Nandan Nilekani

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Aromar Revi introducing Nandan Nilekani to Urban India Fellows in the classroom before the Masterclass with him.

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Nandan Nilekani in conversation with Urban India Fellows during his Masterclass. 

Nandan Nilekani is former Chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which aims to provide a unique identification number for all residents of India. In this capacity, he held the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister of the Government of India. Nandan received his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1978. He was till 2009, the co-chairperson of the board of directors of Infosys which he co-founded in 1981. He was awarded one of India’s highest civilian honours, the “Padma Bhushan” in 2006, named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world and in 2006, named ‘Businessman of the Year’ by Forbes Asia. In 2005 he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences and politics. He was a member of India’s National Knowledge Commission and Chairperson of NCAER.

 

Text source: IIHS website

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Photo of the Day – VII

Vineet Kashyap

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Vineet is from Dhanbad, Jharkhand. Despite his family’s hostility to the social sciences and humanities, he went on to complete his BA from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Tuljapur. While studying at TISS he had the opportunity to engage with varied disciplines like economics, political science, and research methods, through which he developed a keen interest on urbanization. His research and internship experiences were crucial in shaping his understanding of subject areas. His dissertation on “Urbanization of Jharia” under the supervision of Prof. Abdul Shaban helped him to understand the relationship between urbanization and the presence of natural resources like coal. This research also gave him an understanding of how a parallel economy functions in a region, and how illegal activities fuel local employment, giving him the much-needed skill to connect theoretical ideas to practical, real-life issues.

Text source: http://urbanfellows.iihs.co.in/profile-fellows-2016-17/

 

Photo of the Day – IV

Somnath Sen

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Somnath has more than 23 years of international consulting experience in strategic management, institutional reform and governance, decentralization and urban management.
Somnath has managed and led a number of institutional development and strategic advice tasks for governments in South Asia, Africa and China as well as for private sector, bilateral and multi-lateral institutions, and INGOs. His recent assignments include assistance to the formulation of India’s National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP), Sanitation Rating of Class I Indian Cities (2010); air and water pollution study for India Vision 2030 (World Bank/MoEF); impact assessment of World Bank’s rural water investments in India; strategy for primary waste collection in Monrovia; multi-sector monitoring and evaluation for a national public sector capacity building programme in Ethiopia; Economics of Sanitation in South Asia; Service Delivery Assessments for Water Sector; design of Bangladesh’s Urban Governance programme investments; Public Toilets for cities in developing countries, etc. His clients include multilateral (WB, ADB, UNICEF); bilateral (DFID, GIZ, AusAID, SIDA), INGOs apart from national and local governments. He has extensive field experience in more than 300 districts of 25 Indian states, various cities in India, and provinces/cities in Ethiopia, Liberia, China, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

Text source: http://iihs.co.in/about/people/somnath-sen/

Photo of Day – III

Ooha Uppalapati

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As a student of architecture for five years and a professional for two, Ooha has been biased towards the definition of spaces as inhabited and interacting entities, as opposed to purely independent built forms. The collectives of small identities representing a larger common identity, Indian cities have been central to her experiments and learning in this direction. Her limitations as an architect in understanding cities led to an interest in subjects like history, sociology, economics and philosophy. Added to this is the experience of living in three different cities in different phases of her life: Vijayawada on the banks of river Krishna, Bhopal and its beautiful lakes and Ahmedabad, have each been a rich and unique experience. They showed her how habits and rituals define and distinguish an environment as much as and sometimes even more than the physical entities do. She now intends to document and analyse cities as carriers of people, their daily lives and traditions along with the buildings, roads and bridges they occupy. Some distance into this assignment she also aspires to be equipped enough to be able to introduce such elements into these complex systems that can contribute to the design of a cultural progression.

Text source: http://urbanfellows.iihs.co.in/profile-fellows-2016-17/

Secret Santa

img_0289Secret Santa! Yes, you read it right! Yes, the same famous game everyone plays at this time of the year!

Today, we played Secret Santa at IIHS. What a lovely day it was! The game was internally played and engaged almost everyone! They say, its one of the events at IIHS where there were so many emotions on display at the same time.

There was a lovely book tree on the terrace garden area with gifts hidden all over the garden and it was so much fun to run around and find yours 🙂 Few were surprised, few were touched, few were trying to guess who their Santa was!

The game had an objective of bringing people from different departments together, where they get to know people differently and get thoughtful gifts for them. Though there was no compulsion regarding gifts, people thought and made efforts to get lovely gifts 🙂 Some of them really went out of their way and surprised their Santa child.

This festive mood was at its peak today when people were delighted to find their gifts. Amidst the chaos and cheerfulness, there were few things that floated in the air; love, care, affection, kindness, friendship and more. It brought everyone together and closer!
If you haven’t played it yet, what are you waiting for?

Text by – Simran Gupta

Photo of the Day – II

Chandrashekhar B. Bhave

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Chandrashekhar B. Bhave is the Chairperson of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) – India’s first prospective National University for Research and Innovation to address challenges of urbanisation through an integrated programme of education, research, consulting and advisory services.

Chandrashekhar was the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s capital markets regulator from 2008 to 2011. He was also the chairperson of the Asia-Pacific regional committee and a member of the Technical and the Executive Committees of the IOSCO, over this period.

Chandrashekhar started his career in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1975. He was the Collector in Nanded and worked in the Finance and Industries departments of the Government of Maharashtra and the Petroleum Ministry of the Government of India. He then worked in SEBI as a Senior Executive Director from 1992–1996, helping create the regulatory infrastructure for Indian capital markets.

Chandrashekhar then quit the IAS to set up the National Securities Depository (NSDL) in 1996 and was its Chairman and Managing Director from 1996 to 2008. NSDL was the first depository in India and became operational in 1996 – the settlements in Indian stock exchanges are in paperless form today. The NSDL was entrusted with setting up the Government of India’s Tax Information System and the Central Record Keeping System for the new Pension scheme.

Text source: http://iihs.co.in/about/board-founding-members/chandrasekhar-b-bhave/

Photo of the Day – I

Sonal Sharma

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Sonal is from in Delhi, and her higher education has been multidisciplinary in nature. During her Master’s in Development Studies, her internship and dissertation were based in Jharkhand, where she studied the mining induced displacement of adivasis. In addition to urban displacement and resettlement, she has also found herself intrigued by surrogacy from a feminist advocacy standpoint. She is fascinated by the sheer diversity that exists within cities.
Text source: http://urbanfellows.iihs.co.in/profile-fellows-2016-17/