961. The Government of India appointed him as a Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence in 1948. He held the same post till 1961 and after that he was appointed Chairperson of University Grants Commission in 1961 where he worked till 1973. He was elected President of Indian National Science Academy in 1973. His notable research on Statistical Thermodynamics and Theory of White Dwarf Stars gave him international reputation. The Padma Bhushan Award was conferred on him in 1962 and Padma Vibhushan Award in 1973. After his retirement from the Delhi University in 1971, Professor Kothari was appointed Emeritus Professor and he continued to maintain close contact with students and teachers almost till his death on February 4, 1993.

In honour of Professor Kothari the University of Delhi has established the D.S. Kothari Centre for Science, Ethics and Education. As one of the Center's activities, Sir John Kendrew,Nobel laureate, delivered the first Prof. D. S. Kothari Memorial lecture on November 18, 1995. Prof Feroz Ahmed (former Professor, Dept. of Physics) served as Co-ordinator of the Centre from 1997-2005 during which period he edited four volumes of Professor Kothari’s essays on a variety of themes. In recent years, Nobel Laureate His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has delivered the D.S. Kothari Memorial Lecture. At present, Professor Meenakshi Thapan, Dept. of Sociology, is the Co-ordinator of the Centre. The activities of the Centre include organizing lectures and workshops, including the D.S. Kothari Memorial Lecture, publishing working papers, books and other material on themes close to Professor Kothari’s interests: science, ethics and various related aspects of education in India.



Professor Meenakshi Thapan (Head)


Third Floor, Academic Research Centre, 
Patel Marg (Opposite S.G.T.B. Khalsa College)
University of Delhi, Delhi-110 007

Report of the conference held on 30 and 31 January, 2014 organized by D S Kothari Centre for Science, Ethics and Education, University of Delhi and Tibet House, Cultural Center of His Holiness The Dalai Lama on Neuroscience, Psychology and Educational Practices.


DS Kothari Memorial Lecture by neuroscientist Richard Davidson - 25 October 2013

Eminent psychologist and neuroscientist Prof. Richard Davidson delivered this year’s DS Kothari memorial lecture on 25 October 2013 on the fascinating subject, “Change your brain by transforming your mind.” Basing his findings on the studies conducted at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, Dr. Davidson spoke on how different forms of meditation have different neural and behavioral effects. Distinctions among three major forms of meditation practice: Focused Attention; Open Monitoring; and Positive Affect Training. Data from studies on long-term meditation practitioners as well as those with shorter durations of training were highlighted. Dr. Davidson said, ‘The overall conclusions from these studies is that one can transform the mind through meditation and thereby alter the brain and the periphery in ways that may be beneficial for mental and physical health, and for well-being.’ 

Prof Davidson’s talk was followed by comments by Dr. Alok Sarin, a practicing clinical psychiatrist who is currently attached as an Honorary consultant to the Sitaram Bhartia Institute, New Delhi. 

The talk was organised by DU’s Centre for Science, Ethics and Education, Director, Prof. Meenakshi Thapan, Dept of Sociology.

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