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Cohort: 10
Designation: Professor & Director (Incharge)
Organisation: Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), Kozhikode
Region: Kerala
Biosketch: KKulbhushan Balooni is Professor & Director (Incharge) in the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. He teaches environmental management. He undertakes interdisciplinary research on environment, resources, development and policy in South and Southeast Asia. Within this broad area, he has been focusing on: decentralized governance; sustainability of local institutions and conservation; forest-based livelihoods and poverty alleviation; common property; community-based management; and climate change (REDD+). His research has featured in Agricultural Water Management, Conservation Letters, Conservation & Society, Ecology & Society, Economic & Political Weekly, Geoforum, International Journal of the Commons, Landscape & Urban Planning and World Development, among other journals. Kulbhushan is a graduate in forestry and post-graduate in economics from the University of Horticulture & Forestry, Solan. He was a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Doctoral Fellow at the RBI Endowment Unit, Institute of Rural Management Anand and was awarded Ph.D. (Economics) by Sardar Patel University. He undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Tokyo. Kulbhushan has had past work affiliation with the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. He has also been a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore, University of Copenhagen, University of Tokyo and Wageningen University.


Cohort: 2
Designation: Chief Manager (Maintenance)
Organisation: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited [Kochi Refineries Limited], Kochi
Region: Kerala
Biosketch: C.K.Soman has earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University and a Master's of Technology in Engineering Design from Cochin University of Science and Technology, both in India. He also earned a Master's in Business Administration from the School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology. A member of the Institution of Engineers, he is particularly interested in areas of project management. Mr.Soman is presently the Chief Inspection Manager for Kochi Refineries Limited


Cohort: 8
Designation: Assistant Professor, KILA & TISS
Organisation: KILA & TISS, Trivandrum
Region: Kerala
Biosketch: Dr.Abey George has been working in the field of development and environmental conservation for more than16 years. During this period, he has been involved in different capacities with the government, non-governmental organizations, environmental movements, research institutes and so on. He is currently working as Assistant Professor with KILA ( Kerala Institute of Local Administration), Government of Kerala and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India which imparts training to local governments in the state of Kerala and other parts of India and other SAARC countries. At KILA, he coordinates training programmes related to natural resource management, implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), environmental and conservation issues , climate change adaptation issues and use of the Right to Information Act and good governance accountability . He has been awarded the Commonwealth Professional Fellowship in 2008 to work on climate change and local governance. Following his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi, he was actively involved with the Save Narmada Movement (Narmada BachaoAndolan), an involvement which took him to working on issues of Development and Displacement at the Unit for Rural Studies, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Subsequently, he worked as the Coordinator of the Oceanic Circles Research Group at Sewagram Ashram,(established by Mahatma Gandhi), at Wardha in Maharashtra. Subsequently, he has been engaged in research and consultancy work with institutions and forums such as the World Commission on Dams (WCD) with whom he conducted a study to assess the feasibility of micro hydel options for electricity generation in the state of Kerala; the Kerala Forest Research Institute atPeechi in Kerala, where he was part of a project coordinated and funded by the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the work being aimed at evolving a set of criteria and indicators for assessing Sustainable Natural Resource Management which were subsequently field tested; the Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum (CDS) on a project that looked into natural resource use and industrial development in Kerala, with the CDS, he also coordinated a project which aimed to explore pesticide use patterns by small and medium farmers in the tribal tract of Attappady in Kerala. Later he headed the training and human resource development division of the internationally assisted watershed development project aimed at the eco-restoration of an extremely degraded tribal area (Attappady in the state of Kerala). He is also co-ordinating one of the Decentralised Resource Centres (DRCs) of Lead India, that works on the theme of Decentralisation and Natural Resource Management. Dr.Abey George is a graduate in Physics, and a postgraduate in Gandhian Studies. His Ph.D. in Development Studies is from the Centre for Rural Development and Appropriate Technology, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi.


Cohort: 8
Designation: Governing Body Member, Kerala State Institute of Children's Literature
Organisation: Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
Region: Kerala
Biosketch: Ajith Vennyioor is a post-graduate in Sociology and Gandhian Philosophy and a P G diploma holder in Mass Communication. Ajith is a keen student of Gandhian model of development, environmental issues and decentralised governance. He is former Secretary of Kerala Gandhi SmarakNidhi, the State counterpart of Gandhi Memorial National Trust based in Rajghat, New Delhi. He started his career as a journalist and worked with two leading news papers, television channels and headed publication division of Kerala Gandhi SmarakNidhi for about two decades. Ajith bagged three prestigious awards for development journalism in 1990s. He also worked with State Government as public relations officer of the State Literacy Mission for two years. He was in charge of establishing and coordinating continuing education centres as part of post literacy programme throughout the state and preparing reading materials, training modules, propaganda, publicity and training programs. The continuing education centres emphasize sustainable eco-friendly development. He has also promoted organic farming, appropriate technology and eco-friendly development through the preparation of related information and publicity materials and by facilitating training programs. He has participated in several training programmes in India and abroad. He is also a development / environment writer and author of eleven books out of which five are on environmental issues. He worked as consulting editor and extension faculty with Kerala Institute of Local Administration [KILA], Thrissur, a State Government institution dedicated for capacity development of elected representatives and officials of local governments, during 2004-2007. He edited four journals/news letters and 32 books. Ajith is presently Press Secretary to Minister for Finance, Law and Housing, Government of Kerala prior to this he was Public Relations Officer with State Poverty Eradication Mission, KUDUMBASHREE and IEC (Information Education and Communication) Expert of Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project of Department of Local Self Government, Government of Kerala (www.ksudp.org) He is also a faculty member in the areas of Journalism and Public Relations in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan College of Communication and Management, Thiruvananthapuram