About us

What is CosmicVarta?

Astronomy is truly a global subject. The boundaries between the nations, people, ethnicities do not exist for astronomers. We all think of the entire humankind as one. Hence, it becomes necessary and a responsibility for professional astronomers to present a platform where the authentic research being carried out is presented and discussed in language which a non-expert individual can understand. Moreover, while high quality research is communicated through the reputed journals, the students who are not dealing with the subject on a day to day basis might find it difficult to grasp. We thought over this problem and came up with CosmicVarta as an online platform where we simplify the current astronomical research being carried out so that people from every background can grasp the essence of the results. CosmicVarta is intended to be a portal where the current research is presented in a simplified way and subsequently discussed by people so that everyone can have a glimpse into the exciting world of astronomical research. Through this portal, we will present reviews of recently published articles, interviews with the eminent scientists working in the field of astronomy and astrophysics all over India and also serve as a platform to discuss the research in a simplified manner. Research in astronomy is pursued at only a handful of research institutes, hence prospective students may often find it challenging to find relevant information. Through this portal you may find information regarding the various career options available, various positions available at astronomy institutes in India and other related information. This portal will also serve as an information hub regarding various softwares and databases that are available to be used by the public for free. We can even help students who are looking for short term projects using such a huge volume of data by connecting with the scientists working actively in that area of research. Come join us on a journey which will take you to the wonderful world of stars, galaxies and beyond; and feel enthralled by unlocking the keys to the mysteries of the universe which the scientists are doing on a daily basis.

Who are we?

We are a group of enthusiastic young researchers, mostly PhD scholars in astrophysics, who wish to make available lndian astronomy research to all interested minds. We keep a track of recent research papers published by lndian astronomers. Their works are written in simple language and published for others to read, understand, enjoy and perhaps motivate them to pursue astronomy research in the future.

Allow us to introduce ourselves :)

Lakshitha Nama

Hello. My name is Lakshitha Nama. I am a PhD student at Christ (Deemed to be University). My PhD research aims at understanding the relationship between magnetic field and the elemental abundances in the outer atmosphere of Sun and other main sequence stars. I make use of imaging and spectroscopic data from X-ray telescopes. My hobbies including reading and painting.

Ketan Rikame

I am a PhD student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University). Field of Instrumentation has always fascinated me and it has been my primary research interest. However, while working with various astronomy instruments, I also got interested in learning about the underlying physical phenomenon these instruments try to study. I have previously worked in optical and radio instrumentation. I am currently part of the instrumentation team at RRI and we are building an X-ray polarimeter approved to be launched on ISRO’s dedicated satellite mission XPOSAT. I also study accretion powered pulsars which will be one of the primary scientific targets of our X-RAY polarimeter. I am very much interested in science popularization. Although not involved in any such activity right now, I love to talk to people about my research (and not bore them hopefully). I love to listen/read about fascinating research other researchers are doing. I also love football!

Vivek Kumar Jha

Hi everyone. I am Vivek. I am a Ph.D student at ARIES, Nainital. My research so far has been about understanding the inner regions of active galaxies. My PhD thesis is aimed at resolving the inner (sub-parsec) regions of these objects through multi-band observations and infer the structure and kinematics of matter in those locations. I am also interested in exploring the various all-sky surveys which provide huge amounts of data to be accessed publicly. When not doing research, I usually go trekking in the neighbouring mountains or spend some time listening to classical music. You may find more about me here

Vishal Upendran

Hi there! I am Vishal Upendran, graduate student at the Inter University Centre For Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune. I have been studying various aspects of the Sun as a part of my thesis. In particular, I am focused on the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, the solar wind and its interaction with the Earth. Apart from physics, I also love machine/deep learning, information theory and the interface of computation and neuroscience. I generally spend my free time reading books - especially on proto/pre history and popular science texts. While not reading, I like going for long walks/runs, cooking and watching anime!

Shridharan Baskaran

Hi all. I am Shridharan Baskaran, Ph.D. student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore. Right from my school days, I’ve been fascinated by the outer space, which led me directly into astrophysics research. I’m currently working on spectroscopic studies of high mass pre-main sequence stars. My research will help in understanding the circumstellar environment around these young stars. I love going on long motorcycle rides, playing board games, and cooking.

Robin Thomas

Hello there! My name is Robin Thomas. I am a PhD student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University). My PhD research aims at understanding the role of interaction in the evolution of galaxies. My research makes use of photometric data from different telescopes. You will find me reading John Grisham and Michael Crichton books outside the office hours. I also love to go on long treks, cycling and cafe hopping.

Anusha R

I’m Anusha. I’m a Ph.D. scholar at the University of Western Ontario. My research mainly focuses on emission-line stars in general relating line properties, formation mechanism, statistical analysis depending on stellar parameters and the circumstellar environment, their disk physics. I am currently working on spectroscopic analysis of Disk forming hot stars and photometric analysis of the effect of binarity on the disk properties. I also perform polarimetric studies on these disk-forming stars exploring their geometry and kinematics as a group. Personally, I am a fanatic of crime thrillers. I’m a classical dancer, blogger, science communicator/enthusiast. I spend quite a good time writing about things I personally admire, from fan-fiction to genetics/cognitive abilities/psychology, etcetera.


We thank the Astronomical Society of India (ASI) for supporting our initiative as a part of their golden anniversary celebrations (#ASI50). We would like to mention Gourav Banerjee from CHRIST (Deemed to be University) for his valuable inputs regarding the website from the time the idea for CosmicVarta was conceived and Suman Bhattacharyya from CHRIST (Deemed to be University) for designing the beautiful logo of CosmicVarta and Vishal Upendran from IUCAA for working with us to improve the website.