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For our tenth issue, we had originally planned to focus on the humanities. However, as this issue goes online, India and the world are engulfed by a one-in-a-century global pandemic. As science will play the key role in humanity’s response to this crisis, it was impossible to exclude COVID-19 from this issue. So we included a speech given by K. VijayRaghavan, who is the principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, professor emeritus and the former director of the National Centre of Biological Sciences, Bangalore. We also have answers from Gautam Menon to a series of questions our readers might have about the pandemic, especially in the Indian context. Menon is a professor of physics and computational biology at Ashoka University and Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai.

Apart from this, we have articles on Emperor Ashoka by Nayanjot Lahiri, about the environment and urban water by Sharachchandra Lele and analytical methods to understanding history by Tarun Khanna.