Y.S.V.S Murthy

Ameeta Mehra

Mallika Sarabhai

Mallika Sarabhai Shah (born 9 May 1954) is an activist and Indian classical dancer from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Daughter of a classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika is an accomplished Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer and performer who has specialized in using the arts for social change and transformation.


She started to learn dancing when she was young, and started her film career in parallel cinema, when she was 15. Mallika played the role of Draupadi in the Peter Brook’s play The Mahabharata. Mallika has won many accolades during her long career, the Golden Star Award being one of them, which she won for the Best Dance Soloist, Theatre De Champs Elysees, Paris 1977. As well as a dancer, Sarabhai is a social activist. She manages the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts located at Ahmedabad, a center for the arts and for the use of arts as a language for behavior change.


In 1989 she performed hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Her performance Sita’s Daughters has toured the world and been performed over 500 times in three languages. After that, she directed and acted in numerous productions reflecting current issues and awareness among people. Amongst them are An Idea Named Meera; In Search of the Goddess and SvaKranti: The Revolution Within.

Mallika Sarabhai also wrote the script for the play ‘Unsuni’ based on Harsh Mander’s book ‘Unheard Voices’ to raise awareness amongst children in elite shchols and colleges to the real issues facing India’s marginalized. The play went around 120 schools and colleges. Arvind Gaur later directed it as a play, with the same name. Darpana Academy has launched the people awareness movement through its production Unsuni which travels all over India.

In 2009 Mallika Sarabhai acted in an Indian adaptation Bertolt Brecht’s of The Good Person of Szechwan (Ahmedabadki Aurat Bhali-Ramkali) directed by Arvind Gaur in 34th Vikram Sarabhai International Art Festival.

In the year 2012, Mallika co-directed ‘Women with Broken Wings,’ an international production with film maker Yadavan Chandran and Swiss pianist Elizabeth Sombart, an ode to the millions of women who have been the victims of violence. In 2014 she recreated, with Yadavan Chandran, Kadak Badshaahi, a multi media production on the 603-year-old history of the city of Ahmedabad. The performance ran for an unprecedented 33 full nights in Darpana’s venue, Natarani.


Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

After having worked for four years between 1951-54 with Le Corbusier in Paris, B. V. Doshi returned to Ahmedabad to supervise Le Corbusier’s projects. His studio, Vastu-Shilpa (environmental design), was established in 1955. Doshi worked closely with Louis Kahn and Anant Raje, when Kahn designed the campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In 1958 he was a fellow at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. He then started the School of Architecture (S.A) in 1962.

Doshi is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and has been on the selection committee for the Pritzker Prize, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He is also a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects.

Apart from his international fame as an architect, Dr. Doshi is equally known as an educator and institution builder. He has been the first founder Director of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (1962–72), first founder Director of the School of Planning (1972–79), first founder Dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (1972–81), founder member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad and first founder Director of the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad. Dr. Doshi has been instrumental in establishing the nationally and internationally known research institute Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design. The institute has done pioneering work in low cost housing and city planning.

As an academician, Dr. Doshi has been visiting the USA and Europe since 1958 and has held important chairs in American Universities.

He did a cameo role in Mani Ratnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani, and Shaad ali’s Ok Jaanu, playing himself.


In recognition of his distinguished contribution as a professional and as an academician, Dr. Doshi has received several international and national awards and honours.


Aster Mira Patel

Dr. Nirima Oza

Dr. Anirban Ganguly

Dr. Anirban Ganguly is the Director of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF), a New Delhi based think tank.

Dr. Ganguly is also a scholar of civilisation, history, politics and culture and is a Member of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), Ministry of Human Resources Development, Member of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation (MHRD), Member of the Visva-Bharati Samsad (Court), Santiniketan, besides being a Visiting Faculty at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi.

Dr. Ganguly holds a PhD in education from Jadavpur University, Kolkata and had his early education at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. Between 2010–2013 he worked as a Research Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi. He regularly lectures in various leading universities and institutions across the country and has extensively travelled across the world and spoken at a number of think tanks & conferences.

Dr Ganguly has authored/edited/co-edited the following books, ‘Syama Prasad Mookerjee: His Vision of Education (2017) “The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India’s Foreign Policy” (2016), “Redefining Governance: Essays on One year of Narendra Modi Government” (2015), “Swami Vivekananda, Buddha & Buddhism” (2014) “Debating Culture” (2013), “Education: Philosophy & Practice” (2011).

He has authored numerous papers, chapters and monographs on civilisational issues, politics, education and culture and is a columnist with a number of leading dailies.

Prof. Sachidanand Mohanty

The President of India in his capacity as the Visitor has designated Professor Sachidananda Mohanty as the new Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Orissa at Koraput on 4 August 2015. Prof. Mohanty resume full charge as the Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Orissa on 7 August 2015.

Noted academician Prof. Mohanty is the former Head, Department of English, University of Hyderabad. He is the recipient of several national and international awards including those from the British Council, the Salzburg, the Katha and the Fulbright. He has recently been nominated to the Commission on Education for UNESCO as an individual member with other noted academician of the Country by His Excellency, Hon’ble President of India. The tenure of the membership is for four years.

He has to his credit 28 books in English and in Odia including Understanding Cultural Exchange, Vision Books 1997; Travel Writing and the Empire, Katha; Early Women’s writing in Orissa, 1898-1950: A Lost Tradition, Sage Publications, 2005; Gender and Cultural Identity in Colonial Orissa, Orient Longman 2008; Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader, Routledge India, 2008; Sarala Devi, Central Sahitya Akademi, 2011; and Cosmopolitan Modernity in Early Twentieth Century India, Routledge India, 2015. Recently, a path breaking book “Periodical Press and Colonial Modernity” written by Prof. Mohanty has been released by Oxford University Press, Global Academic Publishing, a prestigious and renowned International publishing house.

Dr Mohanty’s essays and articles have appeared in some of the leading journals and forums in the country and elsewhere including India Today, The Hindu, The Indian Express, The New Quest, The Toronto South Asian Review, The Indian Literature, The Book Review , Economic and Political Weekly, the South Asia Review and the Seminar Magazine.

Prof. Mohanty attended the Annual Review Meeting of Central Institutions by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. The review meeting took place between 4th and 6th of November, 2015. The gathering comprised the Vice Chancellors of Central Universities, Directors of the IITS and NITS. The meeting was addressed by eminent personalities including the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee; Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi; The HRD Minister Smt. Smriti Irani and host of other luminaries. The review meeting was meant to generate new thinking on the challenges of Indian Higher Education today.

Prof. Mohanty is from Bhadrak district of Odisha. Prof. Mohanty is the son of late Panchanan Mohanty, former Financial Advisor to the Government of Odisha and Smt. Bidyut Prabha Devi, renowned Odia poet. He was educated in India & abroad.

Dr. Prema Nandkumar

Dr. Prema Nandakumar obtained her PhD summa cum laude in 1961, at the age of 22, for her study of Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri. Her¹s was the first in-depth study of Savitri and opened the way for many subsequent scholars to take up Savitri or Savitri-related subjects for academic dissertations. Dr. Nandakumar¹s doctoral dissertation was followed by post-doctoral research work comparing Dante and Sri Aurobindo. Since the publication of these early research works, Prema, who is the daughter of Prof. ICR. Srinivasa Iyengar, the first biographer of Sri Aurobindo, has written and spoken to audiences the world over, about Sri Aurobindo’s writings and philosophy.
Dr. Nandakumar is a frequent contributor to several Ashram-related journals including Sri Aurobindo’s Action, Mother India, The Advent and The Call Beyond. She has just completed a three-year series of articles on The Evolution of the Aurobindonian Heroine for The Advent and is soon to begin a new series on The Book of Fate. Her latest series of articles has Mahasaraswati as the main theme. She has drawn on sources as varied as the Vedas, the Mahabharata, Karnada literature and Bengali poetry for this. Prema is a frequent contributor of literary essays, reviews and short stories (in Tamil and English) to various other publications in India and abroad.
Prema¹s most recent book is entitled Women in Vedas and is a translation of women-related hymns from the Vedas. Dr. Nandakumar, who has been giving workshops on the writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother for more than thirty years, is also an acclaimed critic and translator and has been recognized with several awards for her contributions to Indian literature.
Dr. Nandakumar has been a member of the Academic Council, Central Institute of Higha Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi (1988-91); Member, Board of Studies in English, Andhra University, Waltair; Manba, National Executive of The Indian P.E.N., Senate member of Bharathidasan University and Visiting Professor, Swami Vivekananda Chair, Mahatma Gandhi University.

Courtesy: AUM 2001

Dr. Karan Singh

Karan Singh (born 9 March 1931) is an Indian politician, philanthropist and poet. He was a member of India’s Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha representing the National Capital Territory of Delhi. He is a senior member of the Indian National Congress Party who served successively as President (Sadr-i-Riyasat) and Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Singh is the son of the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh. In the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India promulgated in 1971, the Government of India, of which Karan Singh was a Union cabinet minister, abolished all official symbols of princely India, including titles, privileges, and remuneration (privy purses). During the conclusion of the Cold War, he was India’s ambassador to the USA. Singh received the Padma Vibhushan in 2005. He was proposed for candidacy in the July 2017 Indian presidential election by Bhim Singh.

He is a poet and authored poetry book too and his poems featured in the poetry anthology, The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India, featuring 151 Indian English poets, edited by Vivekanand Jha and published by Hidden Brook Press, Canada.

Political career

In 1949, at age of eighteen, Singh was appointed as the regent of Jammu and Kashmir state after his father stepped down as the ruler, following the state’s accession to India. He served successively as regent, the first and last Sadr-i-Riyasat, and governor of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from 1965 to 1967.

In 1967, he resigned as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, and became the youngest-ever member of the Union Cabinet, holding the portfolios of Tourism and Civil Aviation between 1967 and 1973. Two years later, he voluntarily surrendered his privy purse, which he had been entitled to since the death of his father in 1961. He placed the entire sum into a charitable trust named after his parents. In 1971, he was sent as an envoy to the Eastern Bloc nations to explain India’s position with regard to East Pakistan, then engaged in civil war with West Pakistan. He attempted to resign following an aircraft crash in 1973, but the resignation was not accepted. The same year, he became the Minister for Health and Family planning, serving in this post until 1977.

He was a member of the Rajya Sabha first representing J&K National Conference – a Muslim dominated state party active in northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir – from 30 November 1996 to 12 August 1999 and currently is a Rajya Sabha member from 28 January 2000 representing INC. He has served as Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, Jammu and Kashmir University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and NIIT University.

Source: WikiPedia