DRIIVEffective Education Team

Dr. L.S. Shashidhara Professor of Biology & Dean Research, Ashoka University


Prof. L S Shashidhara is a Distinguished Professor and Dean (Research) at Ashoka University, Professor of Biology at IISER Pune and Principal Co-investigator of Pune Knowledge Cluster and founder member of Indian Cancer Genome Atlas (ICGA).

Prof Shashidhara specializes in Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolutionary biology. His group has identified key mechanisms that specify organ development and regulate growth control during embryonic development. They have also expanded their study to examine the status of these evolutionarily conserved mechanisms in epithelial cancers in human.

Prof Shashidhara has served in the past as Vice-President of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and Secretary General of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS). He is currently the President of IUBS (first Indian to be elected in its 100 years of glorious history).

For his contribution to basic and applied biology, Prof Shashidhara is recognized with CSIR Technology and SS Bhatnagar Prizes and JC Bose National Research Fellowship. In 2018, Prof Shashidhara was elected as Associate member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), an international recognition for excellence in research in life sciences.

Prof. Shashidhara has served/is serving as Chair/co-chair/member of various apex committees of Government of India and S&T organisations and is active in teachers' training and capacity building. He is steering an international project on Climate Change Education.

Dr. Jyoti Sharma Professor at Cluster Innovation Centre, Delhi University


Dr. Jyoti Sharma (Ph.D) is a Professor at Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi. As a founder faculty in the first Meta University based program, M.Sc (Mathematics Education) in the country, she has developed many innovative practices for mathematics teaching and ICT based learning. She is an active researcher and engaged in many governments funded research projects. Her main research interests are Mathematics Curriculum, Pedagogy & Evaluation and Education of Gifted Students. As a teacher educator, she is actively involved in non-conventional methods of math teaching and assessment. As a mathematics pedagogue, she has worked closely with pre-service math teachers, students, in- service math teachers and math educators. The priority of her work is to eliminate math fear among students and then develop within them a sense of appreciation for mathematics. She has been involved in several academic initiatives under different school boards, CBSE and NCERT. She is presently working on children with dyscalculia and on neuro-cognitive factors responsible for dyscalculia. She was the principal investigator of the flagship project on gifted education. She has developed several indigenous tools to identify gifted students in Indian classrooms. She is among the early educators who advocated the idea of identification as a continuation process and mentoring as an integral part of identification. She is strongly promoting reconceptualization of inclusive education by focusing on gifted students under same mandate.

Dr. Rajni Kaushik Assistant Director (Effective Education)


Dr. Kaushik joined DRIIV-Science & Technology Cluster, set up by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India (PSA) as Assistant Director (Effective Education). Following her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the National University of Singapore, she did her postdoctoral research at the Singapore-MIT Alliance of Research and Technology. Prior to joining DRIIV, Rajni was the Technical Principal consultant on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) at TÜV SÜD (Sustainable and Sanitation Services, Singapore).She has led the building up of environmental testing capabilities in India, China, Senegal and South Africa for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation towards non-sewered sanitation technologies. Being passionate about education for sustainability through WASH interventions, she has been actively involved in development of Digital Training Platform for hosting various teaching resources and providing self-paced training courses on Sanitation based ISO standards to various stakeholders and has Co-authored "Star" Rated Public Toilet Guidelines published by Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), India. Dr. Kaushik has also had a stint with UNILEVER R&D, as their Microbiological Lead in designing and testing the water purifier Pureit®. Dr. Kaushik is also serving as Assistant Director (Sustainability Practice and Skills) at Centre for Climate change and Sustainability, Ashoka University

Dr. Astha Saxena Consultant, DEEP-C (DRIIV)


She has done her Masters in Zoology, B.Ed, M.Ed and Ph.D (Science Education) from University of Delhi, New Delhi, India. She has a UGC-NET(JRF)in Education and has teaching and research experience of more than 5 years at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has taught papers like Pedagogy of Science, Conceptual foundations of education and Environment education at Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi for 2 consecutive years. She was associated with CIET (Central Institute of Educational Technology), NCERT, New Delhi for more than 2 years as an Academic Consultant and has contributed in the development of online course modules for Biology and Teacher Education, maintenance of online learning repositories like NROER (https://nroer.gov.in/welcome) and DIKSHA (https://diksha.gov.in/) and organizing National level academic events and quizzes. She has been a member of National School Health Programme (under Ayushman Bharat Initiative of Govt. of India) and has conducted online training workshops and taken sessions on Health, Hygiene, Cyber Safety and promotion of safe use of internet, gadgets and media as a NRG (National Resource Group) member of NCERT. She has done her doctoral study in the area of Pedagogical content knowledge of Science teachers, wherein she developed a framework for integrating ethics in science education. Her recent publication with Springer Nature is titled as, Ethics in Science-Pedagogic issues and concerns (https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789813290082).

Dr. Vijeta Choudhary Teaching Associate, DEEP-C (DRIIV)


Dr. Vijeta Choudhary did her B.Sc. (Honours) in Botany from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University. She further continued her education in Anthropology in M.Sc.& Ph.D. from Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi. She is a recipient of UGC- Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Post -Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi. She has conducted extensive fieldwork among population groups/Tribal groups of India. Dr Vijeta has published 17 research papers in international journals and edited one book. She has attended more than 25 national seminars, workshops and conferences and has been a Core Member and Joint Secretary of organizing committee of national seminars/conferences/conclaves /workshops held in Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi during 2013-2018. Dr. Vijeta has been involved in research, teaching, publication and compilation of reports along with other co-curricular activities at University level. Therefore, for the present post, she has been involved in planning & designing of workshops, building connections with teachers at Undergraduate level and preparation & compilation of data for the workshop.

Dr. Jagjit Kaur Teaching Associate, DEEP-C (DRIIV)


Dr. Jagjit Kaur has completed her Ph.D at Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, working on Technology, self and communication in education. She read for the M.Phil in education from Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies and her dissertation was on Globalization and Early Childhood Education. It emphasized upon the ways in which the neo-liberal agendas, tied with the globalization have created a new market for private preschools, thereby diminishing the already tattered Government preschool systems. Her primary research interests are education, curriculum, self and pedagogy in the present times characterized by liberalization, globalization and privatization. She has completed Bachelors in Elementary Education from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University and M.A. in sociology at School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her writings have been published in reputed journals such as Indian Journal of Educational Technology, National Council of Education, Research and Training, India among many others. Her active involvement in cultural programs involving voices of the marginalized in music, in theatre depicts her grit for equal opportunities. She has worked as an education specialist for Flow India, curriculum developer for IL&FS Education and Technology Ltd., Inspire Education on a freelance basis.

Brief Profiles of Advisory Members of the Project

Dr. Hemalatha Reddy Former Principal, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University


Dr. Hemalatha Reddy served as the Principal of premier and prestigious institute of Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi as a pioneering leader, dynamic administrator and innovative teacher. Having done her doctorate in Medical Biochemistry from University of Delhi in 1987, she started her career as an undergraduate teacher in Department of Biochemistry, Sri Venkateswara college ,University of Delhi.

As a leader Dr Reddy's focus has always been promoting quality and excellence in higher education. Dr Reddy has been a driving force for holistic development of the college - established various life science research facilities for the undergraduate programmes, initiated various research training programs and add on courses, developed linkages with Austria, Martin Luther University Germany Nordic centre. She has been involved extensively in curriculum development for UG courses in Delhi University. She has developed pedagogical tools, e-resources in science education supported by DBT and lecture plans in climate change and life sciences (TROIPCSU) in association with IISER PUNE. She conducted a number of workshops, national and international conferences in environment and Faculty Development Programs to help teachers and students to enhance their skills. Dr Reddy's expertise in higher education and science and technology has been utilized by a number of national committees in and outside Delhi University, namely, as a task force member of DBT STAR for the past nine years, advisory member of BIRAC ,DBT ,UGC and NAAC committees for peer review, as a Governing Body member in Central university of Haryana, KRMangalam University, Sri Ramachandra Institute of research and technology. Pondicherry University, DSTC- IIT Delhi to develop FDPs on effective education for various colleges in Delhi and NCR . Currently she is involved in developing Faculty developments programmes on Leader ship excellence for Academic development for ATAL academy (AICTE). She is also executive council member of Federation of Asian Biotech associations(FABA) to promote interaction between academia, scientists and industry in Biotechnology space in 21 partner countries.

Dr. Gitanjali Yadav Senior Scientist at NIPGR & Lecturer, Cambridge University


Dr. Gitanjali Yadav is a senior scientist at NIPGR and a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge. She is an expert in Genomics and machine learning, with applications in food security and ecosystem conservation. She is serving as a member of various national and international committees involved in research, policy and outreach. These include membership of NASI, Advisory Board of Hyderabad City Cluster (RICH-HCC), Executive Council of Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet), Trusteeship of St. Edmund's College (University of Cambridge), and National Core Committee of INYAS. Dr. Yadav promotes science as a way of life to students, and is an advocate/mentor for Women in Science. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, she has been conducting a series of free online training programs in Data Science and Complex Networks, under the name "Protocols From Home", in order to help students pick up vital skills in Computational Biology and make the best use of their time under global lockdown. In recognition of her outstanding work and outreach, Dr. Yadav has been conferred several awards, including SASTRA Obaid Siddiqi National Science Day Award 2021, SERB Women's Excellence Award, INSA Medal, NASI Scopus Young Scientist Medal, Yusuf Hamied Award (Cambridge University) and Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) by the DBT.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar Choudhury JNU


Dr. Pradeep Kumar Choudhury teaches economics at Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Currently, he serves as the Vice-President, International Longevity Economics (EIDLL) Network, Paris, France. Before joining JNU, he worked as a faculty at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (a research institute of the ICSSR, Govt. of India) and as a Research Fellow at Public Health Foundation of India and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. He did his PhD in Economics of Education from National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi. His research interests span a wide range of issues in Education and Development Economics. Recently, he completed an international collaborative study with Stanford University, USA that aims to assess and improve student learning in engineering and higher education in five different countries. He has also completed two other studies (sponsored by ICSSR and UGC) that examined the issue of inequality in educational opportunities among marginalised youths in India and the importance of financial incentives to bridge this. His co-edited volume titled Contextualising Educational Studies in India: Research, Policy and Practices was published by Routledge in 2021. In addition, he has published in several journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, International Journal of Educational Development, Journal of School Choice, Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Millennial Asia, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Higher Education for the Future, Economic and Political Weekly.

Dr. Simona Sawhney Associate Professor, IIT Delhi


Dr. Simona Sawhney is Associate Professor of Literature in the Department ofHumanities and Social Sciences at IIT-Delhi. She received her PhD inComparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine, and was a tenured faculty member at the University of Minnesota beforejoining IIT Delhi. She has also held teaching appointments at theUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne; the University of California, Berkeley; and Ambedkar University, Delhi.Her first book, *The Modernity of Sanskrit* was published by the University of Minnesota Press and Permanent Black. She is currentlycompleting two book projects--the first a translation of the Hindiwriter Yashpal's novel *Dada Comrade* (1941), and the second an editedcollection of essays on Yashpal titled *Yashpal: Gender andRevolutionary Thought*, co-edited with Professor Kama Maclean(University of Heidelberg). She is also working on a monograph on BhagatSingh and the idea of revolution.She teaches courses on modern Indian literature, Indian politicalthought, feminist theory, and political theory. Her work has beenpublished in national and international journals, and she has been a senior co-editor of the journal *Cultural Critique* (University of Minnesota Press) for over a decade. She has also served on the Research Advisory Council of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

Dr. Adita Joshi Founder and Director, Sansriti Foundation, New Delhi


Dr. Adita Joshi (Ph.D) is the Founder and Director, Sansriti Foundation, New Delhi. Her foundation works in the area of capacity building and scientific skill development in science education, communication and outreach. She has worked with K-12 Schools and Undergraduate colleges to conduct training programs for teachers and students in adopting inquiry- based pedagogy in classrooms. Under her leadership, Sansriti foundation has facilitated training of more than 230 teachers from schools and colleges, about 2000 students/research professionals in areas of Pedagogy of Inquiry, zebrafish animal models system, experimental biology, research methodology, technical and scientific writing, careers in science and science communication. Her foundation has worked with research and academic institutions, Not-for-profit organisations, multi-national corporates and K-12 schools. Dr. Joshi is a Mentor for ‘Women in STEM ‘, with UNDP Ajerbaijan, Baku chapter and a ‘Mentor of Change’ at Atal Tinkering laboratory’ under Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Niti Aayog. She is a certified ‘InSciEd Out Teacher Trainer’ and has received training and certification in Curriculum design, Pedagogy of Inquiry, Prescription education and Dialogue from InSciEd Out Foundation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA (www.insciedout.org). She is a recipient of the 'Teach for India' fellowship.Adita Joshi runs a collaboration with Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi under an MoU with Sansriti Foundation and has set up a Zebrafish research lab and teaching centre for organising student internships, workshops and faculty development programs. She is a Scientific consultant at CSIR-IGIB and has facilitated training and CME programs for Ayurveda Faculty, Ayurveda Professionals (Nationwide capacity building in Ayurgenomics and Prakriti Parikshan Methods in collaboration with Ministry of AYUSH).

Dr. Tavpritesh Sethi Associate Professor, IIIT-Delhi


Dr. Tavpritesh Sethi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational Biology and the founding head of Center of Excellence in Healthcare at IIIT-Delhi. His area of expertise is computational medicine and he has built artificial intelligence solutions for ICUs, COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance. Dr. Sethi received his M.B.B.S from Government Medical College, Amritsar and Ph.D. from CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India. He was a visiting faculty at Stanford University, Department of Biomedical Informatics Research for two years. He is a fellow of the DBT/Wellcome India Alliance and the Kavli Foundation (National Academy of Sciences, USA). Dr. Sethi has more than 30 peer reviewed articles published in international journals. He has delivered several keynote addresses at international venues and serves as an academic editor for PLOS One, Nature Scientific Reports, PeerJ and Journal of Genetics.

Dr. Mitali Mukerji Professor, IIT Jodhpur


Dr. Mitali Mukerji has recently joined IIT Jodhpur as a Professor of Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering. She was formerly a Chief Scientist at the CSIR- Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and was involved in setting up key genomics initiatives in the area or Rare genetic disorders, population genomics, functional genomics of repetitive sequences and Ayurgenomics. She has a PhD in molecular genetics from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (1997). Her research is in the broad area of understanding human genome structure and variation for its application in the discovery of biomarkers for predicting susceptibility to diseases, understanding human phenotypes and environmental adaptations and mapping mutational histories. She had been the convenor of the Indian Genome Variation Consortium project which provided the first comprehensive genetic landscape of the Indian populations. She has been involved in co-developing a new area of research “Ayurgenomics” which aims to integrate Ayurveda with modern medicine through genomics and was the program director of CSIR’s Ayurgenomics Unit TRISUTRA. The unit at present houses the Centre of Excellence on Applied developments in Ayurveda, Prakriti and Genomics supported by the m/o AYUSH. Her group has provided the first evidence for molecular correlates of Prakriti that lead identification of a predictive biomarker for high altitude adaptation. She has been recipient of a number of national awards, the CSIR Young Scientist’s Award (2001), DBT young woman scientist award (2008) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award (2010), Vasvik Award (2016) and is a fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences. She is also the board member of International Consortium on Human Phenomics.

DRIIV Getting Media Attention

Renewable India

DRIIV's Conference Spurs Global Dialogue on Equitable Climate, Health, and Open Access to Data

DRIIV, an S&T cluster of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, successfully hosted a momentous conference on ‘Role of Open Access in Equitable Climate and Health Action: Prevention, Response, and Financing’ under the esteemed aegis of G20-CSAR. The conference, convened on August 8th, 2023 at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi, served as a vital platform for global dialogue and collaboration on climate-health synergy... read more


Climate change may release ancient germs frozen in ice : Experts

The experts, including NITI Aayog Member V K Paul and ICMR Director General Rajiv Bahl, highlighted….heat-related injuries. Ancient germs frozen in ice for a long time might be released and pathogens could move to new places due to the climate change, experts have warned. The changing climate….could also lead to more waterborne and zoonotic diseases, they said at a conference by DRIIV, an initiative of OPSA to the government... read more

The Print

Climate change may release ancient germs frozen in ice : Experts

Scientific Secretary of the PSA office, said, “Climate change heightens the risk of vector-borne diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and the transmission of zoonotic diseases. Indirectly, it affects food systems, nutrition, water access, housing, education, and care.” Maini called for a comprehensive approach involving science, technology, and innovation to combat these challenges... read more

India Water Portal

Conference spurs global dialogue on equitable climate, health, and open access to data

DRIIV’s conference, convened on August 8th, 2023 at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi, served as a vital platform for global dialogue and collaboration on climate-health synergy. This event, organised under the esteemed aegis of G20 CSAR, underscores the vital role that open access to data, research, and resources play in shaping equitable solutions to these challenges... read more

Quick Biz News

DRIIV’s Conference Spurs Global Dialogue on Equitable Climate, Health, and Open Access to Data :

The conference, aimed to bridge critical gaps in climate-health research, foster cross-border cooperation and discuss strategies for resilient health systems. The inaugural session also saw the launch of the DRIIV Handbook. Dr. (Mrs.) Parvinder Maini, Hon’ble Scientific Secretary, O/o PSA to the GOI, delivered a keynote address that illuminated the conference’s core objectives and underscored the necessity for collective action.... read more

Shreyas Webmedia Solutions

DRIIV’s Conference Spurs Global Dialogue on Equitable Climate, Health, and Open Access to Data

Climate change’s far-reaching consequences on health are widely acknowledged, ranging from disrupted weather patterns such as heat waves, floods, and cyclones to the surge of vector-borne diseases and antimicrobial resistance. This event, organised under the esteemed aegis of G20 CSAR, underscores the vital role that open access to data, research, and resources play in shaping equitable solutions to these challenges... read more


Climate change may release ancient germs frozen in ice : Experts

The experts, including NITI Aayog Member V K Paul and ICMR Director General Rajiv Bahl, highlighted another worry – heat-related injuries and as temperatures go up, the risk of getting hurt from the heat becomes higher. Dr. Paul said, ‘As ice melts because of warmer temperatures, these ancient germs might be released. This adds another layer of concern to the already complex issue of health and climate change.’... read more

Hindustan News Paper