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Board of Trustees

Dr. Neerja Sharma

Dr. Neerja Sharma assumed the role of Managing Trustee on July 16, 2016

She joined PDEI Trust on June 10, 2006. She is Associate Professor at the Department of Human Development and Childhood Studies, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi. She specializes in the areas of adolescence, disability, mental health, education and research methods. Apart from publishing several research papers and book chapters, Dr. Sharma has authored three books: Understanding Adolescence (NBT), Identity of the Adolescent girl, and Evaluating Children in Primary Education (both Discovery). In 2008 she co-edited a book titled ‘Researching Families and Children: Culturally Appropriate Methods’ (Sage). In 2009, Dr. Sharma has published a chapter with Nandita Chaudhary titled ‘Human Development: Contexts and Processes’ in an ICSSR sponsored volume ‘Psychology in India’ (Pearson Education). She is on the Reference Group of the International Association of Universities under UNESCO. In 2008-09 she served as an advisor-cum-editor for the NCERT class XI textbook on ‘Human Ecology and Family Sciences’. Apart from being a trustee at Pratham, Dr. Sharma is an advisor to RAK Child Study Centre at Lady Irwin College, Snehi (mental health), Karuna Vihar, Dehradun (disability) and Springdales School (inclusive education).

Mr. Romesh Kapoor

Mr. Kapoor joined Pratham Delhi Education Initiative Trust on June 8, 2004 and has been the Treasurer of the Trust since July 1, 2004. He is a member of the Institute of Charted Accountants in England and Wales. He was senior Vice President of Zuari Agro and President of Goa Management Association (GMA). He took keen interest in professional and community activities in Goa and besides being Chairman of GMA, was also Chairman of the Fertilizer Association of India (Western Region) and Goa Cricket Association. He was also Council Member of All India Management Association, FAI’s Marketing Advisory Committee, Goa Chamber of Commerce, Salgoacar Management Institute, College of Engineering and Agnel Ashram. He is also associated with Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and is Honorary Financial Advisor to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Trust and Chair Kamla Choudhary Charitable Trust.

Dr. Annie Koshi

Dr. Koshi joined the Trust on March 20, 2010. She is Principal of St. Mary's School, New Delhi. A devoted social worker, she actively advocates the cause of the disabled and has worked hard to introduce an Inclusive education system which involves a schooling where physically, mentally, emotionally and financially-challenged children study in the mainstream, a school where 'difference' is accepted and celebrated. As a social activist, she has been instrumental in bringing in legislation to change methods of assessment for the visually-challenged in the Board Examinations as well as legislation that restrains the use of Government school teachers for out of schoolwork like election duty and census. Ms. Koshi received the prestigious National Award for Teachers, conferred by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, in the year 2004. She has also been felicitated by the National Literacy Mission for her leadership in the field of literacy, awarded the National Child Care Award, India Development Education Award and the Freelance Journalists & Writers' Association Award, twice, for her contributions in the fields of education, art and culture. She has authored various books and writes poetry.

Dr. Venita Kaul

Dr. Venita is a founder Trustee of Pratham Delhi Education Initiative.

Dr.Venita has done her doctorate in Educational Psychology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. She retired from the World Bank as Senior Education Specialist in 2008 after rendering her services for about 10 years in this capacity. Before joining the World Bank, she was Professor and Head of Department of Preschool and Elementary Education at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). In 2000 and 2007 she led the preparation of the Country paper on status and progress on ECCE in India for UNESCO. She has written several books and papers in reputed journals.

At present, Dr. Venita is Visiting Professor of Education in Ambedkar University, Delhi and is engaged in setting up a Center for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED) in the University for Policy Research, Capacity building, Advocacy and networking in ECED.

Mr. Syed Shahid Mahdi

Mr. Mahdi is one of the founder Trustee of Pratham Delhi Education Initiative (PDEI) Trust. A retired member of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), he has served in various positions in Bihar and Government of India. He was India’s Alternate Permanent representative in FAO of United Nations and Member of several FAO Inter Governmental Committees. For more than a decade he has been in the senior most professional position (D2) with FAO of the United Nations at Headquarters and Director of country offices in Nepal, Yemen, and Ethiopia.

Mr. Mahdi was Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (a Central university) and is credited for quantum improvements and expansion in Academics, Infrastructure and Information Technology during his tenure. He is member of many educational bodies and institutions.

At present, Mr. Mahdi is Vice President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Mr. Vinod C. Khanna

Mr. Khanna launched Pratham Delhi Education Initiative (PDEI) in 1999 and was its first Managing Trustee. He is retired member of Indian Foreign Service and has served as India’s ambassador to Cuba, Indonesia and Bhutan. Mr. Khanna holds degree from Oxford University and has studied law from University of Delhi.

He is Honorary Executive Chairman of Council for Social Development and Principal Consultant of Tech Mahindra Foundation.

Prof. R. Govinda

Prof. Govinda is a founder Trustee of Pratham Delhi Education Initiative. He retired from the board after completing the term of 3 years and rejoined the board in July 2005.

Prof. Govinda is Vice Chancellor of National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA). He has taught at the Centre of Advanced Study in Education, Baroda and was on the Faculty of International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO, Paris and Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore. He is Consultant for UNESCO, UNICEF, ACCU, NORAD, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He has published several books and professional papers in Indian and international journals. He specializes in Policy Analysis, Decentralized Management, Basic Education, Non-formal Education and Educational Evaluation.

Prof. Shyam Menon

Prof. Menon joined the PDEI Trust on August 18, 2012. He is with the Ambedkar University, Delhi since August 2008 as its first Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Menon has been a Professor at the Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi since 1994. He had been Dean, Faculty of Education and the Proctor of the University of Delhi. He had earlier been Director, School of Education, Indira Gandhi National Open University and a Professor at the Central Institute of Educational Technology, NCERT. He had also taught at the M.S. University of Baroda for several years.

Much of his work has been in Curriculum Studies, Higher Education and Teacher Education. He edited the journal, Perspectives in Education, for many years. He is at present on the international advisory board of Comparative Education, Teaching Education and Asia Pacific Journal of Education. He is currently on the Task Force on Access and Equity in Higher Education constituted by the International Association of Universities.

Dr. Divya Jalan

Dr. Divya joined Pratham Delhi Education Initiative as a Trustee on 25 April, 2015.

She has been a member of the General Council and Trustee of Common Cause since June 1999. Her professional work is in the area of education. She is committed to influencing policy makers, teachers and communities to create inclusive educational structures, regardless of the extent of economic disadvantages and disabilities that children may come with. She was educated at Calcutta University and University of London and did her doctoral work through SNDT University, Mumbai. She is a founder member of Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI), and is on the executive boards of several Organizations, including the Rehabilitation Council of India and the Goodearth Education Foundation. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of Association for Childhood Education International, Washington, D.C.

Mr. P.K Tripathi

Mr. P.K Tripathi joined the PDEI Trust on 25 April, 2015

He served Public Grievances Commission as a Chairman in 2013. He is a 1977 batch IAS Officer of AGMUT Cadre. He did his BA and MA (Political Science) from Allahabad University with Gold Medal for highest marks in Political Science at under-graduate level in the University. Before joining the Indian Administrative Service, he also served as a Lecturer in Political Science at Lucknow University. He has served in Union Territories including Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He has experience of Municipal Governance having served as Secretary, NDMC and Commissioner (Land), Delhi Development Authority. He has held important positions in the Government of India such as Director, Total Literacy Campaign (National Literacy Mission), Department of Education, Ministry of HRD and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. He has also held different positions in Government of Delhi like Commissioner (Sales Tax), CEO (Delhi Jal Board) and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Delhi along with the additional charges of Principal Secretary (Commonwealth Games / Tourism/ Administrative Reforms). He superannuated as Chief Secretary Govt. NCT of Delhi in 2012.

The Trustees who retired, after completing their respective terms or resigned, rendering distinguished services to the PDEI Trust are as follows:

  1. Ms. Farah Naqvi, Educationist
  2. Mr. Satish Kaura, Chairmen & Managing Director, Samtel Corporate Office
  3. Mr. P. P. Chauhan, IAS (Retd.)
  4. Mr. B.G. Varghese, Senior Journalist.
  5. Mr. Lalit Narula, Chairman, Narula’s
  6. Ms. Manju Bharatram, Founder, Sri Ram Schools
  7. Ms. Brinda Singh, Social Worker
  8. Ms. Vimala Ramachandran, Educationist
  9. Ms. Ramni Narula, ICICI Bank
  10. Mr. Vinay Shankar, IAS (Retd.)
  11. Mr. M. Rajan, Senior Executive (Retd.), UNICEF
  12. Ms. C.P Sujaya, IAS (Retd.)
  13. Mr. Sandeep Malhotra, ICICI Bank
  14. Ms. Rebecca Mammen John, Senior Advocate, High Court of Delhi
  15. Mr Vikram Lal, Trustee, Vikram Sarabhai Foundation
  16. Mr. Ashok Mahindra, Former Treasurer and Vice-President, WWF India
  17. Ms. Shailaja Chandra, Chairperson, Delhi Public Grievances Commission


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