Speakers

Dr. Andreas Buerkert, University of Kassel, Germany

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Prof. Andreas Buerkert currently heads the Section of Organic Plant Production and Agro-ecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics at the University of Kassel. His research focuses on carbon and plant nutrient cycling in agro-ecosystems to analyse management effects on system sustainability, the role of organic amendments and mineral fertilisers on plant nutrient availability and product quality, nutrient acquisition by plants in marginal and intensive environments and use of geo-spatial tools for quantification of plant growth in crop-livestock systems. He was also the Vice-Dean of the College of Organic Agriculture at University of Kassel from 2008 to 2011. He vast experience includes teaching and research at Kabul University, Afghanistan, Yezin Agricultural University at Pyianmana, Myanmar, China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing, China and ICRISAT Sahelian Centre, Niger and University of Hohenheim, Germany.

Dr.Andreas Buerkert, Professor, Organic Plant Production & Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and subtropics,Steinstr .19,University of Kassel, D-37213 WITZENHAUSEN (Germany).
Email: buerkert@uni-kassel.de

Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Mumbai

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Dr. Anil Kakodkar is Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy (2000 - 2009). He was also the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. He currently holds the INAE Satish Dhawan Chair of Engineering Eminence at BARC.

Dr. Kakodkar, a mechanical engineer by training obtained his Doctorate in experimental stress analysis. His entire professional career has been devoted to the development of the atomic energy programme in India. Focus of his work has been on self-reliant development of nuclear reactor systems to address the Indian atomic energy programme needs. He was successful in developing various systems for the pressurized heavy water reactor despite international sanctions, built the Dhruva reactor, from the conceptual to operation, solved the technical glitches in the moderator inlet manifolds at Madras Atomic Power Station Units 1&2. He conceptualized and developed the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor that realizes the next generation objectives through innovative configuration of present day technologies besides the use of thorium. Utilisation of the country's vast Thorium resources for energy production received special attention under Kakodkar's leadership. He is credited for creating a roadmap for the third stage of India's nuclear power programme aimed at tapping vast potential of our thorium resources not only as source of electricity generation but also as a primary source for other forms of energy use. Kakodkar continues to be actively involved in programmes related to augmentation of Thorium utilisation in our nuclear power programme.

Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Mumbai.
Chairman, Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council.
Email: kakodkaranil@gmail.com

Dr. Kamaljit S. Bawa, FRS, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA

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Dr. Kamaljit S. Bawa is interested in global change and biodiversity. The overarching theme is to generate knowledge about the impact of land use and land cover change, climate change and human use of natural resources on biodiversity. He is particularly interested in developing new paradigms of conservation that take into account alleviation of poverty and institutions. His research on climate change in the Eastern Himalayas is focused on modeling climate change, impact of climate chnage and biodiversity and agriculture, and development of adaptive strategies that assign a central role to local knowledge. Research on sustainable use of ecosystem services including such provisioning services as non-timber forest products constitute an important element of the overall global change program. Dr. Bawa has recently led an initiative to define research priorities in tropical biology. He has also been a part of DIVERSITAS team that has developed a science plan for agro-biodiversity. At the regional level, Dr. Bawa has led efforts to define research priorities in the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot. He founded the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and co-founded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Environment and Development (CISED), which later merged with ATREE, Dr. Kamal Bawa is particularly interested in institutional building to foster conservation and sustainability science. In the midst of all this work he continues to pursue his first love, studying plant population biology. Dr. Bawa is writing a book, synthesizing his work on the impact of land use and climate change on genetics and reproductive traits of plants.

Kamaljit S. Bawa, University of Massachusetts, Boston and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore.
Email: kamal.bawa@gmail.com

Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Former Chairman, ISRO and Former Member, Planning Commission, Government of India

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Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and a former Member of Planning Commission. Dr. Kasturirangan steered the Indian Space programme gloriously for over 9 years as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, of Space Commission and Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space.

Dr. Kasturirangan is a Physicist by training and a doctorate in experimental highenergy astronomy. As the Director of ISRO Satellite Centre he oversaw projects on development of new generation spacecraft, Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS-1A & 1B) as well as scientific satellites. His contributions virtually span the entire space research programme in the country and include directing projects on experimental earth observation satellites, BHASKARA-I & II; Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1A; successful launching and operationalisation of the India's prestigious launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV); design, development and launching of the world's best civilian satellites, IRS-1C and 1D; realization of the second generation and initiation of third generation INSAT satellites; ocean observation satellites IRS-P3/P4.

A member and fellow of important national and international scientific academies Dr. Kasturirangan was conferred Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India for his contributions in the field of Science and Technology.

K. Kasturirangan, Professor Emeritus, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru and Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Email: k.rangan@gov.in.com

Dr (Ms.) Uma Lele, Independent Researcher and former Senior Advisor, The World Bank, Washington D.C., USA

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Dr (Ms.) Uma Lele an independent Scholar, is a recognized international leader, thinker, and policy analyst with extensive research and operational experience. Her areas of work include food, agriculture, health, environment, global public goods, science and technology, external assistance and partnerships. With a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ms. Lele began her career as Economist at the World Bank and later served as a Research and Operational Manager and Policy Advisor in the World Bank's Development Economics Department, the Africa and East Asia and the Pacific Regions. Advisor in the Operational Policy Staff and as Senior Advisor in the Operations Evaluation Department now called the Independent Evaluation Group (1971 – 2005). Her early work focused on African rural development followed by macroeconomic work on Indonesia (as Senior Economist), followed by work on various facets of aid and development effectiveness. For more about Dr. Uma Lele's work please visit www.umalele.org.

Dr (Ms.) Uma Lele, Independent Researcher and former Senior Advisor, The World Bank, Washington D.C., USA. Email: umalele1@gmail.com

Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad

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Dr David Bergvinson currently holds the position of the Director General of ICRISAT.

David joined ICRISAT on January 5, 2015 to lead its strategy development to ensure solid science, demand-driven innovation and strategic partnerships come together to translate science into prosperity for rural families in the dryland tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining ICRISAT David worked on the Agriculture Development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and lead their Digital Agriculture initiative. As Director General of ICRISAT, David continues to build partnerships that leverage the power of digital technology to accelerate the development and delivery of farmer-preferred products and services to improve the lives of smallholder farmers in a sustainable and equitable manner in the developing world. To this end, ICRISAT is working closely with national partners along the value chain of ICRISAT's mandate crops (sorghum, pearl and finger millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut) to ensure our science improves farmer welfare and nutrition for all consumers. ICRISAT refers to these crops as Smart Food – good for consumers nutritionally, Good for the plant by diversifying farms and improving soils and Good for smallholder farmers by increasing their resilience to climate change and offering diverse market opportunities. David is a Canadian who has worked in international agriculture research for development for over 25 years.

Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad.
Email: d.bergvinson@cgiar.org

Shri Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Govt. of Karnataka, Bengaluru

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Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda is the Minister of State for Agriculture, Government of Karnataka since May 2013. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Christ College, Bengaluru. Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda was a Project Associate at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington before earning his Master of Arts in International Affairs from The American University, Washington D.C., USA. He then worked as an agriculturalist at his family-owned farm in Kolar district between 2000 and 2002. In 2003, he again worked as a Project Associate at Development Alternatives, Inc. USA. He has served three times as an M.L.A. of Karnataka state, twice from Vemegal in Kolar district from 2003 to 2007, and from 2008 to 2013 from the Byatarayanapura Constituency in Bengaluru. Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda was President of the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress between 2007 and 2011 and currently holds the office of General Secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, since 2012. As a farmer himself, he is passionate about farmer's welfare and is the driving force behind many pioneering farmer-friendly programmes launched in Karnataka under his guidance.

Shri Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Govt. of Karnataka, Bengaluru.
Email: office@krishnabyregowda.in, min@krishnabyregowda.in

Dr. Prashant Gupta, Principal Director, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Division, Hyderabad

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Mr. Prashant Gupta is an internet innovator with several innovative contributions to the evolution of 'mobile-cloud' paradigm in past 17 years.

Currently Dr. Gupta is working as Principal Director in Microsoft Cloud Division and has worked on Azure platform strategy since its early days including introduction of Linux in Windows IaaS and acquisition of Revolution R for SQL PaaS. He began his career with Motorola in Chicago and worked on early mobile internet innovations incl. RAZR cell phone with touch-based media controls and voice-based GPS navigation assistant. More recently, he architected Artificial Intelligence constructs in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture for Digital India which has been cited in World Economic Forum, Wall Street Journal & BBC World News. Prashant co-founded Microsoft Accelerator for startups in May 2012 that later became Microsoft Ventures and recently launched MINE - a connected eyes mission to help reduce avoidable blindness across the planet using Technology. Prashant has MS degree from University of Florida, MBA in Marketing from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a recipient of IEEE Larry K. Wilson Award, Lt. Governor Gold Medal at University of Delhi College of Engineering in 1998.

Mr. Prashant Gupta, Principal Director Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Division, Hyderabad.
Email: prgup@microsoft.com

Dr. V. Prakash, Vice-President, IUNS and Former Director, CFTRI, Mysore

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Dr. V. Prakash, Former Director of CFTRI, is a distinguished biochemist and a food scientist. He currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore, India and member of the Adovsory Committee for Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India. A visiting professor of IUFoST at Saigon Technology University, Vietnam, he has published over 250 scientific papers, authored 12 books and holds 55 patents. A member of several professional scientific academies he is well known for his contributions in the field of protein chemistry.

A recipient of S. S. Bhatnagar Award, the country's highest award for scientific achievements, he has also been conferred the Padmashri Award by the Government of India and the Rajyothsava Award by the Government of Karnataka for his contributions in the scientific field.

Dr. V. Prakash, Vice-President, IUNS and Former Director, CFTRI, Mysore.
Email: prakashvish@gmail.com