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Public Policy Forum

70th SKOCH Summit

70th SKOCH Summit
Saturday | 16 January 2021 | 0800-2000 hrs

PDP BILL AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

‘Data’ has emerged as the essence of most modern-day economies. In this era of big data many firms derive their value from exclusive data access and other intangible assets, as opposed to machinery and other physical assets. The innate characteristics of ‘data’ raise several policy questions related to its value, ownership, regulation and sovereignty. Often to achieve national objectives, conflicts get created and need resolution-in the data space the potential policy conflicts are just more profound. Consequently, only a few countries have enacted data protection regulations while others have started the process. The Indian Government constituted a Data Protection Committee (DPC) in 2017 which proposed a comprehensive law on data protection. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Parliament on 11 December 2019 and the proposed legislation is currently being analysed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). The proposed legislation seeks to provide for the protection of personal data of individuals and proposes a framework for processing of such data by other entities. The overarching goal of this discussion would be to highlight the effectiveness of the proposed legislation in striking a balance between protecting a nascent but fast-growing digital economy in India and the rights of over a billion users.

The panel discussion will deliberate the following questions:

  1. What are the implementation gaps and challenges in the proposed Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 including institutionalising and functioning of the Data Protection Authority (DPA)?
  2. What will be the economic implications of the proposed legislation? How would the compliance requirements impact firms in the long and short run? Will the legislation impact India’s trade competitiveness, especially in the services sector?
  3. Has privacy emerged as an important form of non-price competition? Do existing/ proposed legislations allow for institutional collaborations to assess and regulate this aspect of privacy? If not, is this necessary?

Beyond Ease of Doing Business Rankings

The Government of India has wholeheartedly adopted the World Bank’s approach to rank countries on its Ease of Doing Business indicators. It has aimed improvements on rankings with a single-minded pursuit. The Government has even launched the Business Reform Action Plan to rank states on business reforms they claim to have implemented, and promoted competitive federalism.

Despite benefits and shortcomings of rankings, it is becoming evident that climbing charts cannot become an end in itself and much more efforts are required on the ground to make life easier for entrepreneurs, both small and large, each facing their unique sets of challenges.

These challenges can be broadly categorised into stock and flow of regulatory requirements. The former relates to existing requirements, and their implementation and the latter with the manner in which such requirements are changed.

Subjecting the existing requirements to a three-step test of legality, necessity and proportionality, and the proposals to a cost-benefit analysis would be necessary to address such challenges. This will require institutionalising reforms such as regulatory impact assessment. The panel discusses the following:

  1. Is the government right in spending and capacity on ease of doing business rankings or such rankings should be discarded in favour of other result-oriented measures?
  2. What reforms should government adopt to take its ease of doing business efforts to the next level and is there something we can learn from other successful countries?
  3. How to overcome bureaucratic preference to status-quoism and apathy to change and what incentives are needed to ensure effective adoption and implementation of such new sets of reforms?

India & Emerging Global Trade Imperatives

In the post-COVID world, with key economies raising barriers to international trade it could seem that the era of large regional trade agreements are over. Two contradictory events recently; the first was that ASEAN+5 made operational the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. India as it decided in 2019, stayed away. the other is UK walked away from what was essentially a regional trading agreement—the European Union as Brexit. Meanwhile a new US administration takes over, which is far less hostile to the idea of trade agreements.

The world is divided between the need for ensuring safety in their supply networks and so bringing manufacturing closer home, yet realising that growth is only possible to give a fillip to with deeper trade networks. The panel discusses the following:

  1. Will this then move the needle away from regional trading blocs to bilateral free trade agreements?
  2. Will countries like India and UK be more keen to enter such agreements?
  3. What then happens to the 18 odd 18 regional trade agreements India is a signatory to?

Contextualising New Education Policy

India has recently come up with its New Education Policy (NEP). Given the history of policymaking for the education sector in India, since independence, this is the fourth document to have been introduced by the government, the last one being developed in 1992. The promulgation of the new policy raises a fundamental question about the need of having a new policy. One may also ask how new the latest policy document is compared to its predecessors. The Panel Discussion aims at contextualising the policy vis-à-vis the ground level reality. It discusses the following:

  1. What perceptible changes are observed in the recent policy document in terms of objectives, intent and operational details compared to the earlier ones?
  2. What were the felt-needs of introducing the new policy?
  3. How well does this policy document capture in a seamless way the interactions among primary, secondary and higher education systems?
  4. How to take care of the resource constraints that may come in the way of achieving the policy objectives?

Private vs Public: Policy Direction for Public Health

Health policy is a tough call. Thinking about market failure and state capacity from first principles is required in public health and in healthcare. There are market failures in public goods and externalities that essentially constitute ‘public health’. Equally, there are market failures in asymmetric information and market power that shape healthcare. The debate then is whether we need more state or less in public health and healthcare. There is a lot of interest in technological fixes, all the way from National Digital Health Blueprint to Artificial Intelligence to replace doctors. This panel tries to put the role of state, private sector and digital technologies in context such that India may finally get a winning policy prescription for health that is widely acceptable.

Channeling Research into Public Policy

This panel focuses on the role that research institutions, academia, and Universities can play in times when reactions to public policy and governance challenges are increasingly becoming polarised along political lines, mainstream media is largely seen to be biased, and effective and deep research and analysis into questions of public policy is lacking. It focuses largely on four themes:

  1. In light of the quivering pillars of the fourth estate, is the onus of creating an informed civil society on academia?
  2. How do we make specialised academic research more mainstream and help create informed debate in light of recent global events?
  3. How should academia break free from the echo chamber of academic journals?
  4. What is the role that students and policy professionals could play in catalysing this change?

Arjun Munda

Arjun Munda

Samavesh ki Lok Niti

Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs
View Profile

Meenakshi Lekhi

Meenakshi Lekhi

Jai Hind Keynote

Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act
View Profile

Amitabh Kant

Amitabh Kant

Jai Hind Keynote

CEO, NITI Aayog
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Suresh Prabhu

Suresh Prabhu

Jai Hind Keynote

Member, Rajya Sabha & G20 and G7 Sherpa
View Profile

Amarjeet Sinha

Amarjeet Sinha

Emerging Policy Imperatives

Advisor to the Prime Minister
View Profile

Sudhir Nayar

Sudhir Nayar

Unleashing Potential in Times of Crisis

MD, Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC
View Profile

Nagendra Nath Sinha

Nagendra Nath Sinha

Economic Revival and Rural India

Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development
View Profile

Sunil Kumar

Sunil Kumar

Decentralisation and Transparency

Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj
View Profile

Bhaskar Pramanik

Bhaskar Pramanik

The Art of Being Good

Corporate Leader & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development
View Profile

Karuna Gopal

Karuna Gopal

Bringing Felt-Needs to Public Policy

President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities
View Profile

Ajay Shah

Ajay Shah

Private Play in Public Health

Independent Scholar
View Profile

Pradeep S Mehta

Pradeep S Mehta

Secretary General, CUTS International
View Profile

Ashwani Mahajan

Ashwani Mahajan

Public Health and Public Sector:

National Coordinator, Swadeshi Jagran Manch
View Profile

Mike Seiferling

Mike Seiferling

MPA Programme Director, School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL)
View Profile

Democracy and Data Privacy

Meenakshi Lekhi

Meenakshi Lekhi

Jai Hind Keynote

Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”)

Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”)

Operationalising the PDP Vision

Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member, Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)
View Profile

Rohan Kochhar

Rohan Kochhar

Chat with Rohan

Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group

0800-0805National Anthem
0805-0810Welcome: Dr Gursharan Dhanjal, MD & Editor, SKOCH Group
0810-0815Live Voting
0815-0900SKOCH Order-of-Merit Investiture
0900-0905Live Voting
0905-0915Opening Remarks: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
0915-0930Jai Hind Keynote – Ms Meenakshi Lekhi, Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act
0930-0940Operationalising the PDP Vision: Mr Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”), Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member, Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)
0940-0955Chat with Rohan: Mr Rohan Kochhar, Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group in Conversation with Ms Meenakshi Lekhi, Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act
0955-1000Live Voting
Meenakshi Lekhi

Meenakshi Lekhi

Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act
View Profile

Gulshan Rai

Gulshan Rai

Former National Cyber Security Coordinator & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development Foundation
View Profile

Rajat Kathuria

Rajat Kathuria

Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic (ICRIER)
View Profile

Smita Purushottam

Smita Purushottam

Founder and Chairperson, The Science, Indigenous Technology & Advanced Research Accelerator (SITARA)
View Profile

Parminder Jeet Singh

Parminder Jeet Singh

Executive Director, IT for Change
View Profile

Shivangi Nadkarni

Shivangi Nadkarni

Co-Founder & CEO, Arrka
View Profile

Astha Kapoor

Astha Kapoor

Co-Founder, Aapti Institute
View Profile

1000-1005Opening Remarks: Dr Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic (ICRIER)
1005-1010Dr Gulshan Rai, Former National Cyber Security Coordinator & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development Foundation
1010-1015Ms Smita Purushottam, Founder and Chairperson, The Science, Indigenous Technology & Advanced Research Accelerator (SITARA)
1015-1020Mr Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change
1020-1025Ms Shivangi Nadkarni, Co-Founder & CEO, Arrka
1025-1030Ms Astha Kapoor, Co-Founder, Aapti Institute
1030-1055Discussion and Live Voting
1055-1100Closing Remarks of the Chair: Ms Meenakshi Lekhi, Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act 

‘Data’ has emerged as the essence of most modern-day economies. In this era of big data many firms derive their value from exclusive data access and other intangible assets, as opposed to machinery and other physical assets. The innate characteristics of ‘data’ raise several policy questions related to its value, ownership, regulation and sovereignty. Often to achieve national objectives, conflicts get created and need resolution-in the data space the potential policy conflicts are just more profound. Consequently, only a few countries have enacted data protection regulations while others have started the process. The Indian Government constituted a Data Protection Committee (DPC) in 2017 which proposed a comprehensive law on data protection. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Parliament on 11 December 2019 and the proposed legislation is currently being analysed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). The proposed legislation seeks to provide for the protection of personal data of individuals and proposes a framework for processing of such data by other entities. The overarching goal of this discussion would be to highlight the effectiveness of the proposed legislation in striking a balance between protecting a nascent but fast-growing digital economy in India and the rights of over a billion users.

The panel discussion will deliberate the following questions:

  1. What are the implementation gaps and challenges in the proposed Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 including institutionalising and functioning of the Data Protection Authority (DPA)?
  2. What will be the economic implications of the proposed legislation? How would the compliance requirements impact firms in the long and short run? Will the legislation impact India’s trade competitiveness, especially in the services sector?
  3. Has privacy emerged as an important form of non-price competition? Do existing/ proposed legislations allow for institutional collaborations to assess and regulate this aspect of privacy? If not, is this necessary?
Amarjeet Sinha

Amarjeet Sinha

Emerging Policy Imperatives

Advisor to the Prime Minister
View Profile

Nagendra Nath Sinha

Nagendra Nath Sinha

Economic Revival and Rural India

Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development
View Profile

Sunil Kumar

Sunil Kumar

Decentralisation and Transparency

Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”)

Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”)

Operationalising the PDP Vision

Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member, Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)
View Profile

Manisha Kochhar

Manisha Kochhar

Chairperson, SKOCH Development Foundation

1100-1102Welcome: Ms Manisha Kochhar, Chairperson, SKOCH Development Foundation
1102-1110Opening Remarks: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
1110-1125Emerging Policy Imperatives: Mr Amarjeet Sinha, Advisor to the Prime Minister
1125-1135Economic Revival and Rural India: Mr Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development
1135-1145Decentralisation and Transparency: Mr Sunil Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj
1145-1150Closing Remarks: Mr Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”), Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member, Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)
1150Live Voting

Duties in Participatory Democracy

Bhaskar Pramanik

Bhaskar Pramanik

The Art of Being Good

Corporate Leader & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Sudhir Nayar

Sudhir Nayar

Unleashing Potential in Times of Crisis

MD, Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC
View Profile

Karuna Gopal

Karuna Gopal

Bringing Felt-Needs to Public Policy

President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities
View Profile

Rohan Kochhar

Rohan Kochhar

Chat with Rohan

Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group

1150-1153Welcome: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
1153-1200The Art of Being Good: Mr Bhaskar Pramanik, Corporate Leader & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development Foundation
1200-1205Unleashing Potential in Times of Crisis: Mr Sudhir Nayar, MD, Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC
1205-1215Chat with Rohan – Duties in Participatory Democracy – Mr Rohan Kochhar, Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group in conversation with Mr Sudhir Nayar, MD, Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC
1215-1220Bringing Felt-Needs to Public Policy: Ms Karuna Gopal, President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities
1220Live Voting

Beyond Ease of Business Rankings

Suresh Prabhu

Suresh Prabhu

Jai Hind Keynote

Member, Rajya Sabha & G20 and G7 Sherpa
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Pradeep S Mehta

Pradeep S Mehta

Secretary General, CUTS International
View Profile

Reema Nanavaty

Reema Nanavaty

Executive Director, Self Employed Women’s Association
View Profile

Srinivas Rao

Srinivas Rao

CEO, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship
View Profile

Manish Sabharwal

Manish Sabharwal

Founder, Teamlease
View Profile

1220-1223Welcome: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
1223-1238Jai Hind Keynote: Mr Suresh Prabhu, Member, Rajya Sabha & G20 and G7 Sherpa
1238-1241Mr Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International
1241-1246Moderator: Mr Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International
1246-1251Mr Manish Sabharwal, Founder, Teamlease
1251-1256Mr Srinivas Rao, CEO, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship
1256-1301Ms Reema Nanavaty, Executive Director, Self Employed Women’s Association
1301-1320Discussion and Live Voting
1320-1355LUNCH
1355-1430Live Voting & SKOCH Order-of-Merit

The Government of India has wholeheartedly adopted the World Bank’s approach to rank countries on its Ease of Doing Business indicators. It has aimed improvements on rankings with a single-minded pursuit. The Government has even launched the Business Reform Action Plan to rank states on business reforms they claim to have implemented, and promoted competitive federalism.

Despite benefits and shortcomings of rankings, it is becoming evident that climbing charts cannot become an end in itself and much more efforts are required on the ground to make life easier for entrepreneurs, both small and large, each facing their unique sets of challenges.
These challenges can be broadly categorised into stock and flow of regulatory requirements. The former relates to existing requirements, and their implementation and the latter with the manner in which such requirements are changed.

Subjecting the existing requirements to a three-step test of legality, necessity and proportionality, and the proposals to a cost-benefit analysis would be necessary to address such challenges. This will require institutionalising reforms such as regulatory impact assessment. The panel discusses the following:

  1. Is the government right in spending and capacity on ease of doing business rankings or such rankings should be discarded in favour of other result-oriented measures?
  2. What reforms should government adopt to take its ease of doing business efforts to the next level and is there something we can learn from other successful countries?
  3. How to overcome bureaucratic preference to status-quoism and apathy to change and what incentives are needed to ensure effective adoption and implementation of such new sets of reforms?

India & Emerging Global Trade Imperatives

Amitabh Kant

Amitabh Kant

Jai Hind Keynote

CEO, NITI Aayog
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Deepshikha Sikarwar

Deepshikha Sikarwar

Senior Editor, Economic Times
View Profile

Rajat Kathuria

Rajat Kathuria

Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic (ICRIER)
View Profile

Sachin Chaturvedi

Sachin Chaturvedi

Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)
View Profile

Amitendu Palit

Amitendu Palit

Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead, ISAS, National University of Singapore
View Profile

1430-1435Opening Remarks: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
1435-1450Jai Hind Keynote – Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog
1450-1455Moderator: Ms Deepshikha Sikarwar, Senior Editor, Economic Times
1455-1500Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)
1500-1505Dr Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic (ICRIER)
1505-1510Dr Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead, ISAS, National University of Singapore
1510-1530Discussion and Live Voting

In the post-COVID world, with key economies raising barriers to international trade it could seem that the era of large regional trade agreements are over. Two contradictory events recently; the first was that ASEAN+5 made operational the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. India as it decided in 2019, stayed away. the other is UK walked away from what was essentially a regional trading agreement—the European Union as Brexit. Meanwhile a new US administration takes over, which is far less hostile to the idea of trade agreements.

The world is divided between the need for ensuring safety in their supply networks and so bringing manufacturing closer home, yet realising that growth is only possible to give a fillip to with deeper trade networks. The panel discusses the following:

  1. Will this then move the needle away from regional trading blocs to bilateral free trade agreements?
  2. Will countries like India and UK be more keen to enter such agreements?
  3. What then happens to the 18 odd 18 regional trade agreements India is a signatory to?

Contextualising New Education Policy

C Raj Kumar

C Raj Kumar

Vice Chancellor, Jindal Global University
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Vimala Ramachandran

Vimala Ramachandran

Founder, ERU Consultants and Former National Fellow and Professor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA)
View Profile

N V Varghese

N V Varghese

Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA)
View Profile

Sudhir Aggarwal

Sudhir Aggarwal

Director – Business Development, Government & Education, Microsoft Corporation (India)

1530-1535Opening Remarks: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
1535-1540Moderator: Dr C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Jindal Global University
1540-1545Prof N V Varghese, Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA)
1545-1550Prof Vimala Ramachandran, Founder, ERU Consultants and Former National Fellow and Professor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA)
1550-1555Mr Sudhir Aggarwal, Director – Business Development, Government & Education, Microsoft Corporation (India)
1555-1600Reserved
1600-1630Discussion and Live Voting

India has recently come up with its New Education Policy (NEP). Given the history of policymaking for the education sector in India, since independence, this is the fourth document to have been introduced by the government, the last one being developed in 1992. The promulgation of the new policy raises a fundamental question about the need of having a new policy. One may also ask how new the latest policy document is compared to its predecessors. The Panel Discussion aims at contextualising the policy vis-à-vis the ground level reality. It discusses the following:

  1. What perceptible changes are observed in the recent policy document in terms of objectives, intent and operational details compared to the earlier ones?
  2. What were the felt-needs of introducing the new policy?
  3. How well does this policy document capture in a seamless way the interactions among primary, secondary and higher education systems?
  4. How to take care of the resource constraints that may come in the way of achieving the policy objectives?

Private vs Public: Policy Direction for Public Health

Ajay Shah

Ajay Shah

Private Play in Public Health

Independent Scholar
View Profile

Ashwani Mahajan

Ashwani Mahajan

Public Health and Public Sector:

National Coordinator, Swadeshi Jagran Manch
View Profile

Rohan Kochhar

Rohan Kochhar

Chat with Rohan

Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group

Nita Tyagi

Nita Tyagi

Core Volunteer – Healthcare, iSpirt Foundation
View Profile

1630-1635Opening Remarks: Mr Rohan Kochhar, Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group
1635-1645Private Play in Public Health: Dr Ajay Shah, Independent Scholar
1645-1655Public Health and Public Sector: Dr Ashwani Mahajan, National Coordinator, Swadeshi Jagran Manch 
1655-1705Ms Nita Tyagi, Core Volunteer – Healthcare, iSpirt Foundation
1705-1730Discussion and Live Voting

Health policy is a tough call. Thinking about market failure and state capacity from first principles is required in public health and in healthcare. There are market failures in public goods and externalities that essentially constitute ‘public health’. Equally, there are market failures in asymmetric information and market power that shape healthcare. The debate then is whether we need more state or less in public health and healthcare. There is a lot of interest in technological fixes, all the way from National Digital Health Blueprint to Artificial Intelligence to replace doctors. This panel tries to put the role of state, private sector and digital technologies in context such that India may finally get a winning policy prescription for health that is widely acceptable.

Public Policy for Tribals and the Marginalised

Arjun Munda

Arjun Munda

Samavesh ki Lok Niti

Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs
View Profile

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar

Chairman, SKOCH Group
View Profile

Deepak Khandekar

Deepak Khandekar

Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs
View Profile

1730-1735Opening Remarks: Mr Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group
1735-1750Samavesh ki Lok Niti: Mr Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs
1750-1800Mr Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs
1800-1805Observations on Achievements of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Mr Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”), Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)
1805-1820Live Voting & SKOCH Order-of-Merit Investiture
1820-1845SKOCH Award

Channeling Research into Public Policy

Gursharan Dhanjal

Gursharan Dhanjal

Managing Director & Editor, SKOCH Group

Mike Seiferling

Mike Seiferling

MPA Programme Director, School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL)
View Profile

R Sudarshan

R Sudarshan

Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), O P Jindal Global University
View Profile

Rohan Kochhar

Rohan Kochhar

Chat with Rohan

Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group

Arushi Jain

Arushi Jain

Associate Director, Bharti School of Public Policy – ISB
View Profile

Sony Pellissery

Sony Pellissery

National Law University – Bengaluru
View Profile

Indranil Mukhopadhyay

Indranil Mukhopadhyay

Associate Professor, Jindal Global University
View Profile

1845-1850Welcome: Mr Rohan Kochhar, Director, Public Policy, SKOCH Group
1850-1855Opening Remarks: Dr Gursharan Dhanjal, Managing Director & Editor, SKOCH Group
1855-1905Keynote: Dr Mike Seiferling, MPA Programme Director, School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL)
1905-1910Moderator: Prof R Sudarshan, Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), O P Jindal Global University
1910-1915Prof Arushi Jain, Associate Director, Bharti School of Public Policy – ISB
1915-1920Prof Sony Pellissery, National Law University – Bengaluru
1920-1925Dr Indranil Mukhopadhyay, Associate Professor, Jindal Global University
1925-1945Discussion, Q&A and Closing

SKOCH Group

SKOCH Summits have invariably created knowledge sharing platforms of top-notch thinkers, policy makers & industry leaders. SKOCH Summits are well researched. Given the primary strength of the company in areas of consultancy, research, assessments & public affairs, we are able to bring together the highest number of emergent & existing opportunities together - to share, to ideate & to move forward.

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Mr Arjun Munda
Hon'ble Minister of Tribal Affairs

Arjun Munda is the current Minister of Tribal Affairs in the Second Modi ministry. He was also Chief Minister of Indian state of Jharkhand. He has also served as a member of parliament having been elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from the Jamshedpur constituency in the 2009 parliamentary elections. BJP's central leadership also appointed him a National General Secretary of the party recognising his strong credentials as a popular mass leader and his significant contributions in strengthening the party in his state.

During his tenure, Jharkhand got the 1st Lokayukta and the State successfully conducted the 34th National Games in 2011. His government introduced an e-tender system in government contracts to bring transparency and efficiency and to provide equal opportunity in the procurement process. He also took initiatives for setting up of new power plants with a view to making Jharkhand a power surplus state.

Arjun Munda was born on 3 May 1968 in Khrangajhar, Jamshedpur to a religious family of Ganesh and Saira Munda. After completing high school education in the Jamshedpur area, he graduated from Ranchi University and went on to earn a PG Diploma in Social Sciences from Indira Gandhi National Open University.

 

Ms Meenakshi Lekhi
Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act

A second-term elected Parliamentarian and distinguished lawyer of the Supreme Court with a career spanning over three decades. She is a renowned socio-political activist who has been associated with institutions including the National Commission of Women, Sakshi, NIPCD amongst several others. In addition to having worked extensively with several not-for-profits, she has served as a member of the drafting committee of "Women Reservation Bill" & "Problem of Sexual Harassment at Workplace"; the latter being passed by the Parliament of India. She even represented the media in court to get the ban on media coverage of the case proceedings revoked and she was successful in this effort.

She has been actively involved in women empowerment, she took up the case of the permanent commissioning of women in the Indian armed forces with the Supreme Court. She was the lawyer of the victim in the Shanti Mukund Hospital rape case; took up the case of Promotion Policy for Army Officer and the Permanent Commission of women in the Indian armed forces in the Supreme Court. The judgement has paved the way for women officers to hold command posts.

Most recently, as the Chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 she has been entrusted with ideating on a legislation which has the potential to shape and protect the privacy, personal dignity and security of India and its citizens. The committee has recently asked some very pertinent and tough questions to several of the world’s leading social media, technology and e-commerce companies operating in India about their policies and practices with regards to the safety and security of the privacy of Indian citizens and their personal data.

Positions Held

Mr Amitabh Kant
Author of ‘Incredible India 2.0’ & CEO - NITI Aayog

Mr. Amitabh Kant is presently CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI). He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS (Kerala Cadre: 1980 batch). He is the author of Branding India - An Incredible Story. Mr. Kant has been a key driver of the “Make in India”, Startup India, “Incredible India” and God’s Own Country” initiatives that positioned India and Kerala State as leading manufacturing and tourism destinations. These campaigns have won several international awards and embraced a host of activities – infrastructure development, product enhancement, private-public partnership and positioning and branding based on extensive market research. Mr. Kant also conceptualized the “Atithi Devo Bhavah” – “Guest is God” campaign to train Taxi Drivers, Guides, immigration officials and make them stake holders in the tourism development process. Mr. Amitabh Kant was also the National Project Director of the Rural Tourism Project of UNDP which made a paradigm shift in spreading tourism to Indian villages which had core-competency in handicrafts, handloom and culture.

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Mr Suresh Prabhu
Member, Rajya Sabha & G20 and G7 Sherpa

In my considered belief, commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision that serves us with an opportunity to turn dreams into reality. With a firm focus on achieving desired results, I have always been a strong votary of reforms and turnarounds in my endeavors to bring about a positive transformation in the society. My credentials have propelled me into the league of top three Indian leaders by Asia Week magazine in its lead story “Giant on the Move”, further strengthening my resolve to strike a healthy balance between human development and fragile ecosystem.

Before taking over as the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Government of India, he handled several other ministries like the Railways to Environment and Power and Heavy Industries. As Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Sherpa at the G 20 Summit, he had the good fortune of being a personal representative of the head of a state and Chairman of the Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers Project. He staunchly believed that all projects can be taken to their logical fruition with a clear blueprint and stipulated deadlines.

As a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh and Haryana and, four-time Lok Sabha MP from Rajapur in Maharashtra, his doors have always been open to people in his perception that it eliminates red tape and promotes inclusive thinking.

Mr Amarjeet Sinha
Advisor to the Prime Minister

Amarjeet Sinha is currently serving as Advisor to the Prime Minister of India. 

Some of the other distinguished roles played by Amarjeet Sinha during his career include Principal Secretary – Education, Additional Secretary – Ministry of Human Resources Development, Additional Secretary – Ministry of Rural Development, and Secretary – Ministry of Panchayat Raj. As an in-charge of administrative reforms and personnel and general administration in the central government during 2018 – 2019, he played a significant role in contributing to nation building.

Amarjeet Sinha has over three decades of experience in the social sector. Some of his notable contributions occurred within the realms of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the National Rural Health Mission. He has also trained several young IAS Officers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

Mr Sudhir Nayar
MD, Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC

Sudhir Nayar is Managing Director for Commercial Sales for Cisco India & SAARC where he leads a high performing team to drive sales and increase adoption of Cisco’s products and solutions across the Commercial segment.

Sudhir has 27 years of extensive experience in business management, sales/partner management and leadership in the Technology industry. Prior to joining Cisco, Sudhir worked with Microsoft where he led Sales and Marketing for the SMB segment in India. His role included formulating and executing strategies to establish Microsoft as a thought leader for 51 million SMBs and leveraging India's largest IT network of 3,000+ partners. He was responsible for transforming India’s largest partner ecosystem to enable the digital transformation of Indian businesses.

Earlier at Oracle, Sudhir lead the Corporate Strategy & Business Development function where he was responsible for developing and executing Oracle’s growth plan in India. Sudhir also worked in Sun Microsystems for 10+ years, where he held leadership roles for BFSI, ITS, and the Partner Sales organization.

Sudhir has a B.Tech in Electronics and Communications from REC, Warangal.

Mr Nagendra Nath Sinha
Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, is a 1987 batch IAS Officer of Jharkhand cadre and is currently serving as Secretary, Department of Rural Development, Government of India.  Born on 29 July 1964, Shri Sinha holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and also Master of Health Science (Population & Family Health). 

Prior to this, Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha was working as Additional Chief Secretary, Rural Development, Govt. of Jharkhand where he played a pivotal role in organizing rural poor, creating sustainable livelihood & employment opportunities & NRM based development.

He has served in the state of Jharkhand in major departments including PWD, Mines, Industry , IT among others. He has to his credit several landmark projects in Jharkhand including Mega Sports Complex & Games Village at Ranchi, Ranchi Ring Road, State Data Center. He has also been instrumental in development of several policies and documents viz. PWD Code 2012, public private partnership policy etc.

His major interests are in the fields of sustainable development, IT, Infrastructure, Health and Institution Building.

Mr Sunil Kumar
Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Sunil Kumar, is a 1987 batch IAS Officer of Uttar Pradesh Cadre and is currently serving as Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Born on 15th October 1963, Mr Kumar holds a degree in Political Science and also Master in Sociology.

Prior to this, Mr Sunil Kumar was working as special secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

He has served in the state of Uttar Pradesh in major departments including Information & Broadcasting, Planning & Prog Implementation, Finance, Rural Development among others.

His major interests are in the fields of Agriculture, Rural Development and Information Technology.

Mr Bhaskar Pramanik
Corporate Leader & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development Foundation

Mr. Bhaskar Pramanik is an accomplished management leader and professional from the Technology Industry. He has held National and Global Leadership positions in leading Multinational Technology Companies. He has worked in India, Singapore, and the US.

He was on the Executive Committee of NASSCOM, the National Committee of CII and AMCHAM

He recently retired from the Board of SBI, India's largest Bank. He retired as Chairman of Microsoft India in September 2017 after a successful 45 years career in the technology industry. Before this, he was the Managing Director of Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems in India. He was also the Global VP for Commercial Systems at Sun Microsystems Inc based out of Menlo Park, CA.

He is currently an Independent Board member and Advisor to companies. He advises startups and has also invested in a number of them. He is also on the Advisory Board of Schulich University, Toronto, Canada, and Bennet University, Noida, India. He speaks regularly at Industry and Leadership forums.

His major interests are in areas of Culture and Strategy; Leadership and Organization Excellence; Corporate Governance; Innovation and Transformation; and the future social and economic impact of Advanced Technologies.

Ms Karuna Gopal
President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities

Ms Karuna Gopal is an internationally acclaimed Thought leader, Innovator and Advisor on Smart Cities. She is the Founder President of Foundation for Futuristic Cities, a think tank that has influenced Urban Transformation in India for over a decade.

Ms Gopal contributed to the design of the ‘100 Smart Cities Mission‘ of India and has been invited to speak at the launch of the Mission by the Prime Minister. Her innovation SCULPT your CITY -2009 has shaped the Mission guidelines and has been declared a National Best Practice.

Governments of Singapore, Sweden, UK, Philippines, UAE, Turkey, Israel and USA have invited her for inputs on Smart Governance.

In the past, she served as an Urban Expert for The WORLD BANK, DFID (Department for International Development, UK), USAID (United States Agency for International Development) & ADB (Asian Development Bank).

In 2015, Ms Gopal was senior advisor, Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs on behalf of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was also one of the urban experts to have carried out a mid-course evaluation of the National Mission Program ‘ Clean India – Swacch Bharat Abhiyan on behalf of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Dr Ajay Shah
Independent Scholar

Dr. Ajay Shah studied at IIT, Bombay and USC, Los Angeles. He has held positions at Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research (IGIDR), Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and National Institute for Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). He does academic and policy-oriented research on India, at the intersection of economics, law and public administration. His second book, co-authored with Vijay Kelkar, is “In service of the republic: The art and science of economic policy”, and was published in 2019 by Penguin Allen Lane. His areas of focus are macroeconomics, finance, health, and technology policy.

Pradeep S Mehta
Secretary General, CUTS International

Mr. Pradeep S Mehta (72) is the founder Secretary General of the Jaipur-based Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), a leading economic policy research, advocacy and networking, non-governmental group in India, with offices in Nairobi, Lusaka, Hanoi, Accra, Geneva and Washington DC. CUTS was established in 1983 and has completed 35 glorious years.

Currently he is a Member of the CII’s International Trade Policy Council. He has served as: Member of the Board of Trade; Better Regulatory Advisory Group; and Steering Committee on Ecomark; Think Tank on “Framework for a National Policy on E-commerce” of the Government of India. Among several advisory positions, he has been and/or is honorary Adviser to the Commerce and Industries Minister of India, Trade, Commerce & Industry Minister of Zambia and to the Director General of the WTO.

A prolific writer, gifted speaker, skilled trainer and organizer in the social science field, Mehta has been named as one of the 30 most famous columnists in India by a leading newspaper in India. He has published/edited several books and papers on trade, investment, competition and development.

Dr Ashwani Mahajan
National Coordinator, Swadeshi Jagran Manch

Dr. Ashwani Mahajan is the National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), an Indian political and cultural organisation. SJM is affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Dr. Mahajan is an author and columnist. He is an Associate Professor at PGDAV College, Delhi and has also been the Chief Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Indian Polity and Economy since 2011. He is also a Visiting Professor and Research Guide at Pacific University, Udaipur and Mewar University. He works as a researcher and activist on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international trade agreements.

As National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, he has been instrumental in advocating for the evolution of economic policies. His policy interventions include withdrawal of controversial ordinance on land acquisition, getting field trials of GM crops policy revisited, FDI policy of the government especially retail trade and e-commerce.

Dr Mike Seiferling
MPA Programme Director, School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL)

Mike is MPA Programme Director and Assistant Professor of Public Finance at the School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL) with research focused on the links between macroeconomics, finance, accounting, and political science. Specifically, these include taxation, budgeting, fiscal performance, public sector accounting and accountability, balance sheet analysis, statistics, and technological innovations in the public sector (cryptocurrency and democratic/collective choice mechanisms).

For the past ten years, Mike has worked as an expert for several international organizations (currently a short-term expert at the IMF, World Bank and UN) and private sector firms to improve financial literacy, debt management, fiscal transparency, and compliance with international standards in central banks, ministries of finance and commercial banks in over sixty countries worldwide. Previously, Mike worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (2011-2015) and completed his PhD from the London School of Economics in 2012.

Ms Meenakshi Lekhi
Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act

A second-term elected Parliamentarian and distinguished lawyer of the Supreme Court with a career spanning over three decades. She is a renowned socio-political activist who has been associated with institutions including the National Commission of Women, Sakshi, NIPCD amongst several others. In addition to having worked extensively with several not-for-profits, she has served as a member of the drafting committee of "Women Reservation Bill" & "Problem of Sexual Harassment at Workplace"; the latter being passed by the Parliament of India. She even represented the media in court to get the ban on media coverage of the case proceedings revoked and she was successful in this effort.

She has been actively involved in women empowerment, she took up the case of the permanent commissioning of women in the Indian armed forces with the Supreme Court. She was the lawyer of the victim in the Shanti Mukund Hospital rape case; took up the case of Promotion Policy for Army Officer and the Permanent Commission of women in the Indian armed forces in the Supreme Court. The judgement has paved the way for women officers to hold command posts.

Most recently, as the Chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 she has been entrusted with ideating on a legislation which has the potential to shape and protect the privacy, personal dignity and security of India and its citizens. The committee has recently asked some very pertinent and tough questions to several of the world’s leading social media, technology and e-commerce companies operating in India about their policies and practices with regards to the safety and security of the privacy of Indian citizens and their personal data.

Positions Held

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Mr Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”)
Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member, Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)

Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”) is a technologist by profession, a trainer by passion with many accolades under his belt and three pending patents. In his present role as Head of Pre-Sales, India | MECAA | SAARC, Tata Communications, he is responsible for gaining an in-depth understanding of customers and market forces to develop solutions that add value to customers’ businesses and enable them to mitigate any challenges they face to capitalise on opportunities. Starting from solving “Work From Home” challenges in recent COVID 19 pandemic to devising an approach for transforming a large retail chain’s physical sales to digital sales,  to being instrumental in country-wide telecom transformation projects, he has successfully delivered value to both enterprises and nation. With such myriad experiences, he often converts his learnings into high trending blogs which are often leveraged by leading media houses presenting his “challenging the status quo” perspective.

Ms Meenakshi Lekhi
Chairperson, Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Act

A second-term elected Parliamentarian and distinguished lawyer of the Supreme Court with a career spanning over three decades. She is a renowned socio-political activist who has been associated with institutions including the National Commission of Women, Sakshi, NIPCD amongst several others. In addition to having worked extensively with several not-for-profits, she has served as a member of the drafting committee of "Women Reservation Bill" & "Problem of Sexual Harassment at Workplace"; the latter being passed by the Parliament of India. She even represented the media in court to get the ban on media coverage of the case proceedings revoked and she was successful in this effort.

She has been actively involved in women empowerment, she took up the case of the permanent commissioning of women in the Indian armed forces with the Supreme Court. She was the lawyer of the victim in the Shanti Mukund Hospital rape case; took up the case of Promotion Policy for Army Officer and the Permanent Commission of women in the Indian armed forces in the Supreme Court. The judgement has paved the way for women officers to hold command posts.

Most recently, as the Chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 she has been entrusted with ideating on a legislation which has the potential to shape and protect the privacy, personal dignity and security of India and its citizens. The committee has recently asked some very pertinent and tough questions to several of the world’s leading social media, technology and e-commerce companies operating in India about their policies and practices with regards to the safety and security of the privacy of Indian citizens and their personal data.

Positions Held

Dr Gulshan Rai
Former National Cyber Security Coordinator & Distinguished Fellow - SKOCH Development Foundation

Gulshan Rai is Distinguished Fellow at SKOCH Development Foundation and & Former National Cyber Security Coordinator at the Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India.

Dr. Rai has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology, including e-governance, cyber security and cyber laws. He led a team to set up National Watch and Alert System in India. Dr. Rai has over the years helped in the drafting of national policies on cyber laws and cyber security.

As the Executive Director at ERNET India, Dr. Rai was instrumental in setting up the first large scale education and research network in close collaboration with leading educational and research institutions. During his tenure, the project — National Knowledge Network — was designed and evolved.

Dr. Rai has represented India in official forums, bilateral discussions and negotiations in the areas of cyber security and internet governance.

Dr Rajat Kathuria
Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic (ICRIER)

Rajat Kathuria is Director and Chief Executive at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. He has over 20 years experience in teaching and 15 years experience in economic policy, besides research interests on a range of issues relating to regulation and competition policy. He has worked with the World Bank, Washington DC as a Consultant and carried out research assignments for a number of international organizations, including ILO, UNCTAD, LirneAsia, World Bank and ADB. He has published in international and national journals, besides in popular magazines and newspapers. He is a founder member of Broadband Society for Universal Access and served on the Board of Delhi Management Association. He is on several government committees and on the research advisory council of SBI. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephens College, a Masters from Delhi School of Economics and a PhD degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ms Smita Purushottam
Founder and Chairperson, The Science, Indigenous Technology & Advanced Research Accelerator (SITARA)

She was a former ambassador with a history of envisioning and pursuing fresh ideas and delivering on them, bringing innovative ideas into the Government machinery and delivery of foreign policy. She has served in diverse and interesting countries. She is skilled in forecasting, public speaking, management, writing, and leadership. She dedicates herself henceforth to promoting a scientific spirit and making India a Science State through a new Do Tank SITARA - a Science, Indigenous Technology and Advanced Research Accelerator in India. She graduated from the University of Delhi and took sabbaticals in many prestigious US Universities and Indian think tanks.

Mr Parminder Jeet Singh
Executive Director, IT for Change

Parminder is the executive director of IT for Change. His areas of work are ICTs for development, Internet governance, e-governance, and digital economy. He has been a special advisor to the UN's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and UN Global Alliance for ICTD. He was a part of UN working groups on IGF improvements and on enhanced cooperation on International Internet policy issues. He was the first elected co-coordinator of the premier global Internet governance civil society group Internet Governance Caucus. He is a founding member of Just Net Coalition and Internet Rights and Principles Coalition. He was associated with the group that helped develop India’s draft e-commerce policy.

Ms Shivangi Nadkarni
Co-Founder & CEO, Arrka

Shivangi has over 24 years of experience in the domains of Information Security & Risk Management, E-Commerce & Networking across multiple geographies. She has earlier worked with organizations like Wipro & Sify handling a variety of roles and heading different Lines of Business. She was instrumental in setting up the first licensed Certifying Authority in India – in association with VeriSign. She has authored the Privacy Book of Knowledge (PBoK) for DSCI for their DCPP certification program. Shivangi is a regular speaker, writer and faculty at various forums and programs. Shivangi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from BITS, Pilani and Master’s degree in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. She is also a CISA, CIPT and DCPP.

Ms Astha Kapoor
Co-Founder, Aapti Institute

Astha Kapoor is co-founder of Aapti Institute, a research firm examining the interface between tech and society. She works on data governance, basic income, digitisation of welfare, work and social architectures of technology. Astha has experience in research (Future State, SEWA), consulting (MicroSave, Dalberg), advisory (APPI), and government (Planning Commission). She has a Masters from the Institute of Social Studies (the Netherlands), and a bachelors in history from St. Stephens College. She is a two time TedX speaker, and Global Governance Future Fellow (2018-19).

Mr Amarjeet Sinha
Advisor to the Prime Minister

Amarjeet Sinha is currently serving as Advisor to the Prime Minister of India. 

Some of the other distinguished roles played by Amarjeet Sinha during his career include Principal Secretary – Education, Additional Secretary – Ministry of Human Resources Development, Additional Secretary – Ministry of Rural Development, and Secretary – Ministry of Panchayat Raj. As an in-charge of administrative reforms and personnel and general administration in the central government during 2018 – 2019, he played a significant role in contributing to nation building.

Amarjeet Sinha has over three decades of experience in the social sector. Some of his notable contributions occurred within the realms of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the National Rural Health Mission. He has also trained several young IAS Officers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

Mr Nagendra Nath Sinha
Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, is a 1987 batch IAS Officer of Jharkhand cadre and is currently serving as Secretary, Department of Rural Development, Government of India.  Born on 29 July 1964, Shri Sinha holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and also Master of Health Science (Population & Family Health). 

Prior to this, Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha was working as Additional Chief Secretary, Rural Development, Govt. of Jharkhand where he played a pivotal role in organizing rural poor, creating sustainable livelihood & employment opportunities & NRM based development.

He has served in the state of Jharkhand in major departments including PWD, Mines, Industry , IT among others. He has to his credit several landmark projects in Jharkhand including Mega Sports Complex & Games Village at Ranchi, Ranchi Ring Road, State Data Center. He has also been instrumental in development of several policies and documents viz. PWD Code 2012, public private partnership policy etc.

His major interests are in the fields of sustainable development, IT, Infrastructure, Health and Institution Building.

Mr Sunil Kumar
Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Sunil Kumar, is a 1987 batch IAS Officer of Uttar Pradesh Cadre and is currently serving as Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Born on 15th October 1963, Mr Kumar holds a degree in Political Science and also Master in Sociology.

Prior to this, Mr Sunil Kumar was working as special secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

He has served in the state of Uttar Pradesh in major departments including Information & Broadcasting, Planning & Prog Implementation, Finance, Rural Development among others.

His major interests are in the fields of Agriculture, Rural Development and Information Technology.

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Mr Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”)
Head of Pre-Sales, India, MECAA, SAARC, Tata Communications & Member, Working Group on Future of Governance, CEO’s Association for Inclusive India (CAII)

Rajarshi Purkayastha (“Raj”) is a technologist by profession, a trainer by passion with many accolades under his belt and three pending patents. In his present role as Head of Pre-Sales, India | MECAA | SAARC, Tata Communications, he is responsible for gaining an in-depth understanding of customers and market forces to develop solutions that add value to customers’ businesses and enable them to mitigate any challenges they face to capitalise on opportunities. Starting from solving “Work From Home” challenges in recent COVID 19 pandemic to devising an approach for transforming a large retail chain’s physical sales to digital sales,  to being instrumental in country-wide telecom transformation projects, he has successfully delivered value to both enterprises and nation. With such myriad experiences, he often converts his learnings into high trending blogs which are often leveraged by leading media houses presenting his “challenging the status quo” perspective.

Mr Bhaskar Pramanik
Corporate Leader & Distinguished Fellow, SKOCH Development Foundation

Mr. Bhaskar Pramanik is an accomplished management leader and professional from the Technology Industry. He has held National and Global Leadership positions in leading Multinational Technology Companies. He has worked in India, Singapore, and the US.

He was on the Executive Committee of NASSCOM, the National Committee of CII and AMCHAM

He recently retired from the Board of SBI, India's largest Bank. He retired as Chairman of Microsoft India in September 2017 after a successful 45 years career in the technology industry. Before this, he was the Managing Director of Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems in India. He was also the Global VP for Commercial Systems at Sun Microsystems Inc based out of Menlo Park, CA.

He is currently an Independent Board member and Advisor to companies. He advises startups and has also invested in a number of them. He is also on the Advisory Board of Schulich University, Toronto, Canada, and Bennet University, Noida, India. He speaks regularly at Industry and Leadership forums.

His major interests are in areas of Culture and Strategy; Leadership and Organization Excellence; Corporate Governance; Innovation and Transformation; and the future social and economic impact of Advanced Technologies.

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Mr Sudhir Nayar
MD, Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC

Sudhir Nayar is Managing Director for Commercial Sales for Cisco India & SAARC where he leads a high performing team to drive sales and increase adoption of Cisco’s products and solutions across the Commercial segment.

Sudhir has 27 years of extensive experience in business management, sales/partner management and leadership in the Technology industry. Prior to joining Cisco, Sudhir worked with Microsoft where he led Sales and Marketing for the SMB segment in India. His role included formulating and executing strategies to establish Microsoft as a thought leader for 51 million SMBs and leveraging India's largest IT network of 3,000+ partners. He was responsible for transforming India’s largest partner ecosystem to enable the digital transformation of Indian businesses.

Earlier at Oracle, Sudhir lead the Corporate Strategy & Business Development function where he was responsible for developing and executing Oracle’s growth plan in India. Sudhir also worked in Sun Microsystems for 10+ years, where he held leadership roles for BFSI, ITS, and the Partner Sales organization.

Sudhir has a B.Tech in Electronics and Communications from REC, Warangal.

Ms Karuna Gopal
President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities

Ms Karuna Gopal is an internationally acclaimed Thought leader, Innovator and Advisor on Smart Cities. She is the Founder President of Foundation for Futuristic Cities, a think tank that has influenced Urban Transformation in India for over a decade.

Ms Gopal contributed to the design of the ‘100 Smart Cities Mission‘ of India and has been invited to speak at the launch of the Mission by the Prime Minister. Her innovation SCULPT your CITY -2009 has shaped the Mission guidelines and has been declared a National Best Practice.

Governments of Singapore, Sweden, UK, Philippines, UAE, Turkey, Israel and USA have invited her for inputs on Smart Governance.

In the past, she served as an Urban Expert for The WORLD BANK, DFID (Department for International Development, UK), USAID (United States Agency for International Development) & ADB (Asian Development Bank).

In 2015, Ms Gopal was senior advisor, Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs on behalf of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was also one of the urban experts to have carried out a mid-course evaluation of the National Mission Program ‘ Clean India – Swacch Bharat Abhiyan on behalf of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Mr Suresh Prabhu
Member, Rajya Sabha & G20 and G7 Sherpa

In my considered belief, commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision that serves us with an opportunity to turn dreams into reality. With a firm focus on achieving desired results, I have always been a strong votary of reforms and turnarounds in my endeavors to bring about a positive transformation in the society. My credentials have propelled me into the league of top three Indian leaders by Asia Week magazine in its lead story “Giant on the Move”, further strengthening my resolve to strike a healthy balance between human development and fragile ecosystem.

Before taking over as the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Government of India, he handled several other ministries like the Railways to Environment and Power and Heavy Industries. As Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Sherpa at the G 20 Summit, he had the good fortune of being a personal representative of the head of a state and Chairman of the Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers Project. He staunchly believed that all projects can be taken to their logical fruition with a clear blueprint and stipulated deadlines.

As a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh and Haryana and, four-time Lok Sabha MP from Rajapur in Maharashtra, his doors have always been open to people in his perception that it eliminates red tape and promotes inclusive thinking.

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Pradeep S Mehta
Secretary General, CUTS International

Mr. Pradeep S Mehta (72) is the founder Secretary General of the Jaipur-based Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), a leading economic policy research, advocacy and networking, non-governmental group in India, with offices in Nairobi, Lusaka, Hanoi, Accra, Geneva and Washington DC. CUTS was established in 1983 and has completed 35 glorious years.

Currently he is a Member of the CII’s International Trade Policy Council. He has served as: Member of the Board of Trade; Better Regulatory Advisory Group; and Steering Committee on Ecomark; Think Tank on “Framework for a National Policy on E-commerce” of the Government of India. Among several advisory positions, he has been and/or is honorary Adviser to the Commerce and Industries Minister of India, Trade, Commerce & Industry Minister of Zambia and to the Director General of the WTO.

A prolific writer, gifted speaker, skilled trainer and organizer in the social science field, Mehta has been named as one of the 30 most famous columnists in India by a leading newspaper in India. He has published/edited several books and papers on trade, investment, competition and development.

Ms Reema Nanavaty
Executive Director, Self Employed Women’s Association

Reema Nanavaty leads Self Employed Women's Association's (SEWA) economic and rural development activities reaching out to seventeen million women and their families across India.

Since 1989 she has pioneered revival, restoration and innovation of rural livelihoods from district to global level. Reema is being recognized across India and in the neighbouring countries as a champion of making livelihoods of the poor women reach markets they deserve. May they be women artisans, salt pan workers, farmers, or labourers, she has made efforts over two decades to mainstream amazing diversity of skills and knowledge of India's citizens into the national mainstream. Her effort has created a more dynamic local economy and fairer and equal society for thousands of SEWA sisters, citizens of India.

Born on May 22, 1964 in Ahmedabad, Reema graduated in science from Gujarat University and was selected to IAS services of Government of India.

Mr Srinivas Rao
CEO, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship

Srinivas is currently working as a Chief Executive Officer, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME). He joined GAME with the vision to take it forward in its mission to catalyze 10 million Mass Entrepreneurs by 2030. He describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. A veteran with 32 years of experience in the information technology industry, he co-founded Aujas in 2008, with seed funding from IDG Ventures, with a vision to help organizations manage risk and enhance information value through innovation and excellence. He drove the Aujas exit to NSEIT, a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of National Stock Exchange.

Mr Manish Sabharwal
Founder, Teamlease

Manish Mahendra Sabharwal is the Chairman of TeamLease (The Company). Prior to co-founding the Company, he co-founded India Life, a payroll and pension services company in 1996 that was acquired by Hewitt associates in 2002. Consequently, he was chief executive officer of Hewitt Outsourcing (Asia) based in Singapore. Manish also serves on various state and central government committees on education, employment and employability and is a columnist for Indian Express. He is an alumnus of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi and Mayo ‎College, Ajmer.

Mr Amitabh Kant
Author of ‘Incredible India 2.0’ & CEO - NITI Aayog

Mr. Amitabh Kant is presently CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI). He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS (Kerala Cadre: 1980 batch). He is the author of Branding India - An Incredible Story. Mr. Kant has been a key driver of the “Make in India”, Startup India, “Incredible India” and God’s Own Country” initiatives that positioned India and Kerala State as leading manufacturing and tourism destinations. These campaigns have won several international awards and embraced a host of activities – infrastructure development, product enhancement, private-public partnership and positioning and branding based on extensive market research. Mr. Kant also conceptualized the “Atithi Devo Bhavah” – “Guest is God” campaign to train Taxi Drivers, Guides, immigration officials and make them stake holders in the tourism development process. Mr. Amitabh Kant was also the National Project Director of the Rural Tourism Project of UNDP which made a paradigm shift in spreading tourism to Indian villages which had core-competency in handicrafts, handloom and culture.

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Ms Deepshikha Sikarwar
Senior Editor, Economic Times

Deepshikha Sikarwar is currently senior assistant editor at The Economic Times from last 14 years. She writes on government policy covering issues ranging from taxation, capital markets, FDI policy, infrastructure, multilateral relations. She is incharge of reporting developments at the finance ministry and the Planning Commission.

Prior to working at economic times, she worked as Chief Economic Reporter at the Press Trust of India for more than 7 years. 

She has a Masters Degree in Political Science from Delhi University.

Dr Rajat Kathuria
Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic (ICRIER)

Rajat Kathuria is Director and Chief Executive at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. He has over 20 years experience in teaching and 15 years experience in economic policy, besides research interests on a range of issues relating to regulation and competition policy. He has worked with the World Bank, Washington DC as a Consultant and carried out research assignments for a number of international organizations, including ILO, UNCTAD, LirneAsia, World Bank and ADB. He has published in international and national journals, besides in popular magazines and newspapers. He is a founder member of Broadband Society for Universal Access and served on the Board of Delhi Management Association. He is on several government committees and on the research advisory council of SBI. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephens College, a Masters from Delhi School of Economics and a PhD degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Prof Sachin Chaturvedi
Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)

Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi is currently Director General at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi-based Think-Tank. He works on issues related to development economics, involving development finance, SDGs and South-South Cooperation, apart from trade, investment and innovation linkages with special focus on WTO.  He is also Member, Board of Governors, Reserve Bank of India.

Professor Sachin Chaturvedi has been part of several important initiatives of the Government of India and takes keen interest in transforming economic policymaking towards integrated and evidence based approaches. He is one of the foremost commentators on India’s external sector economic engagements and partnerships. He is considered as most dynamic and affable by his peers and has mentored several bright scholars and researchers in the profession.

Dr Amitendu Palit
Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead, ISAS, National University of Singapore

Dr Amitendu Palit is Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade and Economics) at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He is an economist specializing in international trade and investment policies, FTAs, supply chains, connectivity, cross-border data flows and the Indian economy. He sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Trade and Investment. He is Senior Research Fellow (Honorary) at the Wong Centre for Study of MNCs and Adviser for Athena Infonomics.

Dr C Raj Kumar
, Vice Chancellor, Jindal Global University

Professor Kumar is an accomplished legal scholar and works in the fields of human rights and development, comparative constitutional law, terrorism and national security, corruption and governance, law and disaster management, legal education and higher education. He has seven books and over hundred and fifty publications to his credit and has published widely in peer reviewed journals, law reviews in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, UK and the USA.

Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, a Rhodes Scholar, is the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) (JGU) in India. He was appointed as the VC at the age of 34 in 2009 when the university was established. JGU is one of only 20 universities in India and the only non-STEM university, which has been declared as an “Institution of Eminence” by the Government of India.

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Prof Vimala Ramachandran
Founder, ERU Consultants and Former National Fellow and Professor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA)

She was among the founders and was the first National Project Director of Mahila Samakhya (1988-1993) – a Government of India programme on women’s education based in the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD). She was founder and Managing Trustee of HealthWatch – a women’s health network, from 1994 to 2004. She was a National Fellow and Professor in National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi from 2011 to 2015. She has published extensively on education, health, gender issues and women’s empowerment. She has been engaged in advocacy for universal quality education and girls’ education.

She is currently on the Research Council of Azim Premji University, Bangalore. She is the President India Education Collective, New Delhi. She is the Vice-President of Etasha, an NGO that works on livelihood related issues with young urban men and women in New Delhi. She is a member of the governing board of ANANDI, Gujarat.

Prof N V Varghese
Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA)

Professor N.V. Varghese is currently the Vice Chancellor of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), New Delhi. He is also the Founding Director of Centre for Policy Research in Higher Education (CPRHE, NIEPA). He holds a doctoral degree in Economics with specialization in educational planning. He was Head of Governance and Management in Education at the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP/UNESCO), Paris till October 2013 and Head of its Training and Education Programmes from 2001 to 2006. He was responsible for designing and introducing the IIEP Master’s programme in educational planning and management. In the 1990s he was a Professor and Head of the Educational Planning Unit at NIEPA, New Delhi. He has been closely associated with educational planning at the federal and decentralised levels and with the design and development of externally funded education projects in India. While in NIEPA, he was responsible for managing an Asian regional network - the Asian Network of Training and Research Institutions in Educational Planning (ANTRIEP) and was editor of its Newsletter. While in IIEP, he was the Secretary General and responsible for the Secretariat of the International Working Group on Education (IWGE), which is a network of funding agencies in education.

Dr Ajay Shah
Independent Scholar

Dr. Ajay Shah studied at IIT, Bombay and USC, Los Angeles. He has held positions at Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research (IGIDR), Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and National Institute for Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). He does academic and policy-oriented research on India, at the intersection of economics, law and public administration. His second book, co-authored with Vijay Kelkar, is “In service of the republic: The art and science of economic policy”, and was published in 2019 by Penguin Allen Lane. His areas of focus are macroeconomics, finance, health, and technology policy.

Dr Ashwani Mahajan
National Coordinator, Swadeshi Jagran Manch

Dr. Ashwani Mahajan is the National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), an Indian political and cultural organisation. SJM is affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Dr. Mahajan is an author and columnist. He is an Associate Professor at PGDAV College, Delhi and has also been the Chief Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Indian Polity and Economy since 2011. He is also a Visiting Professor and Research Guide at Pacific University, Udaipur and Mewar University. He works as a researcher and activist on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international trade agreements.

As National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, he has been instrumental in advocating for the evolution of economic policies. His policy interventions include withdrawal of controversial ordinance on land acquisition, getting field trials of GM crops policy revisited, FDI policy of the government especially retail trade and e-commerce.

Ms Nita Tyagi
Core Volunteer - Healthcare, iSpirt Foundation

Nita is passionate about addressing the hard to crack societal challenges at the population scale through the use of Digital Platforms and collaborations across samaj-sarkar-bazar.

She has more than 27 years of varied experience as an entrepreneur, executive roles in global organizations and in the social sector working with the government on population-scale transformational programs.

She is currently engaged with two national-level digital platforms - with eGov Foundation on Urban Governance as Engagement Lead for the state of Uttarakhand and with iSPIRT on Healthcare Digital Platform.

Her special interest is in working with various ecosystem players across Samaaj, Sarkar, and Bazaar to catalyze new innovative solutions.

Mr Arjun Munda
Hon'ble Minister of Tribal Affairs

Arjun Munda is the current Minister of Tribal Affairs in the Second Modi ministry. He was also Chief Minister of Indian state of Jharkhand. He has also served as a member of parliament having been elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from the Jamshedpur constituency in the 2009 parliamentary elections. BJP's central leadership also appointed him a National General Secretary of the party recognising his strong credentials as a popular mass leader and his significant contributions in strengthening the party in his state.

During his tenure, Jharkhand got the 1st Lokayukta and the State successfully conducted the 34th National Games in 2011. His government introduced an e-tender system in government contracts to bring transparency and efficiency and to provide equal opportunity in the procurement process. He also took initiatives for setting up of new power plants with a view to making Jharkhand a power surplus state.

Arjun Munda was born on 3 May 1968 in Khrangajhar, Jamshedpur to a religious family of Ganesh and Saira Munda. After completing high school education in the Jamshedpur area, he graduated from Ranchi University and went on to earn a PG Diploma in Social Sciences from Indira Gandhi National Open University.

 

Sameer Kochhar
Chairman, SKOCH Group

Mr Sameer Kochhar is a social scientist, leading reforms historian in India and an acclaimed author. His domain expertise on socio-economic issues has been used by the government and private sector alike for consultancy on public policy and strategy. He has published 16 books including Defeating Poverty, ModiNomics and The Untold Story of Indian Reforms. He is privileged to have his books released by Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr P. Chidambaram, among several other luminaries. His mantra is growth, livelihoods and equity.

He is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over 37 years with extensive experience in using action research to bring felt-needs to policy and strategy. He is credited with several well-performing public policy interventions in areas of digital, financial and social inclusion. Considered fearless, he is often seen standing up to be counted on issues of national importance, asking difficult questions and offering seasoned advice. He has assessed first-hand a large number of projects in India and has also created one of the biggest independent knowledge repositories on what works/ This also serves as perhaps the only institutional memory of reforms in India.

He has been a member of several expert groups and committees constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, advocating a case for a strengthening of local self-governance through use of technology; and, the Ministry of Communications and IT on the evaluation of National e-Governance Plan. He was on the advisory committee of College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India for nearly 6 years. He has represented India in inter-governmental conferences.

Mr Deepak Khandekar
Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Deepak Khandekar, is a 1985 batch IAS Officer of Madhya Pradesh Cadre and is currently serving as Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Khandekar completed his Post graduation
Born on 5th August 1961, Mr Khandekar holds a degree in civil engineering from National Institute of Technology, Raipur.

He has served in the state of Madhya Pradesh in major departments including Information & Broadcasting, Commerce & Industries, Finance,Environment & Forests among others.

His major interests are in the fields of Environment & Forests and Information Technology etc.

 

Dr Mike Seiferling
MPA Programme Director, School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL)

Mike is MPA Programme Director and Assistant Professor of Public Finance at the School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL) with research focused on the links between macroeconomics, finance, accounting, and political science. Specifically, these include taxation, budgeting, fiscal performance, public sector accounting and accountability, balance sheet analysis, statistics, and technological innovations in the public sector (cryptocurrency and democratic/collective choice mechanisms).

For the past ten years, Mike has worked as an expert for several international organizations (currently a short-term expert at the IMF, World Bank and UN) and private sector firms to improve financial literacy, debt management, fiscal transparency, and compliance with international standards in central banks, ministries of finance and commercial banks in over sixty countries worldwide. Previously, Mike worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (2011-2015) and completed his PhD from the London School of Economics in 2012.

Prof R Sudarshan
Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), O P Jindal Global University

Prof. R. Sudarshan has had distinguished careers in the domains of research, development programming and governance. After he obtained a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics he was elected to a Rhodes scholarship. He joined Balliol College, University of Oxford, and obtained a Master’s degree in Politics in 1977. He was elected to a research fellowship at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, where he studied judicial review of economic legislation by the Supreme Court of India, specializing in the interface of law and economics. In 1983 he was a visiting scholar in the School of International Development, University of East Anglia.

In 1984 he served in the Ford Foundation’s South Asia Office in New Delhi as Assistant Representative and Program Officer for Human Rights and Social Justice. In 1991 he joined the UNDP in India as Senior Economist and Assistant Representative for Governance and Public Policy. In 2000 he served UNDP in Jakarta as its Senior Governance Advisor. In 2002 he was appointed Policy Advisor for Justice and Governance in the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre. In 2005, he was transferred to the UNDP Asia-Pacific Centre in Bangkok, where he was Regional Policy Advisor for Governance, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice, and Legal Reforms.

In 2012 he joined the O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) as the founding Dean of the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy. He has an impressive track record of publications comprising books, articles, and UN policy reports, reflecting his interdisciplinary research, teaching and policy experience in development programmes, human development, law, governance, institutions and policy.

Prof Arushi Jain
Associate Director, Bharti School of Public Policy - ISB

Aarushi Jain has wide experience and expertise in the Public Policy domain as a faculty, administrator as well as a project specialist. She is currently working as the Associate Director of Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business. She is Ph.D (Pub Admn), Double Post Graduate (Pub Admn and HR), UGC-NET/JRF/SRF and an Accredited Management Teacher (AMT) in Public Policy. She has been a visiting scholar at Duke University, USA.

She has previously worked as Chairman, Rural Development and CSR, International Chamber of Service Industry and at various institutions including the National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, Indus International University and Himachal Consultancy Organization etc. She is a visiting faculty to various premier institutions including NCGG, LBSNAA, HIPA, IGNFA, IIAS, NACIN etc. She has had a long association with National Centre for Good Governance, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, for research studies as state coordinator for Punjab and Himachal.

Dr. Jain has published a book on “Public Private Partnership and Corporate Social Responsibility” and has more than 40 publications in leading international and national journals. Her research interests include Public Policy and Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, Rural Development, Education and Women and Girl Child issues. She has been a national level table tennis player and an international level quiz wizard. Dr Aarushi Jain takes keen interest in social work. Being the President of Redcross HWS in various districts of Himachal Pradesh, she has worked extensively on social issues as women empowerment, save the girl child campaign, health and education etc. She has been honoured and acclaimed for her efforts on various occasions, both at the state and national level.

Prof Sony Pellissery
National Law University - Bengaluru

Pellissery is an Associate Professor for Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), and he is a public policy specialist with special interest in distributive justice. He teaches Introduction to Public Policy and Policy Analysis. After his doctoral studies from Oxford University he was serving as Associate Professor at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. In 2009 he won India Social Science Research award for his academic contributions. His monograph on The Politics of Social Protection in Rural India is a classic on the limits of policies to reach the poorest sections where social forces constrain the State.

Dr Indranil Mukhopadhyay
Associate Professor, Jindal Global University

Dr. Indranil is an Associate Professor at O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University). He teaches public health, health economics, comparative health systems and development economics at the School of Government and Public Policy. Indranil holds a PhD in public health and health economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Indranil has fifteen years of research and teaching experience in the area of health economics and health care financing. Prior to joining O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) he worked as a Research Scientist and Assistant Professor at Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi. He was also a Welcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-17). At PHFI, he led the production of health accounts for six Indian states. He was a visiting faculty at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University, Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He is part of the WHO Expert group of National Health Accounts in Asia and Pacific Region. Indranil has led several research studies funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; World Health Organisation and has several international and national publications to his credit. He is the co-editor of Jindal Journal of Public Policy.