OPEN 2011/Profile of the Speakers

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1. Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan

Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan (“Raj”) from Malaysia holds B.Sc. degree from University of Madras, D.I.C.; M. Sc. degree from Imperial College, University of London and Ph. D. in Biology from the University of Aston in Birmingham, U.K. His career stretching over 45 years has seen him helming two universities in Hong Kong and Malaysia respectively during this period besides acting as President of Commonwealth of Learning, an inter-governmental agency, from 1995-2004. Professor Dhanarajan is acknowledged as one of the world's leading advocates and experts on Open and Distance Learning and has been actively involved in the creation of Distance education Institution across the Anglophone world. In the course of this illustrious career he contributed to global discussion on the subject to the International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, The African Development Bank as well as the Inter American and Caribbean Development Banks. Amongst many of the illustrious international development agencies that he has worked with, are UNESCO, UNICEF,ILO, WHO, UNHCR, ITU, and the International Federation of Red Cross Associations. Some of the other development agencies that have used his experience include CIDA,DFID, AUSAID and NZODA. Government of Malaysia has in 2008 conferred on him the nation's second highest civilian award which carries the title TAN SRI. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from ten universities in the Asia-Pacific,Europe and North America.


2. Professor C. N. Krishnan

Professor C N Krishnan is currently serving as the Program Director of AU-KBC Centre. He is by training an Electrical Engineer with specialization in Communication and Signal Processing and did his M. Tech and Ph. D. from IIT Kanpur. He has served as a faculty in IIT Kanpur and Madras University of Technology, Anna University, Chennai pursuing a program of teaching and research in his areas of specialization. Professor Krishnan's research work has been in the areas of Applied Signal Processing, Spread Spectrum and GPS, Kalman Filtering, Air-borne Radar and Power Line Communications, and this has led to over forty research papers in these areas. He also carried out over 15 externally funded research projects in these areas. He has been the Director of School of Electronics & Instrumentation, and also the founding Director, AU-KBC Research Centre in the MIT Campus of the University. In 1999, he set up the AU-KBC Research Centre (www.au-kbc.org) within the University with funding from his former student Dr. K B Chandrasekhar (Silicon Valley, USA) – this being the first Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) entity in Indian R&D, focused strongly on taking R&D output to the markets and the users. Along with C-DAC Chennai, Professor Krishnan was responsible for the founding of the NRCFOSS (National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software) Project in 2005 with funding from the Department of Information Technology, Government of India. NRCFOSS is a multi-institutional project for the promotion of FOSS in India.


3. Dr. Savithri Singh

A Botanist by training, Dr. Savithri Singh, has over time, diversified her interests into issues on education, women and environment. She was a member of National Knowledge Commission's working group on 'Retention of students in Science and Mathematics' and is an India Core team member for developing guidelines for 'Quality Assurance in Multimedia Learning Materials' – a project of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi and the Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver. Dr. Singh has been involved with working or curriculum and syllabi development at the University and school levels. Dr. Singh is involved with NCERT at various levels – as a Member, 'National Focus Group on Teaching of Science'; Member, Science syllabus Committee'; Member, Departmental Advisory Board, Department of Science and Mathematics and Department of Teachers Education and Extension; Chief Advisor,Primary Environmental Studies textbooks, and author, Textbook Development team for Biology XI and XII. She has also edited and authored Delhi SCERT science books for classes III to VIII. Being a strong advocate of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) she is an elected member and Vice Chair of the International Community Council of the Wikieducator – a 'wiki' committed for building open education resources (OERs). She believes in free universal access to education and has led the college to switch over from various proprietary softwares to LINUX and FOSS. She has been instrumental in ANDC organizing several workshops on OER, Linux and EasyNow over the last four years. Dr. Singh is passionate about encouraging research by faculty and promoting experiment-based research projects by undergraduate students. She makes it a point to ensure that students get opportunities to work with the best of tools available thus gaining valuable hands-on experience. She is responsible for the several hands-on workshops for students in the college – be it in Electronics, Biology, Microbiology or Computer Science.


4. Mr. Subhash Kumar

Mr. Subhash Kumar is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Acharya Narendra Dev College. He did his Masters in Physics from University of Delhi. His primary research interest is in the area of Plasma Physics applied to astrophysical systems and space science. He is a FOSS (free-open source software) enthusiast and has participated in several workshops in the same field, WikiEducator in particular. He is also passionate about Indian classical music and Indian culture, being an active volunteer of SPICMACAY.


5. Dr. Neeti Misra

Dr. Neeti Misra specializes in Physical Chemistry and also teaches “Computers and their applications" to Chemistry students. She has four research papers to her credit and authored several books for school students. She has contributed in creating course content for Institute of Life Long Learning (ILLL), University of Delhi and is also associated with NCERT as subject expert. She is also involved as a resource person in several face-to-face L4C workshops to introduce others to the WikiEducator family, delivered talks on “Application of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) In Science Teaching and Research” and conducted EasyNow workshops for content creation. She is now working as trainer for Commonwealth Educational and Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) on EasyNow techniques and has recently trained participants in Bangladesh for creating and uploading their content on indigenous herbs. She has presented a paper on Easy Now Techniques in the Sixth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in Kochi, India in 2010.


6. Mr. Colin Charles

Mr. Colin Charles has been a Linux enthusiast since 1996. He's currently a Computer Science student and a part-time consultant. He is actively involved in the OpenOffice.org project and maintains the 'OpenOffice.org Unofficial FAQ' which can be found at the official OpenOffice.org FAQ page. He is also a QA for the Documentation team and a lead for the Malaysian Language Project. He is an Open source software hacker, entrepreneur, photographer, world traveller, and occasional writer. His interests include MariaDB, MoSync, Web of Trust. As a Community Marketing Contact for Malaysia, he has given lectures and public talks on Linux, the Open Source Movement and OpenOffice.org in Malaysia and Australia.


7. Mr. Ravikant Sharma

Societies where he coordinates the projects interfacing Language, Media and Technology, a Sarai Programme. He also works on Free and Open Source Software Solutions for the Indic Languages. He has done his M. Phil. in History from University of Delhi and currently pursuing his Ph. D. in 'A Social History of Language in Hindi Cinema' from the same. Ravikant is a historian, writer and translator. He taught Modern History in University of Delhi before joining Sarai programme, CSDS. He is a recipient of FLOSS Award in 2008 by Linux for You Magazine for .Kde desktop in Hindi. He is the editor, co-editor and reviewer of many books and series. He has a number of publications in renowned journals and literary world. He is actively involved with broadcasting media where he has hosted programs in All India Radio some of which are Talks and Interviews, 'Darde-ishq se Darde-Disco tak', 'Kasapaavtaar mein Manohar Shyam ki Bhasha Leela' and many more. He has translated two films on environment and has written dialogues for a film.


8. Mr. Pavan Duggal

Mr. Pavan Duggal is a practicing Advocate, Supreme Court of India and a Cyber law Consultant. He has made an immense and invaluable contribution to the evolution of legal thought process pertaining to complicated issues concerning Cyberspace, Internet and the World Wide Web and their regulation in India and in Asia. He is the President of Cyberlaws.Net and the Founder President of Cyber law Asia, Asia's pioneering organization committed to the passing of dynamic Cyber laws in the Asian continent. Pavan Duggal has been associated with UNESCO on Ethical, Legal, and Societal Challenges of Cyberspace in Asia and the Pacific. He is a consultant to United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on the Asia Pacific Conference on Cybercrime and Information Security 2002. He is a Member of number of organizations and committees like Nominating Committee of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); Membership Advisory Committee and Membership Implementation Task Force (MITF) of ICANN; Public Interest Registry's.Org Advisory Council; World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre's Panel of Neutrals and AFACT Legal Working Group of UN/CEFACT. Mr. Duggal has vetted and reviewed the e-primer on Cyber law prepared by e-Asean Task Force as an expert authority. He is the Cyber law correspondent for the Global Legal Publication JURIST: The Legal Education Network. He is advising the Controller of Certifying Authorities, Ministry of Information Technology Government of India on issues concerning the Indian Cyber law namely, The Information Technology Act, 2000. He is also the Member of the IT Act Legal Advisory Group constituted by the Controller of Certifying Authorities. Being a prolific writer, he has authored seven books few of which are "Cyber law in India", "Cyber law - The Indian Perspective", "Changing Face of Indian Cinema", "Law of Business Process Outsourcing" and "Indian Convergence Law". He has been invited as a distinguished speaker on various issues of Cyber law at numerous International Internet Forums, conferences and exhibitions.


9. Ms. Anandana Kapur

Ms. Anandana Kapur is an award winning film-maker and academician. She has produced nearly 141 educational shows and about 17 films which include documentaries also. She has given voice to over 19 documentaries. She is a Visiting Faculty at AJKMCRC, JMI, New Delhi, India where she teaches Communication Theory and Research and lectures exchange students from the US and Canada on Gender and Film. Her published work is on culture, communication paradigms and film studies. She is involved with cultural diversity, copyright management and modern art initiatives and her interests include photography, art and travel.


10. Mr. Abhishek Nandakumar

Abhishek NandaKumar is currently pursuing his Masters in Informatics at the Institute of Informatics and Communication, University of Delhi, South Campus. He completed his Bachelors in Computer Science (Hons.) from Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi in 2010. He has worked on design projects with 9.9 Mediaworx. His main interests are Human Computer Interaction, and Web Interface Design. He has also been doing freelance work on website deployment.


11. Mr. Chamindra de Silva

Mr. Chamindra de Silva is the CTO and Director of the FOSS disaster management project Sahana. He is a graduate in Engineering and Computer Science from Oxford University. He has been involved with Sahana from its inception in Sri Lanka during the Asian Tsunami and subsequently lead project and architectural rewrite as a generic disaster management platform. He has been involved in applying Sahana for disaster response in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Philippines, China and Haiti. He is also the concept founder of HFOSS and is also on the advisory board of the HFOSS academic project. His other involvements in open source include being a charter member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and as an Apache Committer. His day job is the Head of Strategic Initiatives in the Global Technology Office at Virtusa Corp with advanced technology centers based in Hyderabad, Chennai and Colombo.


12. Dr. Dinesh Abrol

Dr. Dinesh Abrol is Scientist F at National Institute of Science Technology and Development studies (NISTADS), a constituent establishment of CSIR. He did his B.Tech. in Electronics and M. Phil. in Science policy. He has authored chapters in a number of books on issues related to higher and technical education and also on intellectual property right and has a large number of research publications in this area, to his credit. He has presented papers on themes covering patenting issues, science and technology, and implications of WTO agreements in a number of conferences and has been invited to speak in equally large number of conferences. The research contributions of Dr. Abrol cover areas pertaining to the themes of intellectual property management, design of innovation systems, constructive technology assessment and S&T policy. He is engaged in the upgrading of rural technologies with the aim of contributing to the movement for sustainable development in India. He is also known for his work on the evaluation of TRIPS Agreement and is the co-convenor of National Working Group on Patent Laws.


13. Professor Kannan Moudgaliya

Professor Kannan Moudgalya is Head of Centre for Distance Engineering Education Programme, IIT Mumbai and a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering since 1998 at the same institute. He did his Masters in Electrical Engineering and Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University, Houston, Texas. Starting his carrier as Assistant Professor in IIT Mumbai, he became Associate Dean, R&D at the same institution. He has won several awards and fellowships during this tenure. His active involvement in research is evident from his long list of publications. He has published 57 research papers in refereed journals and has also written two books and a technical report titled 'Polynomial Computations in MATLAB'. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta during 2003-04. In 2004 he became the Head, Application Software Cell in IIT Mumbai. He has guided seven Ph. D. students.


14. Dr. Sanjeev Singh

Dr. Sanjeev Singh received the Doctoral degree in Electronics (Optical Communication)from University of Delhi. He was instrumental in setting up Institute of Informatics & Communication, University of Delhi South Campus in 1998. He worked in the area of integrated optics for six years. For the last twelve years, apart from teaching postgraduate courses in Informatics, he is working in the area of applied computer networks and learning technologies. Dr. Singh is also on the advisory board of various institutions such as Phoenix Business School, Udaipur, EMPI, New Delhi. He is a panel member of open source community 'Linux Asia'.


15. Dr. Andrew Lynn

Dr. Andrew Lynn is working as Associate Professor at School of Computational and Integrative sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His areas of work are Computational Biology and High Performance Computing. Currently he is working on a project on HMM-ModE code and GI numbers of the Protein Kinases entitled "HMM-ModE- Improved classification using profile Hidden Markov Model by optimizing the discrimination threshold and modifying emission probabilities with negative training sequences". Dr. Lynn is a very active crusader of open source and is an integral part of the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) project initiated by CSIR. The emphasis of his work is on the study of how the increased availability of information in all spheres of enquiry, be it biological, physical, geological, economics, etc. can be most effectively utilized in an academic context.


16. Mr. Pranesh Prakash


17. Dr. Sarita Kumar

Dr. Sarita Kumar, Associate Professor in Zoology at Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi is a trained entomologist and, her areas of research interests include mosquito control and insecticide resistance. She did her Ph. D. on insecticide toxicology from Department of Zoology, University of Delhi and is teaching for over twenty years. She is an active researcher and is currently working on two research projects – from UGC and DST. A prolific writer and research scholar she is credited with over 20 publications in international / national journals and research conferences and is on the Editorial Board of two International Journals, associate editor of one journal and a reviewer of many journals of International repute. She is a proud recipient of The 'Distinguished Teacher Award' by University of Delhi in 2009 presented by former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. She works closely with NCERT, SCERT, NIOS and IGNOU for curriculum development and as editor and reviewer of educational content. She has written 14 books on science education and is busy creating e-content based on the University curriculum. She always believed in open education and became a WikiEducator in October, 2008. Now she is one of the most active WikiEducator Ambassadors and has facilitated/coordinated eight face to face workshops in New Delhi, India. Apart from the facilitation of workshops, she is also supporting various OER as well as project management initiatives that are being taken up by WikiEducator community. She has always been very keen to provide online support to the new members of our WikiEducator community. To acknowledge the immense contribution she was selected as 'Featured WE' on India Page of WikiEducator for the month of August, 2009. Dr. Sarita Kumar is recognized internationally in Marquis Who is Who in the World, Who is Who in Asia, 2000 Intellectuals of the 21st Century, Leading Scientists and Who is Who in Science and Engineering.


18. Dr. Ravi Toteja

Dr. Ravi Toteja is a molecular biologist with specialization in tumor immunology and molecular parasitology. He did his Ph. D. from University of Delhi. Besides teaching, his interests include creating e-contents, global education development and writing books. He is a life member of Indian Society of Parasitology and has been an active member of various committees of University of Delhi constituted for restructuring the course contents of Zoology and Life sciences. He has authored a book on Biotechnology for undergraduate students and has contributed e-chapters for Institute of Life Long Learning (University of Delhi), National Science Digital Library, and National Institute of Science and Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR). Dr. Toteja has been instrumental in organizing a number of workshops, seminars and conferences. Being a proud WikiEducator, he has delivered a number of lectures on Open Educational Resources for teachers as well as for students. He is on the panel of the CEC 'Consortium for Educational Communication', a UGC accredited organization, for sanctioning of e-projects on Biotechnology and Microbiology.


19. Mr. Chidambaram Kollengode

Mr. Chidambaran Kollengode (Chid), a Systems Professional has recently joined Nokia. He was earlier with Yahoo India R & D as Director Cloud Computing. He has been involved in exploring the boundaries of distributed computing for very large volume data processing. Prior to joining Yahoo, he worked with Amazon in building a highly scalable distributed architecture and a cost-effective implementation for processing huge amounts of search and advertisement (Internet) data. Mr. Chidambaram has a wealth of experience in technology development and organization building with a successful track record in building models and sustainable infrastructures for evidence-based management and quantitative fact-based analysis. He is a frequent presenter in enterprise architecture forums (India and abroad) and is the Founder President of Data Management Association, Bangalore (2006 – current), the first chapter in the South East Asia region. He is also a Member of the Data Management Association, Philadelphia (1996 – onwards). Mr. Chidambaram has a Masters' Degree in Business Administration (M. B. A.) from Pennsylvania State University (major in Information Systems) and a Bachelors' in Engineering from NIT, Trichy (Formerly REC, Trichy). He has been a visiting Professor at the University of Phoenix and continues to be a faculty member and faculty mentor, teaching masters and undergraduate courses. He also teaches in a couple of Indian Universities and is on the Board of studies of a few Universities in India, actively engaged in developing the curriculum for productive talent generation.


20. Dr. K. R. Srivathsan

Professor K.R. Srivathsan is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU, member of Board of Management, IGNOU and Board of the Distance Education Council. He did his Ph.D. from Queen's University, Canada, M. Tech from IIT Kanpur – in Electrical Engineering. He is architecting, guiding and building a next generation framework of e-Learning for IGNOU, as 'Open Distributed Technology Enhanced Learning' (ODTEL). He is a core member of the steering group of the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) funded by the MHRD and jointly run by all the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IIS). Professor Srivathsan has been the first Director of the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management - Kerala (IIITM-K) from 2001-2008. There he inspired and guided the development of the Education Grid, KISSAN-Kerala, e-krishi, Virtual University for Agricultural Trade, the Krishideepam TV Serial in Agriculture, the Computational Chemistry Portal, the Trivandrum City Police Portal for Community Interactions, Open GIS developments and promoted FOSS-based solutions and entrepreneurship developments. Professor Srivathsan had been the Head of Electrical Engineering Department at IIT Kanpur where, he coordinated and steered several programs and initiatives like the ERNET, Telematics and various technology development programs. He has also assisted in establishing the Computational Chemistry Portal for scholars and researchers in chemistry.

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