Isha Outreach has appointed an eminent board (constituted on November 8, 2017) to oversee all projects under Rally for Rivers. The board comprises Mr. Ravi Singh, CEO and Secretary General, World Wide Fund for Nature-India; Justice Arijit Pasayat, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India; Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd; Mr. Shashi Shekhar, former Secretary, Water Resources, Government of India; Dr AS Kiran Kumar, former Chairperson, Indian Space Research Organisation; Mr. Pravesh Sharma, former Secretary and MD of Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium, Government of India; Mr. B Muthuraman, former Chairperson, Tata Steel; Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industries.
Dr. Justice Arijit Pasayat
A strong advocate for the conservation of the environment, Justice Pasayat regards safeguarding the environment to be a constitutional mandate. As someone who is sensitive to the relationship between man and nature, his views on commercial activities requiring engagement with nature are that they should be scientific and sustainable.
Justice Pasayat is well-known for being part of the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court that decided upon the constitutional validity of the reservation to “other backward classes” (OBCs) in national level institutions such as the IITs and the IIMs. He began his career in litigation in 1968, when he was enrolled to the bar as an advocate. Having served in the court of law for 23 years and as a judge in the Supreme Court for 8 years, Justice Pasayat retired in 2009 after delivering over 2500 reported judgments, a world record among all Supreme Courts in the world.
Dr. A.S. Kiran Kumar
A.S Kiran Kumar was instrumental in evolving a successful mechanism to steer Mangalyaan – India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft – towards Mars and insert it into orbit. Mr Alur Seelin Kiran Kumar, was one of ISRO’s most accomplished space scientists, with a distinguished career spanning over four decades in the satellite payload and applications domains.
He has made immense contributions to the design and development of Electro-Optical Imaging Sensors for Airborne, Low Earth Orbit and Geostationary Orbit satellites, starting from the Bhaskara TV payload to the Mars Orbiter Mission payloads.
Mr Kiran Kumar was instrumental in evolving a successful mechanism to steer Mangalyaan – India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft – towards Mars and insert it into orbit.
Mr Kiran Kumar is a recipient of many national and international awards including the Padma Shri, conferred by the President of India in 2014, the International Academy of Astronautics’ Laurels for Team Achievement Award for Cartosat in 2008 and for Chandrayaan-1 in 2013, the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) Award for the year 1994, the VASVIK award (Electronic Sciences and Technology) for the year 1998, the Astronautical Society of India Award (Space Sciences and Applications) for the year 2001, the ISRO individual Service Award 2006, the Bhaskara Award of ISRS in 2007 and the ISRO Performance Excellence Award 2008.
He is a Fellow of several esteemed institutions such as the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Institution of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers, and the Indian Meteorological Society. He is also a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Mr Kiran Kumar has represented ISRO in international forums such as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and Indo-US Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.
Balasubramanian Muthuraman was the Vice Chairman of Tata Steel, India’s largest steel manufacturer and Chairman Tata International. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 2012. He was the Chairman of CII in 2011-12 and has been an executive council member of ASPA (Alloy Steel Producers Association) since 1989, and was its Chairman from 1993-95.
Mr. Muthuraman is actively involved in the sphere of education. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Kharagpur. He also serves on the Board of Governors of the Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, and is a council member of the Indian Institute of Metals. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of Xavier School of Management (XLRI), Jamshedpur and the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jamshedpur.
Mr. Muthuraman is a B.Tech (Metallurgy) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He also holds a post graduate diploma in Business Management with specialisation in Marketing & Finance from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He is also an alumnus of the GMP (General Management Program) at CEDEP, the European Center for Executive Development, where Tata Steel has been a Corporate Member since 1991.
Ms.Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneer in India’s biotechnology industry and the founder of Biocon, the country’s leading biotechnology enterprise. She has been awarded two of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, for her contribution to the fields of science and technology.
Named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw is recognized as a thought leader who has built a globally-recognized biopharmaceutical enterprise dedicated to innovation and affordability in delivering best-in-class therapeutics to patients across the globe.
Her commitment to affordable healthcare extends beyond business. The Biocon Foundation reaches out to marginalized communities through primary healthcare centres, telemedicine initiatives, health awareness programs, public health and sanitation initiatives, and preventive screenings for oral and cervical cancer. Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw has also established the 1,400-bed Mazumdar-Shaw Medical Center in Bangalore to deliver affordable world-class cancer care services to patients across socio-economic divides.
A key position holder in various industries, educational, government and professional bodies, Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw, offers her expertise and insight to organisations for their growth and also for societal upliftment.
A visionary and a successful businesswoman, Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw recognises her commitment to nation building and to creating a cohesive and sustainable economic future for the country. Her participation in the Rally for Rivers movement is one manifestation of this commitment.
A former IAS officer with deep experience of the agriculture sector, Pravesh Sharma took voluntary retirement after 34 years of service, to work more closely with the farming community.
Mr. Sharma, during his tenure in the Ministry of Agriculture, initiated a campaign to promote farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and helped register over a thousand FPOs across the country. He is currently supporting an effort to create a National Association of FPOs (NAFPO), to develop a platform that will bring FPO-related issues to the attention of policy makers.
Mr. Sharma is also working with farmers and FPOs to create farm-market linkages, and is the CEO of Sabziwala, a start-up linking fruit and vegetable farmers to urban consumers, thereby creating a robust supply of fresh produce.
In his long association with the farm sector, Mr. Sharma served as Secretary, Agriculture, in the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh; as India Representative of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and as Visiting Fellow at Princeton University.
Mr. Sharma also serves in a part-time capacity as Adviser (Agriculture) to FICCI, and Chief Adviser to the Madhya Bharat Consortium of Farmer Producer Companies. He is a Visiting Senior Fellow at ICRIER, a Delhi-based thinktank, and writes a fortnightly column for the Indian Express. He also lectures frequently on rural economy and agriculture policy at IIM Ahmedabad, IRMA and the National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.
As the head of WWF-India, the country’s largest conservation organization, Ravi Singh has an abiding commitment towards the conservation of nature. His conservation work covers biodiversity at the national scale, with a focus on reducing the human footprint.
Some of the priority areas of his work involve providing strategic direction to the conservation work of WWF-India and to add qualitatively to the WWF’s contribution to conservation. Another important focal point of his work includes engagement with local communities and business corporations to include their involvement and commitment to the cause of conservation.
Mr. Singh has participated in several national fora including the Standing Committee of the Indian Board of Wildlife. He was a member of the Board of Directors of IIFM, and is on the Wildlife Boards of various states in India. He was a member of WWF International’s Executive Committee as well as the Vice-President of the Himalayan Club, and one of the founder members of the Eco-Tourism Society of India.
Mr. Shashi Shekhar has initiated far-reaching reforms in the water sector during his stint in the Ministry of Water Resources. He was responsible for introducing emphasis in official policy on water budgeting, water accounting and efficient use of water by changing the cropping pattern.
One of his most significant contributions was to highlight the need to understand riverine ecosystems before undertaking any water resource development project. He also underlined the importance of rapidly depleting groundwater, which contributes to 64% of the total irrigated area in India. Mr. Shekhar believes in the conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water by bringing them under one umbrella.
Mr. Shekhar joined the Indian Administrative Services in 1981. Some of the portfolios held by him include Managing Director of Mineral Development Corporation, Sugar Department, Collector of Pudukkotai and Nilgiris Districts, and senior positions in the Municipal & Water Dept. and Transport and Urban Infrastructure financing.
Later, he moved to New Delhi to join the Ministry of Power as Joint Secretary. He was instrumental in preparing the Energy Conservation Bill which became an Act in 2002. He was appointed as the first Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
He prepared the 12th Plan draft document of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy wherein he advocated that wind and solar energy should become market oriented.
He later joined the Ministry of Environment & Forest as Additional Secretary and also Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board. During this period, he dealt with subjects like Environment Clearance, River Pollution Abatement, Wetland Development, Coastal Regulatory Zone etc.
He retired in December 2016 as Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt. of India.