Governing Council Members

Dr. Ashok Khosla founded and was president of the thirty-year-old Development Alternatives Group and now chairs its, the world’s first social enterprise dedicated to sustainable development. Innovation from the nonprofit DA and incubation and market delivery by the commercial affiliate TARA, create sustainable, scalable consumption and production solutions in rural India. Earlier after faculty positions at Harvard, Dr. Khosla was Director of the Indian Government’s first Environment Office and then Founder/Director of Infoterra in UNEP.

He has been the Co-chair of the UN’s International Resource Panel, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and of the Club of Rome. He was a Member of the Government of Inia’s National Security Advisory Board and Scientific Advisory Council to the Cabinet and was awarded the OBE by the U.K. Government the UN ‘s Sasakawa Environment Prize, UAE’s Zayed International Environment Prize, WWF’s Duke of Edinburgh Medal and the Award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation. He has an MA from Cambridge University, a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from Harvard University and is an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Mr. Tridip Suhrid is a renowned academician, author and translator. An expert in the area of Gandhian Studies, Tridip has been the Director of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (Gandhi Ashram). Currently he holds the coveted position of Provost at the CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

Mr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta is the Ex-Officio Member in his capacity as the Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat, Department of Forest and Environment.

Shri Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee has held several to- level management positions at various organizations. His past and current teaching and training activities and professional consultancy have a focus on development communication, health, education and institution/human resource development, craft regeneration, ecology and conservation. Shri Chatterjee’s professional associations have been as a Member, WSSCC Working Group and Editor for VISION 21 (the 'Water for People' component of the World Water Vision, World Water Council). Coordinator, 'Jal-Disha 2010' (Water and Sanitation Vision and Action Plan for Gujarat State). Chairperson, Advocacy Working Group (Water & Sanitation Collaborative Council, Geneva) etc.

Shri P.R. Menon is a Chemical Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He worked in ICI for twenty years in various capacities in their chemicals, paints, pesticides and fertilizer divisions. Thereafter he joined Nagarjuna Group in Hyderabad and became the Technical Director of Nagarjuna Fertilizers, and Agri Business Sector Chief of the Nagarjuna GROUP. Mr. Menon held the position of Managing Director of Tata Chemicals and retired as the Chairman, Tata Consulting Engineers Mumbai. His areas of interest are Climate Change, and Conservation Education.

Mr. S.K. Mukherjee completed his Masters’ Degree from University of Sagar and thereafter joined the Forest Service. He specialized in wildlife management and was trained abroad in wildlife economics. He served in various capacities in his State cadre and also served in Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Environment and then Ministry of Environment & Forests. He held responsible positions and contributed substantially in policy matters and wildlife law both at the national and international level during his tenure with the Government of India. He represented Wildlife Institute of India in many workshops/seminars and conferences in India and abroad on conservation related matters. Wildlife Institute of India has received the coveted Rajiv Gandhi Conservation award (institutional category) for the year 1999 during his tenure.

Mr. Mukherjee joined the Wildlife Institute of India in 1987 after completion of his assignment with the Government of India and tendered technical resignation from the Indian Forest Service to serve in the Institution on permanent basis. He became the Director of the Wildlife Institute of India in 1997 and till his superannuation in March 2002 he contributed significantly in the growth and development of the Institute. He was also member of several national and institutional bodies in the field of wildlife and nature conservation.

Ms. Shobita Punja holds a Bachelor degree in Art History, a Masters’ Degree in Ancient History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and another Masters’ Degree in Art Education from Sandford University, California. She was awarded her Doctoral Degree from the Centre for Advance Studies in Education, Baroda, for her contribution in the field of Art Education in 1982.Dr. (Ms.) Punja was awarded a fellowship by the British Council to study Museum Education programmes in England in 1986. Thereafter she was sent on a government Cultural Exchange Programme to Cuba to study educational practices.

Dr. (Ms.) Punja has spent most of her professional life (1979-1990) working at the Centre for Cultural Resource Training, an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Human Resources Development. Dr. (Ms.) Punja is author of several books. Currently she is the Chief Executive Officer of National Culture Fund, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Ms. Kalpana Sharma is an Independent journalist, columnist and media consultant. She worked with “The Hindu” retiring in May 2007 after holding the position of Deputy Editor and Chief of the Mumbai Bureau of The Hindu.

Ms. Sharma has been a Senior Assistant Editor with The Times of India, in Mumbai, where her job entailed writing editorials on subjects including politics, environment and development. She also undertook a number of reporting assignments in India and abroad. Ms. Sharma has also co-authored in many publications and carried out many research projects. She has been a recipient of many awards and fellowships like, Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitivity for editorials and columns in The Hindu, Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Journalist, Stanford Professional Journalism Fellowship, and Stanford University, U. S. A. etc. Ms. Sharma is a member of the Board of Panos South Asia, on the Advisory Panel of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research) in Mumbai, which brings together urban scholars, activists and researchers.

Dr. Mahfuza Rahman has been working in the field of Education and she was a professor in the NE Region. An active environmentalist and activist, Dr. (Ms.) Rahman has been closely associated with the NGO movement in the NE region of the country.

Dr. Rahman has authored and edited many books and journal. Her participation at various national and international seminars, conferences and workshops are noteworthy. She has been the committee member of various bodies at state, national and international level. Dr. Rahman has been the recipient of many awards such as Gold Medal for securing 1 st Position at Gauhati University, UGC Junior Research Fellowship and various other awards.

Ms. Indu Capoor is the Founder Director of Centre for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA). After retirement from CHETNA, Ms. Capoor has taken up the responsibility of CHETNA Outreach, which is an effort to expand the work done by CHETNA at a national level. Ms. Capoor has done her M.Sc. Home Science from MS University, Baroda in Food and Nutrition.

Ms. Capoor’s key areas of expertise are: Management and institution building; creating and communicating a vision and assisting in converting ideas into reality, People Management: Building capacity of individuals and organizations, Mentoring and Social Mobilization, Networking and Communication; advocacy, lobbying and Creative resourcing.

Ms. Capoor is recipient of many national and international awards.

Prof. Peter Ronald DeSouza has a D.Phil. from the Sussex University. He has been the Co-Director, Lokniti – a programme on Comparative Democracy of CSDS and Visiting Senior Fellow, CSDS, Delhi, Lecturer, Reader and Professor. He was the Head, Department of Political Science Goa University from 1996 to 2003. Prof. DeSouza is a recipient of many awards. His research interest includes (a) Political Philosophy with special reference to political paradoxes in democratic societies (b) Democratic Theory – with focus on issues such as multiculturalism, minority rights, electoral systems, constitutional debates, etc.

Dr. Bharat Patel has his Masters Degree of Surgery in Orthopedics from the B.J. Medical College of Ahmedabad.

Dr. Patel is on the Board of Governors of institutions like the Ahmedabad Management Association and has been a Member of the National Committee on Healthcare (constituted by the Confederation of Indian Industries) which guides health department for future health policies of India.

Dr. Patel’s acumen in business sense inspired him to start an industry at Kheda district. He started two different industries one in seed processing and another in Bio Gas Production (renewable energy) along with milking parlour. His biogas project is one of the largest biogas production projects of Gujarat and almost 7000 kg of biogas is being produced from the plant per day. This has also provided employment to many villagers. Dr. Patel combines in him and pursues his work in the area of rural development with emphasis on renewable energy. He also runs a very famous Hospital in Ahmedabad.

Director of the Centre for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA) Ms. Pallavi Patel has a Masters’ Degree in Food and Nutrition from the M.S. University, Baroda. CHETNA is a unique support organization to address issues related to women, young people and children’s’ health, nutrition and education concerns. Ms. Patel leads a team, - predominantly women - and advocates for people centered, gender-sensitive nutrition, health and educational policies and programmes at the State, national, regional and international levels.

Mr. Dilip V. Surkar has over two decades of experience primarily in the development/NGO sector, in the field of conservation and sustainable development.

After his Bachelor of engineering (Civil Engineering) from the Visvesvariya Regional College of Engineering, Nagpur, Mr. Surkar did his post-graduate course in Rural Environment Management (1995) from School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, U.K. followed by a Project Leader’s course (in service) Buro Happold, London, U.K. Mr. Surkar also did his post-graduate course in Environment Education during 1990-91.

At present Mr. Surkar is the Executive Director of Vikram. A Sarabhai Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad. He also is the Director of VIKSAT, an institution working in the Natural Resource Management Area. VIKSAT is an activity of the Nehru Foundation for Development.

Mr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai did Tripos in Natural Science from Cambridge University and did his Post Graduate Research at MIT, USA. He has varied experience in both industrial and NGO sector. He is the Chairman of Ambalal Sarabhai Enterprises Ltd and Sarabhai Electronics Ltd.

Mr. Sarabhai is the Founder Director of Centre for Environmental Education, a Centre of Excellence associated with the Ministry of Environment and Forests. He is currently the Managing Trustee of Nehru Foundation for Development, a Public Charitable Trust which runs five institutions in Gujarat. In addition to his contribution to different committees of National and International significance, Mr. Sarabhai serves as a Governing Council Member of a number of leading educational institutions in the country. Mr. Sarabhai is a recipient of many National and International awards and he was recently awarded Padmashri for his contribution to the field of Environmental Education.

Mr. Balappan is an Ex-Officio Member as he is the Secretary of Nehru Foundation for Development. He holds a Degree in Law and Intermediate Company Secretary Course. He has also undergone a three-month residential programme in Management of Voluntary Organizations conducted by the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. He has been associated with the Centre since its inception in the year 1984.