Yash Pal was born on November 26, 1926, He received his B.Sc. Hon. (1948) and M. Sc. (1949) from the Punjab University, after which he started working in cosmic ray and high energy physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay. He got his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958, though he continued to be on the staff of the Tata Institute till 1983. He was a professor at the TIFR, and spent few months to a year as a visiting professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, University of Maryland, California Institute of Technology and the Danish Space Research Institute. His professional interests centered around cosmic rays, high energy physics and high energy astrophysics, ranging over both the theoretical and experimental aspects, working with high altitude balloons, on mountain top and around accelerators at CERN and Brookhaven. He was honored by the Padma Bhushan award by the President of India (1976), the Marconi International Fellowship Award (1980), the 5th annual Award of the International Association of Space Explorers (1989), for best representing their theme of the year ‘Space for the Earth’, Arthur C. Clarke Award for Communication and Space Technology (1994), Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education 1992), the Asiatic Society’s Sir William Jones Memorial Gold Medal (1996) and three separate awards, including Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee gold medal (1998), of the Indian Science Congress Association. He has received awards for ‘Outstanding contributions’ and ‘Excellence’ from a number of Foundations. He has been recently selected for the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for Science Popularization – 2009. He has also been awarded National Kalinga Chair by DST(2010). Recently he received the Firodia Award (2009), Yashwantrao Chavan National Award, (2010), Asiatic Society Vidyasagar Gold Plaque (2010) and Vigyan mani Award of the Punjab University.
Kiran Bedi has been India’s first and highest (woman) ranking officer who joined the Indian Police Service in 1972. Her expertise includes more than 35 years of creative and reformative policing and prison management. She worked with the United Nations in New York as the Police Advisor to the Secretary General, in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations. She represented India in International forums on crime prevention, drug abuse, police and prison reforms and women’s issues. She holds a Law, Masters, Doctorate degree. She is also a Nehru Fellow (post doctoral) -- Been a National and an Asian Tennis champion. She has addressed audiences at the American, British, European, Indian Universities, Corporate and Civil Society groups. She is a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award (also called the Asian Nobel Prize), and several other national and international decorations, Dr. Bedi is an author of many books, has her biography I Dare, anchors radio and television shows and is a columnist with leading newspapers and magazines. She is the founder of two NGOs, Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation, which reach out to thousands of under -served children, women and men in the areas of education, vocational skills, environment, counseling, and health care to the urban and rural poor. Currently her NGOs are running four Community Colleges, registered with Indira Gandhi National Open University, to provide vocational and soft skills to Indian youth. Kiran Bedi has been voted as India's most admired (THE WEEK 2002) and most trusted woman in India (Readers Digest, March 2010) . A nonfiction feature film on Dr Bedi’s life entitled Yes, Madam Sir has been produced by an Australian film maker, Megan Doneman. The film was adjudged the “Best Documentary” at Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It has been receiving standing ovation in most of its screenings around the world. Currently, she has been in the vanguard of a nationwide, India Against Corruption, a movement led by Shri Anna Hazare which compelled the Indian Parliament to pass a unanimous resolution accepting three key demands of Janlokpal Bill, drafted by Team Anna .
Harsh Mander, 57, social worker and writer, works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children. He is the founder of the campaigns Aman Biradari, for secularism, peace and justice; Nyayagrah, for legal justice and reconciliation for the survivors of communal violence; and Dil Se, for street children, and homeless people; and Special Commissioner to the Supreme Court of India in the Right to Food case, and Director, Centre for Equity Studies. His books include ‘Unheard Voices: Stories of Forgotten Lives’, ‘Fear and Forgiveness: The Aftermath of Massacre’, ‘Fractured Freedom: Chronicles from India’s Margins’, ‘Untouchability in Rural India’ (co-authored), and his newest ‘Ash in the Belly: India’s Unfinished Battle against Hunger’. He was Member of India’s National Advisory Council from June 2010-12, in which he convened the working groups on the Food Security Bill, Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill, Child Labour Abolition, Urban Poverty and Homelessness, Disability Rights, Bonded Labour, Street Vendors and Urban Slums, and co-convened the groups on the Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, Dalits and Minorities, Tribal Rights, among others. He regularly writes columns for the Hindu, Hindustan Times and Dainik Bhaskar. He worked formerly in the Indian Administrative Service in Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh for almost two decades. He is associated with social causes and movements, such for communal harmony, tribal, dalit, and disability rights, the right to information, custodial justice, homeless people and bonded labour. He is Visiting Professor in the IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Ahmedabad, and in St Stephen’s College, Delhi where he runs a course entiled ‘Engaging with Unequal India’. He has served as Professor in the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco; and Visiting Fellow in Centre for Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; and the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK; the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, NALSAR (National Academy for Law) Hyderabad. He has lectured also at MIT, Boston, UCLA, Universities of Stanford, Washington (Stanford), Austin, and several others. Among his awards are the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for peace work, the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2002, the South Asian Minority Lawyers Harmony Award 2012 and the Chisthi Harmony Award 2012.
Piyush Mathur is President, India Region for Nielsen. He is in charge of Nielsen India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, heading a multi-divisional multi-cultural organization with over 2000 employees. Mr. Mathur is a passionate corporate entrepreneur with a proven record of achievements and is talented in applying marketing science to meet strategic objectives and maximize business performance. He has diverse experience on local, regional and global levels across different industries. He has personally been involved in advising clients in devising their strategies and has been instrumental in the success of several brands and companies in South Asia and Middle East region. Mr. Mathur has spent many years with The Nielsen Company across the Indian sub-continent as well as in the Middle East/ North Africa. Prior to UAE, he was involved in several senior level positions with The Nielsen Company as the head of the Customized Unit in Egypt, Country Manager in the Indian sub-continent and as a Research Director heading Media and Internet studies. Mr. Mathur is a prolific speaker and has spoken in various forums in America, Europe, Asia and Middle East. He has an MBA and holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Mandeep Singh is an astute senior management professional with over 22 years of experience. Mandeep brings on table, vast experience in managing FMCG, FMCD, Franchising, financial services and Media business in B2B & B2C domain, in India & global markets. On one hand, he has managed operations of strong brands Viz. Kodak, Western Union, Colgate Palmolive, Amul, Dhara etc. and on the other hand, he has also created strong brand like d.light in a start-up environment. His last role was in a social enterprise focused on providing basic solar lighting products/solutions to people who have either poor or no access to grid power. As a process centric, result oriented and decisive leader, Mandeep has maintained high quality performance standards to meet challenges of fast paced and competitive business environment. Mandeep takes pride in the fact that he launched Amul Ice Cream. He is passionate about whatever he chooses to do as he strives for leadership in that particular field.
Sagarika Chakraborty is a qualified corporate lawyer from National Law University, Jodhpur and a management graduate from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. By the day she deals with business intelligence and consults one of the leading firms in the world on corporate risk management. She calls herself an author by the night whom the pen chose. She has been writing research papers on public policy for over 8 years now and has over 25 national and international publications to her name. Her core areas of interest are gender studies and economic policy affecting transition and emerging economies. Her work has been accredited by various forums including World Bank, Indian Government, Australian Government and UK Media to name a few. She has been the youngest speaker at the United Nations meet in Seoul (2006) speaking on issues around women and effects of globalization in India. Her paper on economic crisis was also adjudged the Best Paper on Economic Crisis by a leading American Organisation in 2009. Looking into her contributions in the field of policy studies at such a young age, she was awarded Fellowship by Royal Society of Arts, UK in 2011. She has also penned fiction works and her debut book A Calendar Too Crowded has been well received by the Indian Media and Awards. The book was launched at the coveted Hyderabad Literary Festival and she has also been nominated for the prestigious Young Indian Author Awards, 2012. Sagarika belongs to the new age thinkers who have picked up the pen to change the society around. Her motto is to bring change "one book at a time". She has written columns and articles for leading online and print publications. She loves to call herself a nation builder and is a strong supporter of youth being actively involved in politics and nation building affairs. She resides in Gurgaon and is also an avid salsa and waltz enthusiast and a frequent backpacker.
Evan Luthra is a young and dynamic entrepreneur who is thinking of new ideas to make this world a better place. He started out by curating Technology news at the age of 13 , After crossing 200,000 readers - he moved on to developing mobile apps when he was just 14 , since then he hasn't looked back and created various web 2.0 companies and manages a user base of over One Million users. He has founded various startups. Serves as the CEO / Director at quite a few companies and Sits on the Board of Advisors on others.
Ankur, 33 years, is the brain behind Halabol. Being from the technology background, justifying the existence and development of Halabol is his forte. He has successfully founded and developed the web technology company Axelerant Technologies. The excellence driven approach, with increased reputation in the market, enabled Axelerant to embark on high intensity and complex web solutions that have reached state-of-the-art status. Ankur has, hence, displayed foresight and dedication in both areas – technology and business management. He pairs those strengths with clear vision, commitment and the ability to seek advice and accept support for his ideas and ventures. Additionally, Ankur has held lead architect and management positions on numerous projects for both product-based and professional services organizations such as McKinsey & Co., Core Concept, Owens Group International, Air2Web, US General Services Administration, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and ECS. Ankur is active in the Open Source and well respected in the development community. Ankur holds an MBA, a Masters Degree in Computer Science, and a Certificate in Economics, all from Georgia Institute of Technology (USA).
Parth M. Saxena (24) completed his Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science from Delhi College of Engineering. Since college days, he has involved himself in designing and developing future generation technologies. At the young age of 19, he represented India in an international Autonomous Underwater Vehicle competition, organised by AUVSI and US Office of Naval Research, in the USA. He followed this with his research thesis work in the fields of artificial intelligence and computer vision at AVIRES laboratory (Italy) and another in collaboration with DFKI Research Center (Germany). After graduation in 2010, he worked with Texas Instruments to build software intelligence for chips used in automotive, industrial, video-surveillance and video-conferencing systems across the world. His passion for music led him to play the guitar, sing and compose songs in his spare time. He has also worked with one of the biggest contemporary folk bands in India, The Raghu Dixit Project. Parth recently completed an online course with Stanford University where he learned to combine two of his dearest passions, music and technology. He has now co-founded TommyJams, a technological solution to uplift the budding artists in the music industry and enhance the live entertainment scenario in India. Parth is also an avid adventure sports enthusiast.