Mr. K K Muhammad, currently the Superintendent Archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is noted for leading nationwide challenging restoration activities. Having successfully overcome obstacles to restore heritage sites across Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, among others, he has now taken over the Delhi region. He is also working on a museum, which is expected to boast of a culminated experience of the rich and diverse Indian heritage at one place. He has been the face of ASI during visits of many foreign heads of state and dignitaries to Indian monuments, including that of US President and Mrs. Barack Obama to the Humayun's Tomb in 2010. Additionally, he initiated informal educational sessions at kuccha schools across the ASI sites in New Delhi for children of the restoration laborers. He plans to extend the initiative for education of adult workers too.
Professor Rinku Lamba will deliver a talk on "The Idea of Freedom in Modern India".
Rinku Lamba's research focuses on debates within contemporary political theory relating to the doctrines of secularism and multiculturalism. She is also interested in the history of western political thought, modern Indian political thought, subaltern studies, politics and planning in third-world cities, and Southern Asian politics.
Her doctoral work at the University of Toronto engages the different kinds of domination encountered in liberal democratic states' attempts to accommodate claims made by members of non-hegemonic religious groups. Through an analysis of debates on religious reform in colonial and postcolonial India, her research aims both to underscore the importance of the nstrumentalities of the state for protecting the vital interests of vulnerable persons and to highlight the democratic limits on statist interventions in the affairs of non-liberal minorities.
As a Max Weber Fellow at the EUI, her research focuses on providing a theoretical articulation of the emerging contours of European secular practice.
Rinku read for the M. Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford, where she attended Balliol College as an Inlaks Scholar; she received her M. A. and M. Phil. in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; she holds a B. A. (Hons.) in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College at the University of Delhi.
Professor Jayaram B. Ph.D. (CUNY, USA) is a Professor, Department of Chemistry, Coordinator, School of Biological Sciences, & Coordinator, Supercomputing Facility for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at IIT Delhi.
At IIT Delhi, he started building the infrastructure to carry out biomolecular modeling and creating the science and the software pursuing the dream of developing indigenous in silico solutions for personalized medicine (individual specific drugs with no side effects). A result of these efforts is the Supercomputing Facility for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (SCFBio) at IIT Delhi, and the Gene to Drug suite of softwares (www.scfbio-iitd.res.in). The SCFBio currently hosts about 200 processors with a compute capacity close to 750 GFlops and four terabytes of storage and is made freely accessible to the student and scientific community from different parts of the country. The Gene to Drug software suite, accessible over the net freely, comprises Genome Analysis programs (Chemgenome), Protein Structure prediction programs (Bhageerath) and computational tools for Drug Design (Sanjeevini). Chemgenome is a novel successful step towards deciphering the language of DNA from an energetic perspective. Bhageerath is one of the very few de novo protein tertiary structure prediction web-servers for small proteins across the globe.
Prof. Jayaram has been a consultant to HCL Life Sciences Division and Dabur Research Foundation. Leadinvent (www.leadinvent.com), a start up company based on Sanjeevini for customized computer aided drug design for Pharma industry, formed by his former students and project scientists is currently under incubation under the aegis of FITT at IIT Delhi. He believes that he is close to understanding the language of DNA, that the protein folding problem, the holy grail of molecularbiology, unsolved for the last 55 years, would have a solution from SCFBio soon. He is proud of being instrumental in creating Childrens parks in IIT Delhi. A flutist by passion and a long distance runner, he intends to participate in New York Marathon and dreams of climbing Mt. Everest one of these years.
Isher Judge Ahluwalia is Chairperson, Board of Governors, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), where she served as Director and Chief Executive from 1997 to 2001. Dr Ahluwalia was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India in the year 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature. Dr Ahluwalia is Chairperson of the High Powered Expert Committee on Urban Infrastructure, appointed by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India in May 2008. She is also Member, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, Government of India. Dr Ahluwalia was Vice Chairperson of the Punjab State Planning Board from 2005 to 2007. Dr Ahluwalia is on the Boards of a number of premier research institutes in India.
Dr. Ahluwalia received her B.A. from Presidency College, Calcutta University, M.A. from the Delhi School of Economics, and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), all in economics. Her research has focused on industrial development, macro-economic reforms, and issues in social sector development in India. She is an author/co-author/editor of several books including Indias Economic Reforms and Development: Essays for Manmohan Singh (OUP, 1998), which she co-edited with Prof. I.M.D Little. Dr. Ahluwalia has published many articles in professional journals and also engaged actively in policy debate in India through writing in newspapers and magazines and participating in discussions in the electronic media.
Abhishek Bhardwaj has waded into the deep waters of sensing, embedded Systems and sensor Networks. His interests revolve around the central theme of creating low cost solutions in fields such as healthcare and efficient energy management for developing regions.
At TEDxNSIT he will demonstrate a project-in-progress called MELOS-Mobile Extension for Low Energy Sensing. MELOS is a generic low cost and low power Communication, Sensing and Storage platform which can be connected to the audio jack of low end phones that are extremely pervasive in India. It can interface various sensors (temperature, soil moisture etc) and control external appliances based on the users needs. Once attached to a local phone, the user can call or send an SMS to the local phone and get real time feedback of sensor data, remotely control home appliances etc. The potential applications of MELOS especially in the Indian scenario include easy to setup environmental monitoring in rural areas ,remote control of irrigation pumps by farmers to prevent flooding of farms and mobile based healthcare.
Abhishek Bhardwaj is a senior year student in the Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering at NSIT and is set to join the ECE department at Carnegie Mellon University in Fall 2011
Jai Arjun Singh is a freelance writer and journalist based in Delhi. He writes primarily about literature and cinema, and his articles, reviews and columns have appeared in Yahoo! India, Business Standard, Tehelka, The Hindu, The Sunday Guardian, The Hindustan Times and other publications. His writings are collected on his popular culture blog Jabberwock (http://jaiarjun.blogspot.com). Singh's book Jaane bhi do Yaaro: Seriously Funny Since 1983, about the making of the cult comedy film Jaane bhi do Yaaro, was published by Harper Collins India in 2010. He has also edited an anthology of film writing, The Popcorn Essayists: What Movies do to Writers (Tranquebar, 2011), featuring original essays by renowned authors such as Manjula Padmanabhan, Amitava Kumar, Kamila Shamsie, Manil Suri and Namita Gokhale.
A dancer, freelance writer and stylist, Keerti Kataria graduates from NIFT New Delhi this year. Studying in the magical world of the performing arts, she sees no stop to her world of make believe. As she travels across the city everyday (quite literally), she felt the need to hold on to her muse and document people in her personal style blog; Indiestylerush. Pulling from the realms of folksy, punk or hip- the blog is a tribute to the coolest people/places/ entities she sees on her way to work.
With a serious case of Information anxiety; she stares, stalks and studies different people and would talk about how each behavioral cue can direct popular culture.
Shruti Pandey works on rights and governance issues in the Ford Foundation's New Delhi office. Her grant making supports the creation of effective institutions and mechanisms for people to demand and access their economic and social rights, including housing, education, health, land, food and employment, and to have remedies available to challenge their violations. Her work focuses mainly on India, but also supports human rights advocates in Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Prior to joining the Ford Foundation in 2010, Shruti worked as human rights lawyer for more than 15 years, focusing on the rights of women, persons with disabilities, trafficked persons and health rights in India. She was associated with several landmark cases of public interest litigation in the Supreme Court of India on issues such as: child marriages; workplace sexual harassment; human trafficking; unsafe/coercive sterilization of women; access to antiretroviral drugs; and uniform civil law for adoption of children in India. She also led the drafting of a national health bill for the government of India and has been part of Indian law and policy reform on several other human rights issues.
Neha Aggarwal is a table tennis player who represented India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At the age of 18, she was one of the youngest and the only woman player in Table Tennis. Neha is 4 times junior national champion. She won a gold medal in the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games anda Bronze Medal in the 2009 Commonwealth Championship. She was also part of the Asia Team in World Cadet Challenge, winning the first and only gold medal by an Indian. Additionally, Neha was the 2007 and 2008 junior girls representative of the Athletes Commission of the Internatonal Table Tennis Federation. She has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi State Sports Award by Government of Delhi. Neha is the Delhi state champion from the last 8 years in various categories and continues to be a part of the India team since 2001. is currenly a final year student of St.Stephens College, University of Delhi.
Mohan Guruswamy is Chairman and founder of Centre for Policy Alternatives. He has over three decades of experience in government, industry and academia. He was educated at Osmania University, Hyderabad; John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; and Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Swapnil Kant Dixit is the Executive Director for Tata Jagriti Yatra. After his graduation from IIT Kharagpur, he worked as a consultant in New Delhi for a year before joining the Tata Jagriti Yatra Team. His formative years saw a good mix of cities like Delhi and Lucknow, towns like Khudaganj in UP, and villages like Ghorakhal in Uttaranchal and Bahadurpur, deep within rural Uttar Pradesh. His experiences include advertising, rural education, architecture, theatre, analytics and music.
Kriti Monga is a graphic designer and illustrator based in New Delhi.An alumnus of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, she worked with a diverse set of studios, research scholars and corporate setups such as Fisheye Design, Fabindia Overseas, Sacred World Research Lab and Western Outdoor Interactive, before taking a position with Tag Worldwide as their Creative Director, India. In the interim, she set up Turmeric Design as an independent design practice, focusing on producing interesting and meaningful design, through active collaborations with other professionals and peers.
Kriti also teaches occasionally at NID and NIFT and takes workshops on design and typography. Her work, hand lettering and travel and event diaries have been featured in several design and lifestyle publications, including Creative Review UK, Taschen's Asia Graphics Now and magazines like Elle, Platform and Pool, amongst others. She was recently one of Delhi's 20 shortlisted young designers invited to present her work at the DesignXDesign group show at Alliance Francaise, New Delhi. Along with steering Turmeric Design, Kriti would currently be seen multi-tasking: drawing, setting typography, producing hand-lettered posters, playing with vintage type styles and tools, initiating talks and workshops, learning spanish, drinking coffee and travelling whenever she can get away.
Even before graduating from NSIT, Puneet Sahani had gathered the experience of working at top Artificial Intelligence labs spread across three continents: Beckman Institute, EPFL, HKUST. Following it up with other rare distinctions like obtaining the NSF and DoD fellowship despite being an non-American.
Puneet then pushed from conducting research in AI towards facilitating research, as he thought it'd allow him to make a much bigger impact. He was mentored by noted educators like Dr. Domingo Docampo.
In March 2009, Puneet took the radical step of giving away most of his belongings and attachments, going to the nearest petrol-station, out-stretching his arm and thumb, to start life as a nomadic hitchhiker. Occasionally writing in between for the Spanish newspaper 'Xornal', in the capacity as correspondent on Asian politics. Puneet hitchhiked across 21 countries in Europe, and his memoirs are expected to be released at the end of 2011, in a book titled 'My World Through Areolas'.
Puneet finds hitchhiking a wonderful meditative technique to helps us in getting rid of our belief systems, and testing us with the insecurities of life. Thus, allowing one to better understand himself and the world around.
Puneet is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance, where he tries to marry his unconventional way of understanding real-world issues with the traditional academic approach. In whatever time he has, Puneet indulges and inspires a life of hitchhiking!
One of India's leading inventors at the grassroots level, the story of Dharamveer Kamboj is an amazing one- from being a rickshaw puller in New Delhi to becoming an organic farming expert and an innovator.