Born in March 1976, Smriti Irani is the youngest woman ever to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Representing Gujarat, Irani is also the youngest minister in the Modi government and the first woman to hold office as Minister for Human Resource Development. She has served twice as National Secretary, and been a five-term Member of the BJP National Executive, Vice-President of BJP Maharashtra Youth Wing, BJP Maharashtra State Secretary and National Vice-President. As National President of the BJP Women's Wing, she has successfully pursued Permanent Commission for Women in the Indian Army by facilitating legal aid to women officers. She has also launched 'Saksham', the first-ever vision document released by any political organization in India underlining policies, programmes and implementation tools for the uplift of the differently-abled. At the 126th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union, Irani was unanimously elected Member representing the Asia-Pacific Region to the Task Force responsible for establishing the 1st ever Committee for Young Parliamentarians in the IPU. At the same Assembly, she was also unanimously elected by Member Nations as Rapporteur for the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade.
Smriti Irani has also been associated with and contributed to NGOs such as Cancer Patients' Aid Association and Vatsalya Street Kids Foundation. Having been appointed Goodwill Ambassador to India by USAID for the WHO-ORS programme for three years, Irani established People For Change, in 2007. The NGO has since provided sports scholarships in Nasik, provided borewell facilities to over 35 villages in Maharashtra, collected and distributed relief material during the Mumbai floods in 2007 and provided scholarships for higher education to children from economically-weak background. All these projects have been undertaken with Irani's personal financial contribution.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, a spiritual teacher, and an ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and courses of The Art of Living. In 1997, Gurudev created the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) as a global platform for humanitarian initiatives that solve problems by uplifting human values. Through its country organizations and partners, IAHV conducts service projects and raises funds for humanitarian and disaster relief initiatives throughout the world. Numerous honours have been bestowed upon Gurudev, including the highest civilian awards of Colombia, Mongolia and Paraguay. He has been conferred with 15 honorary doctorates from around the world. He is the Chancellor of Sri Sri University and the Chairman of the Quality Control of India Yoga Certification Committee. In 1982, Gurudev entered a ten-day period of silence in Shimoga located in the Indian state of Karnataka and in that silence, the breathing technique of Sudarshan Kriya was born. Later, this became the centerpiece of the Art of Living courses and healed millions of lives.
Santosh Sivan made his name as a cinematographer but has gone on to work as a film director, producer and actor. A graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India, he has done 45 feature films and 41 documentaries so far. He is a founding member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers and is the most awarded Director of Photography in India. Sivan was also the first cinematographer in the Asia-Pacific region to be honoured with American Society of Cinematographers' membership and has also been lauded by the Japanese Society of Cinematographers. He has won five National Film Awards; four of them for Best Feature Film Cinematography. In 2014, he was awarded the Padma Shri. His critically acclaimed and commercial hits include The Terrorist, Navarasa, Anandabhadram, The Mistress of Spices and Asoka. As a cinematographer, he worked magic in Iruvar, Dil Se and Roja. His film Halo was honoured at the 43rd National Awards as the Best Children's Film. His 2007 release, Prarambha won the National Award for Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film at the 55th National Film Awards.
Commencing his political career as a student union leader, Rajiv Pratap Rudy is a known political face in India. He was inducted as the Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Parliamentary Affairs in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in May 2014. In his earlier tenure, he worked as the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, and was subsequently elevated as Civil Aviation Minister. His tenure saw huge reforms in Indian aviation. Over the last 20 years, he has served several terms both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
Rudy is credited to be the only Parliamentarian in the world to have operated Airbus-320 planes while flying with one of the largest private airlines in India as a Senior First Officer, and has figured in the Limca Book of World Records. He has also been credited with flying a Sukhoi 30-MKI, a fighter aircraft in the Indian Air Force. In addition to his long association with aviation, he has been an academician, a teacher of economics and has done a stint as a Legal Counsel. He represents the Parliamentary constituency of Saran in Bihar. He did his schooling in Patna and studied law at Punjab University in Chandigarh.
Ram Madhav is the National General Secretary of the BJP. He also serves as Director, India Foundation, a strategic studies think-tank and NGO situated in the national capital. Madhav is also engaged in setting up a major university for Buddhist-Indic Studies in India. Formerly, he was member of the National Executive, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). As such, he was the senior functionary, media interface and interlocutor for the intelligentsia for the RSS. He has lectured at prestigious universities like Yale University, New Haven, John's Hopkins University, Washington DC and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He has also addressed and interacted with think-tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the PEW Forum and the American Foreign Policy Council. Madhav has an MA in Political Science from the University of Mysore, and a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Andhra Pradesh. Apart from several columns in journals and newspapers, he has authored 10 books in Telugu, including the biographies of SP Mookerjee and Guru Teg Bahadur.
Farooq Abdullah was elected as the President of National Conference in August 1981.He served as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir many times since 1982. In 2002, he was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha. He was a Cabinet Minister in the UPA government. Abdullah is also the President of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, a state political party that was founded back in 1937. Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir 3 times from 8 September 1982 to 2 July 1984, from 7 November 1986 to 19 January 1990, from 9 October 1996 to 18 October 2002 & Minister of New and Renewable Energy from 31 May 2009 onwards. Abdullah made his debut in politics quite late in his life. Being a social worker by profession, he hadn't tried his hands at politics until August, 1981 when he was appointed as the President of the National Conference party. Despite the fact that the political landscape of Kashmir was very much unknown to him, he secured the top position in the party. Within a year of his father's demise in 1982, his political responsibilities witnessed a major leap as he became the Chief Minister of the state for the first time. He was appointed as the member of the J&K Legislative Assembly for the fifth term, but he stayed in power only for three months from 2008 to 2009. Abdullah was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha for a second term in Feb 2009. In the same year, he was re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha, and was also appointed as the President of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party. On 31 May 2009, he became the Union Cabinet Minister for New and Renewable Energy. Simultaneously, he held his post as the President of the National Conference Party.
Kavitha Kalvakuntla is the MP from Nizamabad constituency in Telangana and represents the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. She was born in Karim Nagar and did her schooling from Stanley Girls High School in Hyderabad. She completed her Engineering from VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering & Technology and went to the US for a Master's degree in Computer Science. She returned to India in 2004, to play an active role in the then-ongoing Telangana statehood movement. Having always been passionate about women's education, empowerment and health, particularly in rural areas, Kavitha adopted a few villages in Nalgonda district in 2006, to provide free education for poor children.
She also realized the importance of having a strong organizational framework for the cultural renaissance of Telangana, and created Telangana Jagruthi in 2008. The NGO now has over 1.5 lakh members and works to preserve the cultural heritage of the region, and -instil in the local people a sense of pride in their culture and rekindle their hopes and aspirations for a better future.
M Mangapati Pallam Raju has played many roles in his life. He worked in the US and Norway, in the field of computers and IT before coming back to India to join politics. He was elected to Parliament in 1989 and was the youngest MP in the 9th Lok Sabha. A successful entrepreneur in the field of Information Technology, he was on the board of quite a few Public Limited Companies until his induction into the Union Cabinet. As the Union Minister for Human Resource Development from 2012 to 2014, he put emphasis on strengthening teacher training and providing all amenities in schools in the true spirit of the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. He also sought to strengthen vocational training across the spectrum, to improve academia-industry linkages for research and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions, IITs and universities, and advocated leveraging on ICT and Emerging Technologies for strengthening India's overall education system. International linkages in higher education and research were given priority during his tenure. The Second Sanskrit Commission was constituted, after a gap of several decades, under his watch. Raju is an Electronics & Communications Engineering graduate from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, and has an MBA degree from Temple University, Philadelphia.
Poonam Mahajan is a Member of Parliament from Mumbai's North Central constituency. Striking a sound balance between a blooming political career, her work with NGOs and taking care of a young family, she epitomizes the progressive Indian woman of the 21st century. She joined the BJP on October 30, 2006, and held the post of General Secretary of the Maharashtra unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha before being appointed National Vice-President of the Morcha in August 2010. She went on to become one of the youngest national secretaries of the BJP in 2013. Mahajan's mantra is 'politician-public partnership' and she intends to use this going forward in every project she undertakes. Her core areas of focus are infrastructure, sanitation, women's safety and protection of the environment.
MV Rajeev Gowda has been active in politics since 2000. Before that, he taught Economics and Social Sciences at IIM-Bangalore, where he was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Public Policy. At IIM-B, Gowda also designed and led the India-Women in Leadership programme to train women politicians. He was invited by Sonia Gandhi to participate in the Vichar Manthan Shivir in 2003, and was included in the team of 24 young leaders to work with Rahul Gandhi when he entered politics in 2004. Gowda launched the Congress' youth-focused campaign in Guwahati in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, and has been providing inputs for training the Youth Congress and NSUI ever since. In 2013, he was appointed AICC National Spokesperson and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka the following year. Gowda, who has a PhD in Public Policy & Management from Wharton Business School and was a Political Science Professor at the University of Oklahoma, leads 'Bengaluru Needs You' , a citizen's movement that involves and empowers people to engage with civic authorities and bring positive transformation in the city.
Ritabrata Banerjee, full-time political and social activist and General Secretary of the SFI, was made a member of the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal by the CPI (M) in 2014. In 2010, Banerjee participated in the World Festival of Youth and Students in South Africa. In 2011, he was part of a youth exchange programme delegation of the Government of India to China. In 2012, Banerjee participated in the National Conference of Bangladesh Chhatra Moitree, in Bangladesh. He also participated in the World Festival of Youth and Students in 2013, in Ecuador. A political and social worker of the CPI(M), Banerjee holds an MA in English. He was educated at South Point High School, Asutosh College and University of Calcutta, Kolkata. After Mamata Banerjee became chief minister of West Bengal and was elected to the State Assembly from Bhabanipur, her old Kolkata Dakshin (Lok Sabha constituency) seat was left vacant. Banerjee contested the by-election in November 2011, but was beaten by Subrata Bakshi of All-India Trinamool Congress by 2,30,099 votes. In January 2014, he was declared a candidate for the Rajya Sabha.
P Rajeev started his public life as an organiser of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) and later became President and then Secretary of SFI's Kerala State Committee. He became a member of the Rajya Sabha in April 2009. During his tenure as MP, Rajeev launched many innovative initiatives in the healthcare and education sector and used much of his MPLAD (MP's local area development) fund for this. His initiatives made MRI scans at Ernakulam General Hospital and dialysis at Aluva General Hospital much more affordable for the general public, while his 'Reach' programme ensured better transport facilities in schools. Rajeev has received many awards, including the Chief Minister's Award for Innovation in Public Policy, for his trend-setting work. Rajeev graduated in Economics from Kalamassery and has an LL.B. degree from the Government Law College in Ernakulam. He was a practicing lawyer at the High Court of Kerala before taking on full time political and organizational responsibilities.
A graduate in politics and economics from St Xavier's College, Mumbai, Praniti Shinde did her LL.B. from Government Law College in the same city. In her second year, she travelled to Solapur to start Jai-Jui, a non-profit organisation that works with youth and women from all strata to create livelihood options and facilitate entrepreneurship. The organisation, which was established in 2004, also started a BPO for the locals. In 2009, Shinde contested, and won, the elections for the Legislative Assembly from Solapur. She contested again in 2014 and emerged victorious yet again. Since coming to power, Shinde has set up a UPSC & MPSC study centre for the youth, constructed 24-hour, clean water ATMs and conducted job fairs that provide employment to over 3,000 people. Providing alternative employment is an area of interest for her and the 10 stitching units in her constituency serve that purpose. She is an AICC media panelist and is often seen participating in national television debates.
Anand A Samuel serves as the vice-chancellor of VIT. He is the recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award from the Quality Circle Forum of India. He has published more than 90 research papers in journals and conferences and has written the book Total Quality Management. Samuel has completed five funded research projects and organised more than 20 faculty development programmes. He has also conducted more than 100 training programmes for working professionals on various leadership topics. After completing his mechanical engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras, he went on to do his MS from IIT, Madras and later earned his Phd degree from Anna University.
Anirban Ganguly is the director of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi, where he works as a scholar of civilisation, history, politics and culture. He is a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), Ministry of Human Resource Development, the National Policy Research Department and Library & Documentation Department of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He did his early education from the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry and spent two decades at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. He successfully defended his thesis from Jadavpur University on The National Education Movement in India and its effort at creating an Indian narrative of education. From 2011 to 2013, he was a research fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi. Ganguly has authored and edited Redefining Governance: Essays on 1 year of Narendra Modi Government (2015), Debating Culture (2013), Swami Vivekananda: Buddha & Buddhism: a Mystic Link (2014), Education: Philosophy & Practice (2011).
Debashis Chatterjee has founded the Center for Leadership and Human Values at IIM Lucknow. Chatterjee was a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard University and MIT. He was recently a visiting Fulbright Professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He has been invited as a speaker in universities and institutions in six continents including the Said School of Business, Oxford University and University of McMaster in Canada and University of Natal in South Africa. He also taught MBA programs at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota and at the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Chatterjee has given India's premiere institution, IIM a socially sensitive, gender-friendly and innovative face. He has personally trained more than eleven thousand K-12 school teachers from underprivileged areas.
Dhruv Galgotia has done his schooling from St. Coloumbas and MBA from IMI, New Delhi. He joined the Galgotias publishing and retail division at a very young age. He later joined Galgotias University as the CEO to realise his vision of making it one of the best universities in India. He works on key areas of the universities such as technology, academic processes and innovation. He has worked with students closely on several projects such as mobile and computer applications and vehicles like the ATV, Moonbuggy, F1 cars and Efficycle, most of which have won awards. He is making full use of advances in technology and is setting up student-friendly systems, which help in enhancing dissemination of knowledge and developing skills. He is a national-level swimmer and has won over 150 medals and certificates in the sport.
Dinesh Singh has served as the vice chancellor of the University of Delhi between 2010 and 2015, before which he served as the director of South Campus, University of Delhi. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Union Cabinet, Govt. of India and an adjunct professor of mathematics at the University of Houston, USA. Singh has pioneered several ideas, especially in the field of including technology in education. Singh has delivered numerous lectures on education, policy towards economic growth and mathematics. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014 and conferred honorary doctorates for his work as a mathematician by the University of Edinburgh, the National University of Ireland, Cork; the University of Houston, USA; and the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degree in Mathematics from St. Stephens College and obtained his PhD from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, England.
During his illustrious professional career spanning more than 30 years, Dhirendra Pal Singh has made outstanding contributions to the higher education in India. He has served as the vice-chancellor of three universities: Banaras Hindu University Varanasi, Dr. Hari Singh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar and Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore. In all these universities, he has made distinct contributions in teaching and research and has been instrumental in developing a conducive learning environment, enhancing academic and administrative efficiency, institution building, promoting research, encouraging international collaborations, developing eco-friendly campuses, strengthening student support system, inculcating human values and professional ethics and promoting value-based conduct and governance. After serving these universities, Singh joined National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bengaluru as director in August 2015. He has contributed substantially in the fields of environmental science, vocational and value education.
At an age when most people are still trying to find their feet, unsure of what they want from life and career, DR Lakshmi became the first woman to receive a PhD in Geo-Physics from Osmania University. The year was 1965 and the topic was 'Earth Tides'. She was 24. A year later, she began working at the National Physical Laboratory of CSIR at New Delhi as a post-doctoral fellow and produced original research work on the subject of Ionosphere-Magnetosphere Interactions, a fairly new field. Since then, Lakshmi has been the driving force behind numerous studies that have improved not only Indian space strength but also our defence services. As the head of the radio communications group of NPL, she has conducted a number of workshops on HF/VHF/Microwave communications to benefit the three wings of the Defence services, Border Security Force, overseas communication services and Police Wireless Service. Lakshmi has been involved in the preliminary evaluation of HF-RADAR services for the Indian Navy. She was also responsible for improving Space Warning Services for the International Union of Radio Sciences to predict and issue daily forecasts of solar and geo-magnetic events that can jeopardize satellites and satellite-based services. She is now a member of the research advisory committee at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Mumbai.
For G Joseph Antonysamy, Principal, Loyola College, the biggest purpose of education is to empower the powerless. He holds an MPhil in the History of Jesuits in the Madras Region. His Phd was titled 'The Women of Tamil Nadu—As Gleaned through the Missionary Records'. He has an overall teaching experience of over 20 years. He is also the director of Jesuit Madurai Province Archives, Kodaikanal. He has published articles in six books and has participated and presented papers in several national and international conferences. Some of the issues that his papers have discussed are the ethics and value foundations of quality education and the impact and role of christianity in the life of Tamil women. In 1988, he was awarded the Shanmugam Memorial Gold Medal for History. In 2013, the governor of Tamil Nadu, K Rosiah presented the best teacher award to him and in 2014, the Indo-Russian International Art and Science Association honoured him with the Maxim Gorky Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bureaucrat, writer, thinker, researcher, innovator and practitioner, Jayanti Ravi serves as the Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Rural Development in Gujarat. In the past, she has worked as the Commissioner of Schools, Commissioner for Higher and Technical Education and the Chairperson of the State Board of Secondary Education. She has a masters' degree in Nuclear Physics, MPA from Harvard University & a PhD in Technology Enhanced Education from MS University, Baroda. Her book on transforming higher education envisioned the development of a multiversity model. She is credited with initiating many transformational changes in the education, labour and rural development sectors. As Principal Secretary and Commissioner, Rural Development, she is contributing to the design and implementation of the new paradigm of integrated, demand-based, information-based rural development in Gujarat.
In 1989, K Vaidiyanathan launched a syndicate news service in English called Newscribe, which was subscribed by 24 newspapers in 10 languages. Among those newspapers were The Tribune, Lokmat Times, The Aaj, Punjab Kesari, Janma Bhoomi (Gujarati), Nagpur Times, Pudhari (Marati ), Dharithri (Oriya), Tuglak Tamil Weekly and Samyukta Karnataka. During his 18-year long tenure with the company, Vaidiyanathan had the opportunity to interview and interact with several national and regional political leaders in India. Besides, politics, sports, music and cinema found a place in his area of journalistic interests. In 2007, he took over the editorship of the Dinamani Tamil daily, which has a long history in upholding nationalism and Tamil values. Dinamani was launched on the 13th death anniversary of Mahakavi Bharathiyar in 1934 with an ideal to uphold the values held by the great poet and to support the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. After Vaidiyanathan's asociation with Dinamani, the newspaper has reinvented itself as the torch bearer of culture and nationalism.
Dalit scholar Kancha Ilaiah is the director of the Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad. His books include Why I am not a Hindu; Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan; Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution; God As Political Philosopher: Budha's challenge to Brahminism; Democracy in India: A Hollow Shell; The State and Repressive Culture, and Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism. He has been a recipient of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Award and was a Nehru Fellow between 1994 and 1997. Ilaiah's family belonged to the sheep-grazing Kuruma Golla caste. He cited his mother as influential in shaping his political ideas. According to him, she was at the forefront of the Kurumas' struggle against the forest guards' discriminatory behaviour, and was killed during a violent confrontation while protesting against the brutality of the police forces.
Lalitha Balakrishnan is an educational administrator with over two decades of experience in teaching, especially in the areas of management and commerce. She is passionate about research and has been written articles for several national and international journals. She has authoured three books on human resource management. Brilliant in academics, she has bagged university ranks and gold medals in both her BCom and MCom examinations. She is an alumnus of the Innovating for Excellence Program at IIM-Ahmedabad. Balakrishnan has been invited by the US Department of State under the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program. This academic has held several leadership positions in her career and has groomed leaders through the conduct of management development programs for managers in various MNCs. She has been on the jury of Madras Management Association, which selects outstanding performers across sectors. Currently, she is on the Education Panel, Sub-committee of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and a member of the Academic Council. She is also on the Board of Studies in the University of Madras.
Lata Shenava serves as the coordinator of Vivek, an organisation of vibrant and dynamic individuals committed to working towards the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals, families and communities based on the principles of integrated lifestyles, cultural rootedness and environmental harmony. Here, research-based, practically-applicable skills and techniques help students gain significant insights on themselves and others towards making a positive future. Shenava holds a doctoral degree in 'Role of families in the promotion of child mental health'. She has been working in the field of special education for the last 28 years and in medical social work for the last 20 years. She was awarded the Fulbright Junior Research Fellowship affiliated to the Centre for Play Therapy, University of North Texas, Denton, USA (2005-2006). Her areas of specialisation were play and filial therapy and the use of expressive methodologies. Some of her publications include Unstructured Play and Child Mental Health: The Primordial Connection; Play: Experiential Methodologies in Developmental and Therapeutic Settings; and The Cartesian Legacy: Dealing with the Medicalisation Challenge.
M Venkataramanan serves as the principal and head at the Department of Economics and Business Economics, Dwaraka Doss Goverdhan Doss Vaishnav College, Chennai. Some of the issues that he continuously works towards are the importance of new teaching methods, representation of village communities in institutions and improvement of communication and writing skills of the students. He discusses these topics through seminars and workshops. Venkataramanan, who holds an MA and Phd in economics, has been honoured with the Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme Shield for the year 2014-2015 from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. This was presented by the Hon'ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He was also awarded 'Ambassador for Peace' by Universal Peace Federation in 2015 and 'Best Teacher' from the India 2020 Fest organised by India 2020 students' team in 2015. He received the Humanitarian Service Award in 2013.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Director of the Centre's Indic Studies project. Kishwar's areas of work include 'Indic Studies project', which promotes a people-centric study of diverse cultures and faith traditions in the Indic universe; 'Laws, Liberty and Livelihoods', aimed at evolving a pro-poor agenda of economic reforms in India and strengthening the culture of 'Gender Justice' through a culturally-sensitive approach to strengthening women's rights by remaining tuned to the context in which women of diverse communities, regions, castes, and class groups are situated. She is also the founder of Manushi-A Journal about Women and Society and Manushi Sangathan, an organization working for democratic reforms that promote greater social justice. Some of her published books include are Modi Muslims and Media: Voices from Narendra Modi's Gujarat; Zealous Reformers, Deadly Laws: Battling Stereotypes; Deepening Democracy: Challenges of Governance and Globalization in India; Off the Beaten Track: Rethinking Gender Justice for Indian Women. She has made 13 programmes titled Kisse Kanoon Ke for Doordarshan highlighting the need for better women's rights.
A professor and author involved in studying the Indian economic, social, business and management systems from the native perspectives, P Kanagasabapathi is known for his pioneering field studies in different parts of the country. His works present the functioning Indian systems that sustain our economy and society. He writes in Tamil and English. His book Indian Economic, Business and Management Models is used as a textbook in the premiere institutions of the country such as the Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and Amrita University, Coimbatore. He was earlier the Director of the Tamil Nadu Institute of Urban Studies, a state level urban management institute promoted by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu. He has also contributed to the innovative course entitled 'Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India', which was introduced for class XII students of the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. One of his other books, Prosperous India, is being serialised in Hindi and Gujarati. His initiatives include introducing courses based on India-centric approaches. He is presently Professor, School of Management and Adjunct Professor, School of Law at the SASTRA University, Thanjavur.
Prabir K Bagchi has an extensive milieu both from the industry and academia in developing and developed economies. For over 15 years, he has worked in the senior management of two reputed multinational firms: Philips Electronics in India and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in the US. As a Senior Associate Dean of the School of Business, George Washington University, he led a faculty size of over 125 full-time faculty members and more than 175 full-time equivalents spread over nine academic departments and 11 research centres and institutes. He managed a revenue base of about $88 million and annual expenditure in excess of $44 million. He was Visiting Professor at Cranfield School of Management, the University of Turin, Italy and the Norwegian School of Management, a Fulbright Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, a distinguished Fellow at the University of Sydney, Australia, and the Otto Monsted Chair at the Copenhagen Business School.
R Ravichander heads business development for the southern region across the corporate and retail functions of the bank and represents the office of MD and CEO. He is also responsible for managing relationships with the state government and other industry bodies for various initiatives and dons the ambassadorial role for the bank in the south. Ravichander brings with him over 15 years of experience in business development. Prior to Yes Bank, he was the Vice President for Business Development in the South at Rabo India Finance. Prior to that, he was with Bank of America, where he was responsible for Corporate Banking, Corporate Payments, Corporate Depository Business, Cash Management, NRI business and Traveller's Cheques Business. Ravichander holds a Masters Degree in Business Management and is a graduate in Law. He is also the recipient of the prestigious CEO's Golden Pin Award at Yes Bank for outstanding contribution to Institutional growth, having been with the bank since its inception.
Rajat Datta is a professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where he was chairperson from 2013 to 2015. The main areas of his research, publication and teaching are economic history of early modern India; 18th century in Indian history; comparative trajectories of early modern economic development in an Asian perspective; and the nature of globalisation in the early modern world with special reference to India in the world economy. Apart from numerous articles published in journals and edited collections, he is the author of two books and one edited volume on rethinking Indian history from the eighth to the eighteenth centuries. He has been a Commonwealth Scholar to the UK, a Smuts Visiting Fellow to Cambridge University, and British Academy Visiting Fellow to the UK. He is an editor of the Medieval History Journal, published by SAGE simultaneously from New Delhi, London and New York, and is on the editorial board of the Worlds of the East India Company, a series of monographs published by Boydell and Brewer from Suffolk, UK and Rochester, New York.
Rangaswamy Elango belongs to Kuthambakkam, a village 35 kms away from Chennai. As a child, Elango observed drunk men beating up their women in his village. Petty quarrels would often turn into violent clashes. When Elango became a chemical engineer, he started using his salary to rebuild the village community by forming and managing social communities for the youth, women and farmers, in order to address their concerns and enable them to stand up for their rights. By 1994, he was working full-time in the village. He prepared a five-year plan encompassing total development. In his second term, the village became self-reliant in many basic needs. The Panchayat had revitalised the people group like SHGs, farmers and youth. The village is now working towards hunger-free status. Elango founded the Trust for Village Self-Governance (TVSG) in 2001 to mobilise further support to the Panchayat as well as people. The activities further galvanised and he is in the process of networking various Panchayats in Tamil Nadu and also in other parts of India. This programme is called “Panchayat Academy”. He is now concentrating on establishing a village based 'Network Growth Economy' model.
She could have listened to her parents and took up a 9 to 5 job at the Bank of Maharashtra-it carried the guarantee of a stable life-but, Rohini Godbole chose not to. She went on to win a coveted government scholarship to study physics, did her Masters at IIT, Bombay and her PhD at Stony Brook University in New York. In 1991, she discovered a way to describe the complex interplay of high-energy particles in linear colliders with German physicist Manuel Drees. From the mid 20th century, Standard Model, a theoretical construct, has described the fundamental workings of matter but it is by no means complete. With other particle physicists, she has worked on an extension of this model called super symmetry-SUSY for short-and authored a graduate-level textbook on the subject. Godbole has worked extensively on the structure of proton, photon and nucleus. The second focal point of her research has been theoretical models for production of new particles and devising search strategies for the same at high energy colliders. Godbole is also one of the 16 members of the International Detector Advisory Group for the proposed International Linear Collider. She is an elected fellow of all three academies of science in India, where only 20 per cent of working scientists and under 10 per cent of professors are women.
Apart from being the Dean (Planning & Development) at SASTRA University, S Vaidhyasubramaniam is also the Indian Overseas Bank Chair Professor of Management. He is responsible for various international and industry-institute collaborations. He also teaches a management course every term for the B-school and B.Tech. Programme. He oversees the choice-based credit system and the accelerated course registration system. Prior to this, Vaidhyasubramaniam was with various MNCs such as Johnson & Johnson, Siemens and Meralco, Philippines. Development agencies like UN-HABITAT, Asian Development Bank and LKY School of Public Policy, NUS, Singapore recognised him as a valuable resource. He also won the Young Managers Competition conducted by the Madras Management Association in 1996. Vaidhyasubramaniam did the comparative study on the growth of management education in the US and India using organisation decision-making models for the Journal of the Academy of Business & Public Policy. He was placed in the dean's merit list during MBA study at Asian Institute of Management and was awarded distinction grade with high commendations for his management research report titled 'Strategic Plan for Meralco in a De-regulated Environment'.
S Vaitheeswaran is the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer at Manipal Global Education Services Private Limited (MaGE). In this current role, he builds medical schools and multi-disciplinary universities that the company runs in Antigua, Dubai, Nepal and Malaysia. In India, he steers the largest training initiative in the banking domain, conducts skill testing and assessment through MeritTrac and nurtures skill development through a JV company. Vaithee has more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing, supply chain management, operations, and global marketing. He has spent a long time in the Automotive Industry and held positions of Director-Sales & Marketing and COO, Eicher International. In his last assignment, before he joined the Manipal Group, he worked with Infosys. Here, he led the Hi-Tech and Manufacturing Vertical for their BPO Unit. Vaithee holds a post graduate diploma in Materials Management from the Institute of Materials Management and an Engineering degree from the University of Madras.
Sanjay Dhande is an innovative technologist, an acclaimed academician, an eminent researcher, a visionary institution builder and an able administrator, whose contributions are acknowledged not only in India but also in many other countries. Under his captainship, IIT Kanpur got recognised as a technical institution of excellence for providing an international level education and research in science and technology. Dhande received his BE degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pune and his doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur with an outstanding academic record. After completing his academic work in the US, he returned to India for building a new vision of computer based engineering. AUTOLAY, an innovative CAD technology, developed for Aeronautical Development Agency by him is being used extensively by the leading aircraft manufacturers of the world. He is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Maharashtra Academy of Sciences, Institution of Engineers and Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. He has also been awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) by the Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun in recognition for his contributions in the fields of technical education and engineering research and technology. Dhande has authoured the books Kinematics and Geometry of Planar and Spatial Cam Mechanisms and Computer Aided Design and Manufacture.
Sanjeev Sanyal is an economist, urban theorist and best-selling authour and was named Young Global Leader 2010 by the World Economic Forum. He is one of the world's leading financial sector economists and was Deutsche Bank's global strategist and a managing director till October 2015. In 2007, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban dynamics and was also honoured by the Singapore government at the World Cities Summit 2014. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore and a Senior Fellow of the World Wide Fund for Nature. In addition, he has advised several national and international bodies such as the United Nations Environment Programme. Sanyal attended Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi. He was a Rhodes Scholar (1992-95) and Oxford University. His best-selling books include Land of the Seven Rivers, The Indian Renaissance and The Incredible History of India's Geography. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London.
Born and brought up in a slum in Madipakkam in Chennai, Sarathbabu Elumalai is aware of the adversities that come along with poverty. Today, he cites his mother as the most successful entrepreneur, because she juggled multiple jobs to raise her kids, he calls her his idol and the person responsible for his success. He completed his matriculation from King's Matriculation Higher Secondaryschool in Chennai and graduated in Chemical Engineering from BITS Pilani. He worked in Polaris Software for three years and pursued his MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad. It was post his MBA, that he started the Food King catering service in 2006. Elumalai's vision was to offer employment to the illiterate and the semi-illiterate. One of his biggest achievements is becoming an Honorary Rotarian. He won the CNN-IBN Award for Young Indian Leader in 2011 and was named the Pepsi-MTV youth icon in 2008. In 2010, he started the 'Hunger Free India' foundation, an initiative to free India of hunger in 20 years. In the 2011 Tamil Nadu assembly elections, Elumalai contested as an Independent candidate from Velachery. He lost. But, he hopes to join the system soon.
Shankkar Aiyar is a prominent Indian journalist, analyst and author. His path-breaking book Accidental India: A History of the Nation's Passage through Crisis and Change has fetched him national acclaim as a public intellectual. The book establishes that India's transformation is not the result of foresight but the serendipitous consequences of major crises that has to be resolved at any cost. Aiyar specialises in the interface of economics and politics. He has authoured a study on India's Socio-Economic Fault Lines, his investigation on 25 years of political corruption, Smoking Guns, is part of an anthology on Indian journalism. He has been a Wolfson Chevening Fellow at Cambridge University where he studied the lifecycles of emerging economies. A columnist, empanelled expert on television, Aiyar is invited to decode India's political economy for audiences at home and abroad. Aiyar is currently working on demography, emigration and implications for the next economy. He prefers reading non-fiction, both classics and contemporary. Among the contemporary, he enjoys reading works by Adam Smith. His favourite books include An Enlightened Life by Nicholas Phillipson and Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Professor Shiv Visvanathan is with the School of Government and Public Policy, OP Jindal Global University. His work on the aftermath of the Bhopal gas disaster and his current studies of the nuclear movement, and corruption in India are an extension of his search for alternatives to modern scientific practices and theories. He is working on the history of science and Indian nationalism and relationship between energy systems and justice. Visvanathan was a Henry Luce Professor, Smith College Massachusetts and held the SAARCHI Fellowship at UNISA, South Africa. He is Visiting Professor, Stanford University; Visiting Professor, Center for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London; Visiting Professor, Center for Science Policy, Arizona State University; Visiting Professor, University of Maastricht, Holland. Among his books are Organizing for Science (1985), and A Carnival for Science (1997), and Foul Play: Chronicles of Corruption 1947-1997. He is currently the editor of the Jindal Journal of Public Policy (New Series) and of the Sustainability Files. He also holds an adjunct chair at the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore. His book Theatres of Democracy will be published by Harper Collins in April 2016.
Sunil Mukhi is a researcher in the field of elementary particle physics and the theory of gravitation. His area of specialisation is string theory, in which he has published over 75 original research works in international journals. After a 28-year research career at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, he recently moved to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune where he is the Chair, Physics Programme and Dean, Student Activities. He did his BSc from St Xavier's College, Mumbai in 1976 and his PhD in Physics in 1981 from Stony Brook University, New York. He has held visiting positions at Princeton, Harvard, Ecole Normale, Paris and CERN in Geneva, among others. In 2012, Mukhi received the prestigious appointment of Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge. This professor of physics is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize in Physics. Mukhi is a JC Bose Fellow and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences, the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of High Energy Physics. He has been an active administrator and chaired the Academic Ethics Committee both at TIFR and IISER Pune and was also a member of the Women's Cell at TIFR.
Venkatesh Kini has over 25 years of sales, marketing and general management experience in India and the US. He is currently the president of Coca-Cola India & South West Asia business unit. He is in-charge of all business unit operations and functional leadership within the group. Kini was the deputy president of the business unit till 2013. Prior to his role, as the deputy business president, he was the Vice-President of global marketing for juice, where he led the global design and rollout of the Minute Maid master brand and helped create three billion dollar brands. From 2006 to 2009, Kini was vice-president, marketing for The Coca-Cola Company in India and South West Asia, and a member of the team that successfully turned around Coke's India business. He also managed marketing for Coke's global bottled water business and the sparkling flavours business for Coca-Cola North America. Before joining Coca-Cola, Kini worked at Asian Paints and ITC, two of India's most respected companies. He holds a BA in Economics from Delhi University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.