Dr Vijay Bhatkar is the Chancellor of Nalanda University and one of the most acclaimed scientists and IT leaders of India. He is best known as the architect of India's first supercomputer and as the founder Executive Director of C-DAC, India's national initiative in supercomputing. He is credited with the creation of several national institutions, notably amongst them being C-DAC, ER&DC, IIITM-K, I2IT, ETH Research Lab, MKCL and India International Multiversity. He has been a Member of Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet of Govt of India, Governing Council Member of CSIR, India and eGovernace Committee Chairman of Governments of Maharashtra and Goa. A Fellow of IEEE, ACM, CSI,INAE and leading scientific, engineering and professional societies of India, he has been honored with Padmashri and Maharashtra Bhushan awards. Other recognitions include Saint Dnyaneshwar World Peace Prize, Lokmanya Tilak Award , HK Firodia and Dataquest Lifetime Achievement Awards, and many others. He was a nominee for Petersburg Prize and is a Distinguished Alumni of IIT,Delhi. He is presently the Chancellor of India International Multiversity, Chairman of ETH Research Lab, Chief Mentor of I2IT, and National President of Vijnan Bharati.
Professor Sunaina Singh is among the most prominent women Vice Chancellors in the South Asian region. Prior to her current role she was the Vice Chancellor of the English and Foreign Languages University. A distinguished academician and administrator, she also holds the position of Vice President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). She has the distinction of being the first Indian woman to head as the President of Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, the bi-national research institution with headquarters in New Delhi and Calgary under the MHRD and Canadian Government.
Professor Singh brings with her a rich blend of scholarship, professional integrity, and administrative competence. Her impeccable and proven track record as an able and visionary administrator has enabled her to excel in her leadership role, a fact acknowledged by the many prestigious awards she has won including Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education, 2014 and 100-Most Influential Vice Chancellors, 2016 (World Education Congress).
Currently, a member of several national and international Academic committees, Prof Singh is engaged in the challenging task of restructuring and redesigning university pedagogical and administrative systems.
Shri N.K. Singh is a renowned politician, economist and has held senior policymaking responsibilities in the bureaucracy. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) from 2008 to 2014 and served on several Parliamentary Standing Committees including Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Human Resource Development. He is presently a Member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
While in the civil service, Shri Singh has handled important portfolios in India’s economic reforms strategy and also held public offices including India's Expenditure and Revenue Secretary, a Member of the National Planning Commission as well as Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.
He is currently a Member on the Board of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), International Management Institute (IMI), Observer Research Foundation, Aspen (leading global think tank), Hindustan Times, Nalanda University, The Tribhuvan School (Patna) and Member of Japan’s International High Speed Rail Association (IHRA). He is also part of the India Advisory Board of London School of Economics and Columbia University.
Professor Wang Bangwei is Professor and Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies and Oriental Literature Research Center at Peking University. He is also the Director of the India Research Center at Peking University. His research includes textual studies of Buddhist literature (of Sanskrit and its Chinese translation), history of Buddhism (both of China and of India), Sino-Indian cultural interactions particularly those topics related to Buddhism, accounts of the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims to India—Faxian, Xuanzang and Yijing—and the historical and religious sources related to these accounts.
Mr. Peter Varghese is the Chancellor of the University of Queensland, Australia. Before his current position, Mr. Varghese was the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 3 December 2012 to 22 July 2016. He Varghese was Australia’s High Commissioner to India from 2009 to 2012. Between 2004 and 2009, he was Director-General of the Office of National Assessments. Before that he was the Senior Adviser (International) to the Prime Minister. Mr Varghese was Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia from 2000 to 2002. He has also served overseas in Tokyo (1994), Washington (1986-88) and Vienna (1980-83).
Mr Varghese has held a wide range of senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, including as Deputy Secretary (2002-2003), First Assistant Secretary of the International Security Division (1997), Head of the White Paper Secretariat (1996-97) which drafted Australia’s first white paper on foreign and trade policy, First Assistant Secretary of the Public Affairs Division (1994-96), and Assistant Secretary of Staffing (1991-92). He was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as First Assistant Secretary of the International Division (1998-1999).
The ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
H.E. Mr. Southam SAKONHNINHOM is a career diplomat and currently the Ambassador of Lao P.D.R. to India with concurrent Jurisdiction over Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador to India he has also served as Ambassador of the Lao PDR to Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and European Union.
Since joining Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1982 and during his diplomatic career his Excellency Mr. Southam SAKONHNINHOM held many important positions in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas. He was Deputy Director General of International Organization Department, Director General of Europe- America Department. He also represented Lao P.D.R. as Counselor to the Permanent Mission to the United Nation, New York and to the Embassy of Lao P.D.R. to France.
H.E Mr. Southam SAKONHNINHOM, is Buddhist and has been fascinated with Asia, its contempory life, history and culture.
Professor Prapod Assavavirulhakarn is the former Dean, Faculty of Arts and the Head of the Department of Eastern Languages at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. An expert in Buddhism and Sanskrit, he received his PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests lie in etymology, language and society, Pali-Sanskrit literature, and scriptural readings.
Smt. Preeti Saran is the Secretary(East) in the Ministry of External Affairs. She has served until recently as the Ambassador of India to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and prior to that as the Indian Consul General in Toronto, Canada. Her earlier charges in the Ministry of External Affairs include that of Joint Secretary, SAARC(South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and Joint Secretary, Northern Division. She has also served in various capacities in Indian Missions in Geneva, Cairo, Dhaka and Moscow. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Delhi University.
Shri Anjani Kumar has a B.A in Geography and a PG from JNU with a first class in each exam. He also has an MBA from Southern Cross University, Australia. He is a 1981 batch IAS officer of Bihar Cadre. He started his career as SDO in the year 1983. During his career, he has served as Dy Commissioner and District Magistrate of Vaishali and Santhal Parghna districts in the undivided Bihar and also as Divisional Commissioner of Tirhut and Purnea Divisions. He took over as the Chief Secretary of the State on July 1, 2014. Prior to this he has served as Secretary/Principal Secretary in different departments of the State Government. He has also served as Director in Government of India for a period of 5 years. Before taking Charge as Chief Secretary he has served as Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Bihar. During his tenure as the State Project Director, Bihar Education Project and Principal Secretary of the State he is credited with the successful recruitment of 4 lakh teachers all over the state, through Panchayati Raj Institutions. He also played an important role in setting up institutions like Chanakya Law University, Aryabhatt Knowledge University and Chandragupt Institute of Management Studies in Patna. As Chief Secretary he is credited with establishing the International Museum in Patna.
Shri Chanchal Kumar is the Prinicipal Secretary to Chief Minister of Bihar. He has previously been Secretary to the Chief Minister and Secretary, Rural Works Department, Government of Bihar. He has also been Chief Executive Officer of Bihar Foundation, Secretary Building Construction Department and Secretary Art, Culture & Youth in Government of Bihar. A 1992 batch IAS he has a BTech and MTech in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a Masters in International Development Policy, Applied Economics from Duke University. He also has a PhD in Economics from Patna University. He also has an Executive Degree in Microfinance from Harvard Kennedy School.
Shri Kewal Kumar Sharma is Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development. Shri Sharma is a 1983 batch IAS officer of Union territories cadre. He has a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and a Diploma in Public Administration. He has served as the Chief Secretary of Delhi as well as Goa and as Additional Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development. He has also been an advisor to Governor of Punjab and administrator of Chandigarh. He was posted in Delhi as the Principal Secretary (PWD) from 2009 to 2011. He had served in Kosovo between 1999 and 2005 on United Nations assignment.
Formerly of the I.A.S., Arvind Sharma ( b.1940) is the Birks Professor of Comparative Religion in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has also taught in various universities in Australia ( University of Queensland, Sydney) and the United States ( Northeastern, Temple, Boston, Harvard) and has published extensively in the fields of comparative religion and Indology. He was instrumental in organising three global conferences on World Religions After September 11 in 2006, 2011 and 2016, which led to the release of the first-ever Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions. His recent works include Mahatma Gandhi: A Spiritual Biography, Hinduism on its Own Terms , and Decolonizing Indian Studies and his forthcoming books include Orientalism Two, Our Civilization, and How to read the Manusmrti .He is currently the general editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions ( Dordrecht: Springer, 2017)
Prof. Chandra is the President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Honorary Director of the International Academy of Indian Culture. In the past, he has held several prestigious positions including Chairman of Indian Council for Historical Research, Vice President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) twice during 1974-80 and 1980-86.
Prof. Chandra was awarded Padma Bhushan, in 2006 by the Government of India in recognition to his contributions to the academic life and public discourse. Prof. Chandra’s major life-work is the study of cultural interflow between India and the countries of the world. Beginning with India’s linguistic sharing with the Indo- European languages of the West he has written on arts, histories and literatures of the Buryatia in Siberia, Mongolia, Central Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, Japan, Cambodia and Indonesia. He has to his credit over 596 works and text editions. Among them are classics like Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, Materials for a History of Tibetan Literature, Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, and his Dictionary of Buddhist Art in about 20 volumes.
Dr Arvind Panagariya former Vice-Chairman, Niti Aayog, has been Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University. He has also served as Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland at College Park. He has also worked with the World Bank, IMF and UNCTAD in various capacities. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University.
Dr Panagariya has authored more than fifteen books. His book India: The Emerging Giant (2008, OUP, New York) was listed as a top pick of 2008 by the Economist magazine and described as the “definitive book on the Indian economy” by Fareed Zakaria of the CNN. The Economist magazine has described his book, Why Growth Matters, (with Jagdish Bhagwati) as “a manifesto for policymakers and analysts.” Professor Panagariya’s scientific papers have appeared in the top economics journals such as the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics while his policy papers have appeared in the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. Until recently, he wrote a monthly column in the Times of India and his guest columns have appeared in the Financial Times, Wall Street JournalIndia Today.
In March 2012, the Government of India honoured Panagariya with Padma Bhusan, the third highest civilian honors the country bestows in any field.
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