Speakers

 
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Chandra Bhushan

Chandra Bhushan is the Deputy Director General of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) - India’s leading environmental think tank. He has been associated with CSE and has worked in the field of environment and development since 1997.  Bhushan leads CSE’s research programmes in Industry & Environment, Waste Management, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, and Food Safety & Toxins. He sits on various national committees in India relating to energy access, renewable energy, waste management and industrial growth. He has authored several books on industry, environmental governance, energy and climate change. He is a Consulting Editor for Down To Earth magazine.

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Joanna Depledge

Joanna Depledge is Editor of the Climate Policy journal and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG), which is part of the University of Cambridge (UK).  Her main research interest lies in international climate change politics, and global environmental negotiations more broadly. For 15 years (2003-2018), she researched, lectured, supervised and examined at the University of Cambridge, mostly at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).  Joanna has been following the climate negotiations for the past 23 years, and has published widely on climate change issues, as well as on other environmental topics.  Prior to her academic career, Joanna worked for the UN Climate Change Secretariat, as well as for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, reporting on climate change, ozone and biodiversity meetings.  She holds a PhD from University College London.

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Chandrashekhar Dasgupta

Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta is a retired diplomat who served as Ambassador in China and the European Union. He has long been involved with international climate change negotiations. He is currently a Member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, and a Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva. Dasgupta is the author of War and Diplomacy in Kashmir, 1947-48. He is a Padma Bhushan awardee.

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Lavanya Rajamani

Lavanya Rajamani is a Professor at Centre for Policy Research, where she researches legal issues relating to the environment (in particular climate change), international law, and human rights. She has authored and edited several books on international environmental law, is a frequent contributor to periodicals and academic journals, and has written reports and working papers for organisations including the International Law Association, the World Bank, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She also serves on the editorial board of several international academic journals. Rajamani has worked on and analysed the international climate negotiations since 1998. Among other roles, she has served as a consultant to the UNFCCC Secretariat, as a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, and as a legal adviser to the Chairs of Ad Hoc Working Groups under the FCCC. Rajamani has also advised many government and multilateral agencies, including the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Danish Ministry of Climate Change, the World Bank, and the UNDP. She also serves as a legal expert in several high-level informal climate dialogues, and has participated in BASIC Expert meetings. She holds an LLM from Yale, a DPhil and BCL from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar, and a B.A.LL.B. (Honours) from National Law School, Bangalore.

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Ashutosh Sharma

Ashutosh Sharma is the Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India since January 2015. He was a professor (1997-), an Institute Chair Professor (2007-) and the Head (2003-05) of Chemical Engineering, and the founding Coordinator of the Nanosciences Center and the Advanced Imaging Center at IIT Kanpur. Sharma received his PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1988), his MS from the Pennsylvania State University (1984) and BTech from IIT Kanpur (1982).

Sharma has had international experience as a research faculty at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine (1988-90), visiting faculty at University of Texas at Austin, University of Western Ontario, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the World Class University Program of South Korea and as a Member of the European Research Commission.

Sharma’s research contributions are highly interdisciplinary, spanning a wide range in nanotechnology; thin polymer films; nanocomposites and devices in energy, to name a few. He has published over 330 peer reviewed papers, filed over 15 patents, given over 100 invited or key note conference presentations and mentored a nanotechnology startup.

Sharma is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including the inaugural Infosys Prize in Engineering and Computer Science, TWAS Science Prize of the World Academy of Sciences, Bessel Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation, and others.

He is an elected Fellow of The Indian National Science Academy, The Indian Academy of Sciences, The National Academy of Sciences, India and Indian National Academy of Engineering, The World Academy of Sciences and the Asia-Pacific Academy of Materials. He has also served on the Councils of the first two. He has been an associate editor of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy and ASME Journal of Micro- and Nano-Manufacturing and has been on the editorial boards of several journals.

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Anu Acharya

Anu Acharya is co-Founder and CEO of Mapmygenome India, a company that pioneered the field of personalised, preventive healthcare by making personal genomics tools available to the masses. With a vision to ‘Touch 100 million lives’, Mapmygenome was established in 2013, heralding the advent of improved healthcare through genomics-based personalised, precision medicine in India. Ever since, she has successfully pioneered the company through growing product lines, expanding affiliate network and has received funding from several stalwarts. She is a distinguished alumna from IIT Kharagpur.

Under her leadership, the company has gone from strength to strength, achieving several milestones, awards and honours including ET startup Awards to NASSCOM Emerge 50, WSJ’s Top global startups award, Red Herring Asia and Global to and the recently conferred Pride of Telangana award; Mapmygenome has certainly become a force to be reckoned with.

Her entrepreneurial journey began back in 2000, when she founded Ocimum Biosolutions - a global genomics outsourcing partner for discovery, development and diagnostics. With her at the helm for 13 years, Ocimum flourished through three strategic international acquisitions, two capital raises for equity investments and launch of several innovative products, solutions and services through its proprietary platform called RaaS (Research as a Service) – an entrepreneurial success story that made its way into the Harvard Business Review as a case study.

An author of several research papers published in major journals, various articles for journals like Nature, Acharya recently received early publication approval for her patent for SNaPpy – the genetic risk prediction algorithm developed in-house at Mapmygenome.

A fiercely respected entrepreneur, she also serves as a governing board member for various high profile institutions such as the NIBMG, NIAB, KIIT, IvyCap Ventures, CSIR and ABLE to name a few.

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Nabil Fahmy

Nabil Fahmy is the former Foreign Minister of Egypt during which he steered the course of Egypt’s diplomacy during a time of immense challenge. He formulated a strategy to reorient Egypt’s foreign policy, and restructured the Ministry to better address the future challenges confronting Egypt.

During a distinguished diplomatic career over three decades, Fahmy served as Ambassador to the United States (1999-2008) and Japan (1997-1999) and held numerous government and international positions. His work focused on international and regional security issues, disarmament and non-proliferation, and Arab-Israeli diplomacy. He was a member of the Egyptian Delegation to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference; the Review Conferences of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; the Committee on Principles in the United Nations Conference on Promoting International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and other multilateral events. He was also the Chairman of the United Nations Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, and the Vice Chairman of the United Nations General Assembly’s first committee dealing with disarmament and international security. He has numerous publications on these subjects in English and Arabic.

He presently serves as the Founding Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at The American University in Cairo (AUC). GAPP has become a Middle East voice of stellar caliber on topical issues of Public Affairs, Law, Journalism, as well as on the Middle East, Refugees, and Gender studies.

Fahmy is also currently a member of the International Advisory Board of CHUBB insurance company, and on the Board of Councilors of McLarty Associates, both of which are based in the United States. He holds a Masters degree in Management and a Bachelor degree in Physics and Mathematics both from the American University in Cairo.

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Shweta Rajpal Kohli

As the head of Public Policy for Salesforce, Shweta Rajpal Kohli is responsible for the cloud-computing company’s relationships with government officials, regulators, industry bodies and influencers in India and South Asia. Before joining Salesforce, she led a team of public policy professionals at Uber across South Asia.

Kohli transitioned to the corporate world in 2016 after a rich and exciting career as an award-winning journalist and TV news anchor for two decades. A British Chevening Scholar, she was invited by the US government as the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Fellow in 2009. She was also chosen among 45 global leaders for the Asian Forum on Global Governance (AFGG) Fellowship in 2013. She was named as IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Advertising and Marketing in 2018, and was ranked top 10 most influential women on Twitter from among them.

Kohli has completed mid-career programs at the Wharton Business School, INSEAD Business School and the University of Westminster, London. She has received several prestigious honours including the Ramnath Goenka Award for business journalism by President Pratibha Patil, Business Standard-Seema Nazareth Award for young print journalists by President KR Narayanan, Young Women Achievers Award by FICCI and Business Communicator of the Year by ABCI.

As the Business Editor of NDTV, she regularly interviewed many global bigwigs including Sheryl Sandberg, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Indra Nooyi, etc. Shweta is seen as a champion of gender equality and is a prolific speaker on subjects like ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Women at the Workplace’.

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Michael Grubb

Michael Grubb is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the Institute of Sustainable Resources at University College London. In 2016, he moved from a role as Senior Advisor at the UK Energy Regulator OFGEM (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) to chair the UK government’s Panel of Technical Advisors on Energy Market Reform. His former positions include Senior Research Associate in Economics at Cambridge University; Chair of the international research organisation Climate Strategies; Chief Economist at the Carbon Trust; and head of Energy and Environment at Chatham House. Grubb was founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Climate Policy, and has served on the UK Climate Change Committee, established under the UK Climate Change Act to advise the government on future carbon budgets. He has authored eight books and fifty journal articles, and has held advisory positions with governments, companies and international institutes on climate change and energy policy. He has also been a Lead Author for several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on mitigation, and is currently a Convening Lead Author for the Sixth IPCC Assessment Report.

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Navroz K Dubash

Navroz K Dubash is a Professor at Centre for Policy Research specialising in energy and environmental policy and governance. Widely published in these areas, Dubash serves on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a Chapter Lead Author, Government of India advisory committees on climate change, energy, air quality and water policy, and the editorial boards of several international journals. In 2015 he was conferred the 12th T N Khoshoo Memorial Award for his work on climate change policy. His most recent edited book examines the political economy of electricity in India’s states, and a forthcoming volume will examine climate politics, policy and governance in India.

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Ajay Mathur

Ajay Mathur is Director General of TERI – The Energy and Resources Institute, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. He was Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the Government of India from 2006 till February, 2016, and responsible for bringing energy efficiency into Indian homes, offices, and factories, through initiatives such as the star labelling programme for appliances, the Energy Conservation Building Code, and the Perform, Achieve and Trade programme for energy-intensive industries. In the past, he has headed the Climate Change Team of World Bank in Washington DC, was President of Suzlon Energy Limited, and headed the interim Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund. He has been a key Indian climate-change negotiator, and was also the Indian spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations at Paris. He is a global leader on technological approaches to address climate change; he co-chairs the Energy Transitions Commission, global group of industrial, financial and think-tank leaders which is suggesting approaches for companies and countries to move towards climate-friendly energy futures.

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Radhika Khosla

Radhika Khosla is the Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, a Senior Researcher at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford, and a Visiting Fellow at Centre for Policy Research. She works on the linkages between energy and climate change in rapidly urbanising environments, and the two foci of her research are: urban energy demand and consumption; and the mainstreaming of climate actions into local development processes in cities. Her broader research examines how countries and cities in transition can effectively manage and meet their energy, economic and environmental objectives. Khosla was previously a Staff Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in New York, where she helped set up the organisation’s work on clean energy and climate change in India and led research and implementation on building energy policies in Indian states. She is currently affiliated with the MIT Energy Initiative; her other past affiliations include the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and the Center for Advanced Study of India, at the University of Pennsylvania; NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation in New York; and The Energy and Research Institute in New Delhi.

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Ashok Sreenivas

Ashok Sreenivas works on issues related to energy data and modelling, cooking energy access and the coal-thermal sector at Prayas (Energy Group). He has also worked in the transport and oil-gas sectors. Sreenivas has authored many reports and papers, contributed to building tools and provided inputs to policy formulation in the Indian energy sector. He has a BTech and PhD in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

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Shibani Ghosh

Shibani Ghosh is a public interest lawyer and a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research. She specialises in environmental and access to information laws. At CPR, she researches issues relating to domestic environmental law and regulation. Ghosh has been a Sustainability Science Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School (2014-2015), and a visiting faculty at the TERI University and the RICS School of Built Environment, where she taught environmental law. She is a Rhodes Scholar and holds both a master’s in science in environmental change and management and a bachelor’s in civil law (a graduate degree in law) from the University of Oxford. She has an undergraduate degree in law from the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. She was previously associated with the Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE), a New Delhi-based environmental law firm, and has also worked as a legal consultant with the Central Information Commission, a quasi-judicial body set up under the Right to Information Act, 2005. In 2011, she was awarded the first DoPT-RTI fellowship by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India to undertake research on the implementation of the Right to Information Act 2005.

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E Somanathan

E Somanathan is Professor in the Economics and Planning Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute in Delhi, Professor-in-Charge of the Social Sciences Division of the ISI, and Program Director of the Centre for research on the Economics of Climate, Food, Energy and Environment (CECFEE). His research is in the economics of environment and development. He received his PhD from Harvard University and has taught at Emory University, the University of Michigan, and Princeton University. He has been Executive Director of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), a Coordinating Lead Author for the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, and is the Editor of Environment and Development Economics, a Cambridge University Press journal.

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Ritesh Kumar Singh

Ritesh Kumar Singh is an IAS Officer of the1996 batch and belongs to the Karnataka Cadre. He is presently working as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. His Educational Qualifications are BTech from IIT Kanpur in Computer Science and MPA from Harvard University in International Development. He is the recipient of the Fullbright Fellowship in Leadership Development and the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship.

In the State Government he has worked as Secretary in the Finance Department, Managing Director of State Finance Corporation and Karnataka Power Corporation and Deputy Commissioner of Karvar and Koppal Districts. In the Central Government he has worked as Director, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Private Secretary to Union Minister of Petroleum and the Union Minister of Science & Technology (Shri S Jaipal Reddy).

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Vinuta Gopal

Vinuta Gopal is a Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asar Social Impact Advisors. She has more than 15 years of experience in campaigning on various environmental and justice issues in India. Before joining Asar, Gopal was Interim Executive Director and Program Director of Greenpeace India. She has led several successful campaigns in her tenure at Greenpeace.

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Nitin Sethi

Nitin Sethi is the Senior Associate Editor at Business Standard. Over past two decades he has written and reported on the intersection of resource conflicts, energy and environment, governance and the political economy. He has previously worked at The Hindu, The Times of India, Down To Earth magazine and Scroll.in

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Ananth Padmanabhan

Ananth Padmanabhan is a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research. His research interests are in the fields of technology policy, intellectual property rights, and innovation scholarship. He has authored a leading treatise, Intellectual Property Rights: Infringement and Remedies (LexisNexis, 2012), and co-edited an important volume, India as a Pioneer of Innovation (OUP, 2017). 

Over the past few years, he has critically examined the policy implications of a wide range of technologies and solutions including digital identities, blockchain, civilian drones, gene editing, and electric mobility, with special focus on ease of innovating in India. His chapter on Big Data in a forthcoming volume on Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance (Hart Publishing, 2019), is part of a continuing initiative to examine the public law and regulatory dimensions of new technologies. It builds on his understanding of the Indian State and the Supreme Court within the constitutional context, explored through chapters in Rethinking Public Institutions in India (OUP, 2017), and the Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (OUP, 2016). He engages in broader public conversations on the impact of technology through his opinion pieces in ThePrint, Livemint, Indian Express, and other print / new media.

Previously, Padmanabhan worked with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, New Delhi, starting their technology policy research initiatives in India and the Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru, an annual forum for stakeholder conversations on technology policy. He has practiced law in the Madras High Court and taught at several institutions including the National Law University, Jodhpur, and the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. He holds a master’s degree in law from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is presently completing his doctoral thesis on digital copyright at the same institution.

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Sanjeev Bikhchandani

Sanjeev Bikhchandani is the Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Info Edge which owns Naukri.com, a job portal, as well as the co-Founder of Ashoka University.

Info Edge is the most profitable web business in the country running other websites in addition to Naukri, spanning real estate, matrimony, and education. In 2005, Naukri.com was reported as being India’s largest web-based employment website.  

Along with his partner Hitesh Oberoi, Bikhchandani won the Ernst and Young – Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008 for Business Transformation. He also won the Dataquest Pathbreaker Award and the Teacher’s Achievement Award for Business in 2008. He is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship at conferences and at business schools. 

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from St Stephen's College and a PGDM from IIM-Ahmedabad. He has earlier worked in marketing at Lintas India Limited, at HMM Limited (now known as Glaxo SmithKline), and at a senior management position at CMYK Printech Private Limited that owns the newspaper The Pioneer.

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Mukta Naik

Mukta Naik, a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, is an architect and urban planner. Her research interests include housing and urban poverty, urban informality, and internal migration, as well as urban transformations in small cities. At CPR, she focuses on understanding the links between internal migration and urbanisation in the Indian context.

Prior to joining CPR, she worked with micro Home Solutions on a number of community-based interventions to improve housing in informal settlements. Naik has written widely in the print and digital media and has also run a market research and media services company. As trustee for two NGOs that are located in Gurgaon and Uttarakhand, she is involved with community development initiatives in rural and urban locations.

Naik is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture, where she is also a visiting faculty member. She has a master’s in urban and regional planning from Texas A&M University.

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Yamini Aiyar

Yamini Aiyar is the President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research. Her research interests are in the field of social policy and development. In 2008, Aiyar founded the Accountability Initiative at CPR. Under her leadership, the Accountability Initiative has produced significant research in the areas of governance, state capacity and social policy. It pioneered a new approach to tracking public expenditures for social policy programs and is widely recognised for running the country’s largest expenditure-tracking survey in elementary education. Aiyar’s own research on social accountability, elementary education, decentralisation and administrative reforms has received both academic and popular recognition.

Yamini Aiyar is a TED fellow and a founding member of the International Experts Panel of the Open Government Partnership. She has also been a member of the World Economic Forum’s global council on good governance. Previously, she has worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program and Rural Development unit in Delhi, where she focused on action research aimed at strengthening mechanisms for citizen engagement in local government. Additionally, she was a member of the decentralisation team at the World Bank that provided policy support to strengthen Panchayati Raj (local governance) in India.

Aiyar is an Alumna of the London School of Economics, St Edmund's college Cambridge University, and St Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

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Partha Mukhopadhyay

Partha Mukhopadhyay is Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research and joined it in 2006. He was previously part of the founding team at the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), focusing on private participation in infrastructure. In previous positions, he has been with the Export Import Bank of India, and with the World Bank in Washington. He has been on the faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur and the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi. He has published extensively, writes frequently for the national media and has also been associated with a number of government committees. Most recently, he was chair of the Working Group on Migration, Government of India and member of the High Level Railway Restructuring Committee, Ministry of Railways and of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. He has previously been associated with the Committee on Allocation of Natural Resources and with the Prime Minister's Task Force on Infrastructure. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of LIRNEasia, Colombo.

He received his PhD in economics from New York University and an MA and MPhil from the Delhi School of Economics. In 2006, he was chosen as one of the inaugural Fellows of the India China Institute, New School, New York and in 2016, he was a selected for a Residency at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation. His research interests are in urbanisation, infrastructure, and the development paths of India and China.

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Nimmi Kurian

Nimmi Kurian is Professor at Centre for Policy Research, and Faculty Advisor, India China Institute, The New School, New York. She was Fellow (2008-2010) and India Academic Representative (2010-2015), India China Institute, The New School, New York. Her research interests include Asian borderlands, comparative regionalism and sub-regionalism, Indian foreign policy, constituent diplomacy and trans-boundary water governance. She is one of the contributors to the India Country Report as part of the Bangladesh China India Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM EC) Joint Study Group, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. She is also part of the Asian Borderlands Research Initiative, a network of scholars interested in the reconfiguration of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of borderlands. Her recent publications include:  India and China: Rethinking Borders and Security (co-eds) University of Michigan Press, 2016; The India China Borderlands: Conversations Beyond the Centre, Sage, 2014;  ‘The Rupee’s Reach: The Lending Curve of India’s Development Diplomacy in South Asia’, CPR Policy Brief, February 2017; ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant: Making Sense of China’s One Belt One Road Initiative’, CPR Policy Brief, December 2016.

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Zorawar Daulet Singh

Zorawar Daulet Singh is an author and foreign affairs analyst based in New Delhi. He is a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research. He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Institute of Chinese Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the Forum for Strategic Initiative. He contributes to the Economic & Political Weekly, Hindu, Outlook and Hindustan.

Previously he was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Alternatives in New Delhi. Singh holds a PhD in international relations from King’s College London, an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University and a BSc from the University of London where he majored in economics and finance.

Singh’s research interests include India’s foreign policy, various dimensions of India China relations, Eurasian geopolitics, and, international political economy.

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Shyam Saran

Shyam Saran, Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, is a former foreign secretary and has served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, and chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries. He is currently a member of the governing board of CPR, Life Trustee of the India International Centre, a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (India), a member of the National Executive of FICCI, and an independent director at the Press Trust of India.

In January 2011 Shyam Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour, for his contributions to civil service. He writes and speaks regularly on foreign policy, climate change, energy security, and national and international security related issues.

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Ibrahim Agboola Gambari

Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR, OCORT, a scholar-diplomat, is the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental think-tank on research and policy studies on conflict prevention and resolution in Africa.

He has had an illustrious career, spanning academia, government and international diplomacy, culminating with his appointment as the first United Nations Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005). He was also concurrently the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola (2002-2003). He has been a delegate to the Assembly of the OAU/African Union as a national delegate (1984-1985) and as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s delegation (2000-2012). He was the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990-1994), Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007). He also operated as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.

He was Director-General at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs; Minister of External Affairs (1984-1985) and subsequently Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999). Professor Gambari also served as Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID, which was then the largest international peacekeeping operation in the world. He currently co-chairs the commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance at the Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Stimson Centre at Washington DC.

He received his BSC (Econs) from the London School of Economics (1968), and his MA and PhD in Political Science/International Relations (1970, 1974) from Columbia University. He has received several noteworthy academic and national honours. He is the Pioneer Chancellor of Kwara State University, Nigeria as well as the current Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano.

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Venktesh Shukla

As past President of TiE Silicon Valley and Chairman of TiE Global, Shukla presided over one of the most powerful networks focused on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and beyond. TiE, with 61 chapters across 18 countries, exists to promote wealth creation through entrepreneurship, and its membership includes VCs, successful entrepreneurs, senior executives in public companies as well as budding entrepreneurs.

Shukla hosted Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Silicon Valley for the Digital India Dinner and for the Indo-US Startup Konnect. He worked closely with Amitabh Kant, then Secretary, DIPP to provide critical inputs for the Startup India initiative. He has worked with several state governments in India to help craft their policies on start-ups and has also been invited by the Minister of Science and Technology to advise on leveraging diaspora for innovation in science and technology in India.

Shukla is currently General Partner of an early stage venture fund called Monta Vista Capital that invests in companies that leverage AI/ML, blockchain and self-driving systems to transform industries.

Shukla’s long and varied career includes sales, marketing, and general management, and he has a proven track record of leading companies through rapid growth. He has worked as a senior marketing executive in large technology companies in Silicon Valley and has been involved with numerous early stage companies as CEO, investor, board member, or advisor.

He is currently trustee of Foundation for Excellence India Trust, an organisation that has provided scholarship to over 17,000 talented students and enabled them to become engineers and doctors in India.

Shukla has been invited to speak at Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford and other prestigious conferences. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a BE in Electronics Engineering from NIT Bhopal.

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Swati Janu

Swati Janu is an architect and community artist whose work engages with issues of social justice, right to housing and evictions in Indian cities. Her social practice combines design mentorship, community engagement and practice based research on the themes of migration and urban informality. She is a graduate from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, where she currently also teaches.

Janu also holds an MSc in Sustainable Urban Development from University of Oxford, UK and in 2018, was nominated as one of the 15 Young Leaders from India by the French embassy.

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Fedor Kudryavtsev

Fedor Kudryavtsev is an architect. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Architecture (MARHI) in 1993. Since the last 25 years, he has worked on several spaces ranging from single-family houses to city agglomerations like the one of Moscow that counts around 18 million citizens. His design experience is strongly influenced by applied and theoretical studies he had been simultaneously undertaking as Head of the Laboratory of Urban Studies of MARHI in 2006-2016.

His favorite projects engage city strategic planning, studies on new urban phenomena like self-organisation of urban structures or big data influence on urban development, architectural and urban design, elaboration of new methodologies of urban planning. These projects include conceptual schemes for Moscow (2009) and Saint-Petersburg (2016) agglomerations, scenario of vast industrial area redevelopment in Saint-Petersburg (2014), study on high-density urban forms in Shantou China (2013), comparative study on Moscow and Beijing urban dynamics (2013-14) and others. Intensive teaching of Specialists, Bachelors and Masters of architecture in MARHI since 1996, international workshops in Poland, Russia and China and 50 publications allowed Kudryavtsev to share his experience and knowledge.

Since 2018 Kudryavtsev, as a managing partner, develops the Laboratory of Urban Research and Projects (ArchNOVA Lab) to initiate urban studies and convert them into advanced urban development and architectural projects. He also continues to work as associate professor at Urban Planning Department of Moscow Institute of Architecture and is a Bureau member of International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).

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Anderson Kazuo Nakano

Architect and urban planner, Nakano graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (FAUUSP). He holds a post-graduate degree in urban and environmental management from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development (IHS). He obtained his masters degree in urban and environmental structures at FAUUSP and his PhD in demography at the Centre for Population Studies, University of Campinas.

Currently, he is a post-doctoral student at the Displacement Observatory, FAUUSP and a professor at the Federal University of Sao Paulo. He has worked in the Federal Government as a project manager in the Ministry of the Cities, in the team of consultants which prepared the National Plan for Social Housing and, recently, in the São Paulo city government as the director of the Urbanism Department of the Urban Development Secretary where he coordinated the reviewing of the Strategic Master Plan of São Paulo Municipality.

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Ivan Turok

Ivan Turok is Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council, responsible for the Economic Performance and Development programme. He is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Regional Studies, Editor of the journal Area Development and Policy, and Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow. He is also Chairman of the City Planning Commission for Durban.

Turok is an urban and regional economist/planner with over 30 years’ experience of research, teaching and policy advice. He is an occasional adviser to the United Nations, OECD, African Development Bank, UNECA and several national governments. He was a member of the Expert Panel that prepared South Africa’s Integrated Urban Development Framework and helped to write chapter 8 (on human settlements) of South Africa’s National Development Plan. He is the author of over 150 academic publications, journal articles, book chapters and books, many of which are highly cited internationally.

His research covers various aspects of city and regional development, labour markets, urbanisation, urban transformation, national urban policy and affordable housing. He has worked for many years on these issues in Africa and in Europe. His latest jointly-edited book is called Transitions in Regional Economic Development (2018, Routledge). He also co-authored Inclusive Urban Development in South Africa: What Does It Mean and How Can it be Measured? (IDS Working Paper, 2018).

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Shyam Divan

Shyam Divan, senior advocate, practices before the Supreme Court of India. His areas of practice cover constitutional law and most branches of civil litigation including banking, securities law, arbitration, administrative law and environmental law.

He appeared in several recent constitutional cases decided by the Supreme Court of India including Jindal Stainless Ltd v State of Haryana, (2017) 12 SCC 1; Abhiram Singh v C D Commachen, (2017) 2 SCC 629; Justice K S Puttaswamy v Union of India, (Privacy) (2017) 10 SCC 1 (9 Judges); Kalpana Mehta v Union of India, 2018 (7) SCC 1; Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India 2018 SCC Online SC 1350 (decriminalising homosexuality) and Justice K S Puttaswamy v Union of India, (Aadhaar). 

He is the co-author of Environmental Law and Policy in India (2nd Edition, 2001, Oxford) and has authored chapters on Public Interest Litigation in the Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (2016) and Contours of EIA In India in Water and the Laws in India (2009, Sage). 

Divan is Vice President of LAWASIA and Co-chair of the LAWASIA Human Rights Section. He is Vice President, The Bar Association of India.

He serves on the Board of Care India SSD Ltd; is a Trustee at the Independent Public Spirited Media Foundation, Bengaluru; Member of the Governing Board of Centre for Policy Research and the Consumer Education and Research Centre, Ahmedabad.

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Eric Gonsalves

Eric Gonsalves is the current Chairperson of Governing Body, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi. Former Ambassador of India to the European Communities and Secretary to the Government of India, he also served as a member of the International Observer Group, Sri Lanka Elections. Post-retirement, he held various offices including Director of India International Centre, Delhi; Director of Asian Relations Commemorative Conference and as a member in Board of Management at Manipal University (1994-2006). He was also the President of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi till April 2008.

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Srinath Raghavan

Srinath Raghavan is a Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He took his MA and PhD in War Studies from King’s College London, where he also taught for many years. Prior to entering academia, he spent six years as an infantry officer in the Indian Army.

Raghavan is author of several books including War and Peace in Modern India: A Strategic History of the Nehru Years (Macmillan, 2010) and 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh (Harvard University Press, 2013); India’s War: The Making of Modern South Asia, 1939-1945 (Penguin Allen Lane & Basic Books, 2016); and The Most Dangerous Place: A History of the United States in South Asia (Penguin Allen Lane & Basic Books, 2018). He was the Chief Editor of the Kargil War History for the Ministry of Defence. 

Raghavan is a regular commentator on contemporary foreign and security affairs. He has served as a member of the National Security Advisory Board (2013-15). He is a recipient of the K Subrahmanyam Award for Strategic Studies (2011) and the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences (2015).

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Pradeep B Nair

Pradeep Nair is the Regional Director with Ford Foundation, based out of India, and responsible for their work in the region. With more than 65 years of history in the region, as one the oldest US foundations in the country and with hundreds of grants over the decades, Ford Foundation continues to play an important role in social sector growth in the region.

Nair has more than 20 years of private and non-profit experience, working primarily in the US and India, with a brief stint in Europe. He has an engineering and management degree, and started his career in the strategy and technology space, working in Silicon Valley, initially with Deloitte Consulting as a management consultant, and later with technology and data start-ups. His previous experience includes working with President Clinton’s Climate Initiative, with a focus on India and the region. In this role, he worked on mobilisation of technology and capital in the climate space, helping design polices and launch large projects, including the 250-million-dollar clean energy project with ADB, which at that time, was the largest of its kind in Asia. Working with Michael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor) and his team, he was also instrumental in expanding the C40 network (a network of global mayors) in India and the region.

His most recent work was out of New York, where he worked with Paul Volcker (ex-federal reserve chairman), helping set up and manage his new initiative. His work with Volcker was primarily focused on addressing solutions for the high-risk areas in the US government.

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Rajiv Kumar

Rajiv Kumar has a wide experience of having worked in government, academia, industry as well as in multinational institutions and is currently the Vice Chairman at NITI Aayog. A founding director of Pahle India Foundation, Kumar was a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research and earlier the CEO of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). He has also been Chief Economist at CII and Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). He was a professor at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) and serves as the Chancellor of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune. In the government, he was Economic Advisor with Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance and Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices (BICP), Ministry of Industry. He was Principal Economist at Asian Development Bank, Manila where he spent 10 years. Prior to his appointment as Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, he served on many Boards including that of RBI and SBI.

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Shivshankar Menon

Ambassador Shivshankar Menon is currently a Visiting Professor at Ashoka University; Chairman, Advisory Board, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi; Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore; Member, Board of Trustees, International Crisis Group; and, a Distinguished Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, New York.

He was previously National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Jan 2010-May 2014; Foreign Secretary of India, October 2006-July 2009; and has served as the Indian Ambassador or High Commissioner to China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Israel.

In 2016 he published Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy (Brookings & Penguin Random House, 2016).

He has been a Fisher Family Fellow at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, 2015 and Richard Wilhelm Fellow at MIT in 2015. He was chosen one of the ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’ by Foreign Policy magazine in 2010.

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T N Ninan

T N Ninan is widely considered to be a pioneering editor and trendsetter in Indian business journalism. During a career spanning more than four decades, he brought about transformative change and rapid growth in different publications that he led as the editor. His book on India’s recent history and prospects, titled The Turn of the Tortoise, was published in India by Penguin Random House in 2015, and in New York by Oxford University Press.

He is currently the Chairman of Business Standard. Earlier, he was the paper’s Editor from 1993 to 2009, and also its Publisher for most of that period. Before moving to Business Standard, Ninan was the editor of The Economic Times; and, in the 1980s, the executive editor at India Today (India’s leading newsmagazine). He has also been a television commentator on economic and business issues.

Ninan has been at various times a board member of the World Editors Forum, President of the Editors Guild of India, member of the National Integration Council, member of the Board of Trade, and an invitee to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Trade and Industry. He has taken part in Track II Dialogues with the US, Germany, China, Israel and Singapore. He currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation, a non-profit that funds digital media initiatives.

Ninan is a recipient of several professional awards, including two for lifetime achievement.

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Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is Vice-Chancellor, Ashoka University. He was previously President, Center for Policy Research. He has been a Professor at Harvard, JNU, the Global Faculty Program at NYU Law School. He has published widely in political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy, and international affairs.

His most recent publications include The Oxford Handbook to the Indian Constitution (co-edited with Madhav Khosla and Sujit Choudhary); Rethinking India's Public Institutions (with Devesh Kapur and Milan Vaishnav); Non-Alignment 2.0 (with Srinath Raghavan, Sunil Khilnani et al), The Oxford Companion to Politics in India (with Niraja Jayal); India and Multilateralism (with Bruce Jones and WPS Sidhu) and the Burden of Democracy.

Mehta has also served in a number of policy roles including, Member Convenor of the Prime Minister of India's National Knowledge Commission, Member of the the National Security Advisory Board, Member of the Lyngdoh Committee. He chairs the jury for the Holberg Prize.

Mehta has a prolific engagement with public affairs. He is editorial consultant to Indian Express, where he writes a regular column. In addition he has written for the Financial Times, and a number of leading national and international publications. He is on the Editorial Board of American Political Science Review and Journal of Democracy.

Mehta holds a BA (first class) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford and a PhD in politics from Princeton. He received the 2010 Malcom S Adishehshiah Award and the 2011 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences - Political Science.

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Jamshyd N Godrej

Jamshyd N Godrej is the Chairman of the Board of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, USA.

Godrej is the former Chairman of Ananta Aspen Centre (previously known as Aspen Institute India), Chairman & Trustee of Ananta Centre. He is the President of World Wide Fund for Nature – India. He is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, India Resources Trust and Council on Energy, Environment and Water. He is a Director of World Resources Institute, USA. He is also a Trustee of the Asia Society, USA. He is the Past President of Confederation of Indian Industry and also the Past President of the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association.

Godrej is the Chairman of the CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre. The Centre is housed in a LEED Platinum demonstration building, which is the first green building in India and the greenest building in the world at the time when it was rated. The Green Business Centre is a Centre of Excellence for green buildings, energy efficiency, energy conservation, non-conventional energy sources, water policy, water conservation, etc.

The Godrej group are leaders in home appliances, consumer durables, office equipment, industrial products, consumer products and services.

Godrej is an ardent yachting enthusiast and has done extensive cruising along the west coast of India, the Baltic & North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea.

The President of India conferred on Godrej the Padma Bhushan on 3rd April 2003.

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Vijay Gokhale

Vijay Gokhale joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1981. His previous diplomatic assignments include postings in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York. He has also served as Deputy Secretary (Finance), Director (China & East Asia) and Joint Secretary (East Asia) during his stints at the Headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs. He was High Commissioner of India to Malaysia from January 2010 to October 2013, Ambassador of India to the Federal Republic of Germany from October 2013 to January 2016, and Ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China from January 2016 to October 2017. He served as Secretary (ER) from October 2017 to January 2018. Vijay Gokhale took over as Foreign Secretary on 29 January, 2018.

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Rahul Verma

Rahul Verma is joining as a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research. He is also a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and his doctoral dissertation examines the historical roots of elite persistence in contemporary Indian politics.

His book, Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India (OUP: New York, 2018) co-authored with Pradeep Chhibber develops a new approach to defining the contours of what constitutes an ideology in multi-ethnic countries such as India.

His research interest includes voting behavior, party politics, political violence, and media. He is a regular columnist for various news platforms and has published papers in Asian Survey, Economic & Political Weekly, and Studies in Indian Politics.

Before starting his PhD at Berkeley, Verma completed his MPhil in Political Science from Delhi University, MA in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai and a BA from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University.

Sabina Dewan

Sabina Dewan is Founder and Executive Director of the JustJobs Network, which she began with John Podesta in 2013. She is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in India, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Before this, Dewan served as a Senior Fellow and Director for International Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC.

Dewan’s research focusses on delineating strategies for job creation and workforce development. She works closely with governments, businesses, multilateral and grassroots organisations providing critical labour market information to improve interventions aimed at generating more and better employment, and cultivating employability, especially for women, youth and marginalised groups.

Dewan’s vast experience includes working with institutions including the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation, and the European Commission, as well as grassroots organisations in Sierra Leone, India and Western Samoa. She appears regularly in international media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, US News and World Report, as well as CNN, BBC, and Al-Jazeera.  .

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Neelanjan Sircar

Neelanjan Sircar is a Senior Visiting Fellow at Centre for Policy Research and Assistant Professor at Ashoka University. His research interests include Indian political economy and comparative political behavior with an eye to Bayesian statistics, causal inference, social network analysis, and game theory. Sircar’s recent work focused on state level elections in India through both data work and ethnographic methods. He is particularly interested in understanding theoretic principles that undergird the decision-making processes of voters in India, which can shed light on democratic practice in the developing world more generally. He also works on projects characterising the social connections between citizens in India and their local brokers and leaders, as well as how these local brokers and leaders, both rural and urban, make decisions.

Sircar is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and economics from UC Berkeley in 2003 and a PhD in political science from Columbia University in 2014.

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General V K Singh

General Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd) is an alumnus of Birla Public School, Pilani and National Defence Academy. He served as the 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

General Singh was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion of The Rajput Regiment (Kali Chindi) on 14 June 1970. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington with a competitive vacancy. He is also a graduate of US Army Rangers Course at Fort Benning, USA and US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

He was awarded Yudh Seva Medal for operations as part of IPKF in Sri Lanka, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) for distinguished service while commanding a counter-insurgency force in 2005 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in recognition of his exceptional and distinguished services in the Eastern Theatre in 2009. He became Chief of Army Staff on 31 March 2010 and retired from the position on 31 May 2012.

In 2011, Singh was inducted into the United States Army War College (Class of 2001 graduate) International Fellows Hall of Fame. He is the 33rd International Fellow and the first Indian Armed Forces officer to be inducted.

General Singh joined the Bhartiya Janata Party in 2014 and successfully contested Lok Sabha election from Ghaziabad constituency. Presently, he is Minister of State for External Affairs. As Minister of State for External Affairs, General Singh has represented India at several bilateral and multilateral events as well as Special Assignments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean region and Europe.

Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal

Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal is a Research Fellow at Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (CNRS-EHESS), Paris. She studies contemporary Indian democracy through five main themes: group (and especially women’s) representation; participatory experiences; local democracy; urban governance; and the role of emotions in politics.  She received her PhD in political science from the Institute of Political Studies, Aix-en-Provence and her Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR) from Paris VIII University. Her recent publications include: 

- Les avatars de la participation en Inde. Formes et ambiguïtés de la démocratie participative (Paris, Editions du Croquant, 2018),
- ‘Public Hearings as Social Performance: Addressing the Courts, Restoring Citizenship’; South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal [Online], 17 | 2018, http://journals.openedition.org/samaj/4413
-  A special issue of India Review on ‘Political Representation in India’ (vol.15, n°2, 2016).