P. Jayarajan, Member of the British Empire (MBE), retired in 2003 as Head of the British Council Libraries in India, with the responsibility to manage the largest and most successful library network of the Council in the world. Between 1979 and 2003, he worked in various capacities in the British Council, including as the founder-librarian of its library in Hyderabad. Prior to this, he was the Chief Librarian of the prestigious management institute XLRI, Jamshedpur. After retirement in 2003, he has been engaged in consultancy and advisory work with various institutions. He was the Vice Chairman, Delhi Library Board (2008-2014) and Member, Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (2010-2013). He also wrote the Strategy for ‘Implementing the Recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission on Libraries’, at the request of the Ministry of Culture.
He has participated in many international and national seminars and conferences, and has published several articles in professional journals. He was conferred MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Her Majesty, the Queen of England in 2001. He also served as Research Assistant to (late) Dr S R Ranaganathan, National Research Professor in Library Science, from 1969 to 1972. He did graduation and BLibSc from Kerala University and post-graduation in library and information science from Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC).
Mathew Cherian is the Chief Executive of HelpAge India, a leading advocacy and caregiver non-profit for the elderly. He is based in New Delhi and has been associated with many non-profits across India. He is an engineering graduate from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. He is among India’s first rural managers from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. He has been Director, Oxfam, in India and Executive Director, Charities Aid Foundation. His most recent big initiative was the Credibility Alliance, which works to establish accountability and transparency in Civil Society. He is also Chairperson of Voluntary Action Network India (VANI).
He is currently on the Board of HelpAge International, Guidestar International, Care International and Sightsavers, all well-known non-profits. He is Member of the National Council of Senior Citizens and the National Foundation for Communal Harmony. He is the current Independent Commissioner for Geriatric Health with India’s Ministry of Health.
Dr. B. Shadrach advises the Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM). He helps the IPLM to devise the right strategies and partnerships towards building momentum for the nascent movement that aims to be the ‘voice’ of the Indian public librarians and other stakeholders involved in reviving public libraries in India.
Dr. Shadrach is also the Asia Coordinator for the World Wide Web Foundation for its Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) program. In this capacity, he helps to build coalitions of private, public and civil society organizations to advance the shared aim of affordable access to both mobile and fixed-line internet in Asia. Dr. Shadrach also consults for the Global Libraries Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in their program in India.
Dr. Sandhya Shekhar works in the area of Knowledge and Innovation Strategies. She has worked at the confluence of industry and academia helping to build innovation ecosystems, in her former role as the first CEO of India’s first University Research Park. She has extensive industry experience, having worked as Director, Asia Pacific Consulting, Gartner; CTO, BconnectB.com; Head, Knowledge Management Research, Aptech Ltd.; and Group Consultant, NIIT Ltd. Her competency areas include knowledge strategies, virtual organizations, innovation and entrepreneurship, IT driven business strategy, enterprise solutions, business process optimization, E-learning and software engineering.
She did her post graduate studies in management at IIM, Bangalore. She earned her PhD from IIT Madras, with her dissertation winning the award for outstanding doctoral research from the European Foundation for Management Development and Emerald. A recipient of several awards, she was felicitated as an Outstanding Woman Achiever during the 100th International Women’s Day. She has been on the jury of several national and international awards and scholarships. Her papers have been presented and published in several international conferences and journals. She serves as an independent director on the Boards of Bimetal Bearings Ltd. and IP Rings Ltd. She also serves on several advisory boards.
As the CEO of NASSCOM Foundation, the social development arm of the Indian IT-BPM industry body – NASSCOM, Shrikant is leading the technology for good movement in the country.
Through his unique perspective and diverse and rich experience spanning over 28 years, he has taken NASSCOM Foundation to newer heights and helped it create much larger impact. His involvement in the gamut of programs also gives him a chance to interact with numerous NGOs, leaders from the CSR space, policy makers from across the government, youth innovators and early stage social start-ups.
Shrikant has also been championing the cause of collaborative CSR, where corporates can join hands for a common cause, with government and non-government entities to solve social issues and create large scale impact.
As a respected leader in the space, Shrikant serves as a member of the technology advisory group for ‘Girls in IT’, and in also a part of the working group of ‘Technology Development for Indian Languages Program’ run by the Government of India He is also the head for the strategy group for Pro-Bono Volunteering at CII’s India@75 initiative.
Earlier in his career, Shrikant has played a pivotal role in the success of APTECH both in India as well as in Latin America & the Middle East. Prior to joining NASSCOM Foundation, he was based out of Malaysia, working as Head Corporate learning, APAC and MENA, at GlobalNxt University (formerly U21Global), an Online Graduate School, helping thousands of people working in corporates across the Asia-pacific, Middle-east and North African regions with limited or no access to good quality academic opportunities.
Geeta Dharmarajan is an inspirational story-teller, publisher, educationist, community organiser, social entrepreneur and a skilled exponent of classical Bharatanatyam dance and music. In 1988, she conceptualised and launched a quarterly children's magazine, Tamasha!, designed to bring big ideas about health, society and environment to India's first generation school-goers.
A year later, Geeta launched Katha, a unique 'profit for all' enterprise with a mission to spread the love of reading and story-telling in the service of children's education and community empowerment. In 1990, Geeta opened the first Katha School in the Delhi slum community of Govindpuri. Today, Katha works in 248 urban slums in Delhi and NCR as well as in tribal areas of Arunachal Pradesh, touching the lives of more than 250,000 families. Over 191,190 students have received quality education through Katha schools.
The foundation for her deep grassroots interest in education was laid in 1978 in Nilgiris where she served as Honorary Director of the Women’s voluntary service. Drawing on her university and post-graduate studies of education in India and the United States, Geeta created a unique pedagogy, putting story-telling at the heart of learning. She then developed a fast-track training programme to train low-skill women from slum communities to become confident and inspiring teachers. Over 5,000 teachers have so far been trained in the Katha way.
Geeta launched the Katha Awards for Short Fiction in 1990 and the publication of the Katha Prize Stories in 1991 was hailed as “a unique and special moment in Indian Publishing Industry”. She created at Katha a strong pan-Indian community of writers, translators, academics and editors working from a base of 21 languages.
Recognizing her contribution and expertise in the area of innovative educational initiatives, the Government of India appointed her in 2011 as the Chairperson of the National Bal Bhavan. The Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri in 2012.
Prof. Ashu Shokeen has wide administrative and teaching experience during her distinguished career at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. She has been the Chairperson, Department of Library and Information Science for 12 years; Co-ordinator, Distance Education Programme for 15 years; Chief Warden(W) for more than three years; Chairperson, Board of Studies; Member, Academic Council; Member, Sports Council;and In-charge of various Inspection Committees at Kurukshetra University. She has more than 30 years of teaching and research experience. Her areas of interest include library management, ICT application in libraries, user studies, user education and Public Libraries.
Prof. Ashu Shokeen has published more than 40 research papers/articles in refereed journals; proceedings of national and international conferences; chapters in edited books/monographs and edited five books and conference volumes. She is member of editorial boards of five national journals. She has supervised 15 Ph. D. Scholars (including 2 Ph. D. on Public Libraries) and approximately 40 M. Phil and MLISc students. She has delivered talks, keynote addresses and lectures in more than 50 short term courses/LIS development programmes/conferences, etc. She has been the Director of orientation course for library professionals at Royal Institute of Bhutan for sixteen days in December-2006 and has organised more than 10 professional Seminars, Conferences and Workshops. She has successfully handled a Major Research Project funded by DRDO.
Presentably, she is the President of Indian Library Association, apex body of library professionals in India and Chairperson, Regional Federation of South Asian Library Associations. She is a member, Steering Committee of International Network of Emerging Library Innovators, India, of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai and Member Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata. She has been a member of the Standing Committee of the IFLA – Asia Oceania Section 2005-2009, member of UGC Subject Panel – Curriculum Development Committee, 1998-2001.
The Guljari Lal Nanda Memorial Foundation bestowed upon her the “Naitik Samman Puruskar – 2009” and the Best Women Librarian Award by SATKAL was conferred on Prof. Ashu Shokeen in 2010. She is a versatile and multi-faceted personality, who inspires the young professionals. Her role has been that of a teacher as well as of a successful administrator. She has been the mentor of many future librarians.