Dr. CNR Rao is one of the foremost chemists in the world and veritably a living legend. His work on transition metal oxides has led to basic understanding of novel phenomena and the relationship between materials properties and the structural chemistry of these materials. He currently serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. Dr. Rao has honorary doctorates from 60 universities from around the world. He has authored around 1,500 research papers and 45 scientific books.
He was awarded the Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in 1969, the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1985. In 2014, for his significant contributions to advancing scientific research and education, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, making him only the third scientist after Dr.C.V. Raman and Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalamto receive the award.
Dr. Daniela Cerqui is a social and cultural anthropologist at the University of Lausanne and explores the edges of "posthuman" society, a society marked by human and computer hybridisation. Her focus is on the development of radical new information technologies and the 'information society' these technologies are supposed to create. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Cybernetics, University of Reading, UK, with Kevin Warwick, a pioneer in the field of brain to machine and brain-to-brain communication and the first person to have a chipimplanted in one of his nerves for enhancement purposes.Chips and human bodies are merging and such a symbiosis has consequences for the future of humankind. She is especially interested in how engineers who work on these new technologies see this future.
Sagarika Ghose has been a very noted journalist for over two decades. She received her bachelor's degree in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi. A recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship in 1987, she was educated at the University of Oxford. In 2014, The Rhodes Project, named her as one of the 13 famous women Rhodes Scholars in the world.
She has worked at The Times Of India, Outlook magazine and The Indian Express. She was the deputy editor and a prime time anchor on the news network CNN-IBN. At present, she works as consulting editor at The Times of India. Her Twitter interview with Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party in 2013 became the first instance of an Indian politician giving a social media interview prior to the polls. She is the author of two novels, The Gin Drinkers and Blind Faith, both published worldwide by Harper Collins.
Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1986 and was the Programme Director of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program under the leadership of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He served as the Chief Controller of R&Dand was a distinguished scientist at DRDO. BrahMos, the India-Russia joint missile development program evolved under his leadership with him as the founder CEO and Managing Director.
He has served as the Vice President of International Project Management Association and as Special Secretary representing India in the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.Dr. Pillai has co-authored the books The Path Unexplored,Thoughts For Change - We Can Do It and Envisioning an Empowered Nation with Dr. Kalam.Dr. Pillai was educated at Madras University and the Harvard Business School. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013.
Rahul Shukla is the Head of Corporate Banking At Citibank India. His team is responsible for full banking coverage of large local Indian corporates, public sector institutions, financial institutions and MNCs operating in India. Rahul is a member of the Global Corporate Banking Operating Committee.Prior to his present assignment, he was Head of the Asia-Pacific TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) Investment Banking team based in Hong Kong.Under his leadership, Citi's TMT franchise was recognised as the best in Asia by Finance Asia and the Asset Magazine for 3 years in a row. He has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi, graduating as the gold medalist in both.