Mr. S R Arjun, research scholar in the Department of Sanskrit at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) was selected for the Raman-Charpak Scholarship 2014 from CEFIPRA, New Delhi. The fellowship program is in honour of two Nobel Laureates in Physics, Prof C.V. Raman, 1930 Indian Nobel Laureate, and Prof Georges Charpak, 1992 French Nobel Laureate. Arjun got this scholarship under “Mathematical and Computational Sciences” to continue his PhD work on “Analysis and Representation of Navya-Nyāya -Expressions”. Navya-Nyāya is a branch of Indian logic.
He shares his experiences in Paris for UoH Herald.
It was 9.20 in the morning of 3rd March 2015 when I reached the CDG airport, Paris. My Professor Gérard Huet was there at the airport to receive up. I was very excited that I was going to work for next four months with Prof. Gerard, one of the pioneers in Computer Science. I worked in his lab at INRIA-Rocquencourt which is the first place to get internet in France. I was in Paris on Raman-Charpak scholarship, awarded by CEFIRA which encourages the exchange of doctoral students between India and France, in order to broaden the scope and depth of future engagements in science, technology and innovation.
While in Paris, I primarily worked with Prof. Gérard to enhance his tool Sanskrit Heritage Reader. Sanskrit Heritage Reader is a tool which splits Sanskrit compounds. Our main focus was on segmentation of Navya-Nyāya Expressions, which is part of my research.
Prof. Gérard taught me Western Logic, emphasizing the Lambda Calculus. This was an eye-opener for me, a student of Indian Logic to learn Western Logic and observe the connection between Indian and Western Logic. Prof. Gérard also taught me Objective Caml(OCaml). OCaml is a functional Programming language developed by his team at INRIA. Prof. Gérard’s way of teaching is astonishing. It was not “All work, no play” with Prof. Gérard. He introduced me to the beautiful French culture and mouth-watering French cuisine. He was always there to help and motivate me in every stage of my research and stay. I learnt many great things from him. To such a great scholar, I can only say “Bhūyiṣṭhāṃ te nama uktiṃ vidhema” – a quote from īśāvāsyopaniṣat for his care, love and simplicity.
I am thankful to my supervisor Dr. Amba Kulkarni, who suggested that I apply for this scholarship. I could feel her care and support throughout my stay. She is an inspiration to me.
I had interesting exchanges with a lot of people during my stay. I will always cherish those discussions on varied topics such as lifestyle, culture, food, way of living, art, language and so on.
I was lucky to be a volunteer for two major events while in Paris, 1) our Prime Minister’s visit to Paris, and 2) International Yoga day event, both were organised by Indian Embassy, Paris. I was able to make full use of my four months stay- be it attending a lecture in College de France or watching Federer play in French Open or savouring Belgium chocolates in Brussels.
It was an exceptional experience for me. I learnt and enjoyed a lot. I personally feel that Research scholars must take the advantage of this kind of scholarships and visit other academic institutions all over the world to improve their skills and contacts.
I would like to thank CEFIPRA, who awarded this scholarship and my teachers, family, friends and all my well-wishers for their love, care and support.
– S R Arjun, email: firstname.lastname@example.org