Vatsyayan received her M.A. from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. from the Banaras Hindu University. She is the author of many books including The Square and the Circle of Indian Arts, Bharata: The Natya Sastra, and Matralaksanam. She was the founder-director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (Indira Kalakendra) in Delhi. She has also served as secretary to the government of India and the Ministry of Education, department of Arts and Culture, in which she was responsible for the establishment of many institutions of higher education in India.
She served briefly as a member of the Rajya Sabha in March 2006, and was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2007 for a term expiring in February 2012. She is the sister of poet and critic Keshav Malik.
In 1970 Vatsyayan received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. In 1998, she received the "Outstanding Contribution to Dance Research" award, given by Congress on Research in Dance (CORD). In 2011, she was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India, and Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award (2000)
- ^ a b Bouton, Marshall & Oldenburg, Philip, Eds. (2003). India Briefing: A Transformative Fifty Years, p. 312. Delhi: Aakar Publications.
- ^ "Padma Awards Announced" (Press release). Ministry of Home Affairs. 25 January 2011. http://www.pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=69364. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- ^ "Secularism under assault, says Sonia". The Hindu. August 21, 2001. http://www.hindu.com/2001/08/21/stories/02210006.htm.
- Interview on formative influences
- Interview on Australian radio
- Resignation from Rajya Sabha news item
- "Swaminathan, Vatsyayan nominated to Rajya Sabha", The Hindu, Apr. 11, 2007
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