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REC-VoW Book Awards 2019: Jury Members

Sqn Ldr Rana Chinna

Rana Tej Pratap Singh Chhina (born 1960) is a writer, a military historian and a veteran of the Indian Air Force (IAF).Born and raised in New Delhi, Chhina was selected for the National Defence Academy in 1976, shortly after graduating from St. Columba’s School. He was commissioned into the flying branch of the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a pilot officer on 11 June 1981.
He served with distinction as a helicopter pilot in all sectors in which the IAF was operational. From 1990 to 1993 he was an IAF flight instructor. After retiring from active service in 1997 as a squadron leader, Chhina became a historian of the IAF, the former British Indian Army, and Indian military medals and decorations.

Chhina is the secretary and editor at the United Service Institution of India (USI) Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research, New Delhi, and is the vice-president of the Indian Military Historical Society (IMHS), UK. He is also a member of the IAF Aerospace Museum Apex Steering Committee and the Government of India’s Archival Advisory Board, and was a member of the joint USI–MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) Steering Committee responsible for coordinating international and national commemoration of India’s participation in the First World War in connection with the centenary of the conflict. In 2016 Chhina was awarded an Honorary MBE for services to First World War centenary commemorations.

Subroto Chattopadhyay

Subroto Chattopadhyay specializes in brand building, start ups and turn arounds across diverse businesses.

He graduated to general management from marketing and sales specialization.

Since 1980 his executive career has been with Brooke Bond (Unilever), ITC Ltd.( associate of BAT) and PepsiCo South Asia where he was Executive Director. He was President Entertainment Sector & Member – Management Board, RPG Enterprises and MD of HMV Saregama .

Subroto is the founder Chairman of The Peninsula Studios (TPS) a premier content creation house.

TPS curates and produces award winning branded TV programs rooted in folk and classical music like Coke Studio Roots, Nokia Music Theatre, HCL Maestros in Studio and Emperors of Melody.

Subroto directs Brains Trust India, a series of educational documentaries by the finest minds from India and the UK, presented by the British High Commission New Delhi produced by TPS.

He also serves as an independent director & consultant to companies which have global reach in financial services, health care, retail, consumer products, VAS, NBFC and food packaging.

In ITC Subroto worked in cigarette marketing, agri businesses, and foods businesses.

In Pepsi Co he was Executive Director leading the health and wellness sectors, CEO of Tropicana Beverages, Gatorade & led the PepsiCo Unilever JV for Lipton.

Subroto started his executive career as a management trainee in Brooke Bond India (Unilever)

His early career was in brand management, media buying, brand PR and sales functions. He has been a custodian of global brands like Tropicana, Gatorade, Lipton, Aquafina, 7Up, B&H, 555 State Express, Gold Flake, Sundrop and Slice.

He is Chairman “National Group of Archive Management for the All India Radio and Doordarshan “.

He has produced feature films in Bangla like Japanese Wife and Khela, directed by Aparna Sen and Rituparna Ghosh.

He is a keen equestrian and office bearer of Army Polo and Riding Club & former Chairman of Audit Bureau of Circulations and Indian Music Industry. He has done teaching assignments in ASCI, ISB and IIM.

Vishnu Shankar

Lt Gen JS Lidder

Lt Gen Jasbir Singh Lidder, a distinguished General of the Indian Army heading the Peacekeeping Force, presented the unit citation to Col Rishi Deo Sharma, Commanding Officer of the battalion. The parade was witnessed by high-ranking dignitaries from the United Nations fraternity and Government of South Kardofan State of Sudan.

Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma

Lt Gen (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM is the former Governor of Mizoram and former Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

Born in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) in 1946, he is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1966. General Sharma is one of the most distinguished and decorated Field Commanders of the Indian Army.

Most of his assignments have dealt with Kashmir followed by North Eastern States; the last assignment being a Corps Commander and Security Advisor to the Government of J&K. During the period, his landmark contribution in fighting the ongoing proxy war in Kashmir, including the successful conduct of Parliamentary and Assembly Elections are well known. Apart from brilliantly directing anti-terrorist operations of over one lakh elements of the security force, his accomplishments include the construction of an anti-infiltration obstacle system along the Line of Control, opening the Uri-Muzaffarabad Road and the construction of the ‘Aman Setu’. He had earlier raised a Division during the ‘Kargil War’ (in record time).
The concurrent conduct of disaster relief operations during the ‘Snow Tsunami’ and Earthquake also drew praise and recognition. His slogan of “Jawan aur Awaam, Aman hai Maqaam” and its manifestation on ground brought in a new approach and momentum to the ongoing peace process in Kashmir.
As a young captain, he fought in the 1971 War and was part of the Airborne Assault Group, the first Indian Army Unit to enter Dacca. Apart from commanding a battalion on the China border, he was part of the Sino-Indian Working Group and coordinated counter-insurgency operations in the North East with civil agencies and inter-ministerial delegations. The peace process with Naga rebels commenced during this period. Close interaction with the representatives of the armies and governments of Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh for effective border management and formulation of joint strategies to combat militancy, anti-national / criminal / hijacking activities and disaster management were also part of his charter.
Peace Building initiatives based on a just resolution of issues have been an integral part of his mandate as a Military Man and Strategic Expert.
As Director General (Perspective Planning) in the Army HQ, Gen. Sharma worked on the Restructuring of the Army HQ and assisted in drafting ‘Army Vision 2020’. As Master General of Ordnance, his stamp of dynamism is distinctly seen in the field of material management of the 1.2 million-strong Indian Army with varied and complex inventory worth over ₹50,000 crores and an Annual Revenue Budget of ₹6,000 crores.
After 40 years of distinguished service in the Army, General Sharma was appointed Member of the Union Public Service Commission of India. As a Constitutional Authority, he presided over Interview Boards and Departmental Promotion Committees to select officers for the Civil Services. He also examined the framing and amendment of Recruitment and Service Rules and commented on disciplinary cases. He offered specific advice on examination reforms and other matters related to the development of the Indian Civil Service.
With an M.Sc. and an M.Phil. in Defence Studies (by correspondence) from Madras University, he is a widely recognised strategic thinker and defence analyst. General Sharma has been a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi (an independent Strategic and Public Policy think tank and research initiative), and several other similar institutions like the USI (United Service Institution of India), IDSA (Institute of Defence Studies & Analysis) and CPR (Centre for Policy & Research) etc. His articles and perspective have been published in many journals and newspapers and he has also participated in numerable seminars and discussions with leading global think tanks within the country and abroad.
On 4 May 2016, at a Special Convocation held in Mumbai, General Sharma was awarded Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Degree (Honoris Causa) by Tibrewala University, “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the service of our motherland, exemplary patriotism, inspirational leadership and peacemaking initiatives.
The General was appointed as Governor of the State of Arunachal Pradesh in May 2013 by His Excellency the President of India and was sworn in on 29 May 2013 as the eighteenth Governor. Arunachal Pradesh is strategically located in the North East of India, and has common borders with Bhutan, China and Myanmar.
After serving the state of Arunachal Pradesh for two years, he took the Oath of Office of the Governor of Mizoram, another North Eastern State sharing an international border of 722 km with Myanmar and Bangladesh, on 26 May 2015.

Lt Gen PJS Pannu

Lt Gen PJS Pannu served as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.
The General Officer is an alumnus of Indian Military Academy and was commissioned into 22nd Battalion, The Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) on December 13, 1980, and commanded the battalion from May 1999 to February 2001 in Uri Sector (Jammu and Kashmir) during Operation VIJAY.

Lt Gen Pannu has held a string of important command and staff appointments and took active part in many operations. He has also attended major prestigious courses like the Defence Services Staff College, Senior Command, Higher Command and National Defence College course in his career.

The General Officer has been an instructor in the prestigious Indian Military Academy. He has also held important appointments in various Formation Headquarters and Army Headquarters such as General Staff Officer grade 1 and Director in Military Operations Directorate, Colonel Military Secretary at HQ 1 Corps, Director of Perspective and Planning Directorate and Deputy Military Assistant to Chief of Army Staff.

He has commanded an Infantry Brigade in Kashmir Valley, has been Commandant of MLI Regimental Centre, commanded an infantry division in the North East. The General Officer served as ADG MO (Special Operations) and DG Infantry before taking over a prestigious Corps in the Northern Command.

He has also served in UN Mission in Mozambique from May 1993 to May 1994 and Sudan from Aug 2005 to Aug 2006 as Chiefs of Operations in both Missions.

The General Officer took over the prestigious appointment of Colonel of the MARATHA LI from May 1, 2014

The officer has been awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal in 2018, Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 2014, and Vishist Seva Medal in 2008, and COAS recommendation card in 2006 for his distinguished service.

Lt Gen Prakash Menon

Lt. Gen. (Retd) Prakash Menon is the Director of the Strategic Studies Programme. He is also Professor Emeritus at Trans Disciplinary University (TDU), Bangalore and Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

Lt Gen Menon joined the Indian Army in 1972. He has extensive operational experience in commanding counter-insurgency operations in Central, North and South Kashmir. He was the Major General Staff of the army’s Northern Command responsible for operations in J&K and the Commandant of the National Defence College, New Delhi. After his retirement in 2011, he continued in government as the Military Advisor and Secretary to Government of India and from 2015 as Officer on Special Duty in the National Security Council Secretariat.

He has a PhD from Madras University for his thesis “Limited War and Nuclear Deterrence in the Indo-Pak context”. He was appointed by the Union Cabinet as a member of an expert group for the creation of the Indian National Defence University.

Lt Gen Menon has been decorated with three Distinguished Service awards – PVSM, AVSM and VSM. Post-retirement, he continues to teach and research, with a special focus on the role of force in statecraft.

Lt Gen V K Ahluwalia

Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Ahluwalia PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM, is retired Indian Army officer who last served as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army’s Central Command. In the army, he served as a helicopter pilot and led the introduction of Bofors artillery weapons. Following his retirement, he was appointed as a member of the Armed Forces Tribunal for four years.
Currently, he is the Director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) in New Delhi. He wrote a book, “Red Revolution 2020 and Beyond: Strategic Challenges to Resolve Naxalism” based on his doctoral dissertation. Academically inclined, General Ahluwalia completed his Ph.D on ‘Internal Security and Conflict Resolution’. He has delivered talks at national and global level on subjects such as geo-politics and international relations, global security landscape, essence of the armed forces and nation building, Leadership in military and corporate world, current regional cum conservation of environment issues. He has authored a book titled ‘Red Revolution 2020 and beyond’ and has authored and co-edited three books: on Surprise, Strategy and Vijay, 20 Years of Kargil and Beyond, COVID-19 & its Challenges: Is India Future Ready? , and the Bangladesh Liberation @50 Years, Bijoy with Synergy. He is a Management Trustee of the Delhi Cheshire Home (DCH), an independent director, and a mentor to Colonel Gautam Academy, to empower the youth.

Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia

Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, SM, (Retd.) superannuated after 40 years of distinguished service in the Army as the Director General Military Operations (DGMO),one of the most important functionaries of the Army.
As the DGMO, he was directly responsible for talks with his counterpart in Pakistan to ensure sustained ceasefire, a first of its kind and was much appreciated by the National Polity. His advisory skills in strategic arena have played an inseparable part in designing and implementing numerous policies for the Indian Army. He was instrumental in giving the much needed focus to capability development and capacity enhancement along our Northern borders and effective management of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the LC.
He is a proud alumni of Sainik School Ghorakhal and the National Defence Academy. Commissioned into The Parachute Regiment in Jun 1974, he is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, College of Defence Management and the prestigious National Defence College. He has wide ranging experience in command, staff and instructional appointments.
His higher command assignments include that of Mountain Brigade in North Bengal, Infantry Division on the Line of Control and an operational Corps along the India – China border. His operational experience is varied , as he has actively been part of Ops Rakshak, Vijay ,Rhino, Hifazat, Orchid, Falcon,All Clear and Cactus (Maldives). He has written on wide ranging subjects such as Regional and National Security, International Relations,Special Operations, Human Resource Development, Human Rights, Psychological & Information warfare and Operational Philosophy in the course of his career and post superannuation. The General has also vast experience in Disaster Management. As the Corps Commander he was responsible for the planning, deployment of resources and execution of rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations during the Sikkim Earthquake of 18 Sep 2011.
As the Director General Military Operations he was also responsible for the planning and execution of rescue and relief operations during one of the worst ever disaster (Uttarakhand floods in Jun 2013) wherein nearly 35,000 people were evacuated under the most challenging and difficult circumstances.
Lt General Vinod Bhatia was The Colonel of The Parachute Regiment from 01 Dec 2010 to 28 Feb 2014, a period which saw the growth of the Special Forces of India enhancing their Operational capabilities. He was also the Co-chair of The IndiaUS Executive Steering Group on Defence Cooperation.

Maj Gen BK Sharma

Maj Gen BK Sharma was commissioned in the SIKHLIGHT Infantry Regiment in
1976 and superannuated in 2012. He is the Director of United Service Institution of
India (USI), India’s oldest think tank established by the British in 1870. He was
conferred three military awards by the President of India for rendering exceptional
distinguished national service and for displaying courage. Besides, he was conferred
national award for nation building by the Confederation of Educational Excellence of
India in 2017. He has tenanted prestigious assignments in India, including command of a mountain division on China border and Senior Faculty Member at the National
Defence College. He has represented his country at the UN as Military Observer in
Central America and has been India’s Defence Attaché in Central Asia.
He specializes in Strategic Net Assessment methodology, Scenario Building and
Strategic Gaming. He has visited about 35 countries as member of international
delegations and on educational tours. He has participated in 29 international
conferences abroad and several such conferences in India.
He has edited about 08 books, contributed more than 60 seminal papers in the
Indian / foreign journals and Newspapers and presented 30 research papers at
international conferences. He edits prestigious USI Strategic Year Book. He has
lectured at the prestigious military establishment, policy think tanks, and universities,
literature festivals in India and abroad. He regularly participates in Track-2 Level

Maj Gen Dhruv Katoch

Maj Gen Dhruv C Katoch an alumnus of Sherwood College Nainital, the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla and the National Defence College, New Delhi, Major General Dhruv Katoch was commissioned in the DOGRA Regiment on 31 March 1972. In a distinguished career span of nearly four decades, he has held instructional assignments in the Infantry School, Mhow and The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and senior staff appointments at the brigade, division and Corps levels. Besides the NDC, the General Officer is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the Higher Command Course, Mhow.

He has vast experience in sub conventional conflict, having taken part in IPKF operations in Sri Lanka as also operations against terrorists and insurgents in J&K and various states of North East India. He was commended by the Chief of Army Staff for operations against militants in Sri Lanka and was awarded Sena Medal while in command of his battalion in active operations on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He has commanded a Sector as well as a division in the North East and subsequently retired as Chief of Staff of an operational Corps. The General writes on defence and security related issues. He also writes on non military matters both fiction and issues of societal concern.

Maj Gen Ian Cardozo

Major General Ian Cardozo was commissioned at the Indian Military Academy into the 1st Battalion of the 5th Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force), where he received his basic grounding as a young officer. Thereafter, he took part in the Sino-Indian war of 1962, the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

Wounded in the battle of Sylhet in Bangladesh, he overcame the disability of losing a leg and became the first disabled officer of the Indian Army to be approved for command of an infantry battalion and brigade. He retired from this appointment as Chief of Staff of a corps in the north-east. On retirement, he worked in the area of disability with an NGO and as vice president of the War Wounded Foundation, before being appointed by the Government of India as chairman of the Rehabilitation Council of India, where he worked for nine years.

He has taken up writing as a hobby, and his books Param Vir, The Sinking of INS Khukri, The Bravest of the Brave: The Indian VCs of World War I, The Indian Army in World War I: 1914-18 and Lieutenant General Bilimoria: His Life and Times have been widely acclaimed. He is also working with an illustrator on graphic novels-about the courage, competence and sacrifice of the Indian soldier-of which eleven have been published so far.

Maroof Raza

Maroof Raza is a commentator on global, military and security issues. He is regularly invited to address gatherings of corporate leaders and academic institutions. In recent years he has given ‘talks’ on a range of issues at the invitation of FICCI and CII, as also by Goldman Sachs (India), Citibank, Deloitte, YPOs, YI-CII and at the Civil Services Academy, Mussoorie at the National Defence College, New Delhi, at events organised by SpeakIn, OSB and at certain Lit-Fests.

A former Indian army officer, educated in India and in England, his talks range from leadership lessons from the army to the threats of terrorism to India, the Kashmir issue, to what India should do to become a great power. He has also spoken at prestigious institutions in the US, UK and in the Gulf countries.

Probal Dasgupta

Sandeep Unnithan

Sandeep Unnithan is an executive editor with India Today where he writes on security-related issues. He is the co-author of Operation X: The Untold Story of India’s Covert Naval War in East Pakistan.

Shiv Kunal Verma

Shiv Kunal Verma born into an army family (his father was a captain with 2 Rajput in 1962), filmmaker and military historian Shiv Kunal Verma has worked with all three arms of the Indian armed forces over the last two-and-a-half decades. From flying extensively with the IAF while making Salt of the Earth and Aakash Yodha to the filming of the Naval Dimension and the Kargil War, Verma has had a ringside view of matters military. His film on the National Defence Academy—The Standard Bearers—is considered a classic. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Northeast Trilogy (that documented the entire region and its peoples) and The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why.

Shri Ajay Bhatt

Shri Ajay Bhatt is an Indian politician who is currently serving as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Tourism in Second Modi ministry. He is also a Member of Parliament from Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar. He was State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand. Ajay Bhatt defeated former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and Senior Indian National Congress leader Harish Rawat by a huge margin of 3,39,096 votes in Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar constituency in 2019 General Elections.

He has served as the Leader of the Opposition in Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly before state elections in 2017. He held several portfolios in the Government of Uttarakhand as a Minister. He is regarded as one of the senior most BJP leaders of Uttarakhand. He has also served as MLA from Ranikhet Legislative Assembly.
Ajay Bhatt was known for the slogan “Sabki ek hi ratt..Ajay Bhatt..Ajay Bhatt” during Uttarakhand state elections in 2017.

Shri Arvind Gupta

Dr Arvind Gupta was Director General of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) from January 05, 2012 to August 07, 2014.

He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and an MSc in Physics from Delhi University. He was a Visiting Member at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (1974-76) and served at the Oil & Natural Gas Commission (1976) and the State Bank of India (1976-79) before joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1979.

After working in the Ministry of External Affairs in different capacities and in diplomatic missions in Moscow, London and Ankara, Dr Gupta retired from the Indian Foreign Service in 2013.

Prior to joining IDSA, he was Joint Secretary at the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) from 1999 to 2007. During his tenure at the NSCS, he dealt with a wide range of international and national security issues and participated in various working groups and task forces set up by the NSC. He also worked with the Kargil Review Committee.

At IDSA, before becoming the Director General, Dr Gupta held the Lal Bahadur Shastri Chair (LBSC) for Strategic Studies from 2008 to 2011. He also headed South Asia and Internal Security Centres and edited the Institute’s flagship bi-monthly journal Strategic Analysis. He has represented IDSA at several bilateral dialogues as well as international conferences. He lectures frequently at apex national training institutions and writes in the media on foreign affairs & international security issues.

His areas of interest include international security issues, India’s foreign policy, energy security, climate change, and technology & internal security issues.

Dr Gupta has three books, several edited books and a number of academic publications to his credit. He has been a member of several task forces on issues such as space security, climate change, cyber security, nuclear disarmament, etc.

Shri Iqbal Malhotra

Iqbal Malhotra started his career in television in India as Rupert Murdoch’s strategic advisor on the establishment of the Star TV Network in India. The television bug having bitten him fully, he joined AIM Television in 1998 and has produced all its shows from 2000 onwards. Apart from this he has directed and produced incisive and cutting edge feature documentaries on a variety of National and International Political subjects. He also serves as the Chairman and Producer of AIM Television Pvt. Ltd

Shri JP Dutta

Jyoti Prakash Dutta is an Indian Bollywood film producer, writer and director, best known for making patriotic action war films. Dutta produces his films under the banner of JP Films. He is known for directing many patriotic war films and films in the action genre. His films often have ensemble star casts. In 1998, he was awarded the ‘National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration’ from President of India for his super hit film Border.

Some of the Bollywood Hindi films that he has written, produced and directed are Border, Refugee, LOC Kargil and Umrao Jaan.

He headed the feature film section jury for the National Film Awards (2010), according to sources in the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

In 2013, it was announced that Dutta would undertake sequels to his 1997 film Border, and that Border 2 would star Sangram Singh and Nafisa Ali’s son Ajit Sodhi. He owns the production company titled J P Gene.

Shri VK Gaur

Shri V K Gaur is the former DIG of BSF

Sir Mark Tully

Sir Mark Tully is a leading British broadcaster and writer whose integrity and wide vision has been recognized by the major British award for journalism, the Bafta Dimbleby Award. He is accepted as being ‘incomparable’ among foreign correspondents. He has also been awarded the OBE and was knighted recently for his long and exceptionally distinguished career. He has also, quite exceptionally, been recognized by the Indian government for his work in writing and reporting on India for a world audience for over 25 years with the award of the high honour of the Padma Shri Award from the President of India.

In addition to his political journalism and empathetic portraits of Indian culture in articles and books, notably from the point of view of the poor, he has been presenting a spiritually rooted BBC programme, Something Understood, which has been broadcast every Sunday for almost twelve years in the UK and attracts a regular audience of close to a million listeners and has established a wide and loyal following and a high-profile reputation.

Something Understood always reflects the spiritual dimension of life, although some subjects are more overtly spiritual or theological than others. The programme also reflects Mark’s own wide ranging sympathy, intelligent curiosity and imaginative response to the challenges of living a fully realized ethical life, personal and social. The inclusion of music, poetry, prose, and conversation is part of how he creatively approaches his subjects and allows truths to emerge with the complexity that reflects human experience.

Sqn Ldr Pushp Vaid, VrC

Lt Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir Bir Protik

Lieutenant Colonel (Retd.) Quazi Sazzad Ali Zahir is a veteran of the Bangladesh Liberation war. The Bangladesh government awarded him the title of Bir Protik for his bravery in the war. He was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2021.

Zahir joined the Pakistan Army at the end of 1969 as a cadet. In 1971, he was training as a senior cadet at the Kakul Military Academy in Pakistan.

Zahir was commissioned in the Artillery Corps of the Pakistan Army in August. Posting is in 6th Field Artillery Regiment Sialkot. When the Bangladesh Liberation war started, he fled from Pakistan at the end of August and came to India to join the war.

Zahir joined the Bangladesh Liberation war in September 1971. He organized the 2nd Artillery Force under Sector 4 in the Sylhet region. At that time the Indian government gave six 105 mm artillery to the Mukti Bahini and with that a field artillery battery was formed for the Mukti Bahini. It is named Raushan Ara Battery. He was the co-captain of this group. Since October, the battery had assisted the Mukti Bahini Z Force in the greater Sylhet region with artillery fire support in various battles.

In 2013, Zahir was awarded the Bangladesh Independence Day Award, the highest civilian award, for his contribution to the liberation war.

Zahir approached Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to provide award and recognition to Indian soldiers killed in the Bangladesh Liberation war. He is co-coordinating the project with the Government of Bangladesh to provide crests to Indian soldiers killed in the war. He founded Shuddhoi Muktijoddho to provide recognition to indigenous veterans of Bangladesh Liberation war.

He has been awarded Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of Public Affairs on 2021.

Aarti Tikoo Singh

Aarti Tikoo Singh is a Kashmiri Indian journalist, who was born in Jammu and Kashmir and is known for being vocal on the Kashmir conflict.
She is an alumnus of University of Jammu and did Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York City.
As a reporter, she has worked in conflict zones across India such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam.
After working with dailies in India such as Hindustan Times and as Senior Assistant Editor with The Times of India.
She is now currently working as a Foreign and Security Affairs Editor at the agency Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).
Singh has over 18 years of experience in journalism, focusing on international relations and conflicts.
She reported from the state of Jammu and Kashmir for almost seven years, covering politics, violence, governance and human stories.
Singh represented in a United States Congressional hearing on Kashmir.

Admiral Anup Singh

Admiral Anup Singh – A specialist in Navigation and Direction, he has held a mix of operational, staff and instructional appointments during his career of 36 years.
In fact, he was the commissioning Commanding Officer of two ships, INS Veer, a missile vessel and INS Delhi, the first indigenously designed and built destroyer of 6700 ton displacement. His last operational appointment was Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet where he led Operation SUKOON, the evacuation of civilians from war-torn Lebanon in July 2006.

Ashore, Vice Admiral Anup Singh has held Command and Staff appointments including Assistant Controller of Carrier Projects and Warship Production and Acquisition at Naval Headquarters, Chief Instructor (Navy), Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air) and the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. In his capacity as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, he was primarily responsible for maritime operations in all three domains, Foreign Cooperation, Intelligence, Communications as well as acquisition of Naval Aviation assets and for laying down the long-term vision for naval aviation.
A keen sportsman and adventurer, he was the Sailing Master of the first ever square-rigged Sail Training Vessel ‘Varuna’ in 1980-82. He has also skippered the Naval Yatch ‘Samudra’ for the Pacific Crossing during her round the world voyage in 1989.

Admiral Shekhar Sinha

Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, PVSM, AVSM, NM & Bar, ADC is a former Three star Admiral of the Indian Navy.

Sinha joined the Navy in 1974 in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy. He was a Naval aviator. A Fighter pilot, he flew the Sea Harrier.

He commanded two Sea Harrier Squadrons as well as Air Station Hansa. Adm Sinha has commanded the first Saryu-class patrol vessel INS Saryu, the Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti and the guided-missile destroyer INS Delhi.

Ashore as a Flag Officer, he served as Flag Officer Naval Aviation, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air) as well as Controller Personnel Services. As a Rear Admiral, Sinha served as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet from 2007 to 2008. In a short stint in 2011, he served as the 6th Chief of Integrated Defence Staff. In 2012, Vice Adm Sinha was appointed Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.

Air Marshal Harish Masand

Alok Bansal

Alok Bansal is the Executive Director of South Asian Institute for Strategic Affairs (SAISA). He has been the Executive Director of the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) and has worked with the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and Center for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) earlier. He has authored a book titled “Balochistan in Turmoil:Pakistan at Cross Roads’; in 2009 and has co-edited several other books.

Ambassador Akbaruddin

Syed Akbaruddin is a retired Indian civil servant from 1985 batch of the Indian Foreign Service and served as India’s permanent representative at the United Nations at New York from January 2016 to April 2020. He had previously served as official spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs from January 2012 to April 2015 and was Indian representative at IAEA from 2006 to 2011.

Akbaruddin is a 1985 batch Indian Foreign Service officer. In his distinguished career spanning over 34 years, Akbaruddin has served in different capacities in India and abroad, starting his first foreign assignment in Cairo where he also learned Arabic. He also served twice in Saudi Arabia; in Riyadh from 1988 to 1992 and in Jeddah from 2000 to 2004 as consul-general of India and he is rightly considered an expert on the West Asia issues in India. At the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, he was on deputation for four years and returned to India in 2011.
He was the director at the Foreign Secretary’s Office of the Ministry from 2004 to 2005.

Akbaruddin was the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India from January 2012 to April 2015 and was succeeded by Vikas Swarup. He headed the External Publicity and Public Diplomacy division of the Ministry in the capacity of Joint Secretary to Government of India. He was also the chief coordinator for the India-Africa Summit in October 2015. He was later Additional Secretary in the Ministry from April 2015 to September 2015.

Akbaruddin presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on January 25, 2016. He has been praised inside his country and abroad for his exceptional skills at multilateral forums, protecting India’s interest and setting new standards of multilateral diplomacy. His work at the United Nations against terrorism, climate change and towards international peace has been unparalleled to any of his predecessors. He has been credited for blacklisting of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.
On the climate front, Akbaruddin has presented India as leader and not a follower at the United Nations, by setting examples such as the inauguration of a 50-kilowatt ‘Gandhi Solar Park’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a first of its kind effort by India at the UN.

Ambassador Asoke Mukerji

Asoke Kumar Mukerji (born December 1955) is a former Indian diplomat and writer. He was Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations from April 2013 to December 2015.

Mukerji qualified for the Indian Foreign Service, which he joined in July 1978.

His early diplomatic career took him to Belgrade and Washington DC. He became Consul General of India in Soviet Central Asia in June 1990, and helped transform India’s relations with the five newly independent countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan during the momentous period of transition following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. During March 1992 to December 1992, he was India’s first Charge d’affaires in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Mukerji is actively interested in Central Asian affairs. In July 2012, he articulated a forward-looking view on interaction with Central Asia in an address at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.

Mukerji worked as a trade negotiator in the newly formed World Trade Organization between 1995-98. He was among the first Indian officials tasked with representing India in trade disputes involving India brought before the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body in its meeting on 21 October 1998 recognized his “knowledge of the WTO issues was unsurpassed” while approving his inclusion in the Indicative List of Panelists for Dispute Settlement. Mukerji’s article “Developing Countries and the WTO: Issues of Implementation” published in 2000 has been widely used in the context of the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations.

He is credited with the formation of the first private-public partnership Indian Community Welfare Committee in the United Arab Emirates during his assignment as Consul General of India in Dubai (1998-2001). This platform, under the patronage of the Government of India, brought together stakeholders from the private sector, public undertakings, and individual civil society representatives, including women social workers, to deal with issues facing Indian nationals in distress.

Mukerji was India’s Deputy Ambassador to the Russian Federation between 2001-2005. He was responsible for the implementation of projects inducting modern defence systems into the three wings of India’s armed forces during his assignment, including the T-90 main battle tank, and the Su-30MKI fighter aircraft.

As India’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan (2005-2007), Mukerji negotiated the acquisition of India’s first Caspian Sea oilfield stake (Satpayev) in 2005 by Indian Government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

Between 2007-10, Mukerji was India’s Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom at London, which is India’s oldest and largest diplomatic mission.

Mukerji was responsible for India’s foreign policy planning and review, participation in international organizations, border management, and cyber issues as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2010-2012. He headed the Government of India’s multi-agency counter terrorism working groups with foreign countries, including with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and co-chaired the India-EU Security Dialogue. He led Indian delegations for dialogues on cyber issues with the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and Japan between 2011-2012.

He was Chairman of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Steering Committee that established the South Asia Forum, tasked with implementing a South Asian Economic Union by the SAARC Summit in Maldives in 2011. He has worked closely with Indian and international think-tanks on foreign policy issues related to major transitions in India’s immediate neighbourhood.

Ambassador Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty

Ambassador Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty is a former member of the Indian Foreign Service (1977 batch), he has served as a diplomat in Indian Diplomatic Missions in Cairo, Jeddah and London. Later, was Consul-General of India in Karachi, 1994-1995; Counsellor/Minister, DCM at the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv, 1995-1999; and Deputy High Commissioner at Dhaka, 1999-2002. At the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), he served as Deputy Chief of Protocol, Deputy Secretary/Director in the Americas Division and as Director, SAARC Summit Secretariat, 1995.
He was the Chief of Protocol from 2002 to 2006, after which he was nominated as Ambassador to the Philippines but later shifted to Bangladesh where he served as High Commissioner from 2007 to 2009. From 2010 to 2011 he served as Ambassador to Thailand. Returning to Delhi he served as Special Secretary (Public Diplomacy) before he was appointed Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA.
He retired from service in September 2013. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, journals and books. His latest journal article is titled “Bangladesh-India Ties: Pragmatic Transformation,” published in the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal. One of his recent book chapters is titled “Bridging the Hiatus of History: India’s Look East Policy” in India’s Asia-Pacific Engagement: Impulses and Imperatives (Manohar 2015). He also participates in TV programmes on foreign policy and strategic affairs.

Ambassador TCA Raghavan

TCA Raghavan is a former Indian diplomat who was a 1982 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service. He has considerable experience in South Asia policy issues and considered an expert on Pakistan studies, including heading the Joint Secretary the Division of the Ministry of External Affairs in Pakistan Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) division. From 6 June 2013 till his retirement on 31 December 2015 Raghavan was the High Commissioner of India to Pakistan. After retirement he has authored two books- the first a biography of two Mughal nobles and the other a study of India Pakistan relations. In July 2018 he was appointed Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs.

Raghavan was the Indian high commissioner to Singapore till June 2013. After that, he was appointed the High commissioner to Pakistan. Earlier, Raghavan was a Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad from 2003 to 2007. His previous overseas postings include United Kingdom (1995-1998), Bhutan (1992-1995) and Kuwait (1983-1986).

After his retirement he has emerged as a well known author with three well received books. The first is entitled Attendant Lords: Bairam Khan and Abdur Rahim, Courtiers and Poets in Mughal India. It was published by HarperCollins in 2017 and was awarded the Mohammad Habib Prize for medieval Indian history by the Indian History Congress in December 2017. His second book is also published by HarperCollins and is entitled The People Next Door: The Curious History of India’s Relations with Pakistan. His latest book is entitled History Men: Jadunath Sarkar, G S Sardesai, Raghubir Sinh and their Quest for India’s Past.

Ambassador Vikram Doraiswami

Mr. Vikram K Doraiswami joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1992. Prior to joining the Indian Government, he worked for one year as a journalist. He took a Masters’ Degree in History from the University of Delhi.

After his in-service training in New Delhi from 1992-1993, Mr Doraiswami was posted to the High Commission of India in Hong Kong in May 1994 as Third Secretary. He learnt Chinese, taking an elective diploma in that language at the New Asia Yale-in-Asia language school of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was posted to the Embassy of India in Beijing in September 1996 where he served for nearly four years.

Upon returning to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi in 2000, Mr. Doraiswami was appointed Deputy Chief of Protocol (Ceremonials). After two years he was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office. He later served as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

In 2006, Mr. Doraiswami was posted to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York as Political Counsellor and in October 2009 he served as India’s Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In July 2011, Mr. Doraiswami returned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi, where he was Head of the Division for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). During this period, he was also Coordinator for the Fourth Summit meeting of BRICS in New Delhi in March 2012.

From October 2012 to October 2014, Mr. Doraiswami was Joint Secretary of the Americas Division of the MEA. He became Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan in October 2014, before being assigned as India’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea in April 2015. Upon completion of this assignment, he returned to Headquarters in July 2018, serving as Head of Division for Bangladesh and Myanmar. In April 2019, he was tasked with setting up a new Division at MEA for the Indo-Pacific. Following a promotion in December 2019, he was designated Additional Secretary responsible for International Organizations and Summits.

Vikram Doraiswami’s interests include reading, sports, fitness, travel and Jazz. He speaks Chinese, French and some Korean.

Ashish Singh

Editor-Strategic Affairs at NewsX (Direct News Private Limited)

AVM Manmohan Bahadur

Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur, retired from the Indian Air Force after 36 years of distinguished service. He is an Experimental Test Pilot from the French Test Pilots School, a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, USA and a post graduate in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University. He has commanded a frontline Helicopter Unit and two Flying Bases, was the Contingent Cdr of the first IAF United Nations Mission in Sudan and has been Head of Training (Air) at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. As Asst Chief of Air Staff, AVM Bahadur was the operational head of Transport and Helicopter Operations of the Indian Air Force for two and a half years. His last assignment while in Service was as Asst Chief of Integrated Defence Staff in-charge of perspective planning and force structure of the Services, where he looked after tri-Service procurement policies and implementation. He writes for leading national newspapers and professional journals. His core interests concern Air Power and Strategic Affairs.

Christine Fair

Carol Christine Fairis an American political scientist. She is an associate professor in the Security Studies Program within the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Her work is primarily focused on counter-terrorism and South Asian topics.

Fair received her PhD from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization at the University of Chicago in 2004. Previously, she received a masters of arts and Bachelor of Science from the same university.

Fair served as a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation, political officer with the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, and a senior research associate with the United States Institute of Peace. She specializes in political and military affairs in South Asia. She has served as a senior fellow at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, a senior resident fellow at the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (New Delhi), and took a Reagan–Fascell Democracy Fellowship in the spring of 2017.

Fair is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Peace and Security Studies Program (SSP) within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She has authored or co-authored, and co-edited several books, including Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), Policing Insurgencies: Cops as Counterinsurgents (Oxford University Press, 2014);Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh (Routledge, 2010); Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces (Oxford University Press, 2008); The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan (USIP, 2008), and Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States (Globe Pequot, 2008), Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (Oxford University Press, 2014), In Their Own Words: Understanding the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (Oxford University Press, 2019), among others. Her current book project is Militant Piety and Lines of Control.

Dr. Sanjeev Chopra

Dr Sanjeev Chopra is a retired IAS officer of the 1985 batch; from Kapurthala, Punjab. He is now the primary patron and honorary consultant to a literary festival: the Valley of Words International Literary Festival, held annually in Dehradun, India.
He is a former Director of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration. Immediately prior to this, he was the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of West Bengal, in charge of Industry, Commerce and Enterprises Department and Director General of ATI, Kolkata.

From 2017 he has been the honorary curator of The Valley of Words and now he runs it. 2021’s Valley of Word’s literary festival will be held in 5 cities in India over a period of time. He is currently writing books on an Indian leader and one on Indian cartography.

General Bipin Rawat CDS

General Bipin Rawat, PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC is a four star general of the Indian Army. He is the first and current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. On 30 December 2019, he was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office from 1 January 2020. Prior to taking over as the CDS, he served as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand in a Hindu Garhwali Rajput family. The family had been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations. His father Laxman Singh Rawat was from Sainj village of the Pauri Garhwal district and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. His mother was from the Uttarkashi district and was the daughter of Kishan Singh Parmar, the ex-Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Uttarkashi.

Rawat attended Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School, Shimla He then joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’.

Rawat is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From his tenure at the DSSC, he has a MPhil degree in Defence Studies as well as diplomas in Management and Computer Studies from University of Madras. In 2011, he was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut for his research on military-media strategic studies.

Jagan Mohan

P V S Jagan Mohan is a military historian. He has written for Vayu Aerospace Review, the Journal of the Society of Aerospace Studies in India; his photographs have been published in India Today, Indian Express, Air Forces Monthly, Air International, Aeroplane Magazine, Flypast, Flugzeug Classic, Classic Wings Down Under and Wiraze. He maintains a website devoted to vintage aircraft.

LS Bajpai

Shri Laxmi Shankar Bajpai is a renowned Poet, Gazalkaar and communicator. He retired as a Deputy Director General from AIR Akashwani.

Laxmi Shankar Bajpai is Postgraduate in Physics, He started his career as PEX from AIR Gwalior and served various stations like Bikaner, Almoda, Kathua, national Channel etc. He has given new dimensions to Hindi commentary and has brought to the public Aankho Dekha Haal on many occasions on 26 January, 15 August and many other events of National and International Importance.

Laxmi Shankar Bajpai was the only poet representing India at 2013 World Poetry Festival, held at Venezuela. He has done Poetry recital in several cities of Northern Ireland, Wales and Britain, Moscow and also poetry recital as a representative of India in Poland, and Trinidad and England, in 2005. He was awarded Children’s Literature Award by Delhi Hindi Academy. He has been a translator and moderator of AIR’s prestigious ‘All Language Poets Conference’ several times. His Poems have been published in numerous magazines of the country and abroad. He has compared more than 100 national and international events live at AIR Akashwani like Republic Day Parade, International Film Festival in Goa, Lahore bus trip etc.

Lt Col BB Singh

Lt Gen Arun Sahni

Lt Gen Arun Kumar Sahni is a decorated, scholar – soldier, with 40 years of commissioned service in the Indian Army. In his last assignment, tenanting the second highest rank of the army, he was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of one of the six operational commands of the Indian Army.

His experience encompasses service in the country’s most inhospitable and conflict affected areas to battle external and internal security challenges. He has an unenviable record of being a high achiever throughout his career, starting with the ‘Sword of Honour’ and President’s Gold medal on commissioning to the Army, in 1976.In addition to his command of troops, he has been an Instructor at various Military Schools of Instruction, attended a career course with the British army at UK, was Assistant Military Attache in Russia and has been intimately involved with force structuring, op preparedness and modernization of the Indian Army. The officer has also been involved at the apex level with issues related to cyber, digitisation and network enablement for the Indian Army.

The officer is a known for his academic excellence and oratory skills. He is incisive with his strategic insight and understanding of internal and external security issues including the emerging international dynamics. Presently he contributes meaningfully through experience sharing and formal interface with different organizations at the operational, directional and strategic level. He is mentoring start-ups and new initiatives that are in the domain of Information Security and HR Management. He is an active participant with various think tanks on a wide range of subjects and is also a motivational speaker on leadership.

Anmol Jain

Manasi Kumar

Ambassador Yogendra

Ajay Raina

Lt Gen. PK Singh

Maj. Gen. BK Sharma

Maj. Gen. Jagatbir Singh

Dr Devendra Singh

GP Bahuguna

Amber Kharbanda

Mamta Kiran

Arun Mohan Sukumar

Tanuj Solanki

Manish Sabharwal

Vivek Sarkar

Bhaalchandra Joshi

Pankaj Subeer

SR Harnot


AVM Bahadur Manmohan

Lt Gen. PJS Pannu

Dr Raja Sekhar Vundru

Yashica Dutt

François Gautier

Makarand Paranjape

Anustup Bhattacharya 

Sangborti Das

Paramananda Roy

Swarnendu Mondal 

Srijanee Banerjee   

Kalyan Majumder 

Ayan Sengupta

Jyotirmoy Banerjee

Nastya Saraswati 

Indranil Bhaduri

Dr PK Sharma

Dr Jaskiran Chopra

Jyoti Dhawan

Manjul Bajaj

Mita Kapur

Rizwan Farooqui

Suhaib Farooqui

Mumtaz Nasim

Aziz Nabeel

Alok Yadav

Nausha Asrar

Pawan Kumar

Meenakshi Raj

Asif Azmi

Anil Joshi

Tejendra Sharma

Shailja Saksena

Sudha Om Dhingra

Shobha Akshar

Vijay Kumar Malhotra

Balendu Dadhich

Sanjay Abhigyan

Amita Prasad

Charu Kapoor

Dr Satya Kam

Praveen Jha

Lalit Mohan Rayal

Saba Dewan

Ashoke Mukhopadhyay

Sirsho Bandopadhyay

Arunava Sinha

Tarun K. Goswami

Ayan Gogoi Gohain

Shubha Sarma

Priyanka Pradhan

Benoy K Behl

H.E. Emmanuel Lenain

Aman Nath

Cynthia Meera Frederick

Brigadier H.H. Sukhjit Singh

Prof. Samuel Berthet

Prof. Alain Desoulieres

Christine Cornet

Dharini Bhaskar

Dr Harish Sethi

Dr Ravi Kant

Abhishek Kesarwani

Ratan Aswal

Prof. BK Joshi

Theerish Kapoor

Bharti Gupta Ramola

Dr Indu Kumar Pandey

PD Rai

Binita Shah

Arkaja Singh

Ankur Bisen

Padmini Sambasivam

Col. Vivek Sharma

Darshan Singh

Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar

Lt Gen. Sanjiv Langar

Admiral Arun Prakash

Sanjay Prasad

Nasera Sharma

Dr Arif Mohammad Khan

Suhel Saeed Khan

Anoop Bhargav

JP Pandey

Mamta Kiran

Leeladhar Jagudi

Kumudini Nautiyal

Ranjita Singh

Buddhinath Mishra

Madhu Gurung

Bijoya Sawian

Sunil Bhandari

Divya Murugesan

Kalpana Swaminathan

Dr Ishrat Syed

Kalpish Ratna

BS Baswan

Wajahat Habibullah

Aloke Lal

Raj Kanwar

Mukul Kumar

Dr Fatima Rizvi

Ritu Menon

Saleem Kidwai

Sushil Upadhyay

Ashutosh Shukl

Hriday Narayan Dikshit

Anjum Sharma

Malini Awasthi

Kapil Kapoor

Tania Saili Bakshi

Mugdha Sinha

Githa Hariharan

MD Nalapat

Professor Eric Brown

Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan

Air Marshal Harish Masand

Gauri Parashar Joshi

Monika Dhami

Utpal Banerjee

Damodar Khadse

Dr Santosh Alex

JL Reddy

Subhash Neerav

Krishna Rautela

Ranjit Rae

NS Napalchyal

Prema Jayakumar

Nadeem Khan

Maninder Kohli

Lt Gen. HS Panag

Dharmendra Pradhan

Major Moshe Kohli

Debashish Mitra

Lt Gen. Ranbir Singh

Dr Jitendra Singh

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

Navdeep Suri

Dr Samir Sinha

Ajay Sharma

Arpit Sharma

Shiv Kunal Verma

Historian, Editor, Author & Filmmaker

Kishore S. Menon

Brigidier Ashwini Kumar, VSM (Rtd)

Dr. Rajendra Dhobal

Director General, Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology

Laxmi Shanker Bajpayee

 LS Bajpai is a distinguished Hindi poet, author and scholar who retired as the Deputy Director General of All India Radio in 2015. His illustrious career in Indian radio has led to the discoveries of several talented new artistes. His travels around the world have significantly popularised Hindi lekh amongst a global audience. Since the inception of Valley of Words, he has been the Advisor for the Hindi Sahitya vertical.

Robin Gupta

Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

Chairman, Indian Council for Cultural Relation

Manish Khanduri

Manish Khanduri is a member of the Indian National Congress. He was head of news partnerships in India for Facebook. Manish has worked in leadership positions in the media industry in India and the United States in the online, mobile, television and print platforms. He was a senior business journalist in India leading corporate and stock market reportage for the Business Standard newspaper and the Businessworld magazine in Delhi and Mumbai. As Director, Strategic Planning at Turner Broadcasting in the US, Manish helped CNN’s digital properties ( and CNN Mobile) strategize and execute a number of growth initiatives including the launch of one of the first citizen reporting tools developed by a news media company. As Director, Consulting, at Cognizant, Manish was responsible for helping drive large scale IT transformations for Digital and Broadcasting clients in India and ANZ region.

Manish is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A passionate supporter of animal rights causes, he has volunteered at various animal shelters in the United States and India.

Dr Amna Mirza

Dr Amna Mirza is an alumni of Delhi Public School (Mathura Road), St Stephens College (Bachelors Degree- BA Program), Hindu College (Masters Degree in Political Science), M.Phil & PhD from University of Delhi & Master of Business Administration (Human Resources) from United Business Institute (Belgium). She is currently Assistant Professor of Political Studies, University of Delhi . An avid traveller, voracious reader & vegan, her academic initiatives took her to University of Duisburg Essen (Germany), University of Fribourg (Switzerland) amongst others. She is recipient of the ‘Godfray Philips Golden Ovary Award’, St.Stephens College Centenary Medal for ‘character combined with learning’, amongst others. She has four books to her credit which were well received by academia, media and others alike. She regularly contributes to various magazines and has been curating the MP debate ‘VoW Populi’ at Valley of Words for the past three years.

Maninder Singh

Maninder Singh is a bass player, guitarist and vocalist in many different musical genres. He is currently teaching World music at Kasiga School, Dehradun. His live performances include a duo with singer/harpist Anna Tanvir, performance with Edward Maya, a Live Fusion Workshop with Ustad Khalid Khan Sitar Maestro, performance with well-known bands such as The Ensemble and Corsair. He maintains an active varied schedule of live performances with many different acts; in recording studios, cafes, clubs, theaters, festivals, concert halls, schools and restaurants. Over the years, Maninder has developed a very good reputation as a reliable, talented and versatile bass player and an all-round musician. His other interests are developing and giving classes and clinics on a variety of music-related topics. His activities include extensive teaching, performing “Band Consultations”, hosting jams, and running “Band Foundries”. Conducting various school operas and choirs. He has recorded albums, demos, jingles at a wide variety of studios. He has had acquaintance with other instruments like guitar, bass, drums, djembe, cajon and voice. His interests are playing live music, travelling and passion for fusion cooking.

Anna Tanvir

Anna Tanvir is an exceptional singer of Indian/Irish origin.  She accompanies herself on the Celtic harp, performing all over the world in many different languages, combining a classical technique with a traditional sound. Her repertoire is a mix of traditional melodies and her own compositions reflecting her mixed cultural heritage and transcending the barriers of nation and language by recounting universally relevant stories of life and love.

Her notable past performances include: Un Été à Bourges, France (every year from 1998 to present); Mick Jagger’s private birthday party, Amboise 2010, France; Château de Chambord and Cathédrale de Bourges, 2010, France; Olympia, Paris as guest of Erick Manana 2009, France; Le Café de la Danse, Divan du monde, and New Morning, Paris; Virasat Festival Dehradun, and Amir Khan Samaroh, Indore; India International Centre, New Delhi; Akshara Theatre, New Delhi; Poona Music Society; Little Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai and GyanManch, Kolkata.

‘The rich timbre in her voice and her magnificent singing style while playing on the Celtic harp shows that she was born to sing’ – The Hindu

‘Anna sings magnificently and plays the harp with unbelievable melody and expression creating a lyrical and soul-stirring musical experience’ – The Indian Express

Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Ph.D, was raised in an American family in Hollywood, California and graduated from Stanford University. She was completing her Ph.D. when she left America in 1996 to live at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India. She has been living there for 23 years, engaged in spiritual practice and service.

She was officially initiated into the order of Sanyas (monastic renunciation) in the year 2000, by His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, one of the most revered spiritual leaders in India and the President of Parmarth Niketan.

At Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, where she lives most of the year, she gives daily spiritual discourses and satsang, teaches meditation, provides counseling and oversees myriad charitable and humanitarian projects and activities.

Pooja Marwah

Pooja Marwah,  Mother – Event planner – Writer – Counselor – Relationship Blogger – Marketing strategist, is a Creative and energetic Professional with years of experience. An Event & Entertainment Planner, blogger and writer, she has managed the diversification of her portfolios with great ease and panache. She works with women entrepreneurs and gives them a platform to display their talent and skill. Was intricately involved in promoting tourism with the Govt of Uttarakhand and organizing cultural Shows to promote State culture. Is working in a fast paced environment where professional organizational expertise is mandatory to handle staff, customers, and contractors. Done shows with Anuvab Pal, Nari Shakti Puruskar winner Vasu Primlani, Manjula Ramaswamy to name a few. Oversees the budgets and financial aspects of special events, festivals and lifestyle performances. She’s studied at the prestigious Welham Girl’s School, been on a Rotary Youth Exchange program as an ambassador of India at a young age of 15 and now manages her work and children with great panache and ease. Her kids are her lifeline and priority.

Madhu Gurung

Madhu Gurung started her career as a journalist and has worked with organizations such as Oxfam, UNIFEM, the BBC World Service Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her first book The Keeper of Memories, a historical fiction work on the Gorkhas, was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhat First Book Award. Tibet with My Eyes Closed, a collection of short stories on Tibetans, is her second book. She lives and works in Dehradun.

Dr Kush Verma

Dr. Kush Verma, is an IAS officer of the 1979 batch of Uttar Pradesh Cadre, who has joined JILDEE as Executive Director and Head of the Civil Services Training Division, after his retirement from the Indian Administrative Service. Prior to joining this assignment, he has held various assignments in the Government of Uttar Pradesh namely Asstt. Collector & Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Rai Bareilly & Pratapgarh, City Magistrate, Mathura, District Magistrate, Uttarkashi, Managing Director, UP State Food & Essential Commodities Corporation, Lucknow, Secretary (Energy), Food Commissioner, and Secretary, Home & Confidential Affairs, etc.

He has served in various capacities in the Government of India as well, such as Director, Industrial Development, Zonal Manager (North), Food Corporation of India, Executive Director, Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED), etc. His last posting on Central deputation was as Director-General, National Centre for Good Governance, New Delhi.

He has published several papers in the field of General Administration, Development, Labour Issues and Tourism etc.  He has presented various papers in International/National Seminars & Workshops.  He has been granted his Ph.D. degree from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi on the challenging topic: ‘Redesigning the All- India Civil Services’.  Dr. Verma has delivered lectures at places of repute, including the National Institute of Labour, NOIDA, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, Bankers Institute of Rural Development, Lucknow etc.

His hobbies are writing children’s poems, playing tennis and listening to semi classical music.

Dr Jaiwanti Dimri

Dr. Jaiwanti Dimri is a bilingual writer, critic, translator and former professor of English at Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. A recipient of the Arya Smriti Samman (2002) in the genre of Hindi short story, her stories have been published in national journals, magazines, anthologies and translated into English, Telugu and Marathi.

She has been a fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, and taught in Nigeria, Bhutan and US. She has published over a dozen books in English and Hindi, some of which include ‘The Images and Representation of the Rural Woman’, ‘The Drukpa Mystique: Bhutan in 21st Century’; two novellas in Hindi, Surju Ke Naam and Pinddaan; two short story collections Gagar Bhar Paani and Dusra Narak Kund, and a translated work, Sahastra Netradhari Nayak.

Since her retirement she has been a visiting faculty in Doon University, Dehradun (2012-2013) and International Visiting Professor (IVP) in Portland State University, US (2013). Dr Dimri is currently Visiting Professor at IMS Unison University, Dehradun. She has lectured extensively in the universities in India and abroad in seminars, conferences and refresher courses. Her area of specialization is Postcolonial, Subaltern, Cultural and Translation Studies. Her research project, Images and Representation of the Rural Women: A study of the selected novels of Indian women writers was published by the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla and investigates, with great specificity, the image of the rural woman projected in eight post-independence woman-authored novels — two in English and six in regional languages

She also worked on a major UGC project The Image of the Tribal in Indian Fiction and Films (2005-2006) and has been editor for Summerhill, IIAS, Shimla.

Alok Bhalla

Alok Bhalla retired as professor of English Literature from Hyderabad and Delhi. He has been Fellow at the Institute of Advance Study, Nantes, Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Hebrew University, Fellow at the Rockefeller Centre, Bellagio, and the Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. As a critic, translator, editor and poet, he has published more than thirty volumes. His recent books include Stories About the Partition of India (4 volumes), Partition Dialogues: Memories of a Lost Home, A Chronicle of the Peacocks (translations of Intizar Husain’s stories), Life and Times of Saadat Hasan Manto, and The Place of Translation in a Literary Habitat, Story is a Vagabond by Intizar Husain (co-edited for Manoa, Univ. of Hawaii Press), translation of Dharamvir Bharati’s play, Andha Yug: The Dark Age (Oxford Uiv. Press and Univ. of Hawaii). His latest book on miniature paintings of the Gita from late 17 th century Mewar is scheduled for publication in September, 2019. He has translated novels, stories, plays, and poems by Bhisham Sahni, K. B. Vaid, Asghar Wajahat, Kunwar Narain etc. He has also has a book of nonsense verse for children (illustrated by Manjula Padmanabhan).

Parbina Rashid

Parbina Rashid is working with The Tribune and is based in Chandigarh. She writes a column called Beyond Chicken Neck, reviews books, writes opinion pieces and middles for The Tribune. She has translated stories for The Sentinel (Assam) and, an online magazine. She has translated and compiled a book, Echoes from the Valley, which is an anthology of short stories by 11 Assamese writers.

Avalok Langer

Avalok Langer is a conflict journalist, which means he consciously deep dives into the belly of the beast – be it war zones, riots or areas wracked by kidnapping and extortion.

Avalok Langer studied Political Science at the University of Delhi. He worked for two and half years at NDTV, mostly on shows pertaining to youth affairs. Avalok then spent a year on a fact- finding mission across India’s conflict zones and border areas to get a deeper understanding of ground realities. For Tehelka, he reports largely on conflict, social and political issues, the Northeast and is branching out into East Asia. However his core area of focus has been the Northeast.

Shiv Kunal Verma

Born into an army family (his father was a captain with 2 Rajput in 1962), filmmaker and military historian Shiv Kunal Verma has worked with all three arms of the Indian armed forces over the last two-and-a-half decades. From flying extensively with the IAF while making Salt of the Earth and Aakash Yodha to the filming of the Naval Dimension and the Kargil War, Verma has had a ringside view of matters military. His film on the National Defence Academy—The Standard Bearers—is considered a classic. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Northeast Trilogy (that documented the entire region and its peoples) and The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why.

Col. Vivek Sharma

Col. Vivek Sharma is the Commandant at the Rashtriya Indian Military College.

Maj. Gen. Ian Cardozo

Major General Ian Cardozo was born in Mumbai and studied at St Xavier’s School and College. In July 1954, he joined the Joint Services Wing which later became the National Defence Academy. Here he was the first cadet to win the gold medal for being the best all-round cadet and the silver medal for being first in order of merit. He was commissioned at the Indian Military Academy into the 1st Battalion the Fifth Gorkha Rifles (FF) in 1958 and was the first officer of the army to be awarded the Sena medal for gallantry on a patrol in NEFa in 1960. Wounded in the battle of Sylhet in Bangladesh in 1971, he overcame the handicap of losing a leg and became the first officer to be approved for command of an Infantry Battalion. He retired in 1993 from his appointment as Chief of Staff of a corps in the East. He is the author of The Sinking of INS-Khukri: Survivor’s Stories, The Bravest of the Brave: The Extraordinary Story of Indian VCs of World War I, In Quest of Freedom: The War of 1971 – Personal Accounts by Soldiers from India and Bangladesh,Param Vir: Our heroes in Battle and Illustrated war stories on the Param Vir Chakra.

Manoj V Nair

Manoj V Nair is an IAS officer of the Odisha cadre, 2001. He is a keen ornithologist and currently posted as the Deputy Director of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.

Archana Sarat

Archana Sarat is an Author and Poet for the last ten years. She shuttles between Chennai and Mumbai and loves both cities passionately. Her works are published in various popular newspapers, magazines and anthologies like The Times of India, The Economic Times, The SEBI and Corporate Laws Journal, The CA Newsletter, DNA Me Magazine, the Science Reporter, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the WRIMO India Anthology, the GloMag Literary Journal and many more. Though she is a Chartered Accountant by qualification, she took up her childhood love for writing as her profession. She has a Diploma in Creative Writing from The Writers Bureau, UK. She lives with her husband and two sons.

You can contact her by sending a message here or you can find her on Facebook at

She tweets at @archanasarat and is on Instagram @archanasarat The biggest joy for every writer is to hear from the readers of their work. Please message, ping, tweet, blog and/or review your opinion about her works tagging her. Go on, make her day!

Ruby Gupta

Ruby Gupta is a bestselling author, who initially chose to study science, then switched to creative writing, dabbled in journalism, was awarded two gold medals for English literature, earned a PhD and thereafter joined the world of academics.

An awardee of the GSE as Cultural Ambassador for USA by Rotary International and the recipient of the Pratibha Samman Award, she has published the following books:

1. No Illusions in Xanadu, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019
2. A Degree in Death, Alchemy Publishers, 2012
3. Maya – A Novel, Pilgrims Publishing, 2009
4. Khushwant Singh: Reality and Myth, Classical Publishing Co., 2003
5. The Fulfilment: A Collection of Short Stories, Har-Anand Publications, 1996
6. Basic Technical Communication, Cambridge Publishers, 2009
7. Advanced Technical Communication, Cambridge Publishers, 2010
8. Creativity Decoded: Mind and Art of Selected Poets, Indian Military Academy, 2017.

Her unputdownable bestseller novel, A Degree in Death was Long Listed for the Crossword Award 2013.

Her latest murder mystery novel, No Illusions in Xanadu has been published by the internationally renowned, Bloomsbury Publishing (publisher of the Harry Potter Books).

Of her eight books, four are non-fiction, whereas four are fiction. Her forte is mystery and all her novels are essentially mysteries. Her current focus is crime fiction and both her recent novels, A Degree in Death and No Illusions in Xanadu are murder mysteries and feature the intriguingly dapper detective, Professor Shantanu Bose.

Her novels have received rave reviews in The Hindu, India Today, Spectrum – The Sunday Tribune, The Times of India, The Tribune, The Pioneer, Garhwal Post, The Telegraph, The Doon Times, Hindustan, etc.

An avid traveller and adventure lover, she has visited England, Poland, USA, Vatican City, China, France, Egypt, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Thailand, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

Currently she is working as Professor and HoD of Humanities at a renowned Govt. Institution in Dehradun, and is working on her next crime thriller novel.

Stephen Alter

Stephen Alter is the author of twenty books of fiction and non-fiction.  He was born in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India and much of his writing focuses on the Himalayan region, where he continues to live and work.

His honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright award. Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth is his latest book of non-fiction. His memoir, Becoming a Mountain:  Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime received the Kekoo Naoroji Award for Himalayan Literature in 2015. His most recent work of fiction, In The Jungles of the Night: A Novel About Jim Corbett, was shortlisted for the DSC South Asian Literature Award in 2017.

His latest children’s book, The Cloudfarers, was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Good Books Award for 2018. He was writer-in-residence at MIT for ten years, before which he directed the writing program at the American University in Cairo.  He is founding director of the Mussoorie Mountain Festival.
Almost forty-five years ago, in October 1976, Khushwant Singh, the legendary editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India accepted my first short story, “Fascination.” It was published with illustrations by Mario Miranda. In October 2016, I was delighted to attend the 5th Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli.

Ganesh Saili

Ganesh Saili wears many hats and, miraculously, sometimes, some of the hats actually fit! If you find him not teaching photography to the young Officer Trainees at National Academy of Administration, he’s probably trekking the high mountains, capturing in words and images the beauty of his roots in the Himalaya.

Trisha De Niyogi

Trisha De Niyogi currently heads the Business Development and Marketing division at Niyogi Books. As a lead for strategic planning, her goal is to drive a portfolio diversification in alignment to the company’s long-term strategy. She began her career in publishing with SAGE Publications.

Anoop Nautiyal

Anoop Nautiyal is a social and corporate leader with global, national and state experience in government and for–profit sectors. He is well known for his participative and integrity driven leadership style with a high degree of passion for improving lives and giving back to society.

Anoop has extensive experience in successfully establishing operations of size and scale in the state of Uttarakhand. He has worked very closely with the state government while leading the 108 emergency services in PPP mode as its founder Chief Operating Officer.

Anoop has worked abroad for a decade in Hong-Kong, Indonesia and Bangladesh and was the Country Manager-India for Swedish clothing giant H&M (Hennes and Mauritz). He studied in Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi. Anoop is a prolific columnist, writing for state and national media on development and governance issues.

Anjali Nauriyal

Dr Anjali Nauriyal began her journalistic career over 21 years ago as Editor of one of the first regional English monthly magazines of Uttarakhand. She also served as Associate Professor at the Indian Military Academy, and later pursued her love for journalism by conceptualizing a supplement titled Times of Doon for the Times of India Group.

She has been Member of the Reconciliation Bureau of the Uttarakhand Police, Member Citizens’ Pressure Group, and also served as Secretary of the Dehradun Chapter of SPIC-MACAY.  She has also been Fellow of the Ministry of Culture and has researched on many cultural issues.

She has received several awards for her contribution to journalism including the GIAN Award for grassroot augmentation in 2005 by Mashelkar, UMA SHAKTI SAMMAN 2009 for exemplary work and popularity in field of social service through journalism, Indian Medical Association Award for contribution to society, Raj Rajeshwari Samman by PHD Chamber and Uttarakhand Government. Outstanding Journalist by Punjabi Sabha and Comrade Kamla Ram Nautiyal Sanstha Uttarkashi Samman, Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence and Garhwal Post Award for Excellence 2016Pride of Uttarakhand by Doon Citizen’s Council, Uttarakhand Ratan by All India Conference of Intellectuals, Daughter of Uttarakhand by Garhwal Post, Media Federation of India Award, etc.

Currently she is working with Garhwal Post as Features Editor.

Her maiden book titled ‘Retelling of the Folk Ballads of Garhwal’ has become a regional best seller.

Swapna Liddle

Swapna Liddle’s love for the city of Delhi, and in particular Shahjahanabad, led her to write a PhD thesis on its cultural and intellectual life in the nineteenth century. Today she seeks to raise awareness about the city’s historic precincts, mainly through her work for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). She is the author of Delhi: 14 Historic WalksChandni Chowk: The Mughal City of New Delhi and Connaught Place and the Making of New Delhi.

Lokesh Ohri

Lokesh Ohri is an anthropologist and a heritage preservation idol. Ever since the inception of his career he has taken up numerous heritage walks reintroducing the notabilities of our heritage to the interested audiences to help them return intellectually enriched. He believes in promoting slow tourism to foster the restoration of the Kumaon Hills and many significant forts in the Himalayan region.

Raja Sekhar Vundru

Shri Raja Sekhar Vundru IAS (Haryana 1990) presently Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development Department has been given the additional charge of Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, during the leave period of Shri R R Jowel.

Sudhir Kakar

Sudhir Kakar is widely known as the father of Indian psychoanalysis, as well as an accomplished novelist, scholar and translator. His most recent work, a new translation of the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana (Oxford University Press, 2002), was the result of a collaboration with University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger; it contains not only a complete translation of the third-century text, but also a historical introduction and excerpts from Sanskrit and Hindi commentaries. He is also the author of two new erotic novels: The Ascetic of Desire (Overlook Press, 2002), based on the life of Kamasutra author Vatsyayana, and Ecstasy (Overlook Press, 2002), an exploration of the relationship between guru and disciple.

Keki N. Daruwalla

Keki N. Daruwalla is one of India’s foremost poets and writers. His ten volumes of poetry include Under Orion, The Keeper of the Dead (winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, 1984), Landscapes (winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Award, Asia, 1987), Night River and The Map-maker. His first novel, For Pepperand Christ, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize in 2010. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014. Most recently, he was honoured with the Poet Laureate award at the Tata Literature Live! Mumbai Litfest, 2017. His work has been translated into Spanish, Swedish, Magyar, German and Russian.

Shovana Narayan

Among the contemporary Kathak dancers, Shovana Narayan stands out for two major reasons – her ability to effectively perform two distinctive roles with ease and her capability to produce and direct international collaborative works. Much like her guru, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Shovana is famous as both performer and a guru. For most of today’s professional and aspiring Kathak dancers, Shovana is a role model, thanks to her unique ability of leading by example. She is also a key factor in giving wings to Birju Maharaj’s dream of making Kathak an internationally recognizable dance form. Her efforts to fuse Kathak with other major dance forms like Western Classical Ballet, Tap dance and Spanish Flamenco are exceptional. Shovana is also an acclaimed author and social thinker.

Gauri P. Joshi

Ms. Gauri P. Joshi, (IAS, Haryana 2009) is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and is currently a faculty member at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.

Rajendra Dobhal

Dr Rajendra Dobhal is currently working as Director General, Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology, Govt. of Uttarakhand. He had a distinct privilege to occupy the positions like Chairman and Managing Director, National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Govt. of India; Director, Uttarakhand Science Education and Research Centre (USERC); Director, Uttarakhand Space Application Centre (USAC); Senior Scientific Advisor/Project Director, Uttarakhand State Biotechnology Board; Scientist/Tech. Advisor to DG and Science Advisor, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, in the past. He is also Chairman of the Sustainable Development Forum, Uttarakhand.

Raghav Chandra

Recruited into the prestigious Indian Administrative Service through a national competition in 1982, Raghav Chandra is a career civil servant who has an interest in writing about environment, economic and public administration issues. He has Masters Degrees in Mathematics and Public Administration from Delhi University and Harvard respectively. He has recently authored SCENT OF A GAME, a mystery-drama that vividly unravels the larger issues of tiger poaching/management/conservation and the need to seek redemption by protecting animal life.

As a civil servant he has worked both in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh and for the Government of the Union of India, in a diverse range of areas—law and justice enforcement, tribal development, industrial/housing/urban/infrastructure/cultural development and financial administration/management.

Ashish Kaul

A trailblazer and a maverick business leader across media and entertainment spectrum is the easiest introduction to Ashish Kaul. Not only has he implemented path-breaking business successes but also created a space for himself as an advocacy columnist. He represents a bold new generation of mavericks who refuse to be stereotyped and have etched their own histories. Ashish Kaul is among the brave new breed of multilingual writers who believe that content has the power to create women friendly societies that will lead to a stronger India. Ashish’s Hindi novel on Kashmir titled Refugee Camp has been extremely successful.

Ashali Varma

Ashali Varma graduated from Lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi) in 1973 with Honours in English Literature. She schooled in The Lawrence School, Sanawar, India, where in 1969, on her graduation, she received the President’s Gold Medal for Best All-Round Student.

She started her career with the International Commentary Service Inc. New York (ICS) in the 1990s as Associate Producer and later served as Executive Director for a series of documentaries that were shot on location in 18 different countries. “The Great Global Bazaar” and “Of Snakes and Software: India at the Crossroads of Change” are among the notable documentaries she has been involved with as a producer and production coordinator. The 23 documentaries were shown on the Discovery Channel and Public Broadcasting Services in the US and other countries around the world.

Varma went on to become the Executive Publisher of The Earth Times, New York, a bimonthly publication. As bureau chief of The Earth Times, she helped to publish daily papers at the UN Social Summit in Copenhagen, the UN Population Conference in Cairo, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and Habitat II at Istanbul. She then worked as the Editor for Choices magazine (UNDP), New York, and commissioned stories by mainstream journalists on UNDP’s work in the field.

Ashali Varma received “The Global Award for Media Excellence” for the “Best Population/Enviroment Reporting Effort” in 1997 by the Population Institute, Washington. She now lives in Delhi and can be contacted at

N. Ravi Shanker

N. Ravi Shanker combines rich administrative experience with a flair for academics.

He is an alumnus of Loyola College, University of Madras – [B.Sc. Physics in 1974] and IISc Bangalore – [B.E. Electrical Technology & Electronics in 1977].

He served as a Member of the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) from 1980 to 2015. During his Civil Service career he served in the Govt of Uttar Pradesh; Govt of Uttarakhand and Govt of India.

Key assignments that he held in Govt of UP were that of District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar; MD of UP Electronics Corpn (UPTRON); Housing Commissioner; and Secretary (Home Dept).

From 2000-07, he was Secretary to Governor of Uttarakhand; and was associated with the process of facilitating the setting up of Private Universities in the State. As Secretary (Education) from 2000-02, he helped expand the Educational Infrastructure in the state from Primary level to Higher Education level.

From 2007-14, he served in the Govt of India at various levels – Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and as Secretary.

As Joint Secy in Dept of IT, from 2007-11, he was the Country Representative on UN-IGF & ICANN, the two global bodies on Internet Governance. He successfully participated in ICANN deliberations, leading to policy on permitting Internet domain names in Indian languages (.bharat in Indian languages). He negotiated effectively with APNIC to obtain the right to host NIR (National Internet Registry) in India. He was the CEO of NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India) from 2007-11. He modelled NIXI into an ideal example of Public-Private Partnership. On Policy formulation he contributed towards the ITIR (Information Technology Investment Region) Policy. He also co-ordinated all activities relating to the formulation of the triad of National Policies on IT, Electronics & Telecom. On Programme Management side, he co-ordinated the efforts related to the setting up of NKN (National Knowledge Network) to interconnect Institutions of Research & Higher Education. He also contributed towards initiating HR programs for skills enhancement of Indian IT sector.

He served as Administrator, USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund), in Department of Telecom from 2011-14. In this capacity he was appointed as the First CMD of BBNL (Bharat Broadband Network Ltd); a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) set up to implement the ambitious NOFN (National Optical Fiber Network) project [renamed as the BharatNet project]. He completed the major planning phase of the project, and concluded the activities of the pilot testing.

In 2014, he was appointed as Secretary (Administrative Reforms), Govt of India. After a brief stint in that position, he was appointed as Chief Secretary of Govt of Uttarakhand. He retired from this position in July 2015.

Post his retirement in 2015; he served as an Adviser to the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies; Dehradun, from 2016-18. He also served as Adjunct Faculty in Dept of Management Studies at IIT Roorkee in 2016. He is a Visiting Faculty at NCGG (National Center for Good Governance), Mussoorie since 2016.

Arvindar Singh

Arvindar Singh is a consummate columnist and entrepreneur. His works include Myths and Realities of Security and Public Affairs (an anthology) and What A Life! A Kaleidoscope of Rajinder Puri’s Cartoons (co-authored with Partha Chatterjee). He does regular book reviews for Penguin Random House Publishers. He has been writing on security matters widely. In 2003 he wrote a monograph on Field Marshal S.H.F.J Manekshaw for the United Services Institution of India, New Delhi. He has also been associated with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and turns his pen frequently on current topics of national interest as a freelancer.

Robin Gupta

Robin Gupta is the author of And What Remains in the End: The Memoirs of an Unrepentant Civil Servant, which has been acclaimed for its rare and revealing investigation of the Indian bureaucracy. As an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), he had the distinction of serving the country in four provinces—Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab—apart from a long period of deputation with the central government. He retired as Financial Commissioner Revenue in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
Robin studied at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, New Trier High School, USA and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. After university, he had a short stint with the Indian Police Service (IPS), before he joined the IAS in 1974.
After his retirement, Robin has devoted all his time and energy to promoting literature and, occasionally, writing himself. He divides his time between his homes in Panchkula, Delhi and Goa.

Rajiv Malhotra

Rajiv Malhotra is an Indian-American author who, after a career in the computer and telecom industries, took early retirement in 1995 to found the Infinity Foundation, which focuses on Indic studies, and also funds projects such as Columbia University’s project to translate the Tibetan Buddhist Tengyur.

Trilok Nath Pandey

Born on July1, 1958 at Neknampur village in Varanasi district (now Chandauli), schooling from the village school, graduation from the Banaras Hindu University and law graduation from the Allahabad University – all through first division with high merit. Joined a middle-rung job in the Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India) and rose up to a very senior rank. Retired on June 30, 2018. In the meantime, earned many laurels, besides being decorated with Indian Police Medal in 2010 and President’s Police Medal in 2017. Have been writing both in English and Hindi, but restrained from publication due to various reasons including serving in a secret organization. After retirement, two novels were published – Becoming God in English from the Kindle and Premlahari in Hindi from Rajkamal Prakashan. Two are still in pipeline – Chanakya’s Spies in English and Chanakya ka Chakravyuha in Hindi – pending with very prestigious publishers. Currently, authoring stories on real incidents of espionage under the proposed title ‘Khufiageeri’ in Hindi.

Presently resides at: D-59/240 M, Niralanagar (lane no. 6), Shivpurwa, Mahmoorganj, Varanasi – 221010.

Mobile no. 9873671417


Twiter: @triloknpandey

Facebook profile:

Premlehri Facebook Page:

Raj Kanwar

 Raj Kanwar: A thumbnail sketch

Raj Kanwar is one of the most well respected senior citizens of Dehra Dun. He has been a journalist and public relations/advertising professional in the early part of his long and eventful career. He also has had the distinction of being the first Public Relations Officer of ONGC.

Other than being a writer, Raj is also a successful entrepreneur; he is the founder-chairman of the SK Oilfield Equipment Co Pvt Ltd – a family owned enterprise that was founded in 1970. He retired as its executive chairman in 2000 to devote his full time to reading and writing. He has since written over 2000 articles, columns, essays, profiles etc on a wide variety of subjects in regional newspapers like Garhwal Post and The Himachal Times as also in the mainstream national newspapers such like The HINDU, the Hindustan Times, The Times of India and the Sunday Midday. His articles have also been published in leading Indian and international magazines and journals.

His first Book was the official history of ONGC that was published in 2006 to synchronize with its Golden Jubilee celebrations. His next Book ONGC: THE UNTOLD STORY published by BLOOMSBURY was launched in December 2018. His upcoming book DATELINE DEHRA DUN is an anthology of his numerous articles and columns on Dehra Dun and its iconic schools such like The Doon, the Welhams, Col Brown Cambridge, and of course the St. Joseph’s Academy.

He lives in Dehra Dun with his wife Amber of 54 years. Two of his three children are based in the USA. The third is the head honcho of the family-owned company based in Mumbai.

Pradeep Singh

Former Chief General Manager (HR) & Head Corporate Sports Division, ONGC, Pradeep Singh had his formative schooling in Mussoorie and Dehra Dun at St. George’s College and St Joseph’s Academy. He did his History honours from Delhi University and his MA and MPhil from JNU. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in History!

Pradeep Singh joined ONGC, the flagship explorer for Oil & Natural Gas in India, in the year 1985. He has served in various capacities as Incharge Human Resource in Tripura, Mumbai, Dehradun, etc. He has been a keen sportsman in college and university level and his passion is cricket in which he has represented his college in Delhi University and ONGC’s Head Quarter team in various tournaments. From 2014 to early 2017 he headed ONGC’s Corporate Sports Division which is a dedicated vertical for promoting over 23 disciplines of sports and games including 19 fully recruited teams of ONGC that include nearly 166 National / International players.

The work of Corporate Sports Division, headed by Pradeep Singh was recognized widely with the FICCI Award for 2015 as being the Best Corporate Promoting Sports and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar awarded by the Hon’ble President of India. Presently Pradeep Singh has served as an Executive Member of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) and All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board (AIPSSPB). He is currently the President of Uttaranchal Cricket Association having served the Association in two earlier terms also. He authored two books, “The Suswa Saga: A family Narrative of Eastern Dehradun” and “Sals of the Valley : A memorial to Dehra Dun”. He was also the Project Head for ONGC’s Mount Everest Expedition in 2017 in which seven members climbed Mount Everest. Pradeep Singh has also served as a member of the BCCI’s Uttarakhand Cricket Consensus Committee for 2018-19.

Parvati Sharma

Parvati Sharma is a Delhi-based author who has written across genres. Her debut was a collection of short stories called The Dead Camel and Other Stories of Love. She has also written a novel, Close to Home; a historical biography, Jahangir: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Mughal; and two books for children, The Story of Babur and Rattu & Poorie’s Adventures in History: 1857.

Sharma has worked as a travel writer, editor and journalist. She writes a column on books and history for The Hindu BusinessLine, and is working on her second work of narrative non-fiction.

Dr Om Nishchal


Poet-Lyricist, critic and linguist

Born on 15 December 1958 in Pratapgarh UP, a well-known Poet-lyricist, critic and linguist Om Nishchal from Delhi now, has been associated with editing of Uttarpradesh a literary monthly; Lexicographical work and Ila Triveni a house journal of Allahabad bank. He started writing with poems and lyrics, but went on to be a critic of Hindi poetry and now he is considered among the most reliable and well-read critics of five decades of Hindi poetry.

Shabda sakriya hain is his beautiful collection of lyrics and poems which was published in 1987. His first book of criticism came on the works of  Dwarka Prasad Maheshwari a famous poet of children. His book Shabdon se gapshap( gossip with words), published in 2015, was included in notable books in India Today and Dainik Jagran’s surveys. India Today in its review termed it as a search for good Muhurta in poetry and The Hindu outlined it as a unique work. Kavita ka sthapatya, Ideological elements in post sixty Hindi Poetry, Kavita ki ashtadhyayi and Bhasha mein bah aayi Fool Malayen : Yua kavita ke kuchh Roopakar (criticism) are rare examples of his criticism. His memoires : Khuli Hathelil and Tulsigandha, Contemporary Hindi Poetry: Historical Perspectives, Senior Citizens of the Poetry, Kunwar Narain: kavita ki sagun Ikaayi and the latest book of essays Bhasha Ki Khadi are few good examples of his vibrant writing. He has also written monographs for Sahitya Akademi on Kunwar Narayan and Kailash Vajpayee.

Om Nishchal has edited a number of specific works including Dwarkaprasad Maheshwiri Rachnavali, Adhunantik Bengali poetry( An anthology of Bangla Poetry), Vishwashnathprasad Tiwari: Sahitya ka swadheen vivek, Love poems of Agyeya, Kedarnath Agrawal, Ashok Vajpeyi and selected poems of Malay and Leeladhar mandloi Recentally he has brought two-volume book on Kunwar Narain–Anvay and Anviti. He is also a well-known linguist and has written five Volumes related to Hindi and Banking under the Banking Vangmay Series. He has also assisted Dr. Nagendra in preparing Tatsam shabdkosh.

The writeups, poems and critical articles of Om Nischal can be read on many websites / blogs like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, Anubhuti, BBC Hindi.Com, Samalochan etc and searched on Google.. He has travelled Durban, Johannesburg etc. of South Africa on behalf of Sahitya Akademi and has joined in poetic recitations and lectured at various places. He has also participated in the 11th World Hindi Conference held in Mauritius as a member of the Government delegation. He has been honored with the Navodit Lekhak Award by the Hindi Academy Delhi and the Acharya Ramchandra Shukla Criticism Award by the Hindi Sansthan, Uttar Pradesh and recently announced Prof. Kalyanmal Lodha Sahitya Samman by the Vichar Manch Manch of Kolkata. Dr. Om Nischal has been a member of the Execitive Committee of the Hindi Academy, Delhi and has been on the jury of award committees of many institutions including the Bharatiya Jnanpith. He is active on Facebook under the name Om Nishchal.


Contact: G-1 / 506A, Uttam Nagar, New Delhi-110059


Phone: 08447289976, 9810042770

Nandini Sen Gupta

Nandini Sen Gupta is a Pondicherry-based journalist and writer. She already has several fiction and non-fiction titles to her credit. Her first published title was the non-fiction Babies From The Heart (published by RandomHouse India).  Her first two novels, The King Within and The Poisoned Heart – part of a historical fiction trilogy on the Gupta Empire published by HarperCollins India – are already out and the third book is due in the summer of 2020. She is also currently writing a historical fiction title, targeted at young school-going readers, for Eicher Goodearth Publications and a historical non-fiction title for young adult readers for Hachette India.


Twitter: @nandinisgTOI


Instagram: sengupta_nandini


Matthew Jonathan Raggett

Matthew Jonathan Raggett is the current headmaster of The Doon School, the all-boys boarding school in Dehradun, India. He joined the school in July 2016 from the Leipzig International School and has been a student of India ever since. He has taught in some of the world’s most interesting schools, including the Pearson United World College, Canada, United World College, Singapore, and King’s College, Madrid. Matthew is a physicist by training and still teaches Theory of Knowledge every week. When he is not trying to help people become the best versions of themselves he is dreaming about single track mountain biking and his garden. Coming to India has been the most interesting experience in 25 years of teaching spread across seven countries on four continents.

Manik Kaur Sadana

A graduate from Lady Irwin College, New Delhi and a post graduate in Finance from Symbiosis Institute of Management, my passion lies in adding value to the life of those around me especially children. I believe that helping children live up to their potential, believe in themselves, be effective leaders as well as team players and deal with ups and downs of life with confidence is the need of the hour. However, it is also important to impart the right values and morals at the same time as it acts as building blocks for the right character building and eventually personality development of each child. My active involvement on the same issues goes back to studies in the field of child development and interaction with mentally challenged children at the enabling centre of my college.

As an Indian, I have always felt the need for spreading the awareness and importance of good manners, etiquette, groomed behaviour and soft skills amongst every citizen of our country so that we represent ourselves as civilized and empathetic nation and not otherwise. It is a concern that I feel extremely passionate about and thus, I have dedicated my life to the same mission empowering the students of all age groups. The concern for the same has resulted in a movement (Page) initiated by me on my social handles Facebook and Instagram under the name of “Mindful Living”.

Have also worked on leadership, stress management, effective communication and team building modules with The Doon School, Unison School, Doon International School, Welham Girls School, Welham Boys School Dehradun, Kasiga School Dehradun, Pathways School Gurgaon, Modern School New Delhi and Scindia School Gwalior, to name a few, on life skills coaching. My workshops have been appreciated by the students and staff alike, to the extend that I have been asked to conduct the same workshops for the teachers as well by Welham Girls School as it would not just and value, but also put the teachers on the same page as the students. It was indeed an honor and a privilege at same time.

By conducting various workshops with schools , other educational institutions and even privately, I aim to coach and empower the new generation with the right etiquette, grooming skills and personality development to evoke a sense of confidence and poise within oneself and compassion and empathy within the society .

I have been working as a volunteer for Aasraa Trust since the last few years now and have a passion of reaching out to people through my writings based on social issues which have found place in various newspapers from time to time. Recently, I moderated a session with renowned author Mr. Sudeep Nagarkar at the Dehradun Literature Festival. This session was especially organized for the Senior School Students. I have also moderated sessions at the prestigious Valley of Words (VOW) Literature Festival which was received extremely well.

The modules developed are based on most innovative and interesting delivery methods including live demonstrations and active participation of the target audience as compared to dull and boring PowerPoint presentations . Committed to helping people be their best version so they might lead flourishing lives and at the same time inculcating the value of giving it back to society in the most meaningful and compassionate way.

e-mail id:

Contact No.:
+91-983 707 3636

Residential Address:
28, Municipal Road,
Dalanwala, Dehradun
(Uttarakhand) INDIA
Personal Information:

Age : 40 years
Sex : Female
Nationality : Indian
Marital Status : Married
Date of Birth : 29/08/1978
Spouse Name : Ravneet Singh

Linguistic Language Proficiency:


The link to my social handles is as follows :

manikksadana for Instagram

Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi

Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, PVSM,AVSM, VSM (Retired)

Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi retired from the Indian Army after forty years of service on 31 July 2017 as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Army, one of the largest operational Commands of India. He was responsible for the border defence with four countries, including the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. His charter included internal security of the insurgency areas in the North-Eastern States, strategic military engagement with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China, as also with the Chief Ministers and Governors of nine States. Commanding approximately 3,00,000 troops, he was also engaged in the strategic logistics and infrastructure development of the area. As GOC-in-C of Eastern Army he was responsible for the military response to the Doklam incident on Sikkim border with China

An alumnus of National Defence Academy, he was commissioned into Skinner’s Horse, which he later commanded. A graduate of Staff College at Wellington, the Higher Command Course at the Army War College, Mhow and the National Defence College at Delhi, he commanded an Armoured Brigade and a RAPID Division in the desert sector and a Corps in the plains of Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. He did his MPhil in Defence Studies. The General officer had a foreign tenure in Tanzania, visited several countries on varying military assignments, is a trained member of Multi-National Planning and Augmentation Team (MPAT), US and is an alumnus of Asia Pacific Centre for Strategic Studies, Hawaii.

The General officer is a Certified Independent Director from Institute of Directors, New Delhi, is currently on the Board of Directors of two Companies. He is accredited as a Distinguished Fellow with USI, New Delhi, has participated in strategic leadership programmes with some renowned MNCs like Deloitte, Infosys and Edelweiss, given talks at various institutes on strategic issues and written articles for professional journals. He has recently qualified in the Marshall Goldsmith MG 25 India list for Corporate Strategic Coaching. An avid sportsman, keen golfer and fond of adventure, he is currently engaged in reorientation of his skills for the corporate sector.

Satendra Kumar

Satendra Kumar is a sociologist. He is a prolific writer. Currently, he is a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) Shimla. After completing his PhD from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, he has been teaching at G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, University of Allahabad. He specialises in the sociology and anthropology of caste, class, development, political cultures, agrarian change, youth and future. His research investigates how marginalized groups understand and engage with democratic politics and the state in contemporary India. He has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork on these issues in eastern and western Uttar Pradesh. Recently, he has been writing biographies of criminal-entrepreneurs and young student leaders. He has written widely on rural-agrarian transformation in north India.
Beyond his ethnographic research, Satendra is also interested in combining social theory with history, literature and political-legal philosophy. He taught at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He has been awarded the British Academy Fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi, University of California, Berkeley, Bielefeld University, Germany, Australia-India Institute, Melbourne and Savitribai Phule Pune University. During his fellowship at the IIAS, he will be writing a monograph on Popular Democracy and Other Backward Classes in North India. He has presented many papers in national and international conferences and has lectured extensively in the country and abroad.

Twitter: satendra kumar







Sanjoy Hazarika

1. Sanjoy Hazarika is currently International Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi, which has offices in London and Accra. Mr. Hazarika is a human rights activist, columnist and an award winning former reporter with The New York Times. He is the Founder – Director of the Centre of North East Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Milia Islamia, member of the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), and former member of the National Security Advisory Board. He has made more than a dozen documentaries on human rights and conflict. He also designed and developed the unique Boat Clinics initiative in 2005 on the Brahmaputra which provide lakhs with regular health care.

2. Journalist and editor, Mr. Hazarika is regarded as an expert on the North East. He studied at Shillong & London and has held fellowships at Harvard, Tufts, University of Kentucky and Bellagio. He is a specialist on migration and has authored a number of books including the latest Strangers No More: New Narratives from India’s North-east, published 25 years after his acclaimed Strangers of the Mist. Other books include Writing on the Wall, Rites of Passage (about migration from Bangladesh) and Bhopal, the Lesson of a Tragedy. He has edited three books & contributed chapters to others, including Anthologies by Oxford University Press, Sage, MacMillan and Penguin.

3. He contributes to The Economic Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Tribune (Chandigarh) and The Assam Tribune and appears often on television programmes about the North-East. 4. Hazarika is a recipient of the Dr Jean Mayer Award for Global Citizenship; previous recipients of the award include Prof Amartya Sen and South African freedom fighter Rev. Desmond Tutu.


Facebook :

Instagram :

Twitter :

 Website  :

Mr. Sagat Shaunik

Mr. Sagat is a development-sector practitioner and published military historian, associated with academia, media (specialization in defence and community journalism), think tanks (internal security; governance; response agencies) and heritage-conservation (brick & mortar and digital-media) institutions.

He is employed in a Big-4 Consulting firm where he works on monitoring and evaluation (M&E), impact assessment and knowledge development projects in education, skill-development, women-empowerment, corporate philanthropy and similar sectors. Deeply involved in mentoring Civil Society Organisations as part of employment and independent pro-bono services, he brings extensive field research experience in disaster management and development-sector practices. With rich exposure to media-communications industry as a blogger, journalist and content-writer in the domains of military history, community issues, environment and social causes; he has presented three academic papers at international conferences for disaster management, of which one paper was published in the Journal of the Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA). His coffee-table book, “Untold Battlefiled Tales” pioneered documentation of India’s war history narratives.

He holds a B.A. Honours in History (University of Delhi), M.Sc. in Disaster Management (TISS Mumbai) and M.Phil. with Specialization in Planning & Development (IIT Bombay). He has qualified UGC-NET in the subjects of Social Work and Defence & Strategic Studies for employment as an Assistant Professor in any Indian University and select Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).


c) Social media handles:



Twitter: @SagatShaunik


Dr S. Farooq

M.Sc., Ph.D. (Gold Medalist),

D.Sc., P.G.D.B.M.,

F.R.S.H. (London)

Dr. S. Farooq President, The Himalaya Drug Company was born on 09th January 1955 in Dehradun, in the family of Janab Syed Rashid Ahmed, a renowned researcher of Ayurvedic remedies and a freedom fighter. Dr. S. Farooq obtained his M.Sc., Ph. D. & two D. Sc. Degrees, one from H.N.B. Garhwal University (DAV PG College Dehradun) & one Honoris Causa from Cambridge (England). Subject of his Ph.D. thesis was “Study of Chemical Changes in Cell Membrane and was awarded a Gold Medal. The subject of his D.Sc. thesis was “Newer alkaloids for therapeutic effect on infected respiratory tract along with its Pharmacodynamic & kinetic studies”. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management. He has published and presented over 200 papers in National and International Conferences. He is the Chief Editor of the Universities Journal of Phytochemistry & Ayurvedic Heights. He is the author of “555 Medicinal Plants”, “101 Herbal Remedies for Cough & Cold” and Biography of his father (Aap Yaad Aate Hain).

Dr. S. Farooq is also associated with several Government Bodies such as Member State Accreditation Committee (like NAAC) for Degree Colleges in the State of Uttarakhand. Member, Uttarakhand Airport Advisory Board. He is Patron of some Degree Colleges & Schools and associated with a number of State and National level Educational Institutions and Universities Viz:


  • He was nominated for Padma Shri Award in the year 2004.
  • Member of the Statury Authority, GBS Indraprastha University, New Delhi
  • Board of Governors, Swami Ram Himalayan University, Dehradun.
  • Board of Governors, NIT, Uttarakhand.
  • Member Executive Committee, Uttarakhand Ayurved University
  • Member Executive Council, HNB Uttarakhand Medical Education University.
  • Member Executive Council, Uttarakhand Open University.
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Doon University, Dehradun.
  • Member Academic Council, Graphic Era University.
  • Member Academic Council, DIT University.
  • Member University Court of Aligarh Muslim University.
  • Member University Court of JMI University, New Delhi.
  • Former Member RDC & EC Rohilkhand University. Associated with HNB Garhwal University and Hamdard University.
  • Chairman, Tasmia All India Educational and Social Welfare Society (Regd.), working for free education, Healthcare, scholarships to students & monetary help to widows.
  • President, Doon Citizens Council, Dehradun
  • Vice President, Society for Communal Harmony, New Delhi
  • Former Asst. Governor, Rotary Distt.3080
  • Chairman Rotary Foundation Committee.
  • Former Chairman, CII State Council & Member, Regional Council.
  • Former Officiating Chairman, Uttarakhand Minority Commission
  • Former Vice President, India Islamic Cultural Centre.
  • President – DAV Inter College Alumni Association, Dehradun.
  • Patron, Pari Avaran Sahyog Society.

His name was listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World (U.S.A) in 1997 in recognition of his Academic works in the year 2000 in INTERNATIONAL WHO’S WHO OF INTELLECTUALS 13th  Edition of IBC (ENGLAND) in recognition of his Scientific research Work in Phytochemistry has received many Nationals and Internationals Awards also, during last 4 decades.

Dr. S. Farooq has traveled world vide and participated in the sports delegation, Horse Riding & Polo. He is prominently known for his research work & philanthropy.

Ramesh Inder Singh

Ramesh Inder Singh has been a career civil servant in India with long standing professional experience in the field of both, development and regulatory administration. He joined Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1974 and with an outstanding career rose (March 2007) to become the Chief Secretary to the Government, heading Civil Service in Punjab, India.

The Government of India recognized his contribution to public administration by conferring on him one of India’s highest national honours, “Padma Shree”. He took voluntary retirement from the Civil Service (June 2009) to take up statutory post of Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab (India), the transparency watchdog of people’s right to access information from government and public authorities, under India’s Right to Information Act, a position he held till June 2014. Some of his Judgments (Quasi-judicial) were well received as landmark Orders, widening the scope of people’s right to information, laying new norms of transparency and accountability in public affairs.

As a member of the Indian Administrative Service, Ramesh Inder served in different capacities in the States of West Bengal and of Punjab and also in the federal Government at New Delhi, gaining rich experience at all levels of public administration – from grass-roots district administration to policy formulation, monitoring and oversight at government level.

He started his career in Civil Service as a Sub-divisional Officer (1976) in the State of West Bengal, a position at the cutting edge of the field administration, and hands on job to administer a territorial jurisdiction and to implement government policies, programmes and development schemes.

In August 1978 he moved to the Government of Punjab (India) as Additional Deputy Commissioner. Thereafter he served as Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, then an extremely disturbed area and subsequently rose to the post of Commissioner, logging total field-administrative experience of about eight years. Punjab was in turmoil during this period and in appreciation of his role in conflict management and inter-community harmony, targeting inclusive growth and sustained development, he was awarded the national honour of Padma Shree in 1986.

Ramesh Inder has been Chief Executive of entrepreneurial Corporations – Managing Director (for about five years) of Markfed, a leading Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation engaged in the business of supplying agricultural inputs, procuring agricultural produce and running agro-processing and industrial manufacturing units.


He has served in a number of high-level managerial positions:


  • As Managing Director of Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, a State level Financial Institution to fund (equity / credit) to industrial ventures and promote industrial growth.
  • As Chief Executive of the Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board, a statutory body managing agricultural marketing infrastructure in the State, including the regulatory regime for agricultural markets.
  • As Registrar, Cooperative Societies, he administered the Cooperative structure in Punjab, including short and long-term agricultural credit through the State Cooperative Bank and Agricultural Development Bank.


He was Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Industries and Commerce, spearheading development initiatives in the State. In an ex-officio capacity (government nominee), he served as Chairman / Director on the Board of some of the leading industrial Companies, such as Punjab Tractors (manufacturing tractors and agricultural machinery), Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. (a Reliance Group Company), Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. (a public sector drug manufacturing unit), Hindustan Organic Ltd. (basic chemicals), Indian Acrylics Ltd., Punjab Alkalis, Abhishek Industries (Trident Group – spinning, towel unit), Cheema Spintex and Bhandari Exports (Spinning Units), Puncom (Information Technology and software), to mention some of these.

He served at Delhi (Government of India) as Joint Secretary in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and also as Director General of Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), a Government of India’s statutory body ensuring social security and health care for labour / workers in the organized sector of the country.

On account of a diversified range of high-level positions held, Ramesh Inder possesses rich experience of policy formulation and oversight dedicated to development. In March 2007, he was appointed as Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab (India), a position of highest level in State administration. Prior to that he served for five years as Principal Secretary (Principal Staff Officer) to the Chief Minister, Punjab – a key position for assisting the elected Head of the Government, in administering the State of Punjab.

Ramesh Inder possesses international experience. He has sat as a panelist on the “Quality Assurance Group” of the World Bank, evaluating some of the Bank Projects. He also worked on a three months consultancy assignment for the World Bank at its HQ in Washington, to evaluate Bank’s agricultural portfolio / funding.


Educational Qualifications and Academic profile:

Prior to joining Civil Service, Ramesh Inder taught (1970-74) Political Science at Constituent Colleges of University of Delhi.

He holds a post-graduate degree in Political Science from the University of Punjab, securing first position in the University (1970) and a degree in law (LLB) from University of Delhi.

Ramesh Inder has undergone a three months programme in Management in Government at the Royal Institute of Public Administration (RIPA), London (UK). He also pursued in-service training programmes at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (India), Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, and National Academy of Administration, to enrich his academic profile.

Currently, he is a Director on the Board of Institute of Development and Communication, (IDC), Chandigarh (India), an autonomous research, training and evaluation organization working in the areas such as peace and conflict resolution, public affairs and economic policy.  He is also on the Advisory Board of ‘India Strategic’, a monthly journal on Defence, Homeland security and strategic affairs.



Renuka Chatterjee

Renuka Chatterjee started out as a journalist with the Times of India in the late ‘80s, and helped launch The Saturday Times, the country’s first colour weekend supplement. She switched tracks to enter publishing in 1992 as Associate Editor with Penguin Books, and publishing has been her home ever since. After Penguin, she has been editor-in-chief of HarperCollins India and subsequently, Roli Books and Westland Ltd. In 2013 she started her own literary agency, The Boxwallah, for promoting quality fiction and non-fiction. She is currently Vice-President, Publishing,  with Speaking Tiger Publishing.

Ravi Singh

Ravi Singh is publisher and co-founder, Speaking Tiger Books, an independent publishing company based in Delhi. Before this, he was publisher and editor-in-chief with Penguin Books India and co-publisher with Aleph Book Company. Since 1994, he has worked with many of the finest authors writing from or about South Asia.

Ratna Manucha

Ratna wears many hats…educationist, writer and storyteller.

The Founder Principal of Little Flower School, a premier preparatory school of Dehradun, Ratna conducts workshops on Early Childhood Training for parents and teachers. She is a life member of The Association for Writers and Illustrators – India Chapter and has over 32 published books to her credit. Among the many publishers she has worked with, her stories have  also been published by National Book Trust and Children’s Book Trust and have found a wide readership in India and abroad.

She hosted the Western Music Section of All India Radio in Assam,Manipur and Nagaland.

She is an avid storyteller with a vivid imagination and conducts story telling sessions and workshops on the Art of Storytelling in collaboration with the National Book Trust.

She is a firm believer in the old saying that Books are a Man’s Best Friend and feels that the digital age has a major role to play in distancing today’s children from the printed word and hence is constantly striving to encourage the reading habit among her young wards.

Radha Viswanath

Before launching into fiction writing, Radha Viswanath was a correspondent and columnist, writing on politics and a range of issues of national importance. She was the first woman journalist to gain entry into the Central Hall of Parliament as a “Long and Distinguished Journalist”. She is a founding member of the Indian Women’s Press Corps” (IWPC), a national body that facilitates professional growth of women journalists. She was the first elected General Secretary of IWPC.

Trained to be a teacher, Radha Viswanath stumbled into journalism rather late in life. She was a mother of three children – twin sons and a daughter – by then. As a journalist, she travelled extensively across India, covering elections and other events of importance. This helped her gain an intimate and deep understanding of the Indian psyche, which she brings into her portrayal of Indian mythology.

Theatre is another area of immense interest. She acted in more than a dozen stage plays and won the “best actress” award at a national competition of Telugu drama. She participated in several radio plays also.

An avid reader with a keen interest in Indian mythology, she aims to bring the complexities of the Indian political discourse into the intricate and layered mythological narrative. Ravana Leela is her first novel.


—                     —                     —                     —

Social media handles –

Facebook –                  Radha Viswanath

Instagram –                 radha2014

Twitter –                      @ViswanathRadha

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Agrima Nidhi Sharma

Occupation, Institution – Student, St Stephen’s College

Agrima Nidhi Sharma is a 18 y/o budding writer exploring and trying her pen at a plethora of forms of literature, including poetry, short stories and novels. First published at the age of 16, she debuted into the literary world with her poetry book, ‘Drunk on Pain, High on Hope’ launched with us at the first edition of VoW’17.

Ms Sharma actively works for increasing awareness about various mental health struggles and expanding the society’s notions of “normalcy”. This year she also organized a Pride Parade in Dehradun during the pride month which saw a lot of young queer people show up and come out on the roads. She has been closely associated with the BookNerds and other book clubs in Dehradun and Delhi. She’s one active in the literary realm, introducing and encouraging youth to enter and enjoy the marvels of literature. She now runs her own Self-Publishing Consultant company, The Digital Musketeers, helping other people get published and let their words reach the world, in print. She’s soon kick-starting her own book club for all literary enthusiasts, called LitAddicts, in Delhi, being a literature evangelist herself.

Email –

Mobile number – 7017952202

Instagram – @aagrima

Kiran Soni Gupta

Studio:33 Canning Lane

Ravi Shankar Shukla Lane

New Delhi -11001

Kiran Soni Gupta is an officer of the 1985 batch of the Indian Administrative Service from Rajasthan state. Till recently she was Textile Commissioner, Government of India posted at Mumbai. Presently, she is Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

She has worked in Government of India, Governments of Rajasthan and Kerala as a field officer with distinction. She has been District Magistrate in two districts and Divisional Commissioner in Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ajmer and Bharatpur. Kiran became the first lady Collector of the border district of Ganganagar and later, Principal Secretary, General Administration and Chief Protocol.

Her professional competencies were recognized when she was selected as a Mason Fellow by Harvard University for a Master’s in Public Administration and for a Master’s in Public Policy by Maxwell School, Syracuse. NABARD and NPC have recognized her twice for her successful initiatives amongst self-help groups and women’s empowerment.

In addition to being a successful officer Kiran is a prolific artist, writer,  curator and a keen photographer. She has showcased her artworks at more than forty forums of which nearly two dozen were international. Her artworks “NREGA” and “Pooja times’ and ‘Shelter’ were exhibited at the most visited Museum of the world the Louvre, Paris in 2012, 2013 and 2017. Her paintings on the ‘Famine’ won her the National Award. She has been honored with Indian Iconic Women’s Award 2019, Literary Excellence Award at 4th Asiad LitFest, National Gaurav Award 2017 and Fakhre-e-Hind Award 2018, ‘Swasti Samman 2013′, International Vaish Sammelan Award 2013′, “Unnat Bharat Sewashri Damini Award 2013″, Rajasthan Gaurav Award 2013 ” Nari Pratibha Samman “2012,” the ‘Kala Samridhi Award’ in 2010, Artist of the Year 2009″, “Special Achiever Award 2009″ and “Kala Shiromani Award” 2008. She was decorated with the Global Women Achiever’s Award in 2019.

Kiran also conceptualized, curated and organized Jaipur’s First International Art Festival in March 2013 with 130 artists drawn from all over the world. The Festival met with a huge success. She also did the 2nd edition of the Arts Festival in 2014 with 240 artists drawn from 24 countries. She has curated an international exhibition at IGNCA on celebrating Indian languages which has been exhibited in New Delhi, LBSNAA Mussoorie and Chandigarh. She was invited to organize the Gita Kala Parv at Kurukshetra in Dec 2016 by the Government of Haryana and Vigyan Prasar Kala Parv at Indian National Science Academy 2017 by the Department of Science and Technology.

Her works can be accessed on website and on Instagram–kiransoniart. Her book ‘Range-e-Jahan’ and ‘Empower the Woman Enlighten the World’ has been launched in 2019. The Times of India has brought out a trilogy of books ‘Beyond Strokes’, ‘Kiran’s Art Renderings’ and ‘Women – God’s Finest Creation’ based on the themes of her artwork. Government of Rajasthan appointed her as Principal Secretary Art and Culture in recognition of her domain accomplishments. Her exhibition’ My Conversations with Nature’ is currently running at Civil Services Officer’s Institute from 11th Sept 2019 to 11th Oct 2019.


Academic Qualifications

2005-06   Harvard Kennedy School of Government Master’s in Public Administration (Mason Fellowship)

2005-05   Syracuse University (Maxwell School), NY-USA Masters of Public Policy

Certificate Course in Advanced Women’s Studies

Certificate Course in Conflict Resolution

Certificate Course in Health Services Management and Policy

Certificate Course in Environmental Decision Making, College of

Environmental Science & Forestry, State University of New York

1980-82   Punjab Agriculture University, India.

Masters of Science (Rural Sociology)

1977-80   Punjab University, Chandigarh India.

Bachelor of Arts with English Honors



Since Oct 2015                           Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor,

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and

Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs

May 16 2014 – Oct 2015          Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles. Mumbai

July 2013                                     Principal Secretary, Art and Culture, Rajasthan

Oct 2012 – June 2013               Divisional Commissioner Ajmer

Oct 2011 – Oct 2012                  Member Rajasthan Civil Services Tribunal, Jaipur

Sep 2010 – Sep 2011                 Principal Secretary, General Administration and


Cabinet Secretariat

Managing Direction Civil Aviation Corporation

Jan 2009 – Sep 2010                      Divisional Commissioner Jaipur Vice Chancellor, Sanskrit University, Jaipur

Oct 2006 – Jan 2009                      Divisional Commissioner Jodhpur Principal, Institute of Hotel Management Jodhpur

2005 – 2006                                     Research Associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Govt., Harvard

Research Associate, University Committee for Human Rights, Harvard University Archives Assistant, Fogg Museum, Harvard University

Assistant, Harvard Alumni Association

Oct 2002 – Sep 2004                     Commissioner, Command Area Development and Colonization Bikaner and State Commissioner Guides, Rajasthan

June 2002 – Oct 2002                     Secretary, Administrative Reforms Commission, Jaipur

2000 –  2002                                     District Collector and District Magistrate, Sriganganagar

1999 – 2000                                       Director, Women and Child Department Secretary, Rajasthan State Women’s Commission

1998 – 1999                                        Managing Director Rajasthan State Cooperative Marketing Federation

Apr 1997 – Sep 1998                        District Collector, Rajsamand, Rajasthan

1994 – 1997                                        Deputy Secretary, Mines Department Govt. of Rajasthan

1990 – 1994                                       Under Secretary, Ministry of Personnel, Govt. of India

1989 – 1990                                       Managing Director, Kerala Women’s Development Corp. Special Officer, Sericulture

1987 – 1988                                        Sub-Divisional Officer and Magistrate, Trichure Kerala.

1986 – 1987                                       On the job district Training in District Quilon, Kerala



2019                                              Indian Iconic Women Award

2018                                              Fakhr-e-Hind Award

2017                                              National Gaurav Award

2017                                               Excellence Award at 4th Asiad LitFest

2017                                               National Mahila Gaurav Samman

2013                                              National Swasti Award by Kalavrat Nyas

2013                                              Special Women by International Vaish Sammelan

2013                                              Unnat Bharat Sewashri Damini Award

2012                                              Rajasthan Gaurav Award

2012                                              Meritorious  Women’s Award

2011                                              Valpraiso Fellowship, Spain

2010                                              Kala Samridhi Award

2009                                             Centrum Art Residency, WA, USA

2009                                             Artist of the Year Award

2009                                             Achiever of the Year Award on Women’s Day

2008                                             Kala Shiromani Award, Jodhpur

2006                                             J K Galbraith Fellowship, Harvard University

2005                                             Ray Vernon Fellowship, Harvard University

2004                                             National Award in 63rd All India Art Exhibit  Hyderabad

2003                                             National Award in All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society

2002                                             National Award by NABARD in Cooperative Banking

2001                                             Award for Integrity & Public Service by Canadian


Cultural Organization

1998                                               National Productivity Award in Agricultural Marketing Exhibitions


• Art Exhibition at Warsaw Poland 2019
• Art Exhibition at Bratislava 2019
• Art Show at Prague 2019
• Print Show at Graz Austria 2019
• Valley of Flowers Show at Litfest Dehradun 2019
• Celebrating Nature CSOI New Delhi 2019
• India Habitat Centre New Delhi 2020
Solo Shows:
• My Conversations with Nature New Delhi 2019
• India Art Fair 2019
• Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi 2019
• International Kala Mela, New Delhi 2018
• India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi 2017
• Hotel Trident, Mumbai 2017
• Safarnama, CSOI, New Delhi 2016
• Nehru Centre, Mumbai 2015
• Index Fair Mumbai 2015
• CSOI New Delhi 2014
• Nehru Centre, Mumbai 2014
• ITC Sheraton, Calcutta 2013
• “Indian Traditions” at Ploesti Museum, Romania 2013
• Desert Symphony ,Nehru Centre Mumbai 2012
• Timeless Art, Surajkund Crafts Show 2012
• Nadine, LE PRINCE Haveli, Fatehpur, Shekhawati 2012
• Artists Centre, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 2011
• India Kala Academy, Goa 2011
• National Museum, New Delhi 2011
• Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi 2011
• CCRT, New Delhi 2010
• Nehru Centre London 2010
• Welcom Art Gallery, Rajputana Sheraton Jaipur 2010
• Chitramayee State Gallery of Fine Arts, Hyderabad 2009
• Incredible India, at Fort Worden, WA,USA 2009
• Incredible India: Rothwell Gallery, Ottawa, Canada 2009
• Cottage Art Gallery, New Delhi 2008
• International Roerich Trust, Nagger, Kulu, Himachal 2008
• India: Life in Color California, Los Angeles 2008
• Incredible India: Life in Color, Cambridge, Boston 2008
• India: Life in Color, Hilton Hotel, New York 2006
• India: Life in Color, Harvard Arts Festival, Harvard University 2006
• ‘The Colors of India ‘Cambridge Center, Harvard Square 2006
• Taj Convention Center, Mississauga Canada 2005
• The Colors of India, Syracuse, New York 2005
• The Colors of India, Ohio, US 2005
• Nehru Centre, London 2004
• Sutlej Club, Ludhiana 2004
• ITC Welcom Art Gallery, Chola Sheraton, Chennai 2003
• Elahe Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran 2003
• ITC Welcom Art Gallery, Windsor Manor, Bangalore 2003
• Nell Dorr Art Gallery, Malsisar, Jhunjhunu 2003
• The Indian Desert’ Alliance Françoise, Kandy, Srilanka 2003
• Taj Hotel, Mumbai  2002
Group Shows:
• Group Show at Cymroza Art Gallery Mumbai 2019
• Master Strokes 2019 India Habitat Centre New Delhi 2019
‘Indradanush’ CSOI LitFest, New Delhi 2019
• Celebrating Indian Languages IGNCA, New Delhi 2019
• Celebrating Indian Languages, LBSNAA LitFest, Mussoorie 2019
• 101st Exhibition Art Society of India at Jahangir Art Gallery Mumbai 2019
• Inner Vision 2018 Studio 55 New Delhi 2019
• Inner Vision 2018 IHC New Delhi 2018
Sankalan Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi 2018
Ganesha Padharo Mare Desh, New Delhi 2018
Sankalan, CSOI, New Delhi 2018
• Triumph of Masterworks: Celebrating Independence New Delhi 2018
Les Sentiments, Graz, Austria 2018
Rajasthan, group show, Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai 2018
• Hyderabad Art Show, Hyderabad 2018
• Group Show, Pune 2018
• Thoughts on Surface, RPR Gallery, New Delhi 2017
• SNBA Exhibition, The Louvre, Paris, France 2017
Anugoonj, Jaipur 2017
• Women’s Group Show, Goa 2017
• The Veteran’s Beginning, RPR Auction House, New Delhi 2017
• International Art Show, Babylon Gardens, Turkey 2016
• Contemporary Expressions, Art Mantra, New Delhi 2015
Vibrant Brush, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai 2015
• ICAC Exhibition of Master Artists, Jahangir Gallery, Mumbai 2015
• Art Show, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi 2015
• Art Exhibition ‘ Different Strokes’ at CSOI New Delhi 2015
Rango ki Rimzhim, Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai 2015
• ‘Before & After” Group Show at Art Entrance Mumbai 2015
• Group Show, New Delhi 2015
• Group- Show at Cabinet Secretariat New Delhi 2015
• The Art Enclave Mumbai 2014
• “Emerge” by Dream Foundation The Club DN Nagar Mumbai 2014
• Rangam Hotel Island, Marriott New York 2014
• ‘For You Amrita’ Hungarian Cultural Centre New Delhi 2014
• JSAF- A Tribute Show Ahmedabad 2013
• SNBA Exhibit at Carrousel de Louvre Paris 2013
• All India Women’s Camp at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur 2013
• Art Summit Jaipur 2013
• SNBA Exhibit at Le Louvre Paris 2013
• Art Exhibit at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies Shimla 2013
• Aura Art Show 2013 Jehagir Gallery Mumbai 2013
• Art Fusion Nehru Centre Mumbai 2013
• An Escape Route Group Show of 32 artists at Samanvay Gallery, Jaipur 2013
• Jaipur Art Festival 2013
• Group Show L& P Hutheesing Visual Art Centre, Ahmedabad 2013
• 16th Kala Mela Jaipur 2013
• SNBA Exhibit at Le Louvre Paris 2012
• Apalak 2-2012 Photography Group Show 2012
• Fresco Art Show Rajputana Sheraton 2012
• All India Art Exhibition Amritsar 2012
• 34th Kala Mela 2012 Jaipur 2012
• Shabad Art Exhibit at Lit Fest 2012 Jaipur 2012
• All India Exhibition at Hyderabad 2012
• Group Show, Modi School 2011
• Group Show of Shristi JKK Jaipur 2011
• Exhibition of artwork of All India Artist’s Camp AIFACS 2011
• Sarasvati Gallery Nadine Laprince Haveli Cultural Centre Fatehpur 2011
• 14th Kala Mela, JKK Jaipur 2011
• 4th International Friendship Art Exhibition, Dhaka 2010
• Stree- All India Exhibition of Women Artists, New Delhi 2010
• Art Exhibition of Women Artists, Jaipur 2010
• ArtFest at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur 2010
Shristi Art Group at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur 2009
Tirangaa– Group Show at President House , New Delhi 2008
Srishti– a Group show at Town Hall, Jodhpur & Mt Abu 2008
• Cultural Survival, Boston Convention Center 2006
• Medford Arts Festival, Boston, US 2005
• Somerville Crafts Fair, Boston, MA 2005
• Crafts Bazaar, Cultural Survival, Boston 2005
• Painted faces of A Christopher and army Capt. Orlando A Bonilla for the exhibition, 2005
To Never Forget-Faces of the Fallen, Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse Univ 2005
• The Appreciation Show, Pittsburgh, US 2004
• Art Exhibition at Convention Centre, Canada 2004
Monkeys- Myths and representations, East West Gallery, Hawaii 2004
• ‘Just A Taste” International Show, Monarch Sculpture Park, Washington 2004
Shrishti by Masters of Traditional art, Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner 2004
• International Art Show at Hamilton Canada 2004
• 76th All India Art Exhibition, AIFACS, New Delhi 2004
• 63rd All India Art Exhibition, Hyderabad Art Society  2004
• All India Art Exhibition of WISDOM, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi 2003
• Bikaner Creative Artists Group, AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi 2003
• Artist’s Camp by Bikaner Creative Artist Group on ARTIST’S DAY 2003
• India Senior Artists Camp (AIFACS), Kala Kumbh, Bikaner 2003
• All India Exhibition of AIFACS, 2003
• Artist’s Camp of AIFACS in celebration of ARTIST”S DAY 28th April 2003
• All AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi 2003
• Group shows Shree Shakti at Habitat Centre New Delhi 2001
• All India Exhibition, AIFACS, New Delhi 1995
• Lalit Kala Academy 1992
• AIFACS Art Gallery, New Delhi 1990
• Artist’s camp, West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur 1999
• Art Festival, Jaipur 1989
• Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal 1989
• Kerala State Lalit Kala Academy 1987
Residencies and Workshops:
• Art Camp, LBSNAA LitFest, Mussoorie 2019
• Art Camp, Russian Centre for Science and Culture, New Delhi 2018
• Les Sentiments, Graz, Austria 2018
• AIFACS Art camp, New Delhi 2018
Namami Gange Art Residency, Haridwar, Uttrakhand, 2017
• Kerala Lalit Kala Camp, Dehradun  2017
• Vigyan Kala Parv, New Delhi 2017
• Gita Kala Parv, Kurukshetra, Haryana 2016
• Ceramics Workshop, New Delhi 2016
• International Babylon Residency, Izmir, Turkey 2016
• Indo-Vietnam Art Camp, New Delhi 2016
• Women Artists Workshop, Shanghai, China 2015
• Art Workshop at CSOI New Delhi 2015
• Jaipur Art Festival, Jaipur 2014
• Art Workshop, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla 2013
• All India Women’s Camp, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur 2013
• Art Residency, Mallnitz, Austria 2013
• Calligraphy Workshop, Ajmer 2013
• Jaipur Art Festival, Jaipur 2013
• International Art Camp, Modi School, Jaipur 2012
• Apalak 2-2012 Photography Workshop 2012
• International Artists Camp, Modi School, Jaipur 2011
• All India Senior Artist’s Camp ( AIFACS), New Delhi 2011
• Valpraiso Fellowship Spain 2011
• Centrum Art Residency Port Townsend Seattle US 2010
• Workshops at Fort Worden, Port Townsend, Seattle, US 2009
• Artist in Residence at the East West Centre Hawaii April 2005
• Workshop at the KCC College, Hawaii 2005
• ‘Contemporary Indian Art Alliance Françoise, Kandy, Srilanka 2003
Organized workshop on “The Art of Tanjore Paintings” SZCC Jaipur 1994


Shri Prem Kumar Gera


Shri Prem Kumar Gera, IAS has done B.Sc. (Elect. Engg.) (Hons.), M.Sc. (Economics) and M.Phil. in Strategic Defence Studies from Madras University. He is a Senior IAS Officer of 1985 batch having experience of more than 33 years in the Central and State Government holding various positions in District Administration, Rural Development, Agriculture, Finance, Training, Personnel & General Administration, Textiles etc. His recent postings under Government of India and Government of Gujarat include :

  1. Managing Director, Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (GMDC).
  2. Director General, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi.
  3. Joint Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA).
  4. Resident Commissioner, Government of Gujarat, New Delhi.
  5. Director General, Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration (SPIPA) & Ex.Officio, Secretariat, Government of Gujarat (Administrative Reforms and Training), Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  6. Registrar and Joint Secretary, Central Information Commission, New Delhi.

Ranjit Hoskote

RANJIT HOSKOTE: Brief bio for Valley of Words Literary Festival

(Dehra Dun, November 2019)

Ranjit Hoskote has been acclaimed as a leading Anglophone Indian poet as well as a seminal contributor to Indian art criticism. Hoskote’s most recent collection of poetry is Jonahwhale (Penguin/ Hamish Hamilton, 2018). His other volumes of poetry include The Sleepwalker’s Archive (Single File, 2001), Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006) and Central Time (Penguin/ Viking, 2014). His poems have appeared in German translation as Die Ankunft der Vögel (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2006) and Feldnotizen des Magiers (Editions Offenes Feld, 2015). Hoskote’s translation of the 14th-century Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded has been published as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded (Penguin Classics, 2011). He is the editor of Dom Moraes: Selected Poems (Penguin Modern Classics, 2012), the first annotated critical edition of a major Anglophone Indian poet’s work.

Hoskote was a Fellow of the International Writing Program, University of Iowa, and has been writer-in-residence at Villa Waldberta, Munich; Theater der Welt, Essen-Mülheim; and the Polish Institute, Berlin. He has been researcher-in-residence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Hoskote has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation, and the S H Raza Award for Literature. Hoskote was juror for international literature for the 2015-2017 fellowship cycle at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. He co-curated the Kala Ghoda Festival’s Literature section from 2013 to 2017, and is Poetry Editor for DOMUS India. Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011) and co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008).


My name is Pushyamitra. I am a journalist by profession. I live in Patna and roam in different areas of Bihar and write reports. He has 15 years of journalistic experience with newspapers like Navbharat, Amar Ujala, Hindustan and Prabhat Khabar. I currently do independent journalism. On July 16, 1975, I was born in my maternal grandfather in Munger city of Bihar, originally from Dhamdaha village in Purnia district. This area is considered to be the area of ​​Kosi. He did his schooling from Navodaya Vidyalaya Purnia and studied journalism from Makhan Lal Chaturvedi National Journalism University, Bhopal. Since the Kosi floods of 2008, interest in the life of Bihar floods and the rivers here has awakened, so there is more to go in that area. The CSDS institution gave me a 2013 media fellowship in view of this interest. I have received the Ladli Media Award for the report on the issue of discrimination against girl child infants in Bihar. Later wrote a novel on the subject of Kosi, named Radio Kosi. Apart from this, I am also interested in the politics of Bihar, culture here, history here and heritage. Reported continuously in the land of Champaran Satyagraha since 2016 and then wrote the legend there as a history story, namely – When Neel’s Stain is Erased, Champaran 1917. I am currently associated with the writing of two other books, whose publication soon Have to be.

Prabha Sridevan

Degree in English from Stella Maris College, Chennai.

Practiced law with from 1983 to 2000,

From 2000 to 2010, Judge of the Madras High Court.

From 2011 to 2013, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Judgments Include cases dealing with freedom of speech, child rights, gender equality, disability rights, mental health, protection of water bodies and environment, rights of the depressed classes and Dalits, right to education, right to information, protection of heritage buildings, the worth of the homemaker’s work, and the Novartis case and the Compulsory licence case.

I headed the think-tank to draft India’s IP policy.

After retirement, I wrote columns both in English and Tamil

I started translating from Tamil to English.

Two published books of translations are R. Chudamani’s short stories, “Seeing in the Dark”(OUP) and  ” The echoes of the Veena” (Ratna) Based on stories from these two books, Madras players staged “Chudamani”

I have translated Ravi kumar, Kavitha Sornavalli, Vaasanthi and Seeta Ravi. My translation of Seeta Ravi has also been performed by Madras Players.

My next book is a translation of the Sahitya akademi awardee Thoppil Mohammed Meeran to be published by Ratna.

My speeches and articles in Tamil and English have been published” Karappan poochi nagaikkumo “and “Of vineyard equality “by Kavitha and Lexislab respectively.

I do line drawings which have been auctioned to raise money for causes like BANYAN and IDIA.

Sridevan, my husband, a senior lawyer passed away in 1993. Two sons, both married and three grandchildren


Madhulika was born in Kolkata, the literary capital of India, in 1974. She completed her first degree in Economics and then Masters in Business Management. She worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for a while. She then became one of the youngest women entrepreneurs in India helping found a successful IT services company which today employs over a hundred people and has offices across India.

Marriage brought a shift to the Arabian Gulf and she has stayed and worked there as a Management Consultant and writer for nearly two decades. She has been actively associated with several social and professional organizations in Oman and Kuwait and is IT & Media secretary for the Kuwait Writers’ Forum.

Madhulika started writing at the age of 8 and writes in both Hindi and English. Her first book “Nazar Andaz(collection of Hindi poems) was published in 2017. Her second book “The Magician’s Rabbit” (collection of poems in English) is being released at VOW in 2019. She is presently busy on her fiction debut with a collection of short stories titled “The Second Winter”.

Madhulika is an accomplished public speaker and debater and runs creative writing and public speaking courses for young adults. She is currently pursuing studies in Vedic philosophy apart from volunteering with special needs children. She loves travel and adventure and is a licensed scuba diver. Politics always brings out her passionate side and a cookbook is never far from her hands.

Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan

Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal, was selected as the Chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group in August 2018, post retirement from the army in March 2018. Earlier, the General was the Director General of Assam Rifles, India’s oldest and largest Para Military Force.

As the Chairman, Cease Fire Monitoring Group, the general is chartered to ensure that the multifarious insurgent groups engaged in insurgency in the North East over the last 70 years follow laid down ground rules and ensure that peace prevails within the North East of India. During this short period, he has reinvigorated the peace process and has been able to bring in the NSCN (K), a insurgent group that had broken its cease fire with the Government of India in 2015, back into the peace process.

Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan is an alumnus of St Columba’s High School, New Delhi, the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, the Army War College and the prestigious National Defence College. The General was commissioned into the Indian Army (11 Gorkha Rifles) in December 1979. Prior to his appointment as the DGAR, the General had commanded 1 Corps, Indian Army’s oldest and largest Strike Corps, the 8 Mountain Division in Western Ladakh, and 70 Mountain Brigade both in Shopian in south Kashmir and in Eastern Ladakh. The General also has vast experience in the conduct of Counter Terrorist operations both in the Kashmir Valley and the North East.

He has served at the Apex level in the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, Border Guarding and Human Resource Management. He also has vast experience in military diplomacy since he was the Defence Attaché in the Indian Embassy in Nepal for three and half years (2004- 07). He regularly contributes articles/columns in various scholarly magazines and is a constant invitee and participant/ speaker at Seminars and leadership forums including the IDSA, the Defence Services Staff College, the Army War College, the Officers Training Academy, the Armoured Corps Centre and School, the United Service Institute, the FICCI, the India Foundation and the National Security Guard.

Lippi Parida

Lippi Parida is a New Delhi based author, poet, photographer & artist!

Recipient of the 2018 national award—MAKE IN INDIA—for her excellence in the creative field—-she has been writing short stories, poetry & articles for newspapers & magazines for a long time.. !

Her first book a memoir on her grandfather’s life—AJA’S HOUSE was much appreciated! Her second novel —“IF THE BLUE LOTUS SINGS”—was a take on the unrest in Odisha during the 2015 Nabakalebara ceremony—a one of it’s kind ceremony in the whole world!

This 2017 novel brought her the WOMAN ACHIEVER’S AWARD!

Malaysian odissi dancer Sandhya Manoj—plays the role of a blue lily in the dance drama  KRISHNANUBHUTI—based on the novel—IF THE BLUE LOTUS SINGS!

Putting in two years research on the Jagganath cult of Odisha—-Parida has woven a tale of deceit & deception—-love & passion—revolving around the Blue God!

Temple politics in the 12th century Jagganath Temple, puts age old traditions & culture at stake!

The novel plays out against the backdrop of the 2015 Jagannath Rath yatra held in Puri!

The world today is at the status of it’s people forgetting….their identities & running towards the Modern age!

Lippi Parida too shares her ideological view on the Jagganath temple in her novel—“IF THE BLUE LOTUS SINGS”—writes IJELLH—International journal of Language, Literature & Humanities!

So as the 12th century & the 21st century come together….what does the BLUE LOTUS say…???

Read—“IF THE BLUE LOTUS SINGS”—to find out more!

Lieutenant General PC Katoch

Lieutenant General PC Katoch, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SC, a third generation army officer, superannuated as Director General Information Systems of Indian Army in 2009. He commanded a Special Forces battalion in Sri Lanka, a Brigade in Siachen, a Division in Ladakh and a Strike Corps in South Western Theatre. He has served as Defence Attaché in Japan with accreditation to South Korea. Graduate of National Defence College, post retirement, he has authored over 1950 articles on international affairs, geopolitics, military, security, technical and topical issues. He is Distinguished Fellow at United Service Institution of India and has presented papers in USA, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan and Maldives. He has authored two books: ‘India’s Special Forces – History and Future of Indian Special Forces’, and; ‘Indian Military and Network Centric Warfare’.  His third book titled ‘Special Operations Case Studies – Lessons for India’ is under publication.

Jayshree Misra Tripathi

Jayshree Misra Tripathi lived a nomadic lifestyle from 1986 till 2015, as the wife of a career foreign service officer in the Indian Civil Service. She has written from across three continents – as a freelance journalist, poet and chronicler.

Jayshree followed up her MA in English (Literature) from Delhi University (1978), with a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Law from the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru (Distance Education programme, 2001). She has taught English Language and Literature, been an examiner in English for the Diploma of the International Baccalaureate Organisation and was their trained Consultant.

Her collection of poetry, Trips and Trials: A Selection of Poems and Songs, was released in December 2018 by Pepperscript Publishers. What Not Words, a short story collection set in India and the Diaspora, is available on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing and will soon be available with Authorspress in India; her earlier works include The Sorrow of Unanswered Questions (The International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka; 2001). Jayshree has also written for children, with a collection, Tales in Verse from India for Children Everywhere (Pothi Publishers), now available on Amazon KDP. Her Folk Tales from her home state of Odisha appeared in Amar Chitra Katha in December 2018. She continues in raising awareness on adult literacy and women helping women, with #HelpHerWalkForward.

Indrani Talukdar

Indrani Talukdar has three books to her credit, besides a novelette and a book of children’s short stories. Her first book, WHEN THE LAMPS WERE LIT, published in 2008, appeared as an e-book serialized by based in San Jose, California.

The author’s second book – THE SOUND OF SECRECY – was published in print by LiFi Publishers (New Delhi) in 2016. It was selected by the National Book Trust for various book fairs and literature festivals including the Warsaw International Book Fair, Indonesian International Book Fair, Teheran and Abu Dhabi book fairs, and the London Book Fair.

Her latest work of fiction, THE COLOUR OF POPLARS, is a mystery based on true incidents of bride trafficking in India. It has been published by Spring Books.

A Masters in Communication Studies from RMIT University (Melbourne), Indrani won a Rotary Exchange Fellowship to Argentina in 1998 and First Prize at the Greater Dandenong Short Story Writing Competition (2003) in Australia. One of her short stories was selected for publication by the Rajasthan State Board in 2014 and her poem – THE RIOT – was ranked Number 1 Star Finalist in the Voices.Net International Poetry Contest in 2012. Her short story THE DOWRY was long-listed by the Britain-based 2019 OWT short fiction competition.

Hindol Sengupta

Hindol Sengupta is an award-winning historian and writer of nine best-selling books. His book Being Hindu won the Wilbur Award given by the Religion Communicators Council of America in 2018 – the first book on Hinduism to win the prize in its 70-year-history. He has won the PSF prize for public service which counts among its past winners the late Indian scientist and President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. His book Recasting India was shortlisted for the Hayek Prize given by the Manhattan Institute in memory of the Nobel laureate economist F. A. Hayek. He has been a Chevening Scholar at Worcester College, Oxford and a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Geetanjali Shree

Geetanjali Shree is the author of acclaimed Hindi novels like MaiHamara Shahar us BarasTirohit and Khali Jagah. She is known for her innovative use of language and structure. Her latest novel is Ret Samadhi where she attempts to cross many given borders mixing narrative forms, languages and points of view. Her novels and stories have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages, including French, English and German, and her writings are part of course work in several universities abroad.

Geetanjali is also a founding member of a Delhi based theatre group, Vivadi, and works on plays for them that are performed in India and abroad.  She writes non-fiction in English as well.

Ganesh Saili

Ganesh Saili is a Mussoorie-born author, who grew up in these hills and from an impressionable age, he has trekked the high mountains recording in words and pictures the magic of the mountains. He has written and illustrated twenty books of non-fiction. Some people take to photography; others to writing but Ganesh belongs to that select band of people who write their own text and illustrate it with their own pictures – stretching from the age of analogue to the digital. His work has found publication in numerous periodicals, columns and journals. Some of these books have been translated world-wide into over two-dozen languages.

What comes through is a living testimony of his love for the sheer swiftness of the wind, and the magical air of the Himalaya. In Wandering Through the Garhwal Himalaya, he takes the reader gently by the hand through the hills of home in search of the footsteps of those wanderers who down the centuries have walked this narrow path to leave their hearts behind forever. With more than fifty years of research as his base, this quintessential free bird, weaves a mesmerizing tapestry in images. What emerges from his writing is a voice of Uttarakhand.

Many honours have come his way including the the Panorama Film Festival Award in Houston for a screenplay on the mystery lake of Roopkund; later the Sanghi Trophy and the National Award for Travel Writing in English.  Presently he is working on a definitive history of the hill station that has been his home.

Dr Easterine Kire

Dr Easterine Kire is a poet, short story writer, children’s book writer and novelist from Nagaland. She published the first English novel by a Naga in 2003 entitled, A Naga Village Remembered (Ura Academy).

Her second novel, A Terrible Matriarchy (Zubaan 2007) has been translated to Norwegian, German and Marathi. In addition, she has six books in German translation and one more in Norwegian.

Bitter Wormwood, (Zubaan 2011) her fourth novel, was shortlisted for The Hindu literary prize 2013.

In 2011, she was awarded the Governor’s prize for excellence in Naga literature, and in 2013, she was awarded the “Free Word” by Catalan PEN, Barcelona.

In 2016, she won the Hindu Literature Prize for her book, When the River Sleeps (Zubaan).

Her book, Son of the Thundercloud (Speaking Tiger, 2016) has been awarded the Tata Litlive Book of the Year award in 2017. In 2018, Son of the Thundercloud, won the Bal Sahitya Puraskar. In 2019, When the River Sleeps won the inaugural Gordon Graham Prize for Naga Literature.

Easterine writes poetry and is a member of the Norwegian band called Jazzpoesi and the band in India, Jazztri. The Norwegian band has given out a digital cd in summer 2013 that topped the Norwegian Jazz charts in summer.

Ashok Dhar

Ashok Dhar, born and brought up in Kashmir is an engineer with corporate sector background. He worked for over thirty-five years in the Energy sector and held top leadership roles in three Fortune 500 companies in India and abroad. He is a member of Energy Institute (London) and the founding director of the Kolkata chapter of Observer Research Foundation, a leading Think Tank. Currently, he is the Principal Consultant and Director of Akarosi Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata, a management consulting and advisory company in Energy sector and an Independent Board member.

While, Ashok Dhar calls Kashmir as his home, Kumaon is indeed his second home. He joined Sainik School Ghorakhal, Nainital in 1966 (the year it started) and passed out after completing class XI in 1972, thus spending his formative years in Uttarakhand.

Having worked for many years in the domain of International trading and international business development in petroleum sector, Ashok is widely travelled in the Middle East, Africa, USA, UK, China and has also visited Pakistan. He takes deep interest in understanding diversity of history, culture, religions and politics of places visited.

Kashmir As I See It – From within and afar (Rupa Publication 2019) is his debut book and is on a subject he is most passionate about.

Anubhav Pradhan

Anubhav Pradhan is a doctoral candidate working on colonial ethnography and the British imagination of India in Jamia Millia Islamia. He has taught English communication to B.Tech students in Jamia Millia Islamia; served Primus Books as its Senior Marketing Editor; and worked in Bharati College, University of Delhi as an Assistant Professor. He has also been part of the Researching the Contemporary programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and the Urban Fellows Programme of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. He works primarily on questions of belonging and identity in urban literature, on urban heritage and history, and on land history and rights, all with specific reference to Delhi.

Anjum Hasan

Anjum Hasan is the author of the novels The Cosmopolitans, Neti, Neti and Lunatic in my Head, and the short story collections A Day in the Life and Difficult Pleasures. She has also published a book of poems called Street on the Hill.

Her books have been shortlisted and longlisted for various awards including the Hindu Literary Prize, the Crossword Fiction Award, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature,the Man Asian Literary Prize, and the Atta Galatta Book Prize. Anjum was, till recently, Books Editor at The Caravan. She has been Charles Wallace Writer-in-Residence at the University of Canterbury and visiting professor of creative writing at Ashoka University. She is currently a Homi Bhabha Fellow.

Her short stories, essays and poems are widely published including in Granta, Baffler, Five Dials, Wasafiri, Drawbridge, Los Angeles Review of Books, Asia Literary Review, Caravan and anthologies such as A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces: Extraordinary Short Stories from the 19th Century to the Present and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets.

Ajoy K. Sodani

Ajoy Sodani is wanderer and a nature lover. The insatiable hunger of an explorer takes him to the remotest corners of the country. With wife, Aparna, he is exploring Himalayas for last nineteen years, mostly on foot.

Whatever he receives from the wandering he shares with the society through stories/books/poems/talks/articles. He writes in Hindi and has authored three travelogues (‘Darra-Darra Himalay’, ‘Darakate Himalay Par Dar-b-Dar’ and Irina-Lok) and two story book (Take me out for Dinner Tonight, Avak Atankvadi).

Ajoy studied neurology from AIIMS, New Delhi and is currently serving the Sri Aurobindo Medical College, Indore as a professor of Neurology.

Aditya Iyengar

Aditya Iyengar is the author of five critically acclaimed novels – “The Thirteenth Day”, “Palace of Assassins”, “A Broken Sun”, “The Conqueror” and ‘Bhumika’. An alumnus of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Aditya has donned many professional hats as a writer in the past including advertising copywriter, scriptwriter, and digital content creator at some of India’s biggest media houses, and has won many national and international awards over the course of his career. His books deal with themes like masculinity and the concept of ‘what is real?’ in mythology and history, and he attempts to bring multiple genres together in his work. Along with novels, Aditya also writes screenplays and poetry. He currently lives in Mumbai.

Professor Satish C. Aikant

Professor Satish C. Aikant is former Professor and Chair, Department of English at Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University and a former Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He has been a Visiting Professor at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

A critic and a translator, his writings on postcolonial literatures, literary theory and contemporary culture have appeared in a wide range of books and journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Literary Criticism, Ariel, Postcolonial Text, Asiatic, Literary Criterion, Journal of Contemporary Thought, South Asian Diaspora, and Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

He has published two books, Critical Spectrum: Essays in Literary Culture (2004) and Postcolonial Indian Literature: Toward a Critical Framework (2018), the latter taking a comprehensive view of Indian literatures from a postcolonial perspective. He has authored over seventy publications, some of which include Indian Writers: Transnationalisms and Diasporas, Colonial Ambivalence in R. K. Narayan’s Waiting for the Mahatma, From colonialism to Indigenism: The loss and recovery of language and literature and Reading Tagore: Seductions and Perils of Nationalism, The Peripatetic Philosopher -a review of Adi Shakaracharya: Hinduism’s Thinker by Pavan K Verma, and Caste and Social Alienation in Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable, amongst others. His writings have appeared regularly in the Garhwal Post and Mussoorie Times as well.

He has been the recipient of Middle Award, American Studies Research Centre, Hyderabad and Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He has also carried out assignments at the Uttarakhand Public Service Comission relating to evaluation, examinership, moderation, translation of rules and regulations from Hindi to English and has been on interview boards for selection of teachers. He was editor of the journal Summerhill: IIAS Review from 2008 to 2013. Professor Aikant now lives in Kulri, Mussoorie.

Dr. Divya Saksena

Dr. Divya Saksena is Professor and Dean of Humanities at IMS Unison University, Dehradun. She has a PhD in in British Modernism, Aesthetics, D.H. Lawrence from The George Washington University, USA and has taught a wide range of university courses in English Literature, Women’s Studies, and Writing for Research and Argument. While Assistant Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University she received a nomination for the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.

Dr Saksena has been an accredited distance education counselor with the Indira Gandhi National Open University, designer and instructor for language and culture courses for Japanese exchange program students at Delhi University, and member of a panel of teachers recording academic lectures for the “University of the Air ‘program on All India Radio.

She is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled “Transcending Development – Critical Investigations in Ecology, Education & Environment Reclamation” situated in the intersectional fields of literature, history, economics, and cultural studies that considers the he application of environmental philosophy, focusing on gendered experiences in formerly colonized countries to study the workings of capitalist expansionism in the global south. Her current research project is titled “Calculated Gazes: Search for Selfhood, Manipulations of Discourse and Beyond.” Situated in an interdisciplinary academic milieu, the project addresses the historical, political, literary and cultural parameters within which women actively participated in India’s freedom movement instead of being marginalized as gendered ciphers and statistics.

Dr. Jaiwanti Dimri

Dr. Jaiwanti Dimri is a bilingual writer, critic, translator and former professor of English at Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. A recipient of the Arya Smriti Samman (2002) in the genre of Hindi short story, her stories have been published in national journals, magazines, anthologies and translated into English, Telugu and Marathi.

She has been a fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, and taught in Nigeria, Bhutan and US. She has published over a dozen books in English and Hindi, some of which include ‘The Images and Representation of the Rural Woman’, ‘The Drukpa Mystique: Bhutan in 21st Century’; two novellas in Hindi, Surju Ke Naam and Pinddaan; two short story collections Gagar Bhar Paani and Dusra Narak Kund, and a translated work, Sahastra Netradhari Nayak.

Since her retirement she has been a visiting faculty in Doon University, Dehradun (2012-2013) and International Visiting Professor (IVP) in Portland State University, US (2013). Dr Dimri is currently Visiting Professor at IMS Unison University, Dehradun. She has lectured extensively in the universities in India and abroad in seminars, conferences and refresher courses. Her area of specialization is Postcolonial, Subaltern, Cultural and Translation Studies. Her research project, Images and Representation of the Rural Women: A study of the selected novels of Indian women writers was published by the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla and investigates, with great specificity, the image of the rural woman projected in eight post-independence woman-authored novels — two in English and six in regional languages

She also worked on a major UGC project The Image of the Tribal in Indian Fiction and Films (2005-2006) and has been editor for Summerhill, IIAS, Shimla.

Abhai Mishra

Abhai Mishra is a defence scientist at DEAL, and a philatelist as well. He authored the book ‘Uttarakhand – A Philatelic Journey’, and has curated the Philately Exhibition at VoW.

Rupa Samaira

Curated the Painting Exhibition, A Bird Came Down the Walk.. An Ode to the Birds in Mussoorie

Nicholas Hoffland

Curated the Painting Exhibition, The Rathin Mitra Retrospective: Temples of Kumaon

Bhumesh Bharti

Curated the Photography Exhibition along with Mr Avinash Chandra Joshi

Kusum Kohli


Yauvanika Chopra

Aravinder Singh

Juliet Reynolds

Ira Chauhan

Neha Raj

Rohan Raj

Vidya Srinivasan

Shubha Pandey

Archana Sharma

Naveen Chopra

Bikram Singh

Hardik Gupta

Hardik is currently pursuing BTech in computer science from Graphic Era hill University. Born and brought up in Dehradun, technical and management skills are his forte.Hardik is a born leader and he has always been fond of playing basketball and reading books.

Pragati Naithani

Currently pursuing BBA from SGRR University, Pragati had been a volunteer at VoW last year, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Her hobbies include reading novels, painting, sketching, dancing. She is friendly, cooperative and an empathetic soul.


Currently pursuing BBA from SGRR University, Ibtisaam has been a part of VoW family since last year. She loves indulging in reading and dancing. Also, she is a big foodie. Affable and phenomenal are two words that describe her best.

Viddhi Aggarwal

A student of BBA at SGRR university, Viddhi was at VOW Literature festival last year. She is confident, has good PR skills and love to explore. She loves reading, binge watching TV series and getting lost in music.

Meenaxi Rawat

Pursuing B.A ( Hons.) English from Graphic Era Hill University, Dehradun, Meenakshi loves reading novels and poetries. Apart from her love for literature, she is also a practiioner of Calligraphy and painting mainly Warli Art. She loves writing poems and tiny tales.

Kritika Gurung

Pursuing B.A (H)English, from Graphic Era Hill University,Dehradun, Kritika loves reading, painting ,music and loves to be in tune. At times she she indulges in writing poems and and exploring new places and cafes.

Shweta Kapoor

Shweta is a second year undergrad student pursuing an Hons. In Mathematics from Doon University. Cheerful, funny and a bibliophile, she likes reading, solving Math problems, learning new languages and listening to music. She loves watching movies or YouTube videos in her free time. Sometimes she can be seen doodling in her notebook.

Akshyata Ray

A voracious reader and a “Jack of All Trades”, Akshyata wants to hold the world record of reading the maximum books. Her field of interest change everyday depending on her temperament and the environment, but literature remains constant. She wants to make the world a better place and is quite hopeful she will.

Muskan Dhawan

Muskan is presently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Eng (hon.) She’s basically from Ambala but presently for her higher studies she’s in dehradun. She’s NCC cadet as well. She enjoys managing events, meeting people, exploring places and reading books.

Suraj Singh

Suraj singh, currently 21 years old, is pursuing honors in German Language from Doon University. He loves reading, writing, meeting new people and exploring new things in life. He has worked as a surveyor for ASER(Annual Status Of Education Report) under Pratham Foundation, done volunteering for India International Science festival and in various college fests. He loves to watch documentaries or biographies and reading books on entrepreneurship. He aspires to work on his Social Startup idea after completing his studies, through which he could make a positive impact on society and brings a long lasting happiness in society.

Ashok Khanduri

Ashok Khanduri, currently 19 yrs old is pursuing his honors in French from Doon University.
He loves to write, read and participate at the local open mics in the city. He has been volunteering and interning for many NGOs and startups and has worked as a content writer for many established firms. He loves blogging, sketching and watching films. He would love to work in the travel domain/sector after finishing his studies. Trotting every possible soil on this globe and seeing every nook and corner of this world- is the philosophy of Ashok’s life.

Harsh Ballabh Thapliyal

Dr Sanjeev Chopra

Dr Sanjeev Chopra is currently serving as Direction of the LBSNAA in Mussoorie. He was posted as the Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner of West Bengal and has spent eleven years in Uttarakhand – six at LBS National Academy and five as Secretary Industrial Development, IT, Rural Development and Horticulture in Uttarakhand. He was, till recently, a regular columnist of the Garhwal Post for Book reviews and on AgriMatters. A recipient of the Hubert H Humphrey and the Robert S McNamara Fellowships, he has several books to his credit.

Rajan Vir Singh Kapur

Dr Rajendra Dhobal

Shiv Kunal Verma

Shiv Kunal Verma is the author of the highly acclaimed 1962: The War That Wasn’t. A graduate of Madras Christian College, he did his schooling at the Doon School. He started his career opening trekking routes between Kashmir and the Zanskar and Ladakh regions. After a brief stint with India Today and the Associated Press he went on to direct and photograph the Project Tiger television series.

His other books include Ocean to Sky – India from the Air (Roli Books), a pictorial on the Military World Games and two books on the Assam Rifles. Another pictorial, The Northeast Palette was a prelude to the highly acclaimed Northeast Trilogy (KaleidoIndia). He is also the author of The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why (Rupa & Co.) and Courage & Conviction, the autobiography of General VK Singh that was published by Aleph in October 2013. His latest book, the first in the South India Trilogy is on Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. He is currently working on 1965: A Western Sunrise also due to be published by Aleph later this year.

He has produced some of the most highly acclaimed films on the Services. In 1992, he shot and produced Salt of the Earth for the IAF. This was followed by a series of Naval and Army films, culminating with the film on the Kargil War. In addition he has also made The Standard Bearers (NDA) and the Making of a Warrior (IMA). The film Aakash Yodha along with the NDA film was premiered on the Discovery Channel. Having clocked hundreds of hours in a variety of aircraft, he is by far the most accomplished aerial cameraman in the country today.

Priyanka Tolia

Satish Sharma

Avinash Joshi

Naveen Chopra

Shri Naveen Chopra is the founder Chairman of ‘The Chopras’, India’s largest and most successful global education companies with over twenty-two offices and over five hundred employees. The company delivers a holistic view of the opportunities available in the education and study abroad domain worldwide. The Chopras are the promoter organization of The University of North West Himalayas and responsible for powering Valley Of Words.

Robin Gupta

Mr. Robin Gupta is the Principal Adviser to the three day Valley of Words International Literature and Arts Festival 2017. Born in Delhi on 1 October ,1948, Robin Gupta decided on a career in the civil service early in his life. After a brief stint with the Indian Police Service, he was accepted into the Indian Administrative Service in 1974. His deputations included challenging assignments throughout the country, and he was posted as commissioner in the field on seven separate occasions, a record in the history of Indian civil service. His final posting before retirement was as financial commissioner, Government of Punjab. For a man coming from a life of dry notes and files, Robin Gupta has an excellent flair for words He has authored several books, including the best seller ‘And What Remains In The End’ and ‘A Bouquet of Thoughts’, besides anchoring literary sessions at prestigious institutions.

Sudha Joshi

Natasha Chopra

Nidhi Moulik

Shalini Dhanda

Mrs Shalini Dhanda handles transport logistics and guest hospitality at Valley of Words.

Sonica Rawat

Mrs Sonica Rawat liaisons with authors at Valley of Words. She has a flair for travelling and has been in the field of education, training young minds to excel. She is a voracious reader and has a friendly persona.

Rashmi Chopra

Abhinav Kumar