I work in many different areas of astronomy; naturally not all areas are in an active phase at any given time. My research page will give you a fairly complete picture of all that I have worked on. Looking at the date of publication of the papers will tell which areas I am actively working on. I get an average of two project student applications every day, and I cannot possibly take on everyone who applies. I cannot even respond to everyone who writes to me. You are more likely to get a response from me if you demonstrate interest in some specific aspect of my work; just saying "I have loved astronomy since I was a little child" is not sufficient justification. Also, doing astronomical research is a difficult and intense activity that demands an extremely good background in Physics and Mathematics. So, if you do not fit this description, there is no point in applying.
I believe that 6 weeks full time is the minimum for a research project. Even for bright and motivated students, the preparatory learning takes some weeks. If you have less than 6 weeks available, you can use your time to read up on your own from the many excellent online courses and course materials now available (for free!) at coursera, edX and other sites.
I generally do not encourage such modes because even a long term project ends up being little more than a reading project. The student ends up learning little and this is a big drain on my limited time.
Yes, because my work requires a lot of data analysis. These days I do all my programming in Python, although I do use software written in other languages by other people. Experience in numerical computing or data analysis in Python will be a necessary skill if you want to work with me. If you need to learn Python programming from scratch, or wish to see how it is used in astronomical data analysis, do see my recent course - Astronomical data analysis using Python.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students. High school students are generally better off reading on their own.
NCRA used to pay a small stipend to project students but this has been discontinued since mid 2017. I have no idea if or when this practice will be restarted.
Send me an email with your CV and as much detail as you can provide about yourself to help me make a decision. If you are truly serious about being a member of my research group, I expect that you will have carefully looked through my research page, and even read some of my papers. In general, I will be more inclined to respond positively to a student who has taken the trouble to determine what my research interests are, and a student who has questions other than those of the generic type. I am also more inclined to respond to students who can have a teacher or supervisor recommend them, particularly if the teacher is known to me.
Please write to me at least 3 months in advance of your desired start date.
For absolute beginners, I thoroughly recommend the 41-lecture introductory survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics by Prof. G. Srinivasan. For a more advanced deep dive into various subfields of A&A the ARPIT-2018 course is an excellent and comprehensive introduction to modern astrophysics over 58 modules (including 3 by me) by experts from all over India. This course is very heavy so you may want to pick and choose the topics to cover. To cover the basics of areas that I work on, I have made available a course each on galaxies (21 lectures) and AGN (14 lectures). If you prefer studying from a textbook, I thoroughly recommend Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology by Peter Schneider.
Please send me an email with your question(s) and subject Student FAQ.