Plenary Session VIII

9 January : 1145-1230 hrs

"Leveraging Diaspora Expertise for Knowledge and Innovation Ecosystem."

Session Brief

Session Coordinator : Shri Nagaraj Naidu, Joint Secretary (ED), Ministry of External Affairs

Speakers at PBD :

  • Prof. D Sakthi Kumar, Co-Director (International Affairs) Toyo University, Japan
  • Dr Nawal Kant Prinja, Technical Director, Clean Energy AMEC Foster Wheeler, UK
  • Dr. Prasad Kaipa, CEO, Kaipa Group, USA
  • Mr Arcot Desai, Professor, Information Systems at the Singapore Management University and the Founder of Simha Innovations Pvt. Ltd., Singapore
  • Mr Girish Chandran, Chairman and Owner of Kensho Knowledge Solutions W.L.L & Global Institute of Management Sciences, Bahrain
  • Mr Heramb Kulkarni, Senior Director and Co-Founder of Council for Creative Education, Finland
  • Mr Venkatesh Shukla, ex-Chairman of TiE Global and President of TiE Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley
  • Professor Datuk Dr. Rajendran Nagappan, Director, Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community, Malaysia
  • Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, DG, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India
  • Mr. Seshadri Chari Member, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India
  • Prof. Ashish Nanda, Director, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmadabad, India
  • Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director , Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) , India
  • Mr. Arun Kapur, Director, Vasant Valley School, India


  • Prof. D. Sakthi Kumar, is the Deputy Director for Bio Nano Electronics Research Centre (BNERC) and is a Professor in Graduate School of Interdisciplinary New Science, Toyo University, Japan.  He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. in 1989, 1991, 1998 respectively from Mahatma Gandhi University of Kerala, India. After receiving his Ph.D, he worked as research associate at the Thin Film Laboratory, Dept. of Physics, IIT Delhi, India. He joined Bio Nano Electronics Research Centre after winning prestigious JSPS post doctoral fellowship provided by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in 2001. He serves as the Chairman of Indian JSPS Alumni Association (IJAA) since 2006. Under his leadership IJAA started “Friends of Japan Clubs in research institutions and universities to broaden the India-Japan relationship in grass root level in 2015 January.
  • Mr. Arcot Desai, is a Visiting Professor of Information Systems at the Singapore Management University and the Founder of Simha Innovations Pvt. Ltd. He has over 40 years experience in Innovation development, management and commercialization and has created several proprietary innovation methods. He has mentored close to 200 start-ups in the last twenty years and is an elected fellow of Singapore Computer Society and the International Society for Professional Innovation Management. He has given inputs on how to make Science and Technology more attractive and how to nurture the students to create start-ups during their academic journey.
  • Mr. Prasad Kaipa, is an advisor & coach to CEOs and board member of several organizations such as Karma Circles, Yoga Bharati, Samskrita Bharati, Intellect Design Arena (USA) in USA. He works through Kaipa Group located in California and is the co-author of an international best seller 'From Smart to Wise' (John Wiley 2013) and 'You Can'. He is a specialist in innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and transformation areas and integrates Vedantic wisdom with brain research and western management approaches in his work. His focus area on the panel would be knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Mr. Heramb Kulkarni, is the Senior Director and co-founder of Council for Creative Education, Finland an International, researched based organization from Finland which focuses on creative pedagogy and innovations in teaching & learning. He consults many governments and large organizations across 3 continents, Europe, Asia and Africa within key countries like Denmark, USA, Bahrain and Indian states like Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. His research areas are educational technology and creativity, global education reforms and collaborative innovations. As an educator, social entrepreneur and technology wizard, he is on the advisory board of many educational institutes and innovative start-ups across Europe and India. He has held leadership positions across large MNCs like Nokia, Lucent Technologies, Skyworks and Accenture with vast experience in technology, architecture and software development domain. He is a passionate traveler and has also been nominated as an India Expert by Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India being a founder of Intiamatkat Travel Solutions a leading company from Europe.
  • Mr. Venkatesh Shukla, ex-Chairman of TiE Global and President of TiE Silicon Valley and presided over one of the most powerful networks focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and beyond. He has hosted Prime Minister during his visit to Silicon Valley for Digital India Dinner as well as for Indo-US Start Up Konnect that showcased most innovative start ups from India. He also worked closely with the government to help craft Start Up India program. He is currently General Partner of an early stage venture fund called Monta Vista Capital that invests in companies with strong technology intellectual property with potential to transform an industry. He is currently a trustee of the Foundation for Excellence India Trust ( He was the founding President for the first 18 years of this organization that has provided scholarship to over 16,000 talented but needy students and enabled them to become engineers and doctors in India.
  • Professor Datuk Dr. Rajendran Nagappan is a Professor of Pedagogy and Thinking Skills at the Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia. Since May 2012 he has been serving as the Director of the Unit for the Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community and as the Coordinator of the Action Plan for Future of Tamil Schools under the Prime Minister's Department. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Masters in Education degrees from the University of Malaya.  He received his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy from the College of Education, Michigan State University, USA in 1998. In July 2016, he was invited to participate in the panel discussion on ‘Diaspora: Transferring Knowledge and Encouraging Innovation (Science, Technology, Education, Start-Up India) organized by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Mr. Girish Chandran, is the Chairman and Owner of Kensho Knowledge Solutions W.L.L & Global Institute of Management Sciences, Kingdom of Bahrain.  The inception and journey of Kensho group began with the establishment of Global Institute. Dr. Girish Chandran is also the chairman of the Global institute of Management Sciences, which is one of the oldest, largest & reputed institute in GCC. He has participated in various workshops and seminars across the GCC, and countries such  as   Russia,  Thailand,   India   and   several others.  Chandran  is   relentless  in trying   to  accomplish  his mission by introducing various innovations in the education learning process. Dr. Girish has his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University of Calicut; Master's degree in Bio- Information & Political Science and a Phd from Cosmopolitian University (Education Management).
  • Professor Nawal Prinja, has 35 years of academic and industrial experience in the civil and defense nuclear sector.  He is the Technical Director of Clean Energy, AMEC Foster Wheeler and holds the position of Honorary Professor at two British universities (University of Aberdeen and Brunel University in London). He chairs the Industrial Advisory Committee of the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC). He has published 3 books and 45 technical publications. Currently, he is chairing the International Task Force on Harmonisation of Codes set by the World Nuclear Association's CORDEL project and has worked with IAEA as a technical expert and also chaired expert consultancy meetings. He is a member of the Technical Assessment Panel of Fusion for Energy (F4E) working on the ITER project. He was appointed as an advisor to the UK Government to help formulate their long term R&D strategy for nuclear industry and also advises the Ministry of Defense on Nuclear Propulsion Research & Technology programme.
  • Prof. Ashish Nanda, is the Director of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Professor Nanda teaches in PGP, PGPX, and Executive Education programs at the institute.  Before joining IIMA, he was Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School for seven years. Before that, he was a Harvard Business School faculty member for 13 years. He is Distinguished Executive Education Fellow at Harvard Law School and Executive Education Fellow at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on professional services and has his PhD in Business Economics (Harvard), AM in Economics (Harvard), PGDM in Management (IIM Ahmedabad), and B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering (IIT Delhi). He has received IIT Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award, Henry B. Arthur Fellowship, Harvard University Center in Ethics and the Professions Fellowship, President of India Gold Medal (twice), and IIMA Director's Gold Medal.
  • Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, is a Director, IIT Delhi. He has over 400 refereed publications in the area of Nano electronics in the world's leading journals and conferences and is an inventor on 33 patents (including 13 issued US patents) and patent applications, with many of his patents licensed to industries for commercialization. He is a co-founder of the company Nano Sniff Technologies Pvt. Ltd. at IIT Bombay which is developing products in the area of Nanotechnology. He is a Fellow of IEEE, INAE, INSA and NASc and has received numerous awards and honors for his work including the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize and the Infosys Prize. 
  • Mr. Seshadri Chari, is the Former Consultant (2006-2009) UNDP, Southern Sudan, Project: Facilitation of participation of women in post-conflict democratic set up and capacity building of political parties in Southern Sudan. Presently he is Member, RIS Governing Council and Joint Director, (International Affairs) Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). He is also Secretary General, Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS). Presently working on land and maritime security challenges. Some of his  publications are A New Era in Indian Polity,'Jananayak' a Pictorial Biography of the then Prime Minister Mr. A B Vajpayee, "Nepal Emerging Republic"2008, Economic Federalism—Issues before Smaller States, Need to revisit India's Nuclear Doctrine, Anagharika Dharmapala Dhamma Dharma Confluence.