29th Annual RMS Conference at IISER Pune dates 23rd to 27th June.
The academic program consists of Plenary talks, invited talks, paper reading sessions.
For details on the conference please go HERE
Please Click on the Document below and scroll to read.
Please Click on the Document below and scroll to read the entire speech, OR use the arrow-keys on the top-right of the window below to navigate.
Since April 16, 2013, when I formally became the President, I have
devoted some time to understanding the financial state of the RMS. I
wish to take all of you into confidence, and explain to you the
financial stateof RMS as I understand it, set the realistic goals for
RMS we can hope to achieve in the foreseeable future, and articulate
the means to achieve them.
Perhaps this is the first time when a President of any mathematical
society in India is writing such an e-mail! Since we are all
mathematicians, we just like to talk about mathematics. But as an
institution, we should also look for the financial sustainability, and
further progress, of our institution so that we can keep talking about
mathematics in a more vigorous way!!
There are no blue-prints in what follows. I feel, I still do not have a
complete information. If some vital point is missing, please let me
know. I have consulted with some colleagues before writing this e-mail.
But let us collectively understand the broad situation, and plan on
taking some steps.
RMS came into existence in 1985. Its membership is mainly College and
University Math faculty and students. Our aim is to promote higher
research, teaching, and general dissemination of mathematics, in all segments of Indian society.
According to the bye-law 25 c), RMS is expressly a not for profit organisation.
Our biggest resource is the very high quality of our membership. Many of
our members are in the list of the international and national "who is
who" in Mathematics. There are some very distinguished members of RMS
from abroad, like Prof.s John Coates, D. Eisenbud, M. Waldschmidt,
....and many members of Indian origin settled abroad. Many members of
the national academies, some FRSs, some coming close to winning, or have
already won, the Fields Medals, and Abel Prizes, and many
distinguished award-winners, like Swarnajayanti and Bhatanagar awards;
and, irrespective of any accolades, most of us have attained professional distinction in some ways in mathematics.
Likewise, our Presidents as well as the EC-members are men and women of professional distinction.
This is a big plus. It earns us respect. Yet it is also a minus in some
ways on the institutional level, as we have yet to build our financial
RMS has been in existence for over 28 years. As of 31st March, 2012, it
has accumulated a corpus of about Rs. 67 lakhs, which is a small sum, in
my opinion. As yet we have no office, and irrespective of the office,
no paid staff.
Just one example: if we have to bring out some quality publication, do we expect the Volume Editor also to be a proof-reader?
Similarly, should RMS pay for travel of EC-members for EC-meetings?
Since NBHM has decided not to pay for travel for EC-members, this has
become a serious matter for discussion.
I feel that the RMS-EC, in particular the President, may be expected to
bring about enough revenues on an annual basis, so that such
incidentals can be, and should be, taken care of, so that we can save
ourselves from unnecessary headaches and un-pleasantness.
RMS has never seriously addressed such issues.
Our corpus (Rs 67 lakhs in the last 28 years) is mainly built from the
membership fees, publications JRMS and Lecture Notes Series, and some
sporadic donations from well-wishers.
Besides publications, RMS's main activity is the one, four-day, annual
conference. Its expenses are mostly paid by an educational institution
which takes responsibility for hosting the conference, and the funding
agencies like NBHM and DST, which may pay for the fooding, accomodation,
and travel/local hospitality for the plenary speakers and other invited
Whether one should charge registration fees for annual conferences,
there is no consensus in the RMS organising committee, although both the
Secretary and I do not feel that we should charge registration fees,
for that will be possibly a major consideration for many participants
whether to attend the conference at all.
The annual conference costs very little to RMS. The host institutions
are fairly generous because of the immense respect in which they hold
the RMS. But in turn, RMS exercises very little "control" on what we
do. We need to do a lot of correspondence before we can accomplish
anything of substance.
A striking feature in the mathematical societies in the west is the
enormous number of activities they perform each year. The American
Mathematical Society (AMS), for
example, besides an annual meeting, organises eight regional meetings
per year. It has a large office in Providence, in the state of Rhode
Island. (Providence is much less expensive than major metropolitan
cities like New York.) AMS has a paid, contractual, position of
Executive Director with his/her fairly big staff. The Executive Director
himself/herself is a mathematician of distinction. Besides the
membership fees, it also builds its finances through its many
publication series, its various "projects" with national and private
funding agencies, and it also gets lots of donations from organisations and individuals.
I hope, you agree, that we have a long way to go! India may be emerging
as an economic power on the international scene, but RMS is still
operating with a mind-set of way back in the early or mid-20th century!!
I propose: let us formulate the goal of acquiring an office for RMS and some paid staff, in a foreseeable future.
The veterans of RMS tell me that during the past 28 years of existence,
this issue has come up from time to time, from the very beginning. In
fact, the "Building Fund" was established to which some people have
already made some contributions. Some proposals were also there.
But somehow .....
I wish to make a special note that RMS does have some dedicated members
who have fully dedicated their energies for bringing RMS to the present
For instance, Prof. Sampathkumar has essentially acted as the "Executive
Director" without pay, all these years! For over a decade he has given
half of his house
(about six rooms) for use for JRMS and RMS-LNSM. As a "Managing Editor"
of these publication series he does a lot of work of keeping track of
manuscripts submitted for publication, keeping the record of referee
correspondence (the referees are decided by the editors), applying for
grants, seeking support, keeping all the financial records etc. It costs
nothing to RMS. It is a labor of love for Prof. Sampathkumar. He also
made a substantial donation to the Buidling Fund of RMS, mentioned
Similar work has been done by Prof. Balakrishnan of keeping
many accurate records of RMS, editing News-Letter for a number of
years, writing bye-laws and keeping a record of their many modifications
through many years etc.
Throughout the members of the EC have worked without any "sitting
fees", often paying for travel and other incidentals from their own
pocket, often not charging even for their travel to attend the
EC-meetings, although the bye-law 14, v) allows for second class AC,
sleeper year travel for the EC-meetings! The bye-law itself has become
archaic in the 21-st century, in my opinion!!
Through such services, these people have saved lot of expense to RMS, and contributed to building its present corpus.
Prof. Sampathkumar and Balakrishnan. mentioned above, are getting
senior in age, so we need to find their replacements. In this process,
we need to keep in mind the financial aspects indicated above.
Please let me know, if any of you have any suggestions.
For improving the financial state of RMS, and increasing its activities, I wish to mention my current thoughts.
The two aspects are complementary. Without increasing the activities we are not going to improve our finances, and conversely!
In my view, if we start conducting regional meetings, and start
School/UG/PG seminar activities, it will substantially increase our
activities. In addition, I list three ways below to increase our
0) Regional Meetings: I have already written in my first e-mail to all
of you about RMS regional chapters. One expected contribution by the
regional chapters is to arrange at
least one regional meeting per year. This single step, if supported by all of you, will substantially increase our activities.
Actually the idea is not new. It is already mentioned in 1985-bye-law 7), c), but not implemented so far!
May I suggest that we have at least 4 regional meetings next year?
The regional chapters may also start school/UG/PG seminar activities appropriate to the region.
I request all of you to take the idea seriously and send to us some proposals for regional meetings.
1) Membership Fees: The 1985-bye-law 10, ii) mentions six types of
memberships, in addition to "patrons" mentioned in bye-law 13, iii):
Patrons, Donor Members, Annual Individual Member, Institutional Member, Life Member, Long-term Member, and Student Member.
The bye-laws do not explain the rationale behind "patrons". But a patron does not pay any membership fees, has no
voting rights, and cannot serve on the Executive Committee.
In the future I wish to see the term "Patron" used for a substantial financial benefactor of RMS.
Except for "life members", RMS probably had no other five types of
members mentioned in the bye-laws, in any substantial number.
I wish to change this situation. Also the membership dues mentioned in
1985 need to be changed considering the present economy. I shall soon
send to all of you a bye-law amendment regarding the various memberships,
I am also keen on admitting student members, so as to systematically
maintain the future health of RMS, and the mathematics profession in
These changes are expected to increase substantially both our membership and our finances.
I shall report to you in detail about the current publication
activities of RMS, in my "State of the RMS"-address at the June 2013
Briefly, at present, we have four publication series: the Journal
(JRMS), the Lecture Notes Series (LNSM), News-Letter (NL), and Little Treasures of Mathematics (LTM).
Please see the RMS web-site for some information about these series. Just google the "Ramanujan Mathematical Society".
The present corpus is largely built from the revenues generated by JRMS and LNSM.
The NL, of course, is not supposed to be a source of revenue. In
addition to providing news, its editor, Prof. Ponnusamy, has also
started publishing valuable expository research articles at the UG/PG
level. We are thinking of whether we should extend this latter activity
and start a new journal at the UG/PG level.
Finally, LTM is bringing in some revenue. We wish to increase its activity and scope.
The Secretary Prof. Jugal Verma, also has a more ambitious plan of
starting something like a "Bulletin" for expository articles at the
Obviously, if we publish more quality material at appropriate levels,
our revenues will increase, and the Society will get more recognition.
3) Donations, and Project-based Support: RMS has gotten some voluntary, un-saught for, donations in the past.
We have three named plenary lectures at each annual conference, coming
from the financial support of the families or friends of the named
people, Prof.s M. N. Gopalan, W. H. Abdi, and C. S. Venkataraman.
I recently came to know, that Prof.S Bhanumurthy and S. Bhargava were "Donor Members".
In recent years, if I remember correctly, Prof. Manjual Bhargava of
Princeton University, USA, got a Clay Foundation award of $10,000,
(approxmately Rs 5 lakhs). He donated the whole amount to RMS. He is a
young man, often mentioned in connection of a Fields Medal, and one of
Similarly last year the brothers and sisters offered Rs 5 lakhs
to RMS in the memory of their of brother Prof. S. K. Lakshman Rao,
a distinguished mathematician and scholar.
To my knowledge, these and any such donations have come completely
voluntarily. In fact donors come to our doors, and urge us to accept
There has been no conscious effort on the part of the past Presidents
and Secretaries to seek donations from generous corporations or
individuals, explaining to them the worthy activities of the RMS. It is
just not in the psyche!
A largely un-tapped resource, in my opinion, is the possible donations from mathematicians of Indian origin from abroad.
I have also suggested two years ago at the RMS annual conference, that
many of us, with a secure financial future, in the foreseeable future
should donate 1/2% of our anuual income for a specific project of RMS,
like having an RMS-office for example, or support JRMS. LNSN, NL, LTM,...
Finally I mention a lot of project-based support from the national
funding agencies like NBHM and DST. In terms of what we have gotten in
the past, this support has been very substantial. But considering that
RMS performs a major national activity in higher mathematics, in my
opinion, the support from these agencies is not commensurate to what we
do, or would do if the adequate support is assured.
Perhaps we have not properly explained our case to them.
Let us articulate our needs clearly. Let the funding agencies, wealthy
corporations and individuals with a feel for the importance of
mathematics, and we ourselves, help ourselves to become a leading
mathematical society in the world.
Ravi S. Kulkarni,
heartfelt gratitude for electing Prof.S Kumaresan, Srinivas Rao, M.
Dutta, and me with almost 3:1 margin, giving us the opportunity to
serve on the EC of RMS.
Let us all work together to reach the new heights for RMS!
I am inviting Prof.s Kalyan Sinha, T. Amarnath, and Sanjeev Aggarwal to continue contributing
to RMS, in any of the many ways they may choose -- in the
(regional) conferences, in the publication activities, in the (regional)
undergraduate and high school mathematics programmes, etc.
An immediate concern is the
organisation of the annual RMS conference. After reviewing the
earlier correspondence, we have decided to hold the annual conference at the Reva Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
The conference dates are: June 27-June 30, 2013. Prof. M. S.
Raghunathan, the past President, is organising the academic programme.
Another major concern is the
organisation of a joint meeting of the RMS and American Mathematical
Society, like the one we had in 2003 in Bangalore.
Let us all work together on this major event.
Let me briefly elaborate on the statement on the focus of my presidency, which I sent to you earlier.
The level of mathematics in a
society is a measure of vibrancy of its intellectual culture. Besides
professional mathematicians, many people - physicists, chemists,
engineers, statisticians, lawyers, in recent years biological scientists
and some doctors, people from mathematical finance, ...., have started
applying mathematics in a big way. In my opinion, mathematics is a
science in itself; our "data" or more mental than physical. Moreover it
is not just a "language" of science, but it is also a science of
formulating theories for other sciences.
So RMS, while primarily maintaining
its "latest math research"-focus, should remain open to influences
from other sciences, and also promote mathematics at all levels.
Moreover, RMS should be an advocacy group for the college/university
faculty and students, who mainly constitute our membership. We should
make conscious efforts to develop networking among all of us, and
communicate mathematics to each other at many levels.
Unfortunately, so far our activity has been restricted to one annual
conference. We wish to extend this considerably. We hope to work out
soon a broad outline and start some pilot projects.
In short: We wish to start regional
RMS-chapters. There is a strong opinion that such chapters may be
formed by developing a network of many mathematical societies in India.
But other groups of mathematicians may consider of forming a chapter
too. We have still to flesh out many formal details.
The responsibility of each chapter will be:
i) to organise at least one annual conference for the math community in the region.
ii) to organise the undergraduate math seminar activity for the university/college faculty and students in the colleges in the region.
We fore-see about 8 to 10 "regions"
in India. The leaders in each region will decide on the way they wish
to develop mathematics in the region, with full knowledge of how
mathematics is developing in India and the world, but with little
interference from the "top".
cost for a conference under i) should be considerably lower than the
RMS national annual conference. We expect that the regional organisers
will get partial funding from the institutions in the region. If the
programme works out, RMS will try to get a grant from a national funding
agency of about Rs 1 to 2 lakhs per conference.
The main advantage of regional
chapters will be to increase the network of mathematicians in India, and
provide opportunities to present their researches. This will be
especially beneficial for our junior colleagues. We have all experienced
that in one, annual, four-day national conference there is too much
pressure on "paper-presentation"-sessions, and most people after
attending 4-5 major lectures do not have energy to attend the "paper-presentation"-sessions.
As for ii), we are thinking of instituting student memberships.
us try to concentrate on the sincere and interested undergraduates who
are developing some love for mathematics. Each college has 10/15 such
students. Let us encourage them to start seminar activities in
mathematics, in their colleges and universities. Some colleges may also
and start the activities. The initiative should come from the students themselves. They should start this activity under the guidance of their teachers and the fellow-students doing the post-graduate studies.
(This should be something like, parents arranging a marriage, but kids
thinking that they are entering into a love-marriage!) They should hold
about 10 such seminars every year.
If they need to invite some special speakers, assistance will be
provided by the leaders in the regional chapter as well as by the
national body. We intend to form a national group of able enthusiastic
RMS-members who will be able to act as resource persons for this
activity. RMS will be happy to provide for the travel and some local
hospitality of the resource persons.
largely un-tapped resource, (which I am realising as I am getting
older!), is the pool of senior excellent teachers who have retired from
their colleges and universities. We invite them to contribute to both i)
would like to start this activity in collaboration with the many
regional mathematical societies. On a positive note, I should mention
that the Marathwada Mathematical Society is about to start such an
activity, and RMS will collaborate in the effort.
I fondly remember a poem in praise of "Vidyaa-devi", that is "Goddess of Knowledge" (with a capital "K"):
Vidyaa-devi, strange is thy treasure. A thief cannot steal it, a state
cannot tax it, brethren cannot divide it, and it is so light to carry!
The more one spends it, the more it increases!!"
Let us all remember that mathematics is the top-most,
communicable, part of this Vidyaa!! Let us develop a network in the
mathematical community starting from the undergraduates, and spread the
message of mathematics!
Do let me know your suggestions regarding the idea of regional RMS-chapters.
With best regards,
From the Secretary (RMS):Dear Members
The following have been declared elected by the Returning
Officer to the posts as mentioned below:
President: Prof. Ravi S. Kulkarni, Department of Mathematics, IIT
S. Kumaresan, Head, Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics, University of
K. Srinivasa Rao, Senior Professor (Retd.), The Institute of Mathematical
Mahua Dutta, ISI, Kolkata
The following were elected unopposed:
- For Vice-President: Prof. Dinesh Singh, Vice- Chancellor, Delhi
- For Secretary:
Prof. Jugal Kishore Verma, Dept. of Mathematics, IIT, Bombay
- For Academic Secretary: Prof. Gadadhar Mishra, Indian Statistical
- For Editor-in-Chief: Prof. R. Parimala, School of Mathematics,
- For Treasurer:
Prof. K. Srinivas, IMSE, Chennai
Let me share with you this glad news. Elsevier has opened access to all available archived articles, back to Volume 1,
Issue 1 (or the first issue available) of each of the primary
mathematics journals from 4 years after publication to the 1st issue,
which means back to early 1960s for several titles.
European Journal of Combinatorics,
Discrete Applied Mathematics,
Journal of Combinatorial Theory,
Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series A
Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series B
and many others.
Hundreds of thousands of classical articles are available free of cost.
Thanks to Elsevier for this great helping hand.
Enjoy using them.
Fr Joseph Varghese