Woman – A Thunderstorm With a Touch of Lightening

Cover Story Arvind Passey

Arvind Passey
Editor- Education Post

omen in India have a voice that is heard all over the world. Not that their silence went unheard because it was that deathly quiet that has probably given birth to movements like ‘beti bachhao, beti padhao’ and slogans like ‘Equal rights are not special rights‘, ‘Woman is the companion of man’, ‘Gifted with equal mental capacity‘, ‘You have everything to take the world in your stride‘, ‘A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon‘, and ‘Next to the wound, what women make best is the bandage‘. Even Bollywood isn’t too far behind in picking up women empowerment issues and bolding projecting them through dialogues that have had a positive effect on the social structure that hasn’t been strong so far as gender bias is concerned. Besides fighting for getting equal pay to the heroes, we have heard the iconic No means no from Pink,Nail polish kisi bhi time lagana har ladki ka birthright hota haifrom Mary Kom, Aadmi ke marne ke baad biwi bewa hoti hai, rakhail nahin from Chandni Bar, Roti kamane ke liye aurat ghar se nikli nahin ki tankha dene wala har aadmi usse apne baap ka maal samajhta haifrom Lajja and hundreds of others that we have all heard. Yes, all this has definitely done a lot to change the way society in our country has been treating women for centuries. However, all this has changed to quite an extent and we are now in a position to talk about women as being that critically vital person in the family who has the power to educate and inspire.

It is not as if the fight or the tussle or the movement for women emancipation is over. There is yet a lot to be done. Yes, despite the fact that we now have women leading corporate board-rooms, blazing a path in politics, commanding troops in the army, leading decision-making in the civil services, and actively pursuing careers like driving trucks, buses, and auto-rickshaws to name just a few. The truth is that women have shown us that a passion for a profession is as much up their sleeves as is managing a home. They have made it amply clear that a woman is indeed a thunderstorm with a touch of lightening!

The list of women achievers is long

It is time that the world acknowledged the role of women from India in inspiring and educating the future generations in not just respecting their individuality but also the fact that their contribution leads to results that speak for themselves. The newspapers have

Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri

been talking about Sneha Mohandas who has successfully lead campaigns on spreading awareness about breast-feeding, Arifa has embraced self-reliance by promoting the traditional crafts of Kashmir, and Kalpana Ramesh works on the issues relating to water conservation. There are umpteen examples of women achievers who have transcended obstacles that range from severed limbs to social ostracization to fight back and get to a point where life moves up from a simple act of staying alive to living with a goal. Malvika Iyer, for instance, went on to earn a Ph.D. despite having lost her legs in a bomb blast.

Women achievers are everywhere. We know women writers like Kiran Desai, Nayantara Sehgal, Shobhaa De, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Mahasweta Devi, Anita Nair, Ismat Chugtai, Manju Kapur, Amrita Pritam, Krishna Sobti, Kamala Suraiyya (Kamala Das), Namita Gokhale, Sudha Murthy, Anuja Chauhan, Anuja Chandramouli, Madhulika Liddle, Kiran Manral, Richa Mukherji, Kanchana Bannerji, Urvashi Butalia, Preeti Shenoy… and the list is endless. These writers have explored not just one but multiple genres and have excelled in writing everything from historical thrillers to romance and from literary classics to pulp fiction. Limits in creative expression are not for women. I could, if space wasn’t a constraint, go on listing women in social activism, art, politics, sports, education, administration, mountaineering and here again the list can go on to fill quite a few pages. The point is that are no limits to women achievers anymore. The truth is that women are more powerful than being sensual, more inspiring than just playing second fiddle to men, and more outgoing than being limited to the whims of a patriarchal mindset. Women now understand that empowerment is not just about self-respect but goes way beyond this to encircle thought leadership and this is what is poised to usher in an era of a society that will evolve correctly.

Arundhati Roy can ‘hear her breathing’ on a quiet day which is akin to believing that women now know that they are no longer an artifact of silence. Shashi Deshpande warns that ‘ten different mirrors show you ten different faces’ and that self-revelation could be a cruel process but a necessary precursor for transforming the inequalities that have carried on from the past. So yes, it is true that things happen only when you ‘go out and kick ass’ to quote Maya Angelou. This is precisely what the modern Indian woman has done with aplomb!

The battle for women is far from being over. Kangana Ranaut believes that ‘we have to prepare our girls just the way we prepare our boys’ and this is what is now the right path. Stepping up on the dias to get a standing ovation is one thing but to make sure that things do not tumble and fall into the past matrix is quite another. We are well past the stage where we dismiss women empowerment after listing out names of those who have been first to do one or the other thing. Obviously then, one would not keep quoting Indira Gandhi as the first to become a Prime Minister or to be given the title of ‘women of the millennium’ by BBC, Kiran Bedi as the first woman IPS, Justive M Fatima Beevi as the first female judge in the Supreme Court, Arunima sinha as the first woman amputee to climb the Mount Everest, Shila Dawre as the first woman auto-rickshaw driver, Sania Mirza as the first Indian woman to win the WTA, Saina Nehwal as the first Indian woman to reach the top in World badminton rankings, or Mary Kom who was the first Indian woman to win a gold in Asian Games. Women in India have moved on and have made winning and reaching the top a habit.

Role of policies in empowerment

Women empowerment is a continuous shift of perspective from one triumph to another, from one tale of inspiration to another, and from one reason to speak out to another. The effort has also been made by those who take care of our policies at the national level.

Kiran Bedi
Kiran Bedi

For instance, a lot of these achievements could happen because empowerment is linked to community engagement and welfare of the girl child. Saying that an achievement is the sole output of the determination of a person is like believing that the upsurge in India’s literacy figures is ONLY because there are people determined to get literate. Discounting the role of the government in promoting good education or the role of policies in making this possible is never going to paint the entire picture correctly. Thus the government and the public sector have definitely played an important role in the emancipation of women. The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao‘ scheme addressed the declining Child Sex Ratio and gender-based sex-determination and also ushered in an era of education, survival, and protection of the girl child. We have Mahila-E-Haats that has helped women entrepreneurs to leverage technology and showcase their products and services. Mahila Shakti Kendras have encouraged community engagement to empower rural women to move towards skill development, employment, digital literacy, health, and nutrition. The STEP or the Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women connects competence, training, and entrepreneurship and has helped women to be achievers in agriculture, food processing, handlooms, tailoring, stitching, embroidery, handicrafts and even soft skills orientation in the sectors of tourism and hospitality. The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is all about connecting the benefits of banking and savings to tenets of empowerment.

The real conversation is from one woman to another

In one word: everything. The first step to take when any concept has experienced a radical change or transformation is to prevent the possibility of a slip-back.

Arunima Sinha
Arunima Sinha

No one wants to regress into the dark past with women relegated to the background and, therefore, the right thing to do is to make literacy and self-reliance powerful enough to stop any attempts to reverse any good work done. This is an area where women achievers can definitely have a major role to play. They can inspire other not-so-aware mothers to make sure that their daughters get all the benefits of education and being self-reliant. Begum Abida Ahmed too insisted that ‘we must have educated mothers. If a mother is educated, it is her first duty to treat the male and female child equally and in the same way, so that the girl does not develop a complex from the beginning.’

It is not as if men must stand aloof and just watch… quite obviously, they need to be just as participative. However, women who have tackled hardships and obstacles that regressive past systems had laid, know best how to communicate the tactical steps necessary. We know that the existence of voiceless women has been existing for ages and as an article published in India Today pointed out, women ‘face deep-rooted prejudices in social relationships-they do not, generally, have equal status in marriage. The dowry system is still rampant. Clandestine bigamy and child marriages are persisting in contravention of the laws, with complete impunity.’ These evils still exist and bringing in legislations to remove basic legal inequities in the socio-economic system is not enough.

The major conversations need to be from one woman to another… from an achiever to one who has the right to dream of being an achiever… from those who have raced ahead of the arrogance of these regressive times to those who are still caught in the strange twilight of systems that must no longer exist… and from those who have the answers to those who are still searching for them. Dr. S Padmavati believed that a women’s weakness was a myth in a man’s imagination… maybe, but the more important truth is that the silent voice inside a woman’s mind can roar only when her own vocal cords are primed and activated. No one can help a woman prime them but another woman and the final activation needs to be done by her alone.

It is women achievers who fully understand that self-esteem is all about an intuitive handshake with her own desires, needs, and wants. What to wear, what to eat, how to do something, where to be and at when are all facets that meekly appear in a queue when the biceps and triceps of self-esteem are awakened. The woman who is still struggling to find a voice needs to be told by these achievers that low self-esteem is all about negativity that can be damning and almost undefeatable. The intelligence to counter this comes from educated awareness and a direct conversation which, in these times of technology revolution, is far easier than it was before.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

Among other vital things that achievers must communicate is the necessity of speaking out without inhibitions and without any fear. Yes, this can be difficult but then communication here is not about getting up on a dais to make a speech. Communication here is being to express one’s ability to create a format of personal space with dignity, the need to distance themselves from the feeling of being suffocated by circumstances and allowing the fresh breeze of freed thoughts to enter, and the need to let the world know that they know how to survival. No, there is no battle with men here but a simple conversation where a woman stands up to speak what is in her mind and the world sits up and listens.

The other aspects that achievers can let women still on the other side know is that knowing your worth is what prosperity really is and that when her wage, salary, or income is in a tangible form, the smog of regressive policies is emphatically pushed back. If this smog still persist, then fighting for what is right is the obvious next step.

Women in education are the core of the empowerment corps

Empowerment is inevitable when the right set of beliefs about the benefits of education and self-reliance are communicated to those who need it most. As I mentioned it earlier in this article, a woman to woman conversation transcends all boundaries of disbelief and reticence. The hesitation to step forward and assert one’s rights is one hurdle that must be overcome and we are lucky to have in India a host of women achievers who are convinced about this.

P V Sindhu
P V Sindhu

Besides women who are in the media or are writers or activists, it is women from the world of education who are best suited to lead this communication revolution. Prof Sanghamitra who is the Director of Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkatta and serves on the Prime Minister’s Science and Technology Innovation Advisory Council, Professor (Mrs) Karuna Jain is a Board member of IAMOT and lending her expert views to a lot of advisory groups, and Dr. Vinita Sahay, Director of IIM Bodh Gaya are examples of women who are on the fore-front of lending their expertise to the academic empowerment of women in India. This isn’t the end of the list of achievers who have dedicated their lives to this task. There are others like Sarika Baheti, Transformation Coach at AMpower, Member of Committee at PVI at All India Plastic Manufacturers’ Association and Founder-Chairperson at Neeranjali that spreads awareness about water conservation, Dr. Kusum Aggarwal, an expert in Gandhian philosophy working towards a peaceful co-existence for all, Dr. Sangita Passey, a Commonwealth scholar and a mathematician dedicated to teaching making girl power sturdier, and hundreds of others who have made empowerment more than just a cliché and a mere buzzword by their work.

The not-so-final truth

There is no final truth or verdict or answer as the world in which we live has a constant need to keep the flow of problems and solutions going on. As things stand right now, it is women achievers who not only need to tell other women to join the success camp by linking-up with education and self-reliance, but also accept those men who wish to be a part of their force. Men may be from Mars but this planet is still in the same solar system as Venus is in.

Women Movers In Education

Prof. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Prof. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Director ISI Kolkata
Prof. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Director-Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata

Prof. Sanghamitra Bandhopadhyay is an academician with a burning desire to excel and has achieved the highest echelons in her professional arena. She is an inspiration for all women, as she has attained the honor of becoming the first women director of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), and also the first person to hold the position twice. With her visionary approach, she has provided guidance to all ten centers of ISI, spread across India. Apart from her position at ISI, Prof. Bandhopadhyay has held several leadership positions like membership of the Board of Governors of several institutions including IIIT Hyderabad, NIAS Bangalore, NIT Agartala, HRI, Prayagraj, Member Senate, IISER and Member Education Commission of West Bengal.

She exercises the power to impact policies of national importance, serving on the Prime Minister’s Science and Technology Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC). It is the nation’s highest level think tank formulating and driving the long-term strategy for the country’s development in Education and Research through national mission projects in strategic areas. Other nations too have acclaimed her success, as she has been recognized as the Senior Associate, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, from 2013 to 2019, and got the Humboldt Fellowship from AvH Foundation, Germany, for 2009-2010.

Prof. Sanghamitra attained her master’s degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and went on to complete her Ph.D. at ISI. As a champion of the cause of quality research work, she has made an immense contribution by setting up institutes dedicated to research and development. She has established the first Bioinformatics Laboratory in the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).Prof. Bandyopadhyay has been instrumental in setting up the Technology Innovation Hub in ISI under the Cyber-Physical System mission with a funding of INR 100 Crore.

Under her stewardship, ISI created a HiPC data centre as part of the DBT funded systems medicine bio-cluster targeted towards cancer studies. The bio-cluster comprises six leading Institutes in Eastern India, with total funding of INR 140 Crore. As Director, she has founded the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (CAIML) in ISI Kolkata, Centre of Excellence in Economics of Climate Change, Food Security, Environment and Energy (CECFEE) in ISI Delhi and a research cluster in pattern recognition and document analysis jointly between ISI and University of Technology, Sydney.

Recipient of many awards, Prof. Sanghamitra has made her institute proud. She has been conferred with the TWAS Prize for Engineering Sciences in 2018, Infosys Prize in Engineering and Computer Science in 2017 and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Science in 2010. She has also received prestigious fellowships of IEEE, TWAS, IAPR, INSA, INAE and NASI, apart from the JC Bose Fellowship and Swarnajayanti Fellowship in Engineering Sciences.

Prof. Bandyopadhyay is one of the first computer scientists in India who forayed into problems in Biology and quickly established herself as a leading figure in the Bioinformatics community specializing in algorithm development. She has also done considerable work on pattern recognition in biology. She has made fundamental contributions in single and multi-objective genetic algorithm-based clustering. Her work is considered state of the art in evolutionary clustering.

She has co-authored three books namely “Classification and Learning Using Genetic Algorithms”, “Unsupervised Classification: Similarity Measures, Classical and Metaheuristic Approaches, and Applications” and “Multi-objective Genetic Algorithms for Clustering” which are used both as texts and references. Moreover, she has published over 250 papers in peer-reviewed refereed journal and high visibility conference proceedings. Prof. Sanghamitra leads a group of young and vibrant researchers many of whom are well-established now, setting up their own labs and publishing in top-tier journals themselves.

An inspirational research mentor, institution builder par excellence and a nationally prominent distinguished academic leader, Prof. Sanghamitra has positively changed the way statistical science was perceived and utilized for other domains. She continues to inspire research students and practitioners in computer sciences theory and application.

Prof. Karuna Jain

Prof. Karuna Jain
Prof. Karuna Jain, Professor – Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT-Bombay.

With over 30 years of exemplary professional experience, Prof. Karuna Jain is a torchbearer in the field of technology and operations management. As a member of many boards dedicated to science and management, she provides direction to technical advancement. Her interwoven technical and managerial expertise has earned her a place of repute on numerous academic, professional and government bodies. She acts in various capacities like President POMS India Chapter for years 2021 and 2022, Board Member of IAMOT 2020 and 2021, Director, PMI- GAC from Jan 2018 to Dec 2020 and re-elected for the term Jan 2021 to Dec 2023.

Currently, she is a Professor of Technology & Operations Management at Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. She has served as Director of National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) from 2013 to 2019, Dean of SJM School of Management IIT Bombay from 2007 to 2012 and MHRD IPR Chair at IIT Bombay from 2011 to 2014. She also shouldered responsibility as the Chairperson of Academic Advisory Group (AAG), PMI India from 2013 to 2015 and recently as Director, PMI Global Accreditation Center (GAC), from 2018 to 2020.

Her research work for high impact factor journals is noteworthy. She has published extensively in journals of repute like DSJ, EJOR, NRQ, IEEE- TEM, IJPE, IJPM, TASM, and TFSC to name a few. She has presented her research in many national (ORSI SOM, PMIRAC, ISDSI, POMS India) and international conferences (POMS, DSI, IAMOT, PMI). Her article titled “Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness Through BPR – A Case Study” published in July 2005 issue of Industrial Engineering Journal earned her the Best Case Study Award (Traditional Area).

Prof. Jain also has several awards to her name. Her academic journey has been adorned with laurels, and she received Gold Medal in B.E. for securing the first position in the B.E. Electrical Engineering, APS University Rewa, M.P in 1981. Since then, a series of awards have been conferred on her. In 2010 CMO Asia adjudged her the Best Professor in Operations Management in Asia.

In recognition of her inspired leadership of sustained excellence and valuable contributions to the field of project management, PMI India has conferred upon her the ‘Distinguished Fellow Award’ in 2019, at the award ceremony held during the 5th Project Management Research & Academic Conference at IIM Kozhikode. This award recognized her institution building in the academic or industrial sector for competency enhancement, inter-institutional and industry-institute linkages and advocacy.

International Association of Management of Technology (IAMOT) Board has conferred upon her the ‘Distinguished Service Achievement Award’ in 2019 for exemplary service in the area of MOT. On the same occasion, Prof. Karuna received Certificate of Recognition Award for serving as the Chair of IAMOT 2019 Conference Organisation Committee. She also received Education Innovative Leaders award for her impactful work in the education sphere in 2019.

The latest contributions by Prof. Karuna are beyond the field of education, and have promoted social upliftment. The most remarkable among them are Modelling Supply Chain for Medical Supplies and Essential Items under Disruptions with Risk Mitigating Strategies: An Analysis on COVID-19 Case and a Study on Technology Transfers from BARC. She has been working as a Partner Investigator in the Wadhwani Foundation– Indo US Collaboration Research Grant on Collaborative activities in the area of entrepreneurship: National Network Project since 2003.

Dr. Vinita Sahay

Dr. Vinita Sahay
Dr. Vinita Sahay, Director Indian Institute of Management, Bodh Gaya

An astute understanding of management and marketing practices, ability to establish efficient organizational habitats and a research-based academic approach are the qualities that define Dr. Vinita Sahay. She has been shouldering responsibility as the Director of IIM Bodh Gaya since 2018, the second woman ever to rise to this post. She is a member of All India Board of Management Studies, constituted by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), under the Management Expert category. She also serves as an expert for Scrutiny Committee for Graded Autonomy granted by AICTE to standalone institutions running PGDM programmes, as well as a member of UGC for Recognition Granting Committees for Universities.

Prior to her role as the director of IIM Bodh Gaya, Dr. Sahay was holding the position of Professor of Marketing at IIM Raipur. During her tenure as a Professor, she also acted as Chairperson of International Relations, Doctoral Program and Students Affairs divisions. Under her guidance, the number of partner institutions for International Relations increased to 18, and the student exchange program saw a rise of 100%. She also laid a strong foundation for student’s activities while heading the Students Affairs arena. As Chairperson (Fellow Programmes), Prof. Sahay started FPM in 2012 and EFPM in 2013, making it one of the most sought-after doctoral programmes within a short span of five years.

Dr. Vinita has also held the charge of Chairperson, PGDM Programmes at IMT Ghaziabad, while teaching there from 2007 till 2012. She brought about radical changes, leading major academic restructuring, adding various new electives keeping in the mind the industry’s requirements and bolstering several administrative systems.

Travelling across the world, Dr. Vinita has earned international repute. She has been a visiting professor at Aarhus University, Denmark for over nine years. She attended ‘Global Colloquium on Participant-Centred Learning (GloColl)’ at the Harvard Business School, Boston, U.S. and Harvard Centre, Shanghai, China. She was an Adjunct Professor at GlobalNxt University, Singapore. She also participated in “Developing Leadership, Governance & Management in Higher Education” programme conducted by Leadership Foundation for Higher Education & UKIERI in Birmingham, UK.

Dr. Sahay has spread her wings beyond the field of academics and has collaborated with corporate organisations for training and development of executives. She has conducted many management development programmes for their middle and senior-level officers of BPCL, ONGC, SCERT and IOC. She has also carried out many consulting assignments for central and state Government bodies.

As a researcher and author, she has co-authored many notable books on marketing, shopping experience, value creation for customers and supply chain management, which are used as textbooks and for citations. She has also published papers in well-known journals and edited three books. Her papers on CSR in the Indian retail industry were presented in the International Conference for Corporate Social Responsibility. She has the experience of organising two international conferences. Dr. Vinita focuses on adopting the latest changes in marketing sphere in her courses and papers, and motivates students and researchers to develop a novel perspective.

Dr. Vidya Shankar Shetty

Dr. Vidya Shankar Shetty
Dr. Vidya Shankar Shetty, Director and Controller of Examination – Reva University

Dr. Vidya Shankar Shetty, an eminent educationist, a prolific writer and education blogger has been involved in various domains of education. Apart from teaching, she has been involved in administration and strategy planning for K-12 and higher education, teacher training, pedagogy innovation, and research and development. Her guidance has led schools to the top league of K-12 education within a short span of time.

She is currently the Director and Controller of Examination at REVA University, Bengaluru. Blessed with a unique leadership style that creates a positive environment, Dr. Vidya Shankar, has always believed in bringing out the best in the team in her various positions starting from Principal to Director to CAO in reputed schools, colleges and universities in the country and abroad. Having started her career as a Lecturer at St Agnes College, Mangalore, she moved on to join the Presidency Group and set up Schools, Colleges and a University periodically. She was also the Director for Manipal K-12 Education, setting up schools countrywide and abroad.

In the position of the Director-Education at PEARSON K-12, India, the largest education company in the world, she set up 40 Institutions in India and Nepal over a span of less than five years. She was the Editor-in-Chief and Director at Edumedia India Pvt. Ltd. for over eight years. Her international foray has also been stellar. During her tenure as Chief Academic Officer for Dr. B R Shetty group in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, she set up schools for the group. She also made a huge impact in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where she was on the Advisory Board for Schools and responsible for compliance and performance standards.

Dr. Shetty has been bestowed with many awards as recognition of her work. She received the World Didac Award for MENTOR-the only magazine for Principals across the country, the Best Team Player Award from Edumedia India Ltd. and the Best Contributor Award by the Bar Council of India (BCI). For her exemplary services to the group, she received the Greatest Contributor to the Business Award from John Mackinson, CEO, PEARSON.

Her research work has been largely focussed on women. Dr. Vidya completed her thesis on Indian mythology and empowerment of women leaders. Her paper on Indian Women Entrepreneurs has also been presented in conferences, workshops and seminars. She is often invited by universities and colleges to speak on various emerging trends in education.

With a stretch of experience in academic governance from K-12 to higher education, she has been a key member of various management teams, aligning and involving in the development of organizations with key drivers and action owners of many management teams. Dr. Vidya has proved to be conscientious and analytical in her approach to education, emphasizing on skill centered learning. With a keen eye and perspective on the direction education must take to match the trends of the time, demands of industry and the NewGen expectation, Dr. Vidya Shankar has made an impressionable difference in all establishments she has been associated with.

Prof. Sriparna Basu

Prof. Sriparna Basu
Prof. Sriparna Basu, Professor – FORE School of Management

She’s a dynamic teacher and researcher who believes in not just moving with the changing times, but also creating new trends through her impactful writing. Meet Prof. Sriparna Basu, Professor of Communication at the FORE School of Management, New Delhi, and a visiting Professor at IIM Sambalpur. During her two decades of work in the sphere of academia she has taught at IMI- Delhi, IIFT- Delhi, IIT- Kharagpur, National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Prof. Sriparna has equally excelled at academic teaching and corporate training. She has been involved in training and consulting for several public and private sector organisations, where she guided executives at various levels to develop better communication skills. Some of the companies she has partnered with are ONGC, HHPC, IFFCO, Indian Oil, Power Grid, Aviation Academy of India, Punjab National Bank, Tata Motors, Bayer, Indian Institute of Public Administration, British Council, Relaxo and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

Prof. Sriparna Basu is always exploring the advances in technology that influence the field of media and communication. Her current research interest includes exploring the intersections between culture and technology, digital communication inclusions at the grassroot level and competing globalization in the era of technology. She is working on paradigm-shifting projects like ‘Teaching through Twitter: using social media aids as design-thinking pedagogy’, ‘Behaviour and Sustainability of Social Ventures and Small Firms in a diverse and developing country like India and ‘Websites Cultures of Emerging Asian Economies’. She is also exploring the relationship between individual’s perception on the overall value of intelligent AI-supported devices, and their behavioral intention to use such devices.

Research papers by Prof. Sriparna have been published in national and international journals of repute. Having completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, she has presented papers in 16 distinguished conferences. The international quarterly magazine, Global Asia, published by East Asia Foundation, awarded her $1000 for her article titled “India’s Future Shaped by the Past: The Politics of Foreign Investment”.

She is also a case writer, and the cases written by her have been acknowledged globally at Ivey-ISB case study competition in 2019, as well as WDI case competition in 2017. Many of her case studies and research papers are used as part of the curriculum by leading management institutions. Taking a keen interest in issues of social upliftment, Prof. Sriparna has done an in-depth study on the handloom industry and published a case study titled “Chanderiyaan: Weaving Digital Empowerment into the Indian Handloom Industry”.

Prof. Basu’s stupendous teaching, expert training and counseling skills and meticulous research work has etched her to be a valuable asset for the organizations she works with.

Shilpee Arora

Shilpee Arora
Shilpee Arora, Teacher and Guide, Works at EAB – Washington DC

A computer professional who has explored many avenues and reached a pinnacle position, Ms. Shilpee Arora is a teacher and guide, dedicated to the development of world-class software solutions for students. She is working with EAB, Washington D.C., with an aim to make the education products accessible to students and widen their effectiveness.

Her journey in the software field started almost 15 years ago when she joined the CDRST lab in the physics department of Delhi University, under the supervision of Dr. R. K. Shivpuri. Working as a System Analyst at the lab, she had an opportunity to work on a variety of international projects and got exposed to the latest computing technologies. An opportunity to visit CERN, Switzerland came her way, offering an incredible learning experience at one of the most advanced research labs. She utilized it to learn and understand grid computing in depth. Shilpee got another unique chance for intensive training on computing in research labs when she attended a week-long computing school in Helsinki, Finland.

Her professional life in USA started with Fermilab, Chicago, one of the most well-equipped research labs in the world. While working as a computer professional at Fermilab, she pursued her second master’s degree in Web and Information Technology. After completing her master’s course, she ventured out of the research-related software field and moved on to consulting projects for different fields like healthcare, banking and education.

Over the years, she ventured into myriad projects at different locations and related to various services. She chose the education-related software field as her destination and joined EAB, developing specialized solutions for the education domain. She takes part in the research and development of the products offered by the company and supports schools and colleges in streamlining their admission and examination systems, as well as in carrying out multi-channel marketing.

Throughout her journey, the role of mentors has been invaluable and has led her to places where she made a meaningful contribution. Shilpee continues to add value to the field of education and inspires youngsters to reach for their dreams.


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