The Public Outreach and Education Committee was constituted by the Astronomical Society in 2014, during the annual meeting that was held at IISER Mohali. The current POEC has 9 POEC committee members and 13 POEC Associates representing a diversity of experience and backgrounds. The POEC is currently chaired by Dibyendu Nandi.

POEC Committee

  • Dibyendu Nandi (Chairperson)
    Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata

    Dibyendu Nandi is a faculty at Dept. of Physics, IISER Kolkata and heads the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI). He did his Ph.D. in Solar Physics from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru.

  • Virendra Yadav (Co-Chair)
    Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital

    Virendra is working as Scientist-B at ARIES, Nainital and has been taking care of public outreach activities of the institute since 2020. He did his PhD at Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Navi Mumbai and Post-Doctoral research at IIT Roorkee in the field of Ionospheric Physics. He is interested in Astronomy Outreach and cultivation of Scientific Temper among students and society at large.

  • Chrisphin Karthick M
    Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru

    Dr Chrisphin Karthick is a Scientist and Public Outreach Chairman at Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru. He did his PhD on extragalactic studies through ARIES, Nainital. He has experience in teaching in physics and astronomy. He is interested in Astronomy Education and Outreach, Celestial Mechanics and STEAM concept of research in Astronomy.

  • Harvinder Kaur Jassal
    Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali

    Currently working as a faculty member at IISER Mohali, Harvinder Kaur Jassal has been involved in teaching Astronomy and Astrophysics at undergraduate as well as post graduate level. She has also given several talks at schools and to general audiences.

  • Jayant Ganguly
    Regional Science Centre & Planetarium (NCSM), Calicut

    Jayant is affiliated for the past 25 years to RSCPC and works for Astronomy & Science Outreach involving but not limited to conceptualization, design and development of planetarium programmes, science exhibitions, galleries, hobby courses, short term courses, books, Olympiad activities and projects. He is the officer-in-charge of RSC Astronomy Club and Innovation Hub. Email:

  • Mamta Gulati
    Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala.

    Mamta Gulati is currently working as a faculty member at School of Mathematics, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala. Her research interests are Galactic dynamics, Gravitational dynamics, Magnetohydrodynamics and Dynamo theory. She is actively involved in outreach activities in and around Patiala region as the faculty mentor of Thapar Amateur Astronomers Society, TIET Patiala since 2017.

  • Pritesh Ranadive
    Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE-TIFR)

  • Surhud More
    Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune

    Surhud More is a faculty at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune.

  • T. V. Venkateswaran
    Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi

    He is a science writer, chief-editor of India Science Wire, hosts a weekly TV science conversation show ‘Eureka’ in Rajya Sabha TV, produced a number of television and radio shows on science, authored more than 40 popular science books in Tamil and English and works with Vigyan Prasar, DST, New Delhi. Interested in the history of science, in particular the encounter with modern science in colonial India, he is currently studying Chintamani Ragoonathachary, an astronomer who lived around 1860s. Design and development of low cost/no cost astronomy popularisation knowledge products, nurturing astronomy enthusiast clubs are some of his interests.

  • Varuni Prabhakar
    IMSc, Chennai

POEC Associates

  • Aniket Sule
    Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE-TIFR)

    Aniket Sule is a faculty member at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE-TIFR) in Mumbai. He did his Ph.D. in Solar Magnetohydrodynamics from Astrophysical Institute Potsdam. He presently works on astronomy education research, mathematics education research and history of astronomy in India. He looks after Astronomy Olympiad programme in India and is also the President of International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

  • Arvind Paranjpye
    Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai

    Presently director of Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai (from 2011). Worked at Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangaluru (1981), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune (1991). He is interested in promoting astronomy, mainly among amateurs.

  • Niruj Mohan Ramanujam (Chairperson, Dec 2016 - Apr 2018)
    Formerly at National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, TIFR, Pune

    Niruj is a radio astronomer by training, has previously worked at NCRA, Pune and is currently at SARAO, South Africa. His research interests are radio interferometry algorithms and pipelines, and is interested in designing large scale EPO campaigns. He was a co-recipient of the first Zubin Kembhavi Award for Astronomy Outreach. He is the chairperson of the Outreach Committee of the African Astronomical Society.

  • Samir Dhurde (Secretary, 2014-2018)
    Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune

    Samir Dhurde is in-charge of the popular outreach programme - SciPOP , at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, India. He believes that very simple methods can be used to make Science learning fun and to take scientific fervour to everyone. Trained as a Radio Astronomer, he loves to travel across his vast and beautiful country to work with children, share Astronomy with the people and inspire amateur astronomers to contribute to Science. Over the last decade he has been in many EPO advisory groups such as the ASI-POEC, TMT-WEPOC, LIGO-India, ISRO-TOT, IAU-NOC etc. putting in efforts to design large-scale educational programmes and resources in India and abroad.

  • B. S. Shylaja
    Former Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bengaluru

    Shylaja is an astrophysicist with research interests in hot binary stars, comets, novae and history of astronomy. She has authored close to 30 books/booklets and over 300 popular articles in English and Kannada.

  • Prof. Manzoor Malik
    Kashmir University, Srinagar

  • Mr. Sudarshan R
    NIAS, Bengaluru

  • Dr. Sushan Konar

Past members

  • Rathnasree Nandivada (Chairperson, Mar 2014 - Nov 2016)
    Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi

    Currently working as the Director, Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, her concerns have been towards creating a learning environment for school/college students with an Astronomy interest. During an earlier phase as an Astronomy researcher, her interests were in the areas of stellar evolution and Radio pulsars, and her current research is in the area of the history of astronomy.

  • Sarita Vig
    IIST, Thiruvanathapuram

    Sarita Vig is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Space science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram. She completed her PhD in the area of Galactic star formation from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. Thereafter, she did her post-doctoral fellowship in Italy and then spent a year at IIT-Madras before joining IIST. Her research interests include early phases in massive star formation, interstellar medium, Galactic structure, Globular clusters, application of machine learning algorithms in astronomy, and laboratory experiments with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). She has been teaching Astronomy and Astrophysics courses to undergraduate and post-graduate students. She is a member of Astrosat-Training and Outreach Team (TOT) as part of her interest in education and public outreach. She is involved with the Astronomy Olympiad program for past few years and likes to talk to school and college students about the natural wonders of the sky.

  • Priya Hasan
    Asst Prof, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad.

    Her research interests are observational astronomy, star formation, star clusters and galaxies. She is actively involved in olympiads, public outreach and science popularization programs for children and adults as well as Astronomy Education at the UG, PG level.

  • Arnab Bhattacharya
    Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai

    Arnab is a scientist and science communicator at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai..He pioneered “Chai and Why?” Mumbai’s bi-monthly science café and is presently the chair of Science Popularization and Public Outreach at TIFR. While his core research is in semiconductor materials, Arnab is keenly interested in astronomy and promoting amateur astronomy.

  • Hum Chand
    PhD from IUCAA (2001-2006), Post-doc (2006-2008) from IAP-Paris (IAU PGF fellow).

    Work as a Scientist at ARIES (2008-2019) and presently (2019-present) working as Professor and Dean Physical Sciences at the Central University of Himachal Pradesh. Work on all aspects of extragalactic astronomy especially AGN spectroscopy. During my tenure at ARIES, setup science centre, 5m-planetarium and run many astronomy outreach activities, as outreach in charge.

  • Manoneeta Chakraborty
    Indian Institute of Technology Indore (IIT Indore), Indore

    Manoneeta Chakraborty is a faculty member at the only dedicated astronomy department among all IITs - Department of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Engineering (DAASE) at IIT Indore. Apart from pursuing research on neutron stars and black holes, she is also the outreach coordinator of the DAASE. Along with a bunch of enthusiastic students, she is regularly involved in planning and organizing various astronomy outreach activities in Indore and other nearby regions in Central India. She also contributed actively towards the development and the conduction of the MSc in Astronomy program at IIT Indore.

  • Mr. Dorje Angchuk
    IIA, Hanle

  • Joe Jacob
    Newman College, Thodupuzha

    Joe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics of Newman College, Thodupuzha, affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala. His research interests are in the fields of radio emissions from galaxies and galaxy clusters, galaxy super-clusters and microwave.

  • Biman Nath
    Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru

    Biman is an astrophysicist at the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore. He writes popular astronomy articles in English and Bengali for newspapers and has also authored astronomy books in English and Bengali aimed at school students.

  • Ranjeev Misra
    Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune

    Ranjeev is a faculty at IUCAA and specializes in the study of systems having black holes or neutron stars. He headed the science popularization division of IUCAA for several years.

  • Mayank Vahia
    Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    Mayank was formerly at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics of TIFR, Mumbai. His interests in Astronomy are high energy astrophysics, satellite instrumentation and history of Astronomy. He was the chair of the TIFR outreach committee for several years and was leading the Indian Astronomy Olympiad programme for two decades. Currently, he is the Dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences at NMIMS, Mumbai.