‘Conversations’ is envisaged as a series of dialogues on contemporary issues, with a view to enlarging the orbit of these ideas beyond the world of professional social scientists. This would be done by getting together prominent members of academia, the media, civil society, the bureaucracy, various professions, public policy, politics, the corporate world, the literary world and the scientific community on a common platform to share their perspectives on chosen themes. The idea is to provide a platform for a dialogue among thinkers and practitioners drawn from different backgrounds and locations to help bring issues into sharper focus and enable a comprehensive understanding from multiple vantage points. ‘Conversations’ aims to facilitate such dialogues on a range of issues.
The first event of the AUD Conversations, held on 24 August 2011 was called Institutions in India: Challenges and Predicaments and the speakers included some of the finest public intellectuals of India – Andre Beteille, Ashis Nandy, Deepak Nayyar and Romila Thapar.