Banwarilal Purohit is the current and 21st Governor of Tamil Nadu, who assumed office on October 6, 2017. It was the first time that the State got a full time governor after K Rosaiah retired in August 2016. He has earlier served as the appointed Governor of Assam and has also been elected Member of Parliament representing the Nagpur East constituency three times - twice as an Indian National Congress member, once as a BJP member. In 2003, he launched his own party called Vidarbha Rajya Party and contested the Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur in 2004. In 2009, he again contested on BJP's ticket but lost the election to Vilas Muttemwar of Indian National Congress.
A former leading media person, Purohit gained ownership of the Nagpur daily newspaper The Hitavada from Servants of India Society in 1979. The newspaper was launched by Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1911 and Purohit is its current Managing Editor. He is also the chairman of Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management in Nagpur.
Arif Mohammad Khan is an Indian politician and a former cabinet minister in the union of India who is currently serving as the Governor of Kerala. He has held several portfolios ranging from Energy to Civil Aviation. He is the second Governor of Kerala to be appointed by the ruling Narendra Modi government at the center after P Sathasivam.
Khan was born in 1951 in Bulandshahr. He was educated at Jamia Millia School, Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and Shia College, Lucknow University. He started his political career as a student leader. He was the President of Aligarh Muslim University Student's Union in the year 1972-73 and also it's honorary Secretary a year earlier (1971-72). He contested the first legislative assembly election from Siyana constituency of Bulandshahar on Bharatiya Kranti Dal party's banner but was defeated. He became a member of the legislative assembly of UP in 1977 at the age of 26.
In 2004, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election as a BJP candidate that year from Kaisarganj constituency. Khan quit the BJP in 2007, but started supporting the current Narendra Modi led NDA government from 2005 onwards, and was appointed as the Governor of Kerala subsequently in 2019. He has written various books and given multiple lectures. He is also associated with various think-tanks.
Ramesh Pokhriyal, known by his nom de plume Nishank, is an Indian author, poet and
politician serving as the Minister of Human Resource Development in the Second Modi
Ministry. He represents the Haridwar Parliamentary constituency of Uttarakhand in
the 17th Lok Sabha. He was the fifth Chief Minister of Uttarakhand from 2009 to
2011. He was also a member of 16th Lok Sabha and chairperson, Committee on
Pokhriyal was first elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Karnaprayag constituency in 1991, and then later in 1993 and 1996 from the same constituency. In 1997 he was appointed to the position of Uttaranchal Development Minister. He was also Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister (from 2009 to 2011) and served as a member of Lok Sabha’s 17th session and the Chairman of the Assurance Committee. He is a representative of Haridwar constituency in the Lok Sabha.
Smriti Zubin Irani is an Indian politician, former model, television actress, and producer. Irani is a Minister in the Union Cabinet of India. She is serving in the cabinet of Prime Minister Modi as Minister of Textiles and was given additional charge as Minister of Women and Child Development in the second cabinet of Modi since May 2019. A prominent leader within the Bharatiya Janata Party, she is a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, representing Amethi. In the 2019 Indian general election, she defeated Rahul Gandhi - the country's principal opposition leader and president of Indian National Congress - to win the seat. She is currently the youngest Minister in the Council of Ministers at the age of 43. On May 31, 2019, the government released the portfolio allocations for the ministers. She retained her post as the Minister of Textiles. She was also given an additional charge of becoming the Minister of Women and Child development succeeding Maneka Gandhi.
Bhupesh Baghel is an Indian politician serving as the third and current Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. He was president of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress. He has been a member of legislative assembly multiple times from Patan. He had been a cabinet minister in undivided Madhya Pradesh in Digvijaya Singh government in the late nineties. He was first Minister for Revenue, Public Health Engineering and Relief Work of Chhattisgarh. Bhupesh Baghel started his political career from Indian Youth Congress and became a member of All India Congress Committee, he was also the General Secretary, and Program Coordinator of Pradesh Congress Committee. He was elected to Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1993 for the first time from Patan and was later elected multiple times from the same seat. Under his presidency, Chhattisgarh Congress won the 2018 Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly election by a thumping majority. He himself became MLA from Patan assembly seat again and became Chief Minister of the state. He took oath as chief minister on December 17, 2018. He was replaced by Kondagaon MLA Mohan Markam as PCC President in June 2019
Karuppa Gounder Palanisamy known as Edappadi K. Palaniswami is an Indian politician and the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, having assumed the office on 16 February 2017. He is also serving as the Convener of AIADMK. Edappadi in his name, is the name of his village. Palaniswami has won the assembly election to the state assembly four times, in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016 in the Edapadi constituency. He won the Lok Sabha seat from Tiruchengode constituency in 1998. In the 2011 and 2016 assembly elections, Palaniswami won the Edapadi constituency again and worked as a cabinet minister in the AIADMK government. During the Jayalalithaa and O Panneerselvam-led ministries of the Tamil Nadu Government, he held the position of Minister for Highways & Minor Ports. He started his career in politics with AIADMK in 1974
Kiren Rijiju is an Indian lawyer and politician from Arunachal Pradesh. A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rijiju is the current Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs of India. Kiren Rijiju is considered the face of Bharatiya Janata Party in North East India. He served as a Member of Khadi and Village Industries Commission from 2000 to 2005 at the very young age of 29. Kiren Rijiju has been appointed as India's new Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2019. Kiren Rijiju is arguably the most iconic political leader from the State of Arunachal Pradesh and North East India in recent times, he is often being referred to as the 'voice of North East India'. He occasionally writes articles on security and socio-economic issues.
Sachin Pilot is an Indian politician who is serving as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state of Rajasthan and as the President of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee. As a member of the Congress party, he has represented the Tonk assembly seat in Rajasthan since 2018. Pilot was previously a member of the Indian Parliament for the Ajmer in 2009 and Dausa constituencies of Rajasthan, becoming the youngest member of parliament when he was elected from the latter seat in 2004, aged 26. He lost Lok Sabha election from Ajmer constituency in 2014. He served as the Minister of Corporate Affairs in the second Manmohan Singh Ministry.
Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, is the bestselling author of nineteen books, both fiction and non-fiction, besides being a former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and for External Affairs in the Government of India. He has won numerous awards, including the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award. Shashi Tharoor is the author, most recently, of The Hindu Way. He chairs Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology.
Manish Tewari is an Indian lawyer and politician. He is a member of the Indian National Congress and is an MP who represents Anandpur Sahib in the 17th Lok Sabha. He was the Minister of Information and Broadcasting from 2012 to 2014 and a Member of Parliament from Ludhiana from 2009 to 2014. Born in Ludhiana, Tewari attained a Bachelor's of Arts degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh and later a Bachelor of Laws from the The University of Delhi.
Tewari was the president of National Students Union of India 1989 and Indian Youth Congress from 1998 to 2000. He lost the 2004 Lok sabha elections but successfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections by defeating Shiromani Akali Dal's candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib by a margin of over 100,000 votes. He was Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Tewari, an advocate by profession, presently practices in the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts of Delhi as well as Punjab and Haryana.
Subramanian Swamy is an Indian politician, economist, and statistician who serves as a nominated Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. Swamy has served as a member of the Planning Commission of India and was a Cabinet Minister in the Chandra Shekhar government. Earlier in November 1978, Swamy was a member of the Group of Eminent persons and was called to Geneva, Switzerland to prepare a report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Economic Co-operation between Developing countries (ECDC). Swamy also simplified trade procedures and formulated a new export strategy which became the forerunner of trade reform adopted subsequently. In 1994, Swamy was Chairman of the Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade by former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao. He also serves as chairman of the Board of Governors of the SCMS Group of Educational Institutions in Kerala. He has written on foreign affairs of India dealing largely with People's Republic of China, Pakistan and Israel. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha on April, 26 2016
K Pandiarajan, popularly known as Ma Foi K Pandiarajan is an Indian businessman and politician from Tamil Nadu. He is the founder of Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd, a human resource management company and CIEL HR Services, another talent acquisition firm. He contested in the 2011 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election as a Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) candidate and won from his Virdhunagar constituency. Again he contested in the 2016 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election as an All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) candidate and won from his Avadi constituency. Pandiarajan was appointed as Minister for School Education, Youth Welfare and Sports by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa on 29 August 2016.
He remained in her cabinet until her death on 5 December 2016. He was immediately sworn into the same office by the new Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam. He was later appointed as Minister for Tamil language, Tamil Culture and Archaeology.
Jothimani Sennimalai is a member of parliament, political leader and writer. Her achievements include obtaining a permanent stay from high court for sand mining in the river Amaravathi after three years of sustained struggle, thus saving the livelihood of farmers and agricultural labourers. She was instrumental in bringing drinking water to Dalits and successfully ended decade-old discrimination. She interacted with Kerala and Karnataka chief ministers to find a solution to thousands of Tamils doing business there and helped them to continue their business.
Thamizhachi Thangapandian is an Indian poet, lyricist, orator, politician, and writer. She is also a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha for the constituency of Chennai south, having won the seat in the 2019 Indian general election. Thamizhachi Thangapandian secured over 5.6 lakh votes and won against Jayavardhan with a margin of 2.6 lakh votes. Hailing from a family with a political background, Thamizhachi Thangapandian is a prominent writer, poet and an academician. Her father, late V Thangapandian had been a DMK stalwart and brother Thangam Thennaras is a sitting MLA who represents Thiruchuli constituency. Thamizhachi’s Tamil poems and articles have been published in various books – Enjottu Penn, Vanapechi, Pechcharavam Kettiliyo, Manjanathi, Sol thodum dhooram, Kaalamum Kavithaiyum, Arukan, Island to Island (English). Her literary prowess is evident from the various awards and honours she has received like the Pavendhar Bharathidasan Virudhu by the TN State Government, Certificate of Honour by the UNICEF and Justice MM Ismail Memorial Award.
Manickam Tagore is an Indian politician and current Member of Parliament of India, representing Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu. He earlier represented the constituency in the 15th Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party.
Supriya Sule is an Indian politician from the Nationalist Congress Party and currently a Member of Parliament (MP) in the 17th Lok Sabha representing Baramati. In 2011, she launched a statewide campaign against female foeticide. Recently, she was honoured with Mumbai Women of the Decade Achievers Award by the ALL Ladies League for her outstanding contribution to social service. Sule was elected to the Rajya Sabha in the September 2006 intake from Maharashtra and is a trustee of the Nehru Centre in Mumbai.
She led the state-level campaign against female foeticide. The campaign included padayatras, college events, competitions etc. In 2012, under the leadership of Supriya Sule the wing named Rashtravadi Yuvati Congress is formed to give a platform to young girls in politics. For the last several months, several rallies have been organised all over Maharashtra which focused on female foetus abortion, dowry system and women empowerment in general.
Khushbu Sundar is an Indian film actress, producer and television presenter who has acted in more than 200 movies. She is predominantly known for her work in the South Indian film industry. She has received two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards for Best Actress and one Kerala State Film Award – Special Mention. Khushbu started her career as a child artiste in the Hindi film The Burning Train (1980) in the song "Teri Hai Zameen Tera Aasman". Between 1980–1985 she performed as a child actor in the Hindi films Naseeb, Laawaris, Kaalia, Dard Ka Rishta, Bemisal.
Khushbu was introduced to South Indian screens through the Telugu film Kaliyuga Pandavulu (1986), opposite Venkatesh. She then moved her base to Chennai and started focusing on Tamil and other South Indian film industries. She has acted in more than 150 films after moving to the South. Khushbu joined the Indian National Congress on November 26, 2014 after meeting with then Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and then Vice-President Mr. Rahul Gandhi. She is currently the National Spokesperson of the INC.
Lakya Suryanarayana Tejasvi, better known as Tejasvi Surya, is an Indian politician and lawyer at the Karnataka High Court. He is the Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from the Bangalore South constituency, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party. As a child, he was awarded the National Balashree Honour in 2001 while studying at Sri Kumaran Children’s Home, Thyagarajanagar. He later graduated from Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies with a Bachelor of Academic Law and an LLB. In 2008, he founded an NGO called Arise India. He has previously written for IndiaFacts.
Surya was an active member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and was even the General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). He gained national recognition for leading the Digital Communications Team of Karnataka BJP during the 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections. He had actively contributed to the Bharatiya Janata Party campaign for the 2014 Indian general election. He has even attended a leadership course in the UK, which was organized by the UK High Commission and in 2017, was one of the key leaders behind BJP's 'Mangalore Chalo' rally.
Bibek Debroy is an Indian economist, author and bureaucrat. Debroy has made significant contributions to game theory, economic theory, income and social inequalities, poverty, law reforms, railway reforms and Indology among others. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). From its inception in January 2015, till June 2019, Debroy was a member of the NITI Aayog, the think tank of the Indian government. He was awarded the Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian honour in India) in 2015. In 2016, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by US-India Business Summit. Debroy has authored over 100 books in the field of Economics, Polity, Indology and Sanskrit.
Debroy translated the unabridged version of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, into English, becoming only the third person ever to achieve the feat. Debroy's translation of the Mahabharata was published in a series of 10 volumes amounting to 2.25 million words. He has also translated the Bhagavad Gita, the Harivamsa, the Vedas and the Valmiki Ramayana (in three volumes). He has translated the Bhagavata Purana (in three volumes) and the Markandeya Purana (one volume). Along with Manmatha Nath Dutt, he is only the second person to have translated both the Mahabharata and the Valmiki Ramayana, in unabridged form, into English. He has featured in the 2019 Limca Book of Records as a "most prolific translator".
Gagandeep Kang received her training in medicine and microbiology at the Christian Medical College, Vellore in southern India and is a Professor of Microbiology at the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India. She is currently on sabbatical as the Executive Director, Translational Health Science Technology Institute, an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology. She works on enteric infections in children, particularly on transmission and immune responses, in order to design effective interventions. Her current studies include active hospital and community-based surveillance and clinical trials of new and existing vaccines, with the use of molecular-based assays to study the diversity of pathogens and the immune response of children with viral and parasitic enteric infections.
Rajnish Kumar has been serving as the Chairman of India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, since October 7, 2017. Previously, he was the Managing Director (National Banking Group) looking after Retail Banking and initiatives in Payments and Digital Banking since November 2015. Prior to becoming Managing Director at SBI, Rajnish Kumar was heading SBI Capital Markets Limited (the Merchant Banking arm of State Bank of India) as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Kumar has been with SBI for over three decades, having joined the bank as a Probationary Officer in 1980. Since then, he has held various assignments across various business verticals, including two overseas assignments in Canada and the UK. He has vast experience in handling large credit, project finance, forex and retail banking. He is the Chairman of SBI’s subsidiaries, important ones being, SBI Life Insurance Company Limited, SBI Foundation, SBI Capital Markets Limited, and SBI Cards & Payments Services Limited. He also serves as Director on the boards of various organisations. Born in January 1958, Mr Kumar graduated with an MSc in Physics from Meerut University and is also a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB). Kumar is an avid traveller and has visited several countries. He is passionate about sports and loves badminton.
Prabhat Singh is the MD and CEO of Petronet LNG Ltd since September, 2015. He is an Engineering graduate from IIT, Kanpur, and has around 36 years of relevant experience in the Hydrocarbon Industry, having worked in BG, GAIL, NTPC. Prior to joining Petronet, Prabhat was Director of Marketing of GAIL (India) Limited and also served as Chairman of Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited and Chairman of GAIL Global Singapore Pte Ltd. Prabhat has been instrumental in putting India on the world gas map and made India one of the first countries to have sourced LNG from the US. His major contribution has been the execution of the world's longest exclusive LPG pipeline from Jamnagar to Loni. Prabhat is one of the core contributors to the concept of gas pooling for the power and fertiliser sector which is under successful implementation. Prabhat is instrumental for successful negotiations in the various international contracts.
Ramanathan Sarathkumar is an Indian film actor, politician, journalist, former bodybuilder and former president of the South Indian Film Artistes' Association. He has acted in more than 130 Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films. He is fluent in all South Indian languages and is quite proficient in Russian. In 1986, Sarathkumar started his acting career in the Telugu film Samajamlo Sthree. He first acted in negative roles, and later played supporting roles before establishing himself as a lead actor in subsequent years, earning him the title Supreme Star in Tamil cinema. He has won two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and three Filmfare Awards South. In 2007, he launched a new political party All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) in Tamil Nadu, claiming to carry out the ideals of K Kamaraj. He is a former Member of Legislative Assembly of Tenkasi constituency. He served as the president of the Nadigar Sangam from 2006 to 2015 for three consecutive terms.
A member of the founding family, Sangita Reddy actively participated in the inception of Apollo Hospitals, and formally joined the Group in 1983 as a management trainee. Two years later, she assumed the role of an Executive Assistant to her father, Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group. This multitude of experiences assisted her greatly in developing a sound knowledge of the healthcare ecosystem and superlative patient care. For almost two decades since, as Executive Director Operations, Sangita led the human resources portfolio and her efforts have been central to the values of the Apollo culture. She has been pivotal in directing operations for the entire Apollo Hospitals Group and under her able stewardship, Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad emerged as Asia’s first Health City – a model that also introduced multi-dimensional holistic healthcare to India.
In 2014, Sangita Reddy was elevated to the position of Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited. She has assumed greater organisational responsibilities which included creating an IT-enabled patient-centric operation across the Apollo footprint, and forging an unmatched continuum of care for patients. Sangita has been a passionate crusader in reaching health care to every corner of India and the underserved regions of the world, through Telehealth and remote healthcare. Sangita steers Apollo’s thrust on research, innovation and healthcare initiatives. She is also the Chairperson of Apollo Knowledge, the education vertical of the group.
She is a member of the prestigious World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Digital Health which aims to advance the use, adoption, and measurement of technology in health and healthcare, focusing on digital health. Sangita Reddy has been nominated by the Government of India to be a Member of the Technology Development Board, Department of Science and Technology. Sangita Reddy is the Head of Andhra Pradesh State for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and is also its National Head of Healthcare. She has also been elected Member of the Steering Committee on Health for the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012–2017) by the Planning Commission, Government of India.
Kangana Ranaut is an Indian actor and director who works in Hindi films. The recipient of several awards, including three National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards, she has featured six times in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list. After training under the theatre director Arvind Gaur, Ranaut made her feature film debut in the 2006 thriller Gangster, for which she was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She received praise for portraying emotionally intense characters in the dramas Woh Lamhe (2006), Life in a... Metro (2007) and Fashion (2008).
Ranaut featured in the commercially successful films Raaz: The Mystery Continues (2009) and Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), though she was criticised for being typecast in neurotic roles. Following a series of commercial failures, she co-directed and played the titular role in the biopic Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019). Ranaut is credited in the media as one of the most fashionable celebrities in the country, and she has launched her own clothing lines for the brand Vero Moda.
Rohan Narayana Murty is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and the founder of the Murty Classical Library of India, which is a continuation of the Clay Sanskrit Library Project headed by Sheldon Pollock, a famous Sanskrit professor. He is the son of NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys, and Sudha Murty, popular author philanthropist, and Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation.
Rohan studied at the Bishop Cotton Boys' School in Bangalore for 12 years, after which he moved to the US and took an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Cornell University. This was followed by a PhD in computer engineering from Harvard University, which he obtained in 2011. His PhD was supported by a Siebel Scholars Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Fellowship.
Dr Himanshu Rai is the Director of IIM Indore. Prior to this he was a Professor at IIM Lucknow where he taught from 2006 to 2014, before which he was the Dean of MISB Bocconi and Professor at SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy. As the convener of CAT 2010, he successfully led the largest format change in the world’s testing history exceeding all global standards of testing. He has held the positions of Chairman HRM Group, Admissions, Corporate Communications and Media Relations, and Executive Programs at IIM Lucknow. He obtained his doctorate from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, making a seminal contribution in the area of Conflict Resolution & Negotiation. His profile includes a stint of over 8 years at Tata Steel, India, where he played a pivotal role in developing Quality Systems for his Departments & Communication Policy for the Company. He teaches a variety of courses to PG & Doctoral students including Negotiation, Justice, Leadership & Business Research Methods. He has consulted with several organizations including World Bank, Planning Commission of India, International Finance Corporation, UP State Road Transport Corporation, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Honda and SEWA.
Professor Archana Shukla is the Director of the Indian Institute of Management,
Lucknow. Prof Shukla was earlier a professor of Organizational Behaviour in the
Human Resource Management Group of the institute. She is the first faculty member of
the institute to be made Director.
Professor Archana Shukla obtained her PhD in Organizational Behaviour from Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur and has experience in teaching, training and research experience for 28 years. She has also been a keen researcher and has authored books and research papers.
Prof Shukla was the first chairperson of Dr Ishwar Dayal Chair for futuristic issues in the Behavioural Sciences for a period of two years from 2015-2017. She also conducts her sessions in management development programmes on Team Building, Managerial Effectiveness, and developing a strategic mindset.
Anand Neelakantan is the author of the 'Bahubali' trilogy, the official prequel to S S Rajamouli's prequel. The first book in the series, Rise of Sivagami, was released on March 15th, 2017 and continues to be the best-seller number 1, across charts for 9 continuous months. The book is in the top 5 of Amazon's best-sellers of 2017 and is shortlisted for crossword award. The book also received the Kalinga International literary award for the best popular fiction in the year 2017. Anand has also written script/screenplays for hugely popular TV series like ‘Siya Ke Ram’, ‘Ashoka’ and ‘Mahabali Hanuman’.
For the past three years, Anand has been writing fortnightly columns in the New Indian Express, named Acute Angle. Anand's latest work is Vanara- the legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara, published by Penguin and is dominating the bestseller charts. The film adaptation rights have been brought by DAR movies and KR Media for the record-breaking single book deal in the country. The producers have announced a multilingual film on Vanara in 2022.
Prabhu Chawla started his career as an economics lecturer in Delhi University. One of India's finest political journalists, Chawla is known for his sharp political analysis and investigative reports. In his 40 years as reporter and editor, he has written extensively on events that changed the political course of India and people who engineered them. He is credited with launching the regional editions of the India Today magazine in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. He has hosted a weekly talk show 'Seedhi Baat' on Aaj Tak, India's most popular television channel. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President for 2003. He has also won several national awards including The Hero Honda-Indian Television Academy (ITA) Best Anchor award for `Seedhi Baat' 2005; TV News Anchor of the year - Telly Awards 2003; TSR Kalapeetham Life Time Achievement Award for 1998; the GK Reddy Memorial Award for investigative reporting and current affairs-1989; and the Feroze Gandhi Memorial Award for excellence in journalism 1985-86. He was also the Editor of India Today & Editorial Director of the India Today Group of publications; Editor of Indian Express and Financial Express from 1991 to 1996. Today he is one of the most authoritative and credible voices in print as well as the visual media.
Sonam Wangchuk is an Indian engineer, innovator and education reformist. He is the founding director of the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL), which was founded in 1988 by a group of students who had been in his own words, the ‘victims’ of an alien education system foisted on Ladakh. He is also known for designing the SECMOL campus that runs on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating. Wangchuk was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope in 1994, a collaboration of government, village communities and the civil society to bring reforms in the government school system. He invented the Ice Stupa technique that creates artificial glaciers, used for storing winter water in the form of conical shaped ice heaps. Wangchuk has been helping in designing and overseeing the construction of several passive solar mud buildings in mountain regions like Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim so that energy savings principles are implemented on a larger scale. Even in -30 Celsius winters, his solar-powered school, built with the rammed earth, keeps the students warm. Led by Wangchuk, SECMOL has won the International Terra Award for the best building in July 2016 at the 12th World Congress on Earthen Architecture in Lyon, France. The campus was built using simple, low-cost traditional techniques on principles of passive solar architecture. The building comprises a big solar-heated teaching hall, along with several rooms for the students and other classrooms.
PG Babu assumed office of the Director, MIDS from February 21, 2019. Prior to that he was at IGIDR from 1993, where he held various academic and administrative positions such as Dean of Graduate Studies, Coordinator of the Law and Economics Program since 2000, and Professor. He acted as Mumbai coordinator for the Erasmus Mundus European Master's and Doctoral Programs in Law and Economics since 2009. Since 2015, he is the Managing Editor of Journal of Quantitative Economics, Official Journal of The Indian Econometric Society (TIES) published by Springer Nature, and for two years prior to that he was Joint Managing Editor of the same journal. He has held Adam Smith Chair Professorship in Philosophy and Economics at University of Bayreuth, Germany during summer semesters from 2008 to 2013. He has held visiting professorships at the Universities of Aix-Marseille, Hamburg, IIM Ahmedabad, Madras School of Economics, Erasmus University at Rotterdam, Warsaw School of Economics and Yale. He has a citation from the Prime Minister of India for his research work on decision-making framework for climate change, as part of IPCC working group, which was recognized by a Nobel Memorial Prize, in 2007. He has organized several capacity-building workshops in Law and Economics and Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), apart from various specialized national and international conferences and workshops on topics related to his research interests.
Kaveree Bamzai is an independent journalist. She was the first, and so far, only woman editor of India Today, where she was employed till January 2019. A recipient of the Chevening Scholarship, she has worked in The Times of India and The Indian Express before this. A graduate of the Delhi School of Economics, she has spoken at several media forums. She is the author of Bollywood Today, No Regrets and two monographs in the Zubaan series on Women in Indian Film. She is on several committees, among them the Women Examplar Committee of CII, and is recognised as a changemaker by Save The Children charity. She lives in Delhi with her journalist husband, two sons and two dogs.
Saras Bhaskar is a counseling psychologist, skilled in identifying psychopathology, and offers necessary therapeutic guidance. As a private practitioner, she extends individual, family, pre-marriage, marriage and family counselling. Her niche area is Health Psychology with a focus on Biopsychosocial framework emphasising the psychological well-being of people. She incorporates traditional and contemporary therapeutic techniques in her counseling interventions.
As a corporate coach, her experience in design and implementation of proactive solution-based curriculums is multifold. As an objective problem solver, she is an expert in identifying organizational needs, in order to design and develop customised solution-based programs. Bhaskar periodically facilitates need-based workshops and training programs for MNCs, private companies, NGOs, and Academic institutions.
Bhaskar is a resource person for the Department of Social Welfare in Tamil Nadu and facilitates training for caseworkers on a need basis. For the last 15 years, she has been offering pre-adoption (preparedness for parenthood), and post-adoptive care for parents and children for smooth assimilation and transition.
Indo fusion violinist and vocalist Sunita Bhuyan is trained in the Hindustani style by her mother Minoti Khaund and by maestro late Pandit V G Jog. She specialises in Indo jazz fusion and world folk styles. Her album 'Bihu Strings' is the first folk album on the violin. Her recent projects are Commonwealth culture series UK, With Strings Attached, Edinburgh, Beyond Boundaries London, music for 'Save the Rhino' by Yes Bank and CNBC, and a world music women’s quartet with the Peninsula Studios. She is the recipient of the Priyadarshini Award for excellence, Giants International Award for women, REX Karmaveer global awards, and an award from his Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican for her work on music therapy with underprivileged children, cancer patients and people with disabilities.
Sunita is the ambassador for the South Asian Women’s fund in Sri Lanka. An HR professional on wellness, leadership and change through the medium of music for almost 20 years, she has presented her talks and workshops in international forums like TED talks, SHRM, Asia Scotland society Edinburgh, Commonwealth HRICT, Gartner Leadership forum New York , Marcus Evans KL, Indian Consulate Dubai, ICIA Glasgow, Nehru Centre London and Tata Institute of Social sciences.
Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian classicist. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named by Amazon India as one of the top five books in the Indian-writing category for 2013. Kamadeva: The God of Desire and Shakti: The Divine Feminine and Yama's Lieutenant are her other bestsellers are set to be translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali from English. Anuja's articles, short stories and book reviews have appeared in various publications like Femina, Women's Era, Lonely Planet, the Hindu and the New Indian Express. An accomplished orator, Chandramouli regularly conducts storytelling sessions and workshops on creative writing, empowerment and mythology in schools, colleges and on various other platforms. This happily married mother of two little girls lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, and is a student of classical dance. She is currently hard at work on her new book. In 2017, she appeared at the Women Writers’ Fest in Bengaluru, speaking on whether gender influences narratives in mythology. She cites Veda Vyasa as her inspiration to originally starting writing books and the Mahabharata as her favourite story.
D Chandrasekhar is the Founder and President of Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA), who has pioneered the cause of dyslexia in India. MDA has facilities for assessments, teachers training, part-time remediation, full-time remediation, the establishment of resource rooms in schools and a gamut of other supporting services. Their current focus is in empowering the classroom teachers. He has also founded Multiple Intelligences Foundation, which helps dyslexic children to discover their hidden potentials. D Chandrasekhar is also involved a number of community initiatives including Sri Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, where he serves as the Vice-President; IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust, where he serves as a Secretary; United Way of Chennai, where he serves as a Board Member; Rotary TTK VHS Blood Bank, where he serves as the Founder Trustee, among others. Chandrasekhar, who has been a serial entrepreneur for over 40 years, is an alumnus of IIT Madras and was awarded Distinguished Alumnus Award in the year 2009 by his alma mater for his contribution to entrepreneurship and other walks of life. Recently he received the Mrs YGP Educationist Award.
Milind Chandwani is an IT professional-turned social worker. Like almost every other child in India, he was pushed to pursue engineering and take up an IT job. But on the side, he would keep trying new things like dancing, playing the guitar, drums, travelling and this led him volunteering with Make a Difference in Bangalore. After a few years, he found himself at a crossroads - where he had to choose either an MBA or a Teach For India fellowship. He chose the latter and ever since, he has been trying his best to bridge the gaps in the Indian education system.
Milind did everything he could during the fellowship to make a difference in the lives of the kids he was mentoring - from conducting street plays that educated them about the evils of alcohol consumption and domestic violence, a mentorship program for children with single parents to skits on female infanticide and women empowerment. He founded the NGO Camp Diaries to provide access to extra-curricular(Dance, Drama, Music, Art&Craft) and co-curricular(Public Speaking, Coding, Science Experiments, Brain games) activities in government and low income private schools over the weekends. So far, Camp Diaries has worked with 5,000 children in these cities through 1,500-plus volunteers.
Author and entrepreneur Nikhil Chandwani started his journey in the literary world with poems. He started his journey as a poet when he was five years old. However, it was the popularity of his international best selling novel 'I wrote your name in the sky and yours and yours too' that prodded him to unleash his creative potential to the fullest. He was shortlisted for the UK writers forum award for his critically acclaimed book of poems titled 'unsung words' and a poetic novel, 'Inked with love'.
He is a vivid traveller and also working as a director for a travel documentary. He has travelled a lot in this world, but the most eye-opening, heart-rending and life-altering discoveries are those that have been uncovered in the hills and valleys, the highways and byways of his own heart and soul. He has travelled the world and shot various documentaries for international travel shows.
Currently busy writing scripts for a Hollywood movie, one upcoming high budget Bollywood movie on exchanged love letters and a travel documentary, Nikhil is also working as a scriptwriter and an associate director for an upcoming high budget Hollywood movie - 'Spider in the window'
Davidar is a retired IAS officer and former Principal Secretary of Personnel & Administrative Reforms in the Tamil Nadu Government. One of the few officers to have had two stints in the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), the first for just 8 months and the second for 4 years, Davidar was instrumental in getting land for the hockey stadium and was in the forefront of the construction of the world class multi purpose indoor stadium, Velacherry Acquatic Complex and the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium well ahead of the South Asian Federation Games in Chennai. As the Vellore Collector, Davidar confronted bonded labour head on. The highlight of his tenure as the Special Secretary – Health and indeed of the department itself was the 600 crore World Bank backed Tamil Nadu Health Systems initiative.
MG Devasahayam, a former Army and Indian Administrative Service officer, is an economist and administrator, with a distinguished a career spanning over five decades and direct and first-hand experience in the working and ethos of the Indian Army, the IAS, the public and private sectors, the political system, and non-government organisations.
He moved to IAS in 1968 (Haryana cadre) and worked in several senior positions in government including District Collector/Magistrate of two Districts, Divisional Commissioner, Head of Departments (Transport, Urban Development, Excise & Taxation), Chairman, Electricity Board, and Secretary to Government. Devasahayam is a prolific writer, contributing Op-Eds, lead articles, articles and columns to many newspapers and magazines on a range of topics including Governance, Civil Services, Urban Development, Environment, and Politics. He is author of books like India's Second Freedom - An Untold Saga; JP in Jail-An Uncensored Account; JP Movement, Emergency and India's Second Freedom, and A Drop of Love-Memoir of Saint Teresa.
He was closely associated with the leader of the Anti-Emergency movement, the late Jayaprakash Narayan (JP), and Mother (now Saint) Teresa. As District Magistrate, Chandigarh, he was JP's custodian during his Emergency imprisonment (1975). By keeping JP safe and alive during detention he had played a small part in restoring India to democracy in 1977. Devasahayam is presently settled in Nagercoil and is Convener, Forum for Electoral Integrity, Chairman of the Pan-India People's Parliament for Unity & Development, and Chairman of Naam Kumari Makkal, mentoring the ReBuild Kanyakumari Movement. He is the recipient of several awards including Amar Seva (War Service) Star; General Service Medal with Bar and Loyola Alumni Lifetime Achiever Award.
Radhika Gupta is the Chief Executive Officer at Edelweiss Asset Management Limited. Gupta started at Edelweiss Global Asset Management as business head of multi-strategy funds and was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the team’s investment, distribution and platform. Gupta is a graduate of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology from the University of Pennsylvania. She received the Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science from University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Bachelor of Science degree in Economics (Concentrations in Finance and Management) from the University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School in 2005. Prior to moving as CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management, Gupta headed Edelweiss Multi Strategy Funds Management Pvt. Ltd and was responsible for setting the strategic direction, overseeing investments, sales and distribution. She replaced Vikaas Sachdeva who was the previous CEO.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar is an Indian academic and a conservative commentator. She is currently employed as a Chair Professor in the Indian Council of Social Science Research. Kishwar along with fellow-academic Ruth Vanita has been regarded as pioneer scholars of women's studies in India; they were the founder editors of the critically acclaimed journal - Manushi. Established to bridge the gap between academic discourse and popular activism by raising awareness of gender inequalities through ground-activism, it has been one of the longest-running and most-influential women’s periodicals in South Asia to the extent of being heavily instrumental in setting the agenda for women-right-movements.
Kishwar graduated from Miranda House in Delhi, where she was the President of the Student's Union. She received her postgraduate degree in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. She was a professor and a senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), until retiring in 2016.
She then joined the Indian Council of Social Science Research as the Maulana Azad Professor. In 2017, she was appointed to the Academic Council of the School of Art and Aesthetics of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Vamsi Krishna is the CEO and co-founder of Vedantu, a pioneer in live and interactive online learning, which enables students to learn online with some of India's best-curated teachers. In the earlier stage of his career, Vamsi, along with his friends Pulkit Jain and Anand Prakash had founded their first educational venture called Lakshya in 2006. Lakshya, was subsequently acquired by MTEducare in 2012. Post the acquisition, they founded Vedantu, which emerged as India’s leading interactive online EdTech player. Highly driven by passion, Vamsi has emerged as a seasoned EdTech expert. At Vedantu, Vamsi has been closely involved in every business function. Vamsi primarily looks after the business & strategy and overseas critical functions like Branding, Marketing and Recruitment. He has also been a teacher for more than 10+ years. His commitment is now deeply ingrained in the DNA of the company. Vamsi is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay.
Ennapadam Srinivas Krishnamoorthy is a neuropsychiatrist with special interests in Epilepsy and Dementia. He is Founder and Director of Neurokrish - the neuropsychaitry centre and TRIMED - a chain of integrative medical specialties based in Chennai, India. He is Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Neurology and Clinical Neuroscience at The Institute of Neurological Sciences, Voluntary Health Services Multispeciality Hospital and Research Institute affiliated to The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India and Manipal University. He is President - Elect of the International Neuropsychiatric Association Krishnamoorthy has chaired the International League Against Epilepsy- Commission on Psychobiology; the World Health Organization- World Health Report 2012 (Dementia), Executive Committee Member of the International Neuropsychiatry Association (since 2004) and Asian Society Against Dementia (since 2005). He is the recipient of the President's Medal of the Royal College of Psychiatrists for contributions to community neuropsychiatry.He was the first Indian Psychiatrist to be elected Fellow of all three Royal Colleges of Physicians in the UK (Glasgow, Edinburgh & London).
Aishwarya Manivannan is an artist, designer, educator and Silambam practitioner. She teaches design at Loyola College, Chennai and specialises in Art and Design Portfolio Development classes. She is an alumnus of Madras University and Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore, and has recently completed a PG Diploma in Silambam Fencing. She is the current National and Asian Silambam Champion. She has represented India in the World, Asian and National Silambam Championships and has won 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 Bronze Medals. Her video on National Handloom Day received more than 8 lakh views on social media and triggered interest in Silambam all over the world.
Dr Vijay Nagaswami is a Chennai-based psychotherapist famous for his work with couples, and is one of India’s most sought-after marital therapists. This acclaimed relationship consultant has counseled thousands of couples who come to him for a range of problems, especially infidelity.
He graduated from the Madras Medical College in 1980 and did his post-graduation in Psychiatry from the same college. After completing his Diplomate in Psychological Medicine in 1984, he served the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (India), also known as SCARF as Deputy Director till 1991.
During this period, he also undertook consultancies for the World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organisation. Since then, he's concentrated his energies on individual and couple psychotherapy. He has written six self-help books, of which his ‘New Indian Marriage Series’ of four books: The 24x7 Marriage, The Fifty-50 Marriage, 3’s A Crowd: Understanding and Surviving Marital Infidelity and To D or not to D: Working towards an amicable divorce, have all gone on to become bestsellers.
Sandhya Rani Kanneganti is a senior civil servant and an Indian Postal Services officer. She worked on deputation as Commissioner of the Department of School Education, Andhra Pradesh. She held various challenging positions in the Department of Posts in AP, Delhi & Karnataka State. She has worked on enhancing financial inclusion and the implementation of the biometric authentication based disbursement of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme wages to over 8 million wage seekers and Social Security Pensions to 3 million pensioners through the post office network. Sandhya holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts. She also has a Master's in Political Science from the University of Hyderabad.
Revathi Radhakrishnan is a journalist-turned-filmmaker who moved to coastal Nagapattinam after the 2004 Tsunami that rocked many parts of Tamil Nadu and other southern states to build the Vanavil School for children from nomadic tribal communities that were the most affected by the disaster as well as government apathy.
Revathi has been working closely with the Boom Boom Maatukarar and Narikuravar tribes for the last 14 years She has created an Arts and performance-based school experience which makes the best of education available to the most marginalised children, allowing them to blend in to mainstream culture without losing their own traditional values.
Weaning children away from begging and other forms of indentured labour. Under her leadership, Vanavil has created a 'happy school experience' and produced graduates out of child workers. In addition to being a passionate and efficient educationist, Revathi is also a translator, publisher and Theatre person.
Devi Yesodharan was born in 1980 in Kollam, Kerala. She grew up in the Middle East and changed schools six times, because of her parents' frequent moves. She tried to build bridges with people by telling stories, always attempting a narrative out of a fragmented life - one that made sense to her. Perhaps that is one of the reasons the main character in Empire, Aremis, is a migrant.
Yeshodharan loves art and is a fan of the American painter Georgia O'Keefe. She has always had a day job, partly because she feels she wouldn't manage the writing if she had to face it every day alone with no interruptions. She lives in Bangalore and works as a co-founder on Trendlyne, a financial investing platform. Empire, published by Juggernaut, is her first novel.
Licypriya Kangujam is an 8-year-old climate activist, Founder of The Child Movement and also the youngest green activist in India. She is known for her need for immediate action to combat climate change and foster disaster risks reduction.
She was a student of KIIT International School, Bhubaneswar but she had dropped out of school in February 2019 to protest every week in front of the Parliament House of India to push the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the MPs to pass the Climate Law in Parliament.
She is a World Children Peace Prize Laureate 2019, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Children Award 2019 winner and also received India Peace Prize 2019. She is also the rising star of Earth Day Network. She has travelled to over 18 countries to raise awareness about environmental issues and garner support for her movement. She is the only Indian to be recognised by United Nations as one of the strongest young climate activists of the world, among seven other activists including Greta Thunberg of Sweden during the UN General Assembly session on “Fighting for a Stolen Future”. In November 2019, she invented a symbolic device called 'SUKIFU' (Survival Kit for the Future), as a protective means against air pollution.
Ricky Kej is an Indian composer, music producer, and environmentalist. In 2015, he won a Grammy at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for his album Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman, in the Best New Age Album category.The project, his 14th studio album had made a debut at #1 on the US Billboard New Age Albums Chart in August 2014, a first for a person of Indian origin. The album also peaked at #1 on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in the month of July 2014.
His album Shanti Samsara – World Music for Environmental Consciousness was launched on November 30, 2015 at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President, Francois Hollande. In the months since its launch, Kej has traveled widely speaking about conservation and the environment, including a visit to the Republic of Kiribati, where he interviewed and created music with three-term ex-president, Anote Tong.
Kej has previously composed the soundtrack for three feature films in the Kannada language, and is credited with over 3,000 placements for Radio and Television Jingles. He also composed the music for the 2011 Cricket World Cup opening ceremony, held at Dhakka on 17 February 2011. On April 26, 2016, Kej travelled to Jaipur, India where he was named as a goodwill ambassador for Save the Children's new global campaign, Every Last Child. On July 18, 2016, Kej was awarded the Excellence and Leadership award as a global humanitarian artist at the United Nations Headquarters, New York and performed excerpts from Shanti Samsara live in the United Nations General Assembly Hall.