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 – VI

Ana

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With keen interest in a multidisciplinary discipline, Ana has led detailed research and field work across sectors that cover implementation status of various government initiatives on issues like the right to food, forest rights, policies for renewable energy and energy efficiency and intervention of information and communication technologies. As a practitioner with a personal interest of converting government initiatives for the benefit of the locals she has volunteered at her native level for bringing about an order for education for skill development and waste management. In her last project her focus was on the rights of street vendors as elucidated by an Act passed in parliament in 2014 and in assessing the interaction between inhabitants of different types of urban localities with their councilors thus the local political influences on urban planning, both in Delhi and Patna.

Text source: http://iihs.co.in/about/people/ana-abbas/

Photo of the Day – V

Swastik Harish

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I made this picture during Urban Policy Dialogues 2016 during the morning tea, right after the first session. He looked at me when I had my camera pointed towards him, this picture was the outcome of how,  he actually looked at me and the camera.

Swastik is a part of the design and implementation team for the IIHS Urban Practitioners’ Programme, the executive and continuing education function at IIHS. His main area of work is around housing for the urban poor, with a special focus on rental housing mechanisms. Besides these, he is also involved in capacity building programmes around heritage planning and management, data visualization and green building technologies and concepts. Swastik has earlier been involved in the planning, research and execution the development of various IIHS campuses, and has also assisted in the financial modelling for IIHS long term financial projections. He has also contributed significantly to the IT-based Pedagogic and Project Technology Systems.

In his 12 years of work experience, Swastik has founded a start-up architectural consultancy, worked as an independent architectural consultant and installation artist, and been faculty at many architectural design studios.

Besides his experience in his core areas of architecture and design as well as teaching and pedagogical design, Swastik has technical expertise in physical and virtual modelling (prototyping), and advanced proprietary and open source software.

Text source: http://iihs.co.in/about/people/swastik-harish/

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