Recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri Award in the year 2004, Gowri Ishwaran is an innovative educationist with over 30 years of experience in the field. She has brought a paradigm shift on how education needs to be imparted to young students, owing to her clear understanding of the needs of growing children.
She was the founding Principal of Sanskriti School, New Delhi, which is counted among the leading schools of India, achieving the distinction within a short span of 10 years. She has also been instrumental in developing, organising and conducting training programmes and seminars for students and teachers, and actively disseminating her experiences and learnings.
Prof. A. K. Sharma
Former Director, National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), Prof. A. K. Sharma's initial career was with the Punjab University, Chandigarh as Lecturer and Reader in Department of Chemistry. During his tenure with the University, he had the onus of executing some major curriculum development projects.He has several publications on various aspect of chemistry to his credit.
In the field of education, Prof. Sharma has contributed extensively in various aspects of Science Education, Teacher Education and Distance Education and has served as an Educational Consultant to several national and international organizations – UNESCO, International Association of Education Evaluation (IAEE), Paris, World Bank, Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Educational Consultants India Ltd. (Ed.CIL). He was instrumental in planning and organizing teacher development programmes employing distance education modality, in association with the DIETs.
He is the Chairman; Curriculum Committees for the development of Teaching–Learning Materials for the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Recently, he associated himself with a significant publication entitled "Vocational Education and Training – Initiative through Open and distance Learning", an approach which has caught the attention of the Planning Commission. Prof. Sharma was a member of the Task Force on the formulation of the National Policy on Education, 1986 (NPE) and its Programme of Action. He was also a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE).
Padmashri Geeta Chandran is a celebrated Bharatnatyam exponent, who has synthesized the traditional knowledge of the art–form with her personal vision of dance. With a deep understanding of forms of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic Music, she presents her art through television, videos and films, theatre, choreography, dance education, dance activism and dance issue journalism.
Constantly striving to create new spaces for the classical arts and reaching out to new and young audience, the Artistic Director of Natya– Vriksha and the Professor Adjunct, Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, she believes that dance should make a difference to life and living. She skilfully weaves abstract notions of joy, beauty, values, aspirations, myth and spirituality, through her presentations and choreographies.
Jonathan Anthony Mason
Jonathan Anthony Mason is a renowned Indian educationist who has also served as the Headmaster of several major public schools, including St. James' School, Kolkata, the Modern High School in Dubai, and the Doon School, Dehradun.
He was educated at La Martiniere, Calcutta, where he won the Good Conduct Medal, and Jadavpur University, where he graduated with Master of Arts in English. He was also a member of the Standing Committee on Examinations of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.
John Mason has also written several English textbooks for Indian schools, including “New! Learning To Communicate: An innovative multi-skill course in English” (with co-authors Paul Gunashekar and S K Ram)
Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath
Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath is former Principal of Lady Shri Ram College rated among the best institutions of higher learning in India. After graduating with Honours in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, she took her Masters degree from the University of Massachusetts, USA and her doctorate from the University of Delhi. In addition to her work on higher education, her research interests and publications focus on issues of security, peacebuilding, gender, Gandhian philosophy, Marxist politics, Buddhism and the performing arts.
Dr. Gopinath is also the Founder and Honorary Director of WISCOMP (Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace) an initiative begun in 1999 to promote the leadership of South Asian women in the areas of international politics, peace, security and diplomacy.
Dr. Gopinath was the first woman to serve on the National Security Advisory Board of India which she did from 2004 to 2006 where she sought to mainstream gender and human security concerns. She serves on the Governing Boards of research institutes, think tanks, NGOs and educational institutions.