This Festschrift dedicated to the 60th birth anniversary of Prof. Sandip K. Chakrabarti, a well-known Indian astrophysicist, presents a collection of contributions by about fifty scientists who work on diverse topics in contemporary astrophysics and space science including new and low-cost balloon borne experiments, planetary science, astrochemistry and the origin of life, ionospheric research and earthquake predictions, relativistic astrophysics around black holes, and finally, the observational signatures and radiative properties of compact objects. All the authors are well known scholars in their respective subject and are all PhD students of Prof. Sandip K. Chakrabarti. The book demonstrates a two-dimensional evolution of research areas triggered by Sandip Chakrabarti over the past few decades. The first dimension represents the evolution and diversification of Chakrabarti’s own research in which new students were trained. A second dimension arises from the evolution of the research topics pursued by Chakrabarti’s fifty odd doctoral students, many of whom have become renowned scientists in their own right, after starting with a certain subject under Chakrabarti and then migrating to completely new subjects with dexterity. The editors have compiled and edited the articles appropriately to some extent to suit the spirit of this Festschrift on the one hand and to keep balance in diverse topics on the other. Thus this volume also provides an overview for whosoever wishes to enter the important subjects of compact objects, astrochemistry, ionospheric science or space exploration in near space. New graduates, PhD scholars, teachers and researchers will benefit from this volume. Moreover it is a record of tremendous success of a school in a range of vast topics.