Mumbai: Renowned astrophysicist and prolific writer Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, Professor Emeritus, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, was unanimously chosen as the president of the 94th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sammelan on Sunday, The literary summit will be held in Nashik from March 26 to 28.
This is the first time in the history of the event that a scientist-writer will be presiding over the proceedings. The Padma Vibhushan awardee’s name was finalised on Sunday, after a three-hour long meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Mahamandal (All India Marathi Literary Board). In all, nine literary personalities including Bharat Sasane, Jayant Narlikar, Ramchandra Dekhane, Janardan Waghmare, Tara Bhawalkar, Anil Avchat, Ravindra Shobhane, Manohar Shahane and Ganesh Devi were in the fray for the President’s post.
Reacting to his appointment, Narlikar said ‘‘Even though the use of technology has increased, society still lacks a scientific approach. Despite the rise in the number of mobile phone users, scientific approach and thinking is missing. However, I have full faith and confidence in youths. This will be a prominent aspect of my keynote address.’’
Narlikar has penned science fiction, novels and short stories in English, Hindi and Marathi, in addition to scientific papers, books and popular science literature. He has been consultant for the science and mathematics textbooks of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, India.
A Banaras Hindu University and Cambridge alumnus, Narlikar's autobiography was selected in 2014 by the Sahitya Akademi, the premier literary body in the country, for the highest prize of the Akademi for Marathi writing.
The first AIMLC was held in 1878 and is an annual literary conference.