Plenary Session I

 7 January : 1045-1130 hrs

'Nurturing India's Young Ambassadors: Reaching out to Indian Students Abroad and NRI & OCI Students in India.'

Session Brief

Session Coordinator : Ms Vani Rao, Joint Secretary (OIA-II), Ministry of External Affairs

Speakers at PBD:

  • Dr. Prayag Murawala, Researcher at the Centre for Regenerative Therapies, Technische University, Dresden, Germany
  • Mr. A.K. Shrivastava, Principal, Birla Public School, Qatar
  • Mr. S.V. Chandrasekar, Director of EduIndia, Malaysia
  • Ms. Pushpa Wood, Director of Westpac and Massey University Fin. Edu and research Centre, New Zealand
  • Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Indian International School & Global Indian Foundation, Singapore
  • Prof. Sampath Ramesh, Adjunct Professor, Kellogg School of management, Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois, USA
  • Ms. Sanam Arora, President of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union,UK
  • Mr. Radhakrishnan Nair, Principal of Sharjah Indian School, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • Mr. Sunil Pala, Sr. Consultant, Capital Markets Division, Accenture, UK
  • Mr. Jignesh Borsia, National Youth Activities Coordinator for Hindu Swayam Sevak, USA
  • Ms. Ravneet Pawha, Executive Director- South Asia, Deakin University, India
  • Mr. Aniket Kale, Secretary General, World Organization of Students and Youth, India.
  • Mr. Pusala Mohana Chary, Instrumentation Engineer, India.
  • Mr. Darshan Soni,  Entrepreneur, USA.
  • Mr Anindya Bhowmik, Engineer, Australia.


  • Mr. S.V. Chandrasekar, is the founding director of Eduindia Sdn Bhd in Malaysia, where he has devoted 100 percent of his time in counseling students for the last sixteen years and has extensive experience in handling the diverse needs of international students.  His recent activities include promotion of Indian education in South East Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar through interactions with Indian Diaspora and colleges in this region. In 2009 during the visit of Minister of Human Resources Development, Edu India actively organized the India Education Fair to show case more than 40 Indian Universities. He has been actively lobbying for the mutual recognition of degrees between India and Malaysia since 2009.  Eduindia has been instrumental in getting over 30 medical and dental colleges in India recognized by the Malaysian Medical and Dental councils since 2003.  He has his Bachelor’s in Commerce and MBA in International Business & heads the Education wing of the Global Organization of Persons of Indian origin, Malaysia chapter.
  • Mr. Atul Temurnikar, is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Singapore-based Global Schools Foundation established in 2002. He is a prominent member of the K-12 education industry in South East Asia, Middle East and India. An engineer by qualification from Viswesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT)Nagpur, India, he completed his Masters in Management from the University of East London. He ventured into the education sector after a 14-year stint in leading IT firms like HCL Technologies Ltd and IBM from 1997 to 2002.
  • Dr. Prayag Murawala, is a scientist and works in the field of regenerative biology at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Germany. Previously, he has worked at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden; National Center for Cell Science, Pune; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. He is the founder of “Indian Association Dresden that strives to integrate Indians in Dresden and closely cooperates with “Indian Students in Germany, which is endorsed by the Embassy of India, Berlin. The IAD and ISG together support the Indian students in Germany and aim to strengthen Indo-German ties. 
  • Prof. Sampath Ramesh, is an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois, USA.  He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois where he is involved in realigning the curriculum for current global needs.  He is also the President of RCI Academy, Sidney Ohio.  Sampath is involved in many business ventures both in India and the US and serves on the Board of many companies.  Over several years, he has been a mentor to several students coming from India. He has been a guest speaker at various forums all over the world. He has been associated on the panel “Problems faced by NRI students in India and Indian students abroad and will be speaking on the subject at PBD.
  • Ms. Sanam Arora , is the President of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK.  She is a Management Consultant specializing in Investment Management and prior to her current role she worked at Standard Life Investments, a top global investment management house where she was responsible for management of the firm’s India related initiatives. Further she is the Co-Chair of the Youth Council at GOPIO UK and Head of Youth Affairs at the UK Asian Business Council. She is extremely interested in furthering India’s engagement with the world, particularly through its youth, in the fields of Higher Education, Foreign Institutional & Direct Investment and Tourism. At the same time she is developing a network of young Indian Diaspora leaders to create a unique ecosystem that can foster entrepreneurship, leadership and patriotism. She often indulges in journalism, with the aim of connecting Indian origin Diaspora youth with inspirational personalities from the Indian sub-continent.
  • Mr. A K Shrivastava, did his graduation from Delhi University and Masters in Physics from BITS Pilani Rajasthan in 1972. Later he studied BEd from Jamia Millia Islamia and started his career as a Science TGT from Jindal Public School, New Delhi. Shifted to Cambridge School, New Delhi and taught there for 13 long years as PGT Physics. Then he moved to Sultanate of Oman in 1995 to work as Vice Principal in Indian School Al Ghubra and served there as Vice Principal for 9 years before accepting the Principalship of Birla Public School in 2004. In 2007, the Government of India awarded him the National Award for Teachers. In 2012, he became the Secretary of Council of CBSE affiliated schools in the Gulf which numbered 120 at that time. In 2013, he became the Chairman of Council of CBSE affiliated schools in the Gulf.
  • Mr. Radhakrishnan Nair, is the Principal of Sharjah Indian School, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Being a language teacher, he focuses more on developing communication skills, personality development,  socio-cultural activities, organizing literary and cultural activities, promoting Indian culture amongst students and promoting social and cultural relations between India and the host country. His focus areas are hardships of expatriate Indian students and their parents – focusing more on the middle income group of parents who struggle to provide quality education to their children.
  • Ms. Pushpa Wood, is the Director of Westpac and Massey University’s Financial Education and Research Centre. Ms. Pushpa is regarded one of the key academics involved in developing resources for financial literacy and building capability of financial literacy educators. She has been working with international students for over 20 years at various tertiary institutions. Her research interests include financial literacy, women empowerment and international students, domestic violence and Indian religions and languages. Dr. Pushpa also specializes in Hindi language and acts as an expert witness for the crown. She is regarded as a pioneer in starting interfaith movement in NZ and Hindi language teaching to adults and acts as an assessor for interpreters in Hindi and Punjabi languages.
  • Mr. Sunil Pala, has been involved in youth activities in the UK for the past 15 years mainly through the National Hindu Students Forum (UK). His roles include Events Coordinator, Finance & Marketing; National Treasurer, Roots Coordinator (an experiential Internship programme bringing youth to India); Project Planning Facilitator and Advisory Board member. He graduated from Imperial College London with BSc Physics and MSc Optics & Photonics and currently works as a Senior Consultant in the Capital Markets division at Accenture. At PBD 2017 Sunil’s focus will be on providing a home away from home to Indian students studying abroad as a way of mitigating everyday issues.
  • Mr. Jignesh Borisa, is a National Youth Activities Coordinator for Hindu Swayam Sevak,USA, He was born in Gujarat and migrated to the United States to pursue his Masters in Computer Science from San Jose State University. While pursuing his Masters, he was actively involved in student organization such as Hindu Yuva. He has been involved in Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA since last 10 years focusing on HSS activities on University Campuses. He was resourceful to help 1000+ new students coming from India through Suswagatam (Welcome) program. Currently, he is National Youth Activities coordinator for HSS.
  • Mr. Aniket Divakar Kale, is the Secretary General, World Organization of Students & Youth, India.  In 2006, he got associated with World Organization of Students and Youth (WOSY) and since 2011 he is serving as International secretary General of WOSY. WOSY works for welfare of International students and youth studying in different parts of India. WOSY also provide platform to International youth for sharing their ideas and view on issues of world concern through various conferences and seminars. WOSY has its Alumni base in more than 60 countries. He is a regular columnist on International issues in various leading news papers and magazines. He was also a member of Indian youth delegation for BRICS Youth summit at Kazan (Russia) and Guwahati (India). He was also member of Indian Youth leader delegation to China, Indonesia and Singapore. Presently, he is also a visiting faculty to Leading Institutes like MIT- School of Government, MS University of Public policy and Political Leadership in India.
  • Mr. Ravneet Pahwa, Associate Vice President (Global Engagement) & Executive Director (South Asia), Deakin University Australia, has obtained a Master’s in Education & Training and in Business Administration. She is a gold medalist at her postgraduate studies. Currently, she manages the office of Deakin University, Australia including Deakin College through an office in New Delhi which was established 22 years ago. This was the first ever international ‘University office’ in India looking at holistic engagement across academia, industry and research. Prior to her current appointment she worked as Chief Executive Officer (South Asia and Middle East) for Education and Training Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s largest training organization. She held senior management positions with IDP Education Australia, British Council and Franchise Asia, a US based company. She has been instrumental in establishing over 20 industry – academic collaborations including the $8 million world class TERI-Deakin Nano-Bio research facility in India.
  • Mr. Darshan Soni, Entrepreneur (Country – USA) He was actively involved in Student organizations such as Indian Student Association and Hindu Students Council.  He was instrumental in starting the Hindu Student Council Chapter ( at Purdue University and was its President until graduation from Purdue in 2003.  He was involved in Hindu Students Council (HSC) at the national level as its Vice President of Chapter and Regional activities.  Along with HSC, he has been involved in Hindu SwayamsevakSangh USA (HSS since last 14 years - primarily focusing on HSS USA activities on University Campuses. From 2007 through 2010 and 2013 through 2016, he was in charge of University Students activities of HSS at the national level coordinating various regional and national events along with providing directions to University based organization Hindu YUVA ( He has had a successful career spanning across Automotive and Aerospace Industries.  He left his professional career in July 2016 to focus his energies on his Real Estate investments and helping others invest in Real Estate in the US.  Currently, he lives with his wife Aparna in Indianapolis, IN.  
  • Mr. Anindya Bhowmik, Engineer and Interviewing Officer in McNair Ingenuity Research (Country – Australia). His professional areas of expertise is Mechanical Engineering – Air conditioning and HVAC,CATI Interviewing Officer conducting surveys. He focuses on problems faced by international students in Australia and provide solutions to minimize those problems. Also building better relations with Australia and India and organizing forums to achieve it.