Programme Introduction

In our endeavours to identify and nurture the nation’s brightest young minds, we believe mentorship plays a crucial role. Biographies and retrospective studies of adult achievers in any field suggest the importance of a mentor. NIAS-EGT visualises a mentor as a guide/facilitator in exposing the gifted child or adolescent to knowledge in his/her area of interest, hands-on learning experiences to help develop the child’s cognitive structures, as well as guidance to the child as he/she chooses and commits to a career path. In the absence of both an appropriate curriculum and an adult who can provide guidance, many young potential achievers in India choose a career path that do not match their passion, capabilities and training. We need to urgently address this in today's world.

As a subject-matter expert, you can participate in our mentor network. Though India has a long tradition of mentorship in the arts, particularly in classical music, there is no comparable formal network of mentors for young gifted children in academic endeavour. We view this is an opportunity for us to work out the structures, content, and media of communication that would be appropriate to children from a different background.

What exactly do we expect from a potential mentor? We know that, as active professionals, your time is valuable. We believe it will be beneficial if your interactions with the child are focussed on subject-matter content. We will connect children to mentors based on interest-area. Another consideration will be location: not all of these children have access to internet technology, though we are looking for local organisations to help us connect the children to the internet. Your interaction with the child would then involve a few hours per month, usually at your place of work or another laboratory, or on a field-trip. Alternately, the interaction will occur over the summer/winter vacations.

The specific content and modality of your interactions will be worked out in conjunction with us and the child’s parents and teachers. After that, the NIAS-EGT will mediate the mentor relationship, and act as a connector for parents and teachers.

How do we choose mentors?

NIAS-EGT is collaborating with academic institutions of higher education, universities to develop a worldwide network of mentors in diverse fields. We plan to extend the mentor’s network to include individuals_______ across the world. Additionally, we will work with mentors from higher education institutions around the world including the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Though India has a long tradition of mentorship in the arts, particularly in classical music, there is no comparable formal network for young gifted children in maths and science. We view this is an opportunity for us to work out the structures, contents, and media of communication that would be appropriate to children from a range of backgrounds.

Who is a mentor?

Mentors are either:

  1. Subject-matter experts: e.g. scientists, mathematicians, linguistics, social scientists, artists etc, or,
  2. Individuals with wide contact networks, including subject-matter experts, educational and child psychologists, and other individuals who can enable the child and his/her family to ensure that the child reaches his/her potential.

We link children with mentors based on shared interest areas, locality, and means of interaction (i.e. not all children may have access to the internet).

A mentor is an individual who facilitates the development of a child. The emphasis is on the development of a child’s ability, but also includes overall cognitive development as well as the development of interpersonal and technological skills needed for academic and professional success. As well, a mentor is a nodal point in the child’s contact network: the mentor introduces the child to other people and opportunities that the child may not otherwise have had access to.

Subject-matter expertise is usually the most important quality of a mentor. The focus during mentorship interactions is on exposing the child to content and challenges above the child’s current level.

As the child acquires more knowledge and skills, or as other circumstances arise (e.g. change of interest area, family relocation), the child may move on to a different mentor. Mentor relationships last well into adulthood; some mentor-mentee relationships develop into lifelong bonds. In the framework of NIAS-EGT, we visualise a mentor as fulfilling the following roles:

  1. Exposing the gifted child or adolescent to ideas, knowledge, and skills in his/her area of interest;
  2. Offering hands-on learning experiences to help develop the child’s cognitive structures, including lab work and field trips; and
  3. Providing guidance to the child as he/she selects and commits to a career path that matches his/her ability and interest.

The mentor needs to get along with the child! Experience working with gifted children or adolescents will be an advantage.

Resource Persons

NIAS-EGT programme is open to work with resource persons from different fields. The workshops are a great platform where resource persons conduct activities and interact with the children about diverse topics and issues. The programme has collaborated with artists, creative writing experts, etc.

Student Mentors

NIAS-EGT Programme is open to collaborate with students who are pursuing higher education (Master, PhD, Post Doc) and wants to be a mentor to the identified gifted and talented students. Recently, the programme  has developed active collaborations with students from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The students belong to undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in IISc. The student-mentors are invited to mentor talented children aged 11 years and above who share their specific interest areas. This initiative intends to make mentoring an efficient and effective tool in strengthening the knowledge base in areas of interest of the gifted children. The initiative also emphasizes on developing a symbiotic relationship between the mentor and the mentee.

NIAS-EGT is expanding this student mentor network to include students from natural and social sciences from leading institutions, colleges and universities. The mentors’ platform is also being extended to students from institutions that train in performing arts, music, dance, and sports.


To be updated

Be a Mentor

(papers published, positions held, independent research work, etc.)

(A gifted child is one whose abilities significantly exceed those of other children of the same age.)

(E.g. every weekend / every month / every summer / over school vacations)


Our Mentors

Dr. P. Sadananda Maiya

Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. P. Sadananda Maiya is the founder and MD of the Maiyas Beverages and food He sold MTR FOODS to Orkla, a Norwegian conglomerate in 2007. Since then, he has spent the past few years in researching new techniques in Food processing and cooking. The result is MAIYAS BEVERAGES AND FOODS PVT LTD. Currently MAIYAs have 7 landmark restaurants in Bangalore and one of the them is at International Airport. He is done his Mechanical engineering & he joined MTR foods where he developed several products which are still popular worldwide he is the first person to use Nano technology in food and beverages.

Dr. K.J. Rao

Emeritus Professor, IISc
Mentor Type : Professionals

Professor K.J. Rao is at present Emeritus Professor at Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit (SSCU) of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. He is also (Senior) Ramanna Fellow of the Department of Science and Technology, India. He graduated from Mysore University with B.Sc (Honours) and M.Sc degrees in 1960 and 1961 respectively. He got his Ph.D from IIT Kanpur in 1967 and D.Sc from the Indian Institute of Science in 1998. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, D.Sc (h.c), by the University of Bordeaux, France, in the year 2000 and D.Litt(h.c.) from Karnataka State Open University in the year 2012. Professor Rao started his career as a Lecturer in Chemistry at The National College, Bangalore (1961-1964). He was later a Scientist at the National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore from 1972 to 1978, from where he moved to IISc. as a faculty member of SSCU in 1978. He was Chairman of Material Research Centre (1984-1992) and the Division of Chemical Sciences of IISc (1993-1998).He held Tatachem Chair of Chemistry at IISc (1993-96) and Sir M. Visweswaraiah Visiting Chair at the University of Mysore (2007-2008). Rao has been a recipient of several awards; the Bhatnagar Prize of CSIR in Chemical Sciences (1984) and Material Science Prize of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in 1999 and Shanthi Ranjan Palit Award in Physical Chemistry (1993) of the Indian Association for Cultivation of Science. He was given the MRSI Medal for Materials Science in 1995, the Silver Medal for ‘extensive and outstanding research in chemistry’ of the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) in 2001 and the “Distinguished Materials Scientist of the year” award of Material Research Society of India (MRSI) in 2002. He was awarded the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research (Science) of IISc in 2000, Gold Medal for research contributions from the University of Bordeaux in 2002 and Life time Achievement Award and Gold Medal from the Indian Association of Solid State Chemists and Allied Sciences in 2005. He was awarded the title of “Officier dans l’Order des Palmes Academiques” (Officer of Palmes Academiques), the highest civilian award by the French Government in the year 2007. He received the “Sir M. Visweswaraiah Award for life time achievement in Chemical Sciences” of the Karnataka Government in 2007.

Dr. V S Ramamurthy

Emeritus Professor
Mentor Type : Professionals

Prof Ramamurthy is a well known Indian nuclear scientist with a broad range of contributions from basic research to science administration. Prof Ramamurthy started his career in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai in the year 1963. He has made important research contributions, both experimental and theoretical, in many areas of nuclear fission and heavy ion reaction mechanisms, statistical and thermodynamic properties of nuclei, physics of atomic and molecular clusters and low energy accelerator applications. During the period 1995-2006, Prof Ramamurthy was fully involved in science promotion in India as Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science & Technology (DST), New Delhi. He was also the Chairman of the IAEA Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Applications for nearly a decade. After retirement from government service, Prof Ramamurthy, in addition to continuing research in Nuclear Physics in the Inter-University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi has also been actively involved in human resource development in all aspects of nuclear research and applications. Prof Ramamurthy is also a Chairman, Recruitment and Assessment Board, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Member, National Security Advisory Board. In recognition of his services to the growth of Science and Technology in the country, Prof Ramamurthy was awarded one of the top civilian awards of the country, the Padma Bhushan, by the Government of India in 2005.

Dr. Sundar Sarukkai

Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Sundar Sarukkai is trained in physics and philosophy, and has a PhD from Purdue University, USA. His research interests include philosophy of science and mathematics, phenomenology and philosophy of language and art, drawing on both Indian and Western philosophical traditions. He has been a Homi Bhabha Fellow, Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies at Shimla and PHISPC Associate Fellow. Other than numerous papers, he is the author of the following books: Translating the World: Science and Language, Philosophy of Symmetry, and Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. He is also a co-editor of two volumes on logic: Logic, Navya-Nyaya & Applications: Studies in Logic Series and Logic and its Applications: Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, What is Science? (National Book Trust) and the Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory. He is an Editorial Board member of the Leonardo Book Series, an influential series published by MIT Press on science and art. Presently, he was the Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy & Humanities, Manipal University.

Dr. A.H. Rama Rao

President, National Educational Society of Karnataka and Bangalore Science Forum
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. A.H. Rama Rao serves as the President of the National Educational Society of Karnataka and Bangalore Science Forum. He is a renowned educationist and philanthropist. Well known as Dr. A.H.R., he has also dedicated over 3 decades of his professional life to imparting education to Pre-University and Undergraduate students as a Professor of Physics. Dr. A.H.R is also a very successful entrepreneur who founded and ran a Publishing company - Excellent Publishing Ensemble Pvt. Ltd., that published text books and provided coaching classes for High School and Pre-University students. In the capacity of the President of Lailithakala Parishath, an organization to promote cultural events in the National Education Society of Karnataka, Dr. A.H.R., supports several reputed artists and cultural programs. His most recent achievement includes the organization of "Hour of Code" in Bangalore that had over 5000 participants.

Mr. Subramian Sivakumar

CEO, World Research Centre
Mentor Type : Professionals

Subramanian Sivakumar (Subbu) is a serial entrepreneur and a servant leader with over two decades of experience in the IT industry. He is the CEO of the World Research Centre, a deep tech global research and investment ecosystem of the future. He has extensive cross-cultural leadership experience having worked with Fortune 500 companies, large Global Enterprises and startups in all major geographies. He has been a Digital Business Specialist, Innovator, Architect, Mentor, Strategy Consultant, and Investor. Subbu specializes in Systems Approach to Innovation, Strategy Design and Execution, Ecosystems and Business Orchestration, Breakthrough Cost Innovation, Digital Transformation, Software Architecture & Design, and Creative Learning Models. Some of his major clients are Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Oracle, IBM, Siemens, GE, Accenture, Philips, Cerner, Access Healthcare LLC, and Amadeus. Subbu envisions an interconnected world of Global Innovation Hubs that allows people from diverse cultures and skillset to collaborate and solve global and hyper-local problems. He places hope on young talent for breakthrough innovation and aspires to incubate 1,000 successful startups.

Dr. David Rifkind

Associate Professor, Architecture & Chair, Landscape Architecture Environmental and Urban Design
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. David Rifkind is an Associate Professor of Architecture & Chair of Landscape Architecture Environmental and Urban Design. David teaches courses in architectural history, theory and design. His first book, The Battle for Modernism: Quadrante and the Politicization of Architectural Discourse in Fascist Italy, won the 2011 Premio James Ackerman and was published in 2012 by the Centro lnternazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio and MarsilioEditori. In 2014, Ashgate published A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture, which David co¬edited with Elie G. Haddad. His essays have won best article prizes from two flagship journals, the Journal of Architectural Education (“Misprision of Precedent: Design as Creative Misreading”) and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (“Gondar. Architecture and Urbanism for Italy’s Fascist Empire”). His current research deals with urbanism and modern architecture in Ethiopia, and is the first component in long¬term studies of the built environment in modern Ethiopia and of modern architecture and urban planning throughout Africa. His work in Ethiopia has been supported by grants from the Graham Foundation and the Office of the Provost, and by a residency at the American Academy in Rome as the inaugural Wolfsonian Affiliated Fellow. He curated two exhibitions at the Wolfsonian-FIU, “Metropole/Colony: Africa and Italy,” in 2012, and an exhibition on the work of Tony Garnier in 2016-17. In 2016, he also co-curated an exhibition on contemporary architecture in Ethiopia at the Miami Center for Architecture and Design. He won a 2012 Faculty Senate Research Award, is a 2012 FIU Top Scholar, was selected by the FIU student body to deliver the 2012 What Would You Say? lecture, and was honored with Alpha Rho Chi’s Gold Medal in 2014.

Dr. Zvi Galil

Professor & Jr. Dean of Computing
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Zvi Galil was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. He earned BS and MS degrees in Applied Mathematics from Tel Aviv University, both summa cum laude. He then obtained a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. After a post-doctorate in IBM's Thomas J. Watson research center, he returned to Israel and joined the faculty of Tel-Aviv University. He served as the chair of the Computer Science department in 1979-1982. In 1982 he joined the faculty of Columbia University. He served as the chair of the Computer Science Department in 1989-1994 and as dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science in 1995-2007. Galil was appointed Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science in 1987, and Morris and Alma A. Schapiro Dean of Engineering in 1995. In 2007 Galil returned to Tel Aviv University and served as president. In 2009 he resigned as president and returned to the faculty as a professor of Computer Science. In July 2010, Galil became the third John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech. Galil's research areas have been the design and analysis of algorithms, complexity, cryptography and experimental design. In 1983-1987 he served as chairman of ACM SIGACT, the Special Interest Group of Algorithms and Computation Theory. He has written over 200 scientific papers, edited 5 books, and has given more than 150 lectures in 20 countries. Galil has served as editor in chief of two journals and as the chief computer science adviser in the United States to the Oxford University Press. He is a fellow of the ACM and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2009 the Columbia Society of Graduates awarded him the Great Teacher Award.

Mr. Ricky Kej

Grammy Award Winner
Mentor Type : Professionals

Mr. Ricky Kej (born 5 August 1981) is an Indo-American composer, music producer and conservationist. In 2015, he won a Grammy at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for his album Winds of Samsara, collaboration with South African flautist WouterKellerman, in the Best New Age Album category. The project, his 14th studio album, had made a debut at #1 on the US Billboard New Age Albums Chart in August 2014, a first for a person of Indian origin. The album also peaked at #1 on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in the month of July 2014. His album Shanti Samsara - World Music for Environmental Consciousness was launched on November 30, 2015 at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President, Francois Hollande. In the months since its launch, Kej has traveled widely speaking about conservation and the environment, including a visit to the Republic of Kiribati, where he interviewed and created music with three-term ex-president, Anote Tong. Kej has previously composed the soundtrack for four feature films in the Kannada language, and is credited with over 3,000 placements for Radio and Television Jingles. He also composed the music for the 2011 Cricket World Cup opening ceremony, held at Dhakka on 17 February 2011. On April 26, 2016, Kej travelled to Jaipur, India where he was named as goodwill ambassador for Save the Children's new global campaign, Every Last Child. On July 18, 2016, Kej was awarded the Excellence and Leadership award as a global humanitarian artist at the United Nations Headquarters, New York and performed excerpts from Shanti Samsara live in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Kej concluded his performance at the United Nations General Assembly by saying, "To end, I want to state the obvious ... Climate change is real ... Climate change is human induced. Climate change is affecting us all ... and our actions affect countries on the other side of the world."

Dr. Nithin Nagaraj

Associate Professor, NIAS
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Nithin Nagaraj is an Assistant Professor in School of Humanities, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), IISc. Campus, Bengaluru. His research interests include Integrated Information theory of Consciousness, modeling transmission of information in brain, and complexity analysis of brain networks. Recently, we have developed a mathematical model to explain neural signal multiplexing in the brain via a signal processing paradigm known as Compressed Sensing. Another line of ongoing research is exploring the complexity measure known as "Effort-To-Compress" which he jointly developed along with his PhD student Karthi (Amrita University) and his colleague Sutirth (IISER, Pune). This measure is effective in characterizing complexity of short and noisy time series, and has been shown to perform at par or better than other popular complexity measures such as Lempel-Ziv Complexity and Approximate Entropy measure, for several applications such as - characterizing neuronal firing modes, cardiac aging detection, Intra-Cranial Hypertension detection, genome data analysis and language scripts classification. He is currently interested in theoretical and experimental investigation of integrated information and complexity of brain networks.

Dr. Frank Krueger

Associate Professor, Systems Social Neuroscience, School of Systems Biology, George Mason Universi
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Frank Krueger is Associate Professor of Systems Social Neuroscience at the School of Systems Biology at George Mason University. He received a Master’s degree in Psychology, a Ph.D. degree in Cognitive Psychology, and a Habilitation degree (venialegendi) in Psychology from the Department of Cognitive Psychology at the Humboldt University Berlin and a Master’s degree in Physics from Free University Berlin in Germany. He is Chief of the Social Cognition and Interaction: Functionalism and Immersion (SCI:FI) Lab and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.As a psychologist and neuroscientist, Dr. Krueger is interested in understanding the psychological functions (i.e., why they exist and work) and the proximate neurobiological mechanisms (i.e., how they work) of social cognition (e.g., beliefs, schemata) and pro-social behaviors (e.g., trust, cooperation) combining methods from social psychology, experimental economics, and social neuroscience.

Dr. Prajval Shastri

Astrophysicist, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Prajval Shastri is an astrophysicist at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore and specializes in the area of phenomenology of active galaxies driven by supermassive blackholes using multi-wavelength observations ranging from radio to X-ray wavelengths. Shastri was brought up in Mangalore and after her schooling she completed her B.Sc. in Physical Sciences from St. Agnes College Mangalore (University of Mysore). She then went on to pursue M.Sc. in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. She completed her Ph.D. from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India on the topic "Relativistic Beaming in Active Galactic Nuclei" in the year 1989 under the supervision of Vijay Kapahi. Shastri's current research specialization is the phenomenon of Active Galactic Nuclei. Her present research areas are; AGN Emission-line Regions (Integrated Field Spectroscopic Imaging, WiFeS at Siding Spring), X-ray Emission from AGN (XMM-Newton, Suzaku), Jets in Radio-Quiet AGN (Very Long Baseline Interferometry, GMRT), Hot Gaseous outflows in AGN (Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer)&Blazar Variability: WEBT monitoring campaigns (Vainu Bappu & Hanle Telescopes).

Dr. M.V Hosur

Adjunct faculty at NSE, NIAS
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Hosur is currently the Adjunct faculty at NSE, NIAS. He has his PhD from Indian Institute of Science in the area of X-ray crystallography of nucleotide coenzymes and high-energy phosphates. He has worked on Structure – Function studies of viral proteins at NCI, USA as a Visiting Scientist. He was a Wenner-Grenn Fellow, at Lund University, Sweden. He held the Head position at Protein Crystallography Section, SSPD where he contributed in the area of Macromolecular Crystallography and Drug Design. He further worked at DAE-RRF, ACTREC in the area of Biophysics. He enthusiastically contributed in the research area of Big Data Epilepsy at INSA-SS. He held the position of the Vice-President at the Indian Crystallography Association Bangalore, India. Prof. Hosur has been a Fellow at Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi. He was awarded with the Martin – Forster Gold Medal from IISc., Bangalore for the Ph.D. thesis as it was recognized as the best thesis in the Division of Physical Sciences for the year 1979. He was also awarded with the “CIPLA Distinguished Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences” award by University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT), Mumbai. He was honored with Co-Chairmanship of International Union of Crystallography Micro-symposium 22 held in Madrid, Spain in August 2011. He was the Member DBT Expert Committee on Utilization of Protein Crystallography beamline, BM14, on ESRF (2009 – 2014). He had received the Invitation from The Nobel Committees for Physics and Chemistry, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, to nominate scientists for Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Mr. Jayachandran Palazhy

Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher and Artistic Director, ‘Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts’, Benga
Mentor Type : Professionals

Mr. Jayachandran Palazhy is an internationally sought after dancer, choreographer, teacher and the Artistic Director of ‘Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts’, Bengaluru. He has trained in India in Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Indian folk dance forms and Kalarippayattu (martial art), and in the UK, in Contemporary dance at the London Contemporary Dance School. He has also studied Ballet, Tai Chi, Capoeira and African Dance. A gifted and innovative choreographer, Jayachandran’s collaborations with international artists whose works involve digital arts and interactive technology have resulted in some very exciting multimedia dance productions of a unique genre. “Beyond the Walls for Men”, “City Maps”, “TransAvatar”, “Scanned V”, “Purushartha”, “Chronotopia”, “For Pina…”, “MeiDhwani”, “Aadhaarachakra – a Dancelogue” and “BhinnaVinyasa” to name a few of his productions - have received widespread critical acclaim, and toured extensively within India and internationally. Jayachandran has participated in artistic residencies internationally, presented papers and lecture demonstrations on subjects related to movement arts, and directed an exhaustive research and documentation project NAGARIKA - an interactive digital information system on Indian physical traditions. He has worked as director, consultant and mentor for dance residencies and festivals in different parts of the world. Jayachandran is also the Director of South Asia’s largest contemporary dance festival - the ‘Attakkalari India Biennial’, FACETS Choreography Residency and the Incubation Centre for Arts & Media (ICAM). He is a guest faculty in few reputed universities in India and internationally. Driven by Attakkalari’s underlying philosophy “Traditional Physical Wisdom, Innovation & Technology”, Jayachandran is deeply committed to extending the reach of contemporary movement arts. His path breaking work makes Indian movement expressions of contemporary reality more visible both nationally and internationally.

Dr. S.S. Iyengar

Chairman & Executive Director, Iyengar Medical & Educational Foundation
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. S.S. Iyengar is a computer scientist of international repute who has been a pioneer in multiple fields. Marked by his incredible record of success in the areas of world-class research, superb teaching, and excellence in community service, he has also significantly impacted industry, through his many discoveries and patents. His distinguished international and national research work have consistently been recognized by US government agencies, industry pioneers, and his research colleagues. His work has been featured on the cover of the National Science Foundation’s breakthrough technologies in both 2014 and again in 2016. Dr. Iyengar has garnered multiple awards for his work and made fundamental contributions in a variety of areas that impact our lives today. His seminal contributions continue to be seen in places like Raytheon, Telcordia, Motorola the United States Navy, DARPA and other universities and research laboratories around the world. Dr. Iyengar is a member of the European Academy of Sciences, and a winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISAM-IIT (BHU). He was awarded the Satish Dhawan Chaired Professorship at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), then Roy Paul Daniels Professorship at LSU. He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Science and IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Achievement Award in 1998.

Dr. Vijeth Iyengar

Brain Health Lead & Technical Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging Washington, Distri
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Vijeth Iyengar is an incoming Presidential Management Fellow (PMF-STEM) in the Administration for Community Living in the Department of Health & Human Services. He received his BS from Tulane University in 2009 and his MA and PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University in 2013 and 2016 respectively. While at Duke, he served as a student liaison for the mobile health group and was elected to the executive board of the Duke Graduate & Professional Student Council. Vijeth has completed summer internships at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals and authored or co-authored articles appearing in the Louisiana Morbidity Report, Brain, and Behavior Research Methods. He has received numerous awards including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the NINDS Exceptional Summer Student Award.

Dr. Anitha Kurup

Professor & Dean, School of Social Sciences and Head of the Education Programme, NIAS
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Anitha Kurup is a Professor and Dean, School of Social Sciences and Head of the Education Programme. She leads the National Gifted and Talented Education Program in India anchored at NIAS. Her research interests span the broad disciplines of education and gender studies. Her recent publications “Trained Scientific Women Power: How much are we Losing and Why?” and “Trends Report: Creation and Analysis of Database of PhDs in India (1998-2007)” have been widely appreciated. As part of the Gifted Education research, she and her team have developed Indian based protocols to identify the gifted children in the age group 3-18 years for different populations- urban and rural. They have been working on the standardisation of the identification protocols. Along the same lines she is developing a multi-level multi-stage model for mentoring the gifted children in rural and urban India. She was part of the National core team that developed a 4-year integrated curriculum for pre-service teachers training for India. As part of the sub-committee, she contributed to the development of disability and special education as one of the streams of the four year integrated pre-service teacher education curriculum. She and her team on Vocational education have initiated an exploratory study on understanding the skill gaps and aspirations of the diploma/ITI holders in the manufacturing sector in Bangalore. The study will be used to develop a research agenda in vocational and higher education in India. Her doctoral work on quality of primary education in rural India is one of the earliest often cited work on grounded research in class room processes and school –community relationship in rural India. Prof Anitha Kurup's expertise in the area of gender covers a wide spectrum, from examining conceptual and methodological strands of gender relations to political participation and decentralised governance. Prof. Anitha Kurup was a Member, Governing Board of ISEC, Bangalore, and Member, Academic Council, Christ University. She has several publications to her credit. Prof Anitha Kurup was awarded the Fulbright Nehru Senior Research Fellowship for the year 2011-2012 and was hosted at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. S. Mohan

Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Mohan is currently a visiting professor in Centre for Nano Science & Enineering, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore. His interest areas revolve around Electronincs. He was the UGC National Associate at Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 1977. He earned his Ph.D in Thin films from S.V. University, Tirupathi in 1974. He completed his masters as M.Sc, Solid State Physics from S.V. University, Tirupathi in 1967. He did his B.Sc in 1965 in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, from B.T. College, Madanapalli. He has worked with various eminent institutes, namely, Visiting Professor, CeNSE, IISc, Bangalore (since August 2011) Honorary Scientific Consultant – High Technology: Industrial Applications in the office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (since September 2011) Honorary Chair, Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), Bangalore (since 2011) Professor in Super Scale, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics, IISc ( Dec 2006 -July 2011) Principal Investigator, Centre of Excellence in Nanoelectronics at IISc (May 2006 – July 2011) Chairman, Alumni Cell, IISc (Feb 2007 to July 2011) Chief Executive, Society for Innovation Development (Innovation Centre) IISc, (Oct 2001 – Oct 2006) Director, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh ( May 1997 – May 1999) Chairman, Department of Instrumentation, IISc (Feb. 1995 – Apr. 1997) Professor, Instrumentation & Services Unit, IISc (Dec. 1993 to May 2006) Associate Professor, Instrumentation & Services Unit ( IISc, 1988 – Dec 1993) Principal Scientific Officer, Instrumentation & Services Unit, IISc. (1982 – 1988) Senior Scientific Officer, Instrumentation & Services Unit, IISc (1977 – 1982) Lecturer, Dept. of Physics, S.V. University, Tirupathi (1970 – 1977)

Dr. Shailesh Nayak

Director, NIAS
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Shailesh Nayak is the Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies and the distinguished scientist in the Ministry of Earth Sciences. He is the Former Chair of Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) and Secretary to the Government of India for Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), between August 2008-2015. He lead several programmes related to science of climate change, weather services, polar science, geoscience, ocean science and modeling, ocean survey, resources, and technology. Dr. Nayak obtained Ph. D. degree in Geology from the M.S University of Baroda in 1980. He joined the Space Applications Centre, (ISRO) in 1978 as a scientist, and subsequently elevated as the Director of Marine and Water Resources. He was mainly responsible for conceptualizing, formulating and executing many national level projects related to application of satellite data on ocean color, integrated coastal zone management, snow and glacier studies and water resources and developed potential fishing zone services. Dr. Nayak was appointed as the Director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under ESSO, in May 2006. At ESSO-INCOIS, he set up a state-of-the-art Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges in the Indian Ocean. He was responsible for the conceptualization and development of Marine GIS. He made outstanding contributions in improving advisory services related to potential fishing zones, ocean state forecast, and Indian Argo project. Dr Nayak is the Chair, National SCAR Committee, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, Research Advisory Committees of the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, ESSO-National Antarctic and Ocean Research Centre, Goa and Defense Terrain Research Laboratory, Delhi. He has chaired an expert group and conceptualized to establish National GIS in the country and been member of many national committees related to earth science, coastal protection, mangrove, coral reef, and coastal zone management. Dr. Nayak is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, the National Academy of Sciences, India, Allahabad, the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), and Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics, Paris. He has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the Andhra University, Assam University and Amity University. Dr. Nayak is recipient of IGU - Hari Narain Lifetime Achievement Award in Geosciences-2013, the ISCA Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award 2012, the Bhaskara Award for 2009. Dr Nayak has been awarded Lifetime Achievement Award (India Geospatial Leadership Award) for outstanding contributions to the development and dissemination of Geospatial Technologies in India by the Geospatial Media and Communication, New Delhi in February 2019. Eleven students have obtained Ph. D. under his supervision. He is the President of the Federation of Indian Geoscientists Associations, Indian Geophysical Union, Indian Society of Remote Sensing and Indian Mangrove Society. He was the President, International Geological Congress, the Chair, Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System, the Vice-Chair of the Inter-Governmental Coordinating Group on Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System; Indian Ocean–Global Ocean Observing System and Indian Ocean Observing System Resources Forum. Dr. Nayak was the Former President of ISPRS Technical Commission IV on ‘Geo-databases and Digital Mapping’ for the term 2004-08. Dr. Nayak has published about 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals and delivered 190 invited talks in national and international forums.

Dr. Shalini Dixit

Assistant Professor, NIAS
Mentor Type : Professionals

Dr. Shalini Dixit, is an M.Phil- PhD from Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Masters in Psychology. She received NCERT Doctoral Fellowship for her PhD research. Her doctoral work on the understanding of history was awarded D Sinha Best Doctoral Dissertation Award by the National Academy of Psychology in the year 2013. She has had years of experience in teaching and research in a number of colleges in University of Delhi including Jesus & Mary College and Mata Sundri College (Department of Elementary Education) and Kamla Nehru College (Department of Psychology) as Assistant Professor. She also worked with Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations of Education, NCERT; Save the Children, Finland; and James Cook University Australia, Singapore Campus. Her familiarity and interest lies in Cultural and Cognitive Processes in appreciation of History, Critical aspects Educational Psychology , Cultural Processes, Social Psychology, Gender Issues with Social Psychological perspective, and Rogerian approach to Personality and Communications etc.