• Shri. Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist
Swami Agnivesh is well known for his work in various fields of social work. He has held several important positions such as the Chairperson of the United Nations Trust Fund on contemporary forms of slavery, Chairperson of the Bandhua Mukti Morcha and General Secretary of the Bhartiya Arya Pratininddhi Sabha. His present mission involves networking with various religious leaders of all major faiths, women’s organizations and social-political activists in their effort to carry out anti-liquor movements throughout India and strengthening the Arya Samaj movement to fight against various forms of casteism, communalism, religious obscurantism and other social evils. He is committed to continue fighting against bonded labour, child labour and child prostitution by making ‘Right to Minimum Wage’ and ‘Right to Education’ Fundamental Right. Swami Agnivesh has to his credit various published books like ‘Vedic Socialism’, ‘Religion, Revolution and Marxism’.
• Mr Alok Mehta, Eminent Editor
Alok Mehta is a pioneer of Indian Hindi journalism. He is a recipient of the civilian honour of Padma Shri from the Government of India in 2009. He is editor-in-chief of Governance Now. He has been a President of the Editors Guild of India. His 40 years in journalism career make a wide range of experience. He has worked in many prestigious media house like, The Times of India group, Hindustan Times group and Outlook group. He also worked in Deutsche Welle' in Germany. He wrote several books in Hindi and English and traveled about forty countries.
• Ms Asha Das, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary Ministry of Women and Child Development
Asha Das is a senior civil servant with extensive experience in issues relating to women, children, social justice and empowerment. She brings passion and understanding to these issues with the administrative expertise required to make change at scale. Instrumental in bringing focus to the importance of micro-finance and self help groups, sanitation and hygiene in rural India, she has observed the impact of financial independence and dignity on women. With over 35 years in the civil service, she has insights into public policy and its formulation at a local, national and international level. She has worked closely with the United Nations and other multilateral agencies in various capacities.
Over the last 10 years she has been associated with issues of social change such as women’s empowerment, education, disability, and eldercare.
She is an officer of the 1964 batch of the Indian Administrative Service, Madhya Pradesh cadre.
• Ms Asha Swarup, IAS (Retd.), Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh.
Asha Swaroop is a 1973 batch IAS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre and has her service period till 2010. She is the Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh.
She was formerly Secretary, I &B, Principal Secretary of Finance & Planning, Power, Health & Family Welfare, Home & Vigilance, H.P. State Electricity Board.
An honoree of the Bharat Shiromani Award in 2007, she has served as member of the Board of Directors/Governing Body of Minerals & Metals trading Corporation, National Institute if Fashion Technology, State Trading Corporation, National Textile Corporation, Jute Corporation of India, H.P. Tourism Development Corporation, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, PRADAN-an NGO working with rural poor.
• Mr D. R. Kaarthikeyan, Former Director CBI
A man of magnanimous personality, D. R. Kaarthikeyan, is well known for his amazing “Life List” of accomplishments. Mr. Karthikeyan served as the Chief Bureau of the Investigation Team of the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the tragic assassination of Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. He was Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force, Director of the prestigious Central Bureau of Investigation and Director General of National Human Rights Commission. He is the author of the bestseller ‘Triumph of Truth-Rajiv Gandhi Assassination-The investigation’. He travels widely and addresses gatherings in educational institutions, professional gatherings, police and other training academies, and public functions where he speaks on socially relevant subjects such as values, human rights, leadership, crisis management and investigation.
• Mr H K Dua, Eminent Editor, Ex MP (Rajya Sabha)
H K Dua currently Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, is one of the senior-most journalists of the country, having served as editor for over 14 years in four leading national dailies. He has been the Editor of the Hindustan Times, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express and Editorial Advisor of The Times of India. Mr Dua has interviewed several distinguished world leaders. They include: Margaret Thatcher, China's Li Peng, Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Iran's Rafsanjani, among several others. He has served as Press Advisor to two Prime Ministers and an Ambassador of India to Denmark, prior to his taking up his present assignment with the Tribune.
• Dr. Mohini Giri, President, Guild of Service
Dr. V. Mohini Giri, Social Activist, Leader in the women's movement, specializing in human rights and gender justice, is renowned both nationally and internationally for her committed work in empowering women politically, socially, legally and economically. Belonging to an illustrious family of scholars, civil servants and musicians, Mohini Giri is the daughter-in-law of Late Shri V.V. Giri, former President of India. She has contributed a lot in alleviating the situation of war widows and has also held prominent positions with several other groups such as Guild of Service, South Asia Women’s Peace Initiative. Some of her publications include 'Kanya - Exploitation of Little Angels' (1998) and 'Emancipation and Empowerment of Women' (1996).
• Mr N Vittal, IAS (Retd.), former Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC)
N. Vittal, belonging to the Indian Administrative Service 1960 batch, is one of the eminent public servants of India, and has helped people in important positions in the Government of India, including the Central Vigilance Commissioner. He has held the appointments of Chairman, Telecom Commission and Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board and before retirement his last appointment was Central Vigilance Commissioner. He has received several honours and recognitions nationally and internationally. He was included in the list of “Fifty men and women who shaped the economy” in the fifty years after India’s Independence by the Business Today magazine (August 1997). Mr. Vittal has written more than 400 articles on various subjects relating to management, public relations, human resources development, management of technology, public sector management, etc. in many prominent journals and magazines and has also authored three books - [a] India Incorporated : Reflections on the Indian Electronics Industry(1994); [b] The Vicious Cycle of Vittal’s Law (1994); and, [c] The Red Tape Guerrilla (1995).
• Dr Reena Ramchandran, Strategic Advisor - Innovation University Project
Dr. Reena Ramachandran is currently Strategic Advisor, Innovation University Project under PPP model (A unique project of the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India). Prior to this she was CMD, Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd, a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India, General Manager, ONGC, Cement Research Institute under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Director General, Fortune Institute of International Business and Fortune Institute of Communication & Television and was Founder Director General, J.K. Business School. She is the 1st women CEO of a public sector company in India. She was conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions in the Oil and Gas sector.
• Dr. S. Venkat Narayan, Senior Journalist, former Editor India Today
An active journalist since 1968, Mr Venkat Narayan was Executive Editor and Senior Editor of India Today in 1979-84; interviewed a large number of Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings and other dignitaries, including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, and is the author of NTR: A Biography in 1982. He has travelled in 65 countries across all continents. Beginning his journalistic career in The Times of India as a reporter in Ahmedabad in Gujarat in 1968, he worked in The Sunday Times, London, as a Summer Scholar in 1975 and as a guest writer at The Boston Globe in Boston in the US in 1978. He currently freelances and writes for a number of international publications.
• Mr S. D. Saxena, former Director (Finance), BSNL
A brilliant student, Mr Saxena is the winner of many awards and medals, including the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for being the most outstanding student of Agra University in the year 1967.During his present tenure as Director (Finance) of BSNL, the largest public sector company dealing with telecom infrastructure, BSNL has shown remarkable growth in both financial and physical targets.
Mr. Saxena has been an active member of the Study Group III under the aegis of International Telecommunication Union. He was the Chairman of the Special Rapporteur Group of Study Group III for telecommunications statistics, which made significant contributions for the presentation of telecom statistics on a global scale. Mr. Saxena was elected Chairman of the TAS Group, the regional tariff group of I.T.U. for Asia & Oceania dealing with telecom-related issues for this region.
• Mr S. Naveen, Market Researcher
Naveen Surapaneni works with Airtel as Head – Business & Marketing. He is a management graduate from the prestigious International Management Institute (IMI), Delhi. Over the last 6 years, he has worked on managerial aspects of development programme planning, implementation and impact assessment. Over years he has led teams to handle various assignments ranging from formulating and executing corporate strategy including M&A, partnership and organic growth strategies, developing and monitoring annual operating plans, feasibility of new business development opportunities and formulation of business plan, programme management of key strategic initiatives, frontline sales etc.
• Dr. Shanti Swarup Medasani, Scientist
Dr Swarup Medasani is a renowned Research Scientist at the Information Sciences Laboratory in HRL, California. He was a post doctoral fellow at Colorado and a visiting Scholar/lecturer at the University of Missouri. Dr Medasani has received a number of awards and honours and has also published various papers/books and has registered multiple patents.
• Mr Kiran Karnik, Former President, NASSCOM
Kiran Karnik was President of NASSCOM, the premiere trade body and the “chamber of commerce” for the IT software and services industry in India, till January 2008. Prior to joining NASSCOM in 2001, Mr. Karnik was the Managing Director and CEO of Discovery Networks in India where he spearheaded the launch of Discovery Channel in South Asia in August 1995 and Animal Planet (a Discovery – BBC joint venture) in 1999. From 1991 to 1995, Mr. Karnik was Founder-Director of the Consortium for Educational Communication, which was responsible for UGC’s Countrywide Classroom broadcasts and other ICT initiatives. Earlier, Mr. Karnik worked for over 20 years at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), where he held various positions including that of Founder-Director of ISRO’s Development and Educational Communicational Unit. He has done consulting assignments for WHO, The World Bank, UN Institute for Disarmament Research, Ford Foundation, and an extended one for UNESCO in Afghanistan. In a career of almost four decades, Mr. Karnik has been conferred many awards and accolades. He has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 and the ‘DATAQUEST IT Person of the Year – 2005’. Business Week named Mr. Karnik as one of the ‘Stars of Asia’ in 2004 and he was selected as Forbes magazine’s ‘Face of the Year 2003’, for being a driving force behind India’s offshoring wave.
• Mr Rajendra Singh, founder Tarun Bharat Sangh
Rajendra Singh is a well-known water conservationist from Alwar district, Rajasthan in India. Also known as "waterman of India", he won the Stockholm Water Prize, an award known as "the Nobel Prize for water", in 2015. Previously, he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership in 2001 for his pioneering work in community-based efforts in water harvesting and water management. He runs an NGO called 'Tarun Bharat Sangh' (TBS), which was founded in 1975. Starting from a single village in 1985, over the years TBS helped build over 8,600 johads and other water conservation structures to collect rainwater for the dry seasons, has brought water back to over 1,000 villages and revived five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahajwali.
He is one of the members of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) under Ministry of Environment, Govt. of India. In 2008, The Guardian named him amongst its list of "50 people who could save the planet". In the UK he is a founder membership of an NGO called the Flow Partnership which aims to counter the negative effects of soil erosion and flooding.
• Mr R S Butola, former Chairman PetroFed & IOC
Mr. R. S. Butola is Chairman ofPetroFed & Chairman,Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., India’s flagship oil &gas major. Before joining Indian Oil, Mr. Butola was the MD of ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL). Under his stewardship, OVL built a formidable E&P portfolio comprising both discovered and producing assets in over 15 countries. In a career spanning about three decades out of which two decades is in the hydrocarbon industry, Mr. Butola has shouldered various responsibilities prominent among which are the appraisal and evaluation of the Mumbai High Redevelopment Scheme as well as the implementation of ONGC’s first ERP. As the first Chief-Commercial of ONGC, Mr. Butola was instrumental in negotiating and executing the first Crude Oil Sales Agreement with the Refineries upon dismantling of the erstwhile Administered Pricing Regime. Mr. Butola holds a MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi and is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB).
• Mr Ramesh Sharma, Eminent Film Maker
Ramesh Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director of Moving Picture Company (India) Ltd. is a well- known award winning Feature film and Television Producer/Director whose films have won numerous awards in the Indian National and International Film Festivals. His very first film (which he produced and directed) “RUMTEK” (on a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery) won the National award for the best short film in India, in 1979. In 1980 this film was awarded a special jury prize in the Commonwealth Film and Television Festival held in Cyprus. Mr. Ramesh Sharma is a member of the Key Advisory Body to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. He is also a member of FICCI’s Entertainment committee in India and member of the Governing Council of the NASSCOM-FICCI-alliance.
• Mr Samar Singh, IAS (Retd.), President - Samarpan Foundation; Tourism and Wildlife Society of India | Trustee - Foundation for Ecological Security; Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust
An Indian Administrative Service officer, Samar Singh has held several senior positions in Madhya Pradesh, his cadre state, and with the Government of India, where he worked first in the Ministry of Agriculture and then in the Ministry of Environment and Forests. During this period, he handled various assignments, especially Forest and Wildlife Conservation, and was Director (Wildlife), Government of India, and Member Secretary of the Indian Board of Wildlife chaired by the Prime Minister. Thereafter, from 1993 to June 2000, he was on deputation as the Secretary General of the World Wide Fund for Nature - India (WWF-India). Singh retired in June 2000 at the level of Secretary to the Government of India. He is recipient of the "Order of the Golden Ark" - an international award for exceptional work done in the field of nature conservation. He has also authored several books on nature and conservation. He is presently President of Samarpan Foundation and Tourism and Wildlife Society of India and Trustee of Foundation for Ecological Security and Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust.
• Dr. Shyam Benegal, Ex MP (Rajya Sabha), Eminent Film Director
With a career that has spanned more than 25 years, Shyam Benegal's profile is awe-inspiring. His body of film making has repeatedly swept critics off their feet, garnering him more than 30 National Awards, five Filmfare Awards, innumerable Advertising Awards and many significant international awards. The core subjects of his films have been varied in nature but mainly centered around contemporary Indian experiences. Problems of development and social change appear on many levels as a continuing thread in practically all his films. The government of India has conferred on him two of its most prestigious awards-the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. Mr. Benegal has also been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2006.
• Mr Sudhir Chandra, IRS, former Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes
As chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes, Chandra surprised many tax payers by ensuring that the government does not hold on to the tax refunds for years. The taxmen across the country then worked overtime to follow Chandra's mission, and over 50 lakh tax payers received refunds in a record three months' time. This 1973 batch IRS officer also took the initiative of exempting salaried employees with less income from filing mandatory returns. Armed with a law degree from University of Allahabad, Chandra got himself enrolled as a Member of Bar Council of Delhi and as an Advocate of Delhi High Court Bar Association after he had retired from the Government of India. Thanks to his nearly four decades long experiences in Revenue Department, he articulates tax matters with clarity and conviction.
• Ms Usha Bhasin, Channel Head, Art and Culture, Doordarshan, India
Usha Bhasin has worked for India’s public service broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, since 1975, when she joined All India Radio. In 1998 she started with the broadcaster’s TV arm, Doordarshan (DD). Prior to her current role, she was Additional Director-General of DD. Her pioneering work using broadcasting to promote social change has been awarded and recognised by several UN bodies, and broadcasting organisations such as the AIBD and the ABU.
• Ms. Usha Rai, Eminent Journalist
Usha Rai is the founder member of the Indian Women’s Press Corp in New Delhi. Ms Rai, a pioneer in writing on women’s empowerment issues has been focusing on the falling sex ratio of the girl child due to sex selective abortions. She is the recipient of the Chameli Devi Award and FAO UN Award. Among the major women related stories she has broken are the rape of Bhanwari Devi of Rajasthan, atrocities on Usha Dhiman of U.P, assault on Jain Sadhavis in M.P. and an investigative report on the widows of Vrindavan.
• Dr U N B Rao, IPS (Retd.), Chairman of Urvi Vikram Charitable Trust
Dr. U N B Rao obtained Ph.D. degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) in Humanities & Social Sciences in 2002. Dr. Rao is retired an Indian Police Officer, pursued his job with a high degree of professional competency and remarkable integrity.
Dr. U N B Rao is a rare breed of human being who reversed the arrow of sorrow (suffered by the accidental death of only son aged 20/21 years) and contributed to the National development both in his chosen field of profession (Indian Police Service), and Social Service (Urivi Vikram Charitable Trust), with a motto to find ways and means to transform India’s ‘burden of population’ to an ‘Asset of Human Resources’. Dr. Rao combined his professional zeal with his mission for adolescents and did his doctoral work from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi on topic “Impact of Proactive Policing Approach on Attitude of Adolescent Students in Metropolitan Cities” (1998-2002).
He was a Consultant (Police Reforms) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (2007-09), prepared action plan for the National Police Mission which was announced by the Prime Minister of India in 2005. Advised the MHA on various police related issues; when he was the Secretary of the Police Act Drafting Committee (popularly known as Soli Sorabjee Committee), organized 40 odd high-level meetings and facilitated revision of the 1861 Police Act and coming up with a Model Police Act, 2006 which has become basis for enacting New Police Acts by different States.
He was awarded with Police Medal for Meritorious Services, 2002 and President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Services, 2005, among other awards.
• Prof. Y S Rajan, former Principal Advisor, CII
Prof. Y S Rajan, an eminent Indian Scientist has made key contributions to space research, technology and applications since 1964 and continues to be an important expert on space matters. As Scientific Secretary, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), he was responsible for a combination of scientific, technical, administrative, planning, policy and international cooperation matters. His contributions in shaping ISRO from its initial experimental phases into a major service delivery organisation have been remarkable. He has been responsible for creating a series of documents related to Technology Vision 2020 for India, which culminated in a book on a roadmap for socio- economic development for India called “India Vision 2020”. He is an expert in environmentally sound technologies, satellite meteorology, remote sensing, mapping systems and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) related matters.