Dr. Karan Singh was born heir-apparent to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. In 1949, at the age of eighteen he was appointed Regent, then elected Sadar-i-Riyasat and then Governor of the State. In 1967, he was inducted into the Union Cabinet and held the portfolios of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Health & Family Planning and Education & Culture.
He was awarded a PhD by the University of Delhi for his thesis on the Political Thought of Sri Aurobindo. He has been Chancellor of Jammu & Kashmir University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, President of the People’s Commission on Environment & Development; Chairman of the Temple of Understanding, a global Interfaith organisation; Member of the Club of Rome, the Club of Budapest, and the Green Cross International. He was a four-time Member of the Lok Sabha and since 1996 is a Member of the Rajya Sabha, re-elected in Dec 2005. He is Chairman, Ethics Committee of the Upper House of Parliament; Chairman, Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation; Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, having rank equal to Central Cabinet Minister.
Dr. Karan Singh has written many books and has lectured on political science, philosophy, education, religion and culture, in India and abroad. He is recognised as one of India’s outstanding thinkers and leaders.
Mr. Rajendra S. Pawar is Chairman and co-founder of the NIIT Group, that encompasses two businesses—NIIT Technologies Limited, the software and services arm and NIIT Limited, the leading Global Talent Development Corporation. Mr. Pawar has played a leadership role in nurturing NIIT and building it into a leading Global Talent Development Corporation. By pioneering NIIT’s innovative franchising model, he enabled the company to unleash a wave of entrepreneurship across the globe, providing young people with the opportunity to create viable businesses centred on IT learning.
Mr. Pawar led NIIT’s foray into the software and services market, creating NIIT Technologies, a global IT Solutions organization.NIIT Technologies serves clients across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Mr. Pawar is a member of Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development, a council chaired by the Prime Minister of India. He is a member of the Planning Commission’s Task Force on Skill Development and has also served on the Prime Minister’s National Task force, which aimed at making India an IT Superpower by 2008. Actively involved in India’s key Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Pawar has led several ICT industry initiatives. He has been a Founder Member of NASSCOM (the National Association of Software & Service Companies). He is currently a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.
Mr. Pawar studied at the Scindia School, Gwalior and completed his BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Delhi in 1972. Known for promoting industry-academia alliances, he works closely with many of the country’s well-known educational institutions and is on the Board of Governors of IIT Delhi, the Indian School of Business, and the Scindia School.
Vijay K. Thadani is the Chief Executive Officer of NIIT, Asia’s leading Global Talent Development Corporation. Mr. Thadani also serves on the Board of NIIT Technologies Limited, servicing customers in the USA, Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific, and India.
Mr. Thadani has led the Group’s globalization efforts since 1991, taking the NIIT flag to over 40 countries. As the Chairman of NIIT USA, and based out of Atlanta (1999-2003), he mentored NIIT’s Strategic Alliance Program that resulted in successful acquisitions of leading technology.
Mr. Thadani is deeply involved in strengthening and consolidating NIIT’s presence in the Chinese market, where the company began operations in 1998. He was recently honoured with the position of ‘Economic Consultant’ to Chongqing, world’s largest city in the People’s Republic of China.
Mr. Thadani has headed many Industry Associations and Societies including the Indian IT industry association, MAIT. He has also chaired the Indian Government’s Committee on National Information Infrastructure Policy. Mr. Thadani has served as the Chairman of the IT Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the USA.
A ‘distinguished alumnus’ of the premier IIT Delhi, Mr. Thadani has lectured at prestigious institutions including the University of Michigan Business School, the J L Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
Prof Pandey has received his Ph.D and M.Sc. degrees in Physics from Ravishankar University, Raipur. Prior to joining NIIT University, Prof Pandey was the first Vice Chancellor at ITM University, Gwalior, M.P. Prof Pandey has been actively involved in teaching and research activities at the university level for more than 32 years. He was appointed as Professor of Physics in 1994. Professor Pandey has served in various administrative positions such as Member of the Executive Council, Bhopal University, Bhopal; Director, University Institute of Technology; Director, Institute of Physics and Electronics; Director, University Computer Centre; Director, Research and Development; Dean, Faculty of Science; Member of the Board of Governors (BoG, hereafter), University Institute of Technology, Bhopal; Member of BoG at NIT, Jamshedpur; Member of the Academic Senate, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal; and Coordinator, IQAC etc. Professor Pandey has played leading role as an Institution builder and established a large number of teaching and research programs. As the first Vice Chancellor, Prof Pandey has been instrumental in introducing new academic and developmental programs, collaborations and fostering research activities at ITM University. He has also been instrumental in framing rules and regulations for the overall administration of the ITM University and defending the interests at different forums.
Prof Pandey has significantly contributed with research papers in international journals of repute, co-authored a book for Marcel Dekker, USA and presented more than 100 papers in National and International Conferences as invited speaker. He is in the panel of reviewers of a number of international research journals His research interests are in the field of Nano science and Technology, Semiconductor Devices, Solar Cells, Sensors, Thin/Thick Film Technology and Materials Science.
Prof Pandey has also completed 18 research projects as principal investigator and co-ordinated the prestigious Special Assistance Programs, the COSIST program and two Innovative Programs in Nanotechnology and Electronics funded by the UGC, New Delhi. Prof Pandey is a member of the expert panel for the Technology Angel Programme of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi. He is also Consultant to several Industries.
He has been invited as Visiting Professor, Senior JSPS Fellow, UNESCO-ICTP visiting Scientist, Course Director and Invited Speaker to several universities and organizations in Japan, USA, Italy, Singapore, and Malaysia etc. Prof Pandey is the receipient of the prestigious Platinum Jubilee Lecture Award during the 94th Session of the Indian Science Congress at Annamalai Nagar, January 3-7, 2007. He was elected as the President of the Materials Science Section, Indian Science Congress, 2005-06. Prof Pandey is a Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, India.
Prof. Parimal Mandke is currently the Vice President, Registrar, Dean (Academics) & Dean (Student Affairs) at NIIT University.
With formal qualifications of MSc (Bombay University), MSc Tech (BITS, Pilani) and PhD (BITS, Pilani), her experience spans over 35 years. For the first 15 years of her career, she was a Faculty member and Dean, Educational Consultancy at BITS, Pilani. During her stint at BITS, Pilani, she gave leadership to development of new innovative on-campus and off-campus programs of studies. Noteworthy among them being the off-campus program, M S (S&T), developed in collaboration with CSIR for working scientists of the CSIR system.
As Chief, Higher Education, NIIT, Prof. Parimal contributed to the design of innovative GNIIT/ANIIT/FNIIT programs and industry-linked Professional Practice. She developed educational alliances with over a dozen Indian and international universities. Since 2002, she has been involved in the establishment of the NIIT University.
Prof. Parimal has presented papers and co-authored four books in the areas of R&D Management, S&T and Education. She has taught courses in Technology Management, R&D Management, Scientific Method and designed innovative research-driven course like Contemporary Issues.
Her areas of expertise include university development, university partnerships and the academic discipline of S&T.
Prof. Sunil Khanna is currently The Vice President, Dean (Research) & Dean (Admissions) at NIIT University.
He started his career as a Graduate Research Associate in Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1983 and then moved to work as a Research Fellow with Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Division, University of Cincinnati, Ohio in January 1984. In September 1985, he joined TERI as Area convener fellow and worked at that position till March 1992 to be promoted as Dean, Biotechnology in April 1992 till January 1996. He moved to Tata Energy and Resources Institute, U.S.A as Vice President in Feb 1996 till June 1998. He came back to India in July 1998 and was associated with TERI as Principal Investigator for their research projects.
Prof. Sunil has held various positions with Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET) from October 2000 to July 2005-Dean, Resource Generation and Planning (2003 onwards), Executive Director, Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park (STEP), Coordinator, Center for Relevance and Excellence (CORE), Head and Professor, Department of Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences. He then joined NIIT University as Dean, Planning, and Professor of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
In terms of his educational background, Prof. Sunil is a PhD (Biochemistry), 1983 from Waite Agricultural Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia. He did his Masters in 1978 from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. He completed his graduation in Botany [Hons] in 1976 from Delhi University.
Prof. Sunil is a member of a number of societies in India and abroad, and has also worked as Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Journal of Microbiology from 1993 to1996. His publications include 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals/books, 75 papers in conference proceedings/meetings, 20 technical reports, 3 reviews in books, and 2 books. Prof Sunil is a Fellow of the Association of Microbiologists of India (FAMI). Prof Sunil has also completed 22 research projects as principal investigator funded by Bilateral (UNDP, Ford foundation, IDRC Canada, NEDO Japan) and National institutions (MNRE, DST, ONGC and DBT).
Air Cmde Kamal Singh joined the corporate world in the year 2006, as Senior Vice-President, to lead the commercial functions of NIIT Ltd after having worked in the Indian Air Force for over three decades. He has been a member to the Corporate Family Group of NIIT group of companies and is presently the Advisor, Infra-Services and has been associated in the Master Planning as well as building of NIIT University campus at Neemrana.
He is an Electrical & Electronics engineer, with specialization in Aeronautical Engineering and has served across several geographies and assignments. He pioneered the induction of first digital-radar in the country, led a training contingent for six months at erstwhile Soviet Union and later was assigned for half a decade at the Embassy of India Washington DC as a part of the Defence Attaché corp. This representational role at the Embassy, amongst other responsibilities, included providing nodal support to DRDO on Transfer of Technology for the India’s LCA program.
His career in the IAF afforded him Director of Engineering position in Air HQs, followed by Air Officer Commanding of a MRO Depot engaged in overhaul of missiles and radar-systems, of army and air force. The innovations applied in the management of this key establishment were recognized by an award of Ati Vashisht Seva Medal to him by the President of India on 26 Jan 2004.
He was finally the Commandant of Air Force Technical College, (AFTC) Bangalore, the alma mater of aeronautical engineers, for the armed services as well to some DPSUs and to more than a dozen friendly countries. He particularly succeeded here by getting Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to avail of residential programs at AFTC, got a PG recognition from VTU Belgaum to AFTC curricula and led a collaboration with IIT Madras to launch another of IIT Madras campus in Bangalore, in strategic alliance with AFTC.
He is a progressive farmer, has been promoting wasteland development for over thirty years. The concept of doing unconventional farming on arid lands has been strengthened by him by adopting these in his ancestral village-region. He has helped land the UNDP IDA programs in north-India. The success of these ‘tree-farms’ or ‘energy-farms’ raised new hopes for many and he, in the year 1983, was the first farmer in north-India to avail of a commercial ‘bank-loan’ for ‘Energy-Farms’.
He believes, practices and preaches holistic living which includes ‘wander-lust’ to learn and discover something by being amidst nature / wilderness. He is an avid supporter of yoga, golf and music and indulges in and recommends adventure-sports.
Prof. Sanjay Gupta is currently an Associate Professor at NIIT University in adjunct capacity.
Sanjay started his career as a Graduate Engineer Trainee in Tata Engineering (now Tata Motors), Pune in 1986.He was promoted as Assistant Engineer (Electronics) in Tata Engineering (now Tata Motors) in 1988.He also worked as Senior Scientific Officer in IIT Delhi from 1991 to 1993. He joined NIIT in 1993 and served at various positions to be promoted as Head—GM (R&D), NIIT R&D department in 2004.
Sanjay’s research interests in Computer-Assisted science education and devices for human-computer interaction led him to patent 3 devices invented by him. Patents for 7 more devices invented by him are in the pipeline. He has done projects with Ministry of Tourism, NIIT’s Hole-In-The-Wall (HIWEL) project, NIIT’s School Learning Services (SLS), and others.
Sanjay’s interests include conducting Fun Science workshops for children, photography, reading travelogues and comedy.