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Cohort: 5
Designation: Senior Scientist, Chemical Laboratory
Organisation: Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Jonnalagadda Raghava RAO has been a scientist at the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Madras, since 1993. His research has generally pertained to the study of chrome management in tanneries. He has made several contributions to the identification of low affinity of the tetrameric species to the poor thermodynamic affinity and high kinetic liability. Recent areas of research include chrome recovery and reuse, use of electrodialysis for chrome separation, and minimum waste closed-loop chrome tanning systems. He has contributed to an innovative high-exhaust chrome tanning salt that has no commercial equivalents. This technology is being developed for a leading chromium-based industry, and is in the final stages of technology transfer. His recent work concerns cleaner- and zero waste-tanning technologies. He has written more than 15 journal papers and 20 technical reports and general articles. He is the first author of the leather industry's publication: 'A Workers Manual on Chrome Management'. He is a leader of several projects under the Leather Technology Mission of the government of India, and an honorary lecturer of department of leather technology at AnnaUniversity. He is a recipient of many awards and prizes the Indian Leather Technologies Association, Anna University, Sulabh International, and Hari Om Ashram PreritShri S SBhatnagar Research Award. J.R. Rao has a bachelor's degree in technology from Anna University, Madras (1984), and a master's degree in leather technology from the Central Leather Research Institute (1987), where he was a fellow of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research carrying out doctoral and postdoctoral research in leather technology from 1987 to 1993.


Cohort: 11
Designation: Commissioner, Chennai Corporation
Organisation: Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Dr.Chandra Mohan Bodhapati is a civil servant from the Indian Administrative Service presently working for the Government of Tamil Nadu. He has held various positions in civil service and is currently Working as the Commissioner, Chennai Corporation at Chennai. He is also the Managing Director for the Tamil nadu horticulture development agency. His work involves working with farmers for improving their livelihoods by leveraging technology for improving production and productivity of farms A medical doctor by education, he holds a master's degree in management and has completed his PG in Environmental management and sustainable development. As Collector, Madurai he was responsible for mainstreaming environmental concerns into the development agenda. He was responsible for conceptualising and bringing out a Water resources atlas for Madurai which systematically documented the traditional water harvesting structures in the district. The food for work program was leveraged to rejuvenate traditional water harvesting structures ensuring that atleast one such structure was taken up in each panchayat. A new water harvesting structure built at Pallapatti in MelurTaluk, in response to the 50 years unmet demand of local farmers now provides assured irrigation to 10 downstream tanks covering an area 1100 acres. This initiative was entirely demand driven and was taken up and completed entirely with local initiative. Local people have contributed in various ways by providing land, contributing material or even labor. By harnessing ICT for empowering people and better delivery of services, Land records were fully computerised and made online for the whole district. ICT was also used to ensure timely and regular payment of pensions to more than 65000 NSAP pensioners in the district. Grievance redressal monitoring was computerised to enable responsiveness in administration. He has also worked as Additional Collector and Project Officer At the District Rural Development Agency, Kancheepuram. He was responsible for leading the poverty reduction effort in the district. He has worked towards enabling rural poor to participate in the decision making process in an equitable and transparent manner. Prior to joining the DRDA, Chandra Mohan was Deputy Commissioner in charge of Health and Solid Waste Management in the Corporation of Chennai, the local government responsible for the civic affairs of the metropolitan city of Chennai. He led the multipartner, multipronged HIV/AIDS control effort for the city of Chennai as Project Director of the AIDS control Society. He was also Vice-Chairman of the Tuberculosis Control Society. His area of work and experience in the past few years have lead him to focus on health and environmental issues, trying to understand the complex interlink ages between them and to take up interventions for reduction of morbidity and mortality in the community. He is particularly interested in the interplay of poverty, environment and health and their resultant effect on the Quality of life of people.


Cohort: 4
Designation: Principal Research Scientiist
Organisation: Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Dr Sujatha Byravan is Principal Research Scientist, Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, Chennai. Before joining this position she was Senior Fellow at Centre for Development Finance, IFMR, Chennai and the focus of her work here is on climate adaptation. Her interests are in the broad areas of science, technology and development and are grounded in her technical background and education in the biological sciences. Her recent projects and publications have been on sea level rise, climate migrants and exiles, biotechnology policy, innovation, and science for sustainable development. She was, until recently, President of the Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG), Cambridge, Massachusetts, a non-profit/non-governmental organization devoted to fostering informed debate on the social, ethical and environmental implications of new genetic technologies. CRG carries out policy research, education and advocacy. Previously, she was Director of the Fellows Program at LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International from 1999-2002, and in that capacity was responsible for developing and executing the program for the graduates of LEAD, who number over 1,300 and work all over the world in various sectors. Sujatha has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Carolina and did her postdoctoral work at the University of California in Los Angeles, U.S.A. She has received numerous grants and awards and has published extensively.


Cohort: 5
Designation: Vice Chairperson
Organisation: Golden Jubilee Biotechnology Park for Women Society, Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Sudha Nair is Vice Chairperson of Golden Jubilee Biotechnology Park for Women Society, Chennai. Before taking up the new assignment she was Program Director, Biodiversity at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and is involved in coordinating microbial diversity assessment studies. She is also involved in mobilizing science and technology for the empowerment of women. She serves as a member of various national and international committees which promotes gender equity through S&T. She is one of the Regional Advisory Members of such a netwrok, GEST, with UNESCO/UNDP and has been actively associated with this in last 6 years. She was the convenor and presentaly serves as one of the Governing Body members and Scientifc Advisory Committee for the first Women's Biotech Parkin Chennai. Her interestsinlcude promotion of eco-entreprenurship among women and IPR related issues. She was the awardee of the Women Bioscientist award in 2002 from the Ministry of Science and Technology. Her Ph.D. in microbiology is from the University of Madras, India.


Cohort: 9
Designation: Program Leader
Organisation: DHAN Foundation, Madurai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Seenivasan is trained in engineering and rural management from Institute of Rural Management (IRMA). His two decades of professional work is focussed on water, microfinance and conservation and development of small scale water bodies. Seenivasan’s works related to water include conservation and development of tank systems in India through DHAN Foundation where he is a Programme Leader. The Tank programme lead from its inception by him is funded by the government, Ford Foundation, NOVIB, Rabo bank, Tata Trust, European union and many international agencies. As Programme Leader of DHAN, Seenivasan in the last sixteen years successfully built a strong team within DHAN to continue work on large scale conservation and development activities surrounding tanks and coastal resources in south India. As a senior member of DHAN, Seenivasan had extensively travelled to more than hundred districts across ten states of India to set up offices and projects to be implemented by the organisation. By working closely with government, international and private donors Seenivasan had followed up the major debates concerning development and poverty alleviation. The recent funded developed projects developed by him include European Union funded Tank conservation project under preventing desertification; Use of local tanks and ponds for climate change adaptation funded by Rabo bank. For a period of eighteen months (2006-07) Seenivasan worked as AKF’s advisor in designing a Self Help based microfinance programme to help farmers to leave poppy cultivation in north eastern Afghanistan. The project piloted by him is later successfully expanded to three other provinces of Afghanistan becoming a major activity for AKF teams. Seenivasan had travelled to other countries on his work and study to: Afghanistan, Canada, India, Mexico, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States, and United Kingdom. Currently he is on leave and working for a Ph.D at the School of Law of the University of Westminster. His research is on Law, Technology and Water Conflicts.


Cohort: 10
Designation: Executive
Organisation: Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: K Malmarugan has a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from AnnaUniversity, Chennai and a master's in management from IIM, Bangalore. In 1993, he joined SCICI Ltd as Project Officer and received considerable exposure in structuring infrastructure projects, particularly power projects. After SCICI's merger with ICICI, he was deputed to Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund, a World Bank Fund, set up for extending financial assistance to local bodies in Tamil Nadu. As AVP (Projects), he handled a number of initiatives in urban development including roads and water supply and sewerage systems. In December 1999, he joined Tamil Nadu Road Development Company Ltd as Head-New Initiatives and has been responsible for structuring road initiatives for the Company. Malmarugan is interested in objectively studying the impact of new trends in infrastructure development on the environment and over-all socio-economic milieu of India. Presently he oved to Birmingham in UK and joined the University of Birmingham to pursue further studies in Project Management.


Cohort: 11
Designation: Secretary-CCD
Organisation: Covenant Center for Development-CCD, Madurai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Mr. N. MuthuVelayutham is a professionally trained social worker with in-depth field knowledge on micro finance, community enterprise, medicinal plants conservation and local health (traditional) knowledge for primary health care. He has built several community based models for equitable & sustainable development of human and natural resources through the Covenant Centre for Development (CCD) and Community Enterprise Forum India (CEFI) He did his graduation in Rural Development Science (B.Sc.,) & Post Graduation in Master of Social Work (M.S.W) with specialisation in Community Development, a Post Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurs Development (PGDED) and Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Social Work with specialization in Rural and Urban Community development He is co-founder of NANBAN Trust, a centre for dispriviledged children and founder president of CCD a developmental organization for promoting community employment to reduce migration. He is founding Director of Grama Mooligai Company Ltd. (GMCL) owned by CBOs as medicinal plants enterprise. Some of programmes coordinated by him include: Developing livelihood support system for CBOs on traditional crop based activities with Ford Foundation Medicinal plants based activities with HIVOS National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahmedabad documentation traditional knowledge and grass root innovations in Tamilnadu. Medicinal plants field study in 8 states and an International conference on medicinal plants supported by Oxfam GB, Coastal ecosystem programme supported by Ford Foundation, Sacred Mountain conservation programme of ATREE, Bangalore, Relief & rehabilitation in Tsunami affected areas supported by Ford Foundation, Oxfam GB and Miser or Germany.


Cohort: 14
Designation: Executive Director
Organisation: GREENS Biodiversity Sanctuary, Tiruchirapalli
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Alexander is currently the founder and Executive Director of the GREENS Biodiversity Sanctuary, a proposed modern botanical garden to be based in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, a hitherto overlooked area for biodiversity and conservation activity. The main aim of the Sanctuary is to educate people on issues related to biodiversity conservation and climate change using innovative methods of communication. Alexander has worked in conservation and related areas for the last 19 years. His main contribution has been the development of the Eco-Club concept, which educates, inspires and motivates children from the poorer communities to be more aware of their environment. In turn, the children educate and motivate parents and communities. So far more than 75 Eco-Clubs are operational in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. In addition, Alex has developed a genetic garden from scratch, conserving more than 300 species; has established education programmes; has built networks amongst teachers and traditional healers; and has published his experiences at various national and international congresses. He has a postgraduate degree in Botany from St Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli following a Bachelor of Education from Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore. He successfully completed an International Diploma in Plant Conservation Techniques in 1999 and an International Diploma in Botanic Garden Management in 2006, both at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London.


Cohort: 10
Designation: DGM
Organisation: Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Chavakula Naga Seshu Kumar is Manager (Industrial Engineering) in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited presently posted at Mumbai, India. He is responsible for carrying out various resource optimisation studies so as to assist the management in decision-making process on several issues. Before getting posted at Mumbai,,Mr. Kumar served the same organisation at its Western Regional Headquarters located at Baroda, Southern Regional Headquarters located at Chennai and A&AABasin located at Jorhat. Mr Kumar is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University College of Engineering, Vishakhapatnam, with a post graduation in Industrial Management from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Cohort: 7
Designation: Founder and Chief Executive
Organisation: www.cel-net.org, Chennai
Region: Tamil Nadu
Biosketch: Dr. Vinayak Rao, a national of India, is a specialist in Climate Change, International Relations, Leadership and Higher Education. He has a doctorate in Diplomatic Studies and International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (1993). In the realm of Climate Change, his core interests include: capacity building in developing countries with a focus on climate negotiations; international law and policy development; and, national implementation. He is a LEAD Fellow since 2000, having completed a two-year advanced leadership programme as a LEAD Associate during 1998-2000. LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) - an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation is one of the most ambitious leadership programs ever designed to create new professionals with leadership skills to move forward the agenda of sustainability and human development. Dr. Rao's involvement with global environmental issues and higher education such as "greening of the university" and integrating environmental concerns in higher education began during the UN Earth Summit in 1992. He is currently involved with a long-term project to establish a domain-specific University of Climate Studies in India/South Asia. Dr. Rao has an extensive experience in the field of environment and climate change over the last two decades and this includes work at various levels - United Nations, academics, policy analysis, strategic consulting and grassroots organizations. In the early stages of his career, he worked as Senior Policy Analyst on climate change at Centre for Science and Environment and as Research Associate with The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi. Subsequently, Dr. Rao taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and also worked with the United Nations University in Jordan and Japan focusing on environment, leadership and governance. Besides leading a delegation of 30 emerging leaders from 27 countries to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, he represented the United Nations University at UN Climate Summits in Morocco and India. He is the Founder and Chief Executive of Climate Change and Environmental Leadership Network (CEL-NET). The Network can be accessed at : www.cel-net.org