Academic Council

The Academic Council is the highest governing body of Somaiya Vidyavihar. The role of the Academic Council is to review and make recommendations pertaining to our academic culture and standards. Our Academic Council is comprised of leading authorities from the world of learning.

Abhishek Ghosh

Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies and Religious Studies at Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA

Dr. Abhishek Ghosh is an Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies and Religious Studies at Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA. He received his academic training in Religious Studies and South Asian Studies at Oxford University, UK and the University of Chicago. His main areas of research interests include the history of religions, postcolonial studies, and Hindu studies.

Anuj Bhagwati

Managing Director of A.T.E. Enterprises in Mumbai

Anuj Bhagwati is Managing Director of A.T.E. Enterprises in Mumbai and a Director of its affiliate companies. His business interests are in textile engineering, clean technology and printing and packaging. He has experience across all areas of small and medium enterprises. His non-profit engagements include the Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai (Trustee), the Kalaghoda Association (committee member), the Institute of Human Settlements (Director),the Praja Foundation (Co-Founder), the Governing Council of the Bombay Textile Research Association (Member), the K J Somaiya Trust (Trustee), the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning Advisory Council (Member), and the Cornell University Council. He holds undergraduate (B.S., Engineering Physics) and graduate (M.S., Applied Physics) degrees from Cornell University, where he did research in solid state physics.

Bimal Mehta

Executive Director of Vakil & Sons Pvt. Ltd

Bimal Mehta is the Executive Director of Vakil & Sons Pvt. Ltd (Vakils), a premier printing and publishing firm based in Mumbai. Over the last 18 years he has been involved in the restructuring of Vakils from a traditional print company to a high-tech IT enabled services company. He is also the working director of Vakils Premedia, a company with offices in India and the US that works with leading corporations to offer premedia and cross media services around the world. Mehta serves on the governing council of the Service Export Promotion Council, and has been Vice President of the Bombay Master Printers Association and on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Bombay. Part of his Rotary service involves being Chairman of the two Vocational Centres in Mumbai involvement in the Boys Orphanage Home. Mehta holds an MBA from Boston University’s Graduate School of Management.

Lt Gen Jagbir Singh

Honorary Secretary for Group of various Trusts

Lt Gen Jagbir Singh is the Secretary for the group of various Trusts under the Somaiya Umbrella. A graduate of the National Defence Academy he was commissioned in the Indian Army in June 1978. A recipient of four Presidential Awards for distinguished service, he has held numerous important appointments during the course of his illustrious career spanning almost four decades. In addition to combat and command assignments at various levels he has also been involved in the conduct of numerous studies associated with formulation of strategy, operational concepts, force structuring and transformation of the Army. An alumnus of the National Defence College, New Delhi, he has been a member of the faculty at the prestigious Defence Services Staff College at Wellington. In his last assignment in service Lt. Gen. Jagbir Singh had administrative command of the Indian Army in Peninsular India which also included a number of training, medical and educational establishments. He holds an MPhil Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Madras University.

Dr. Jagdish Parikh

Director & Founder

Dr. Jagdish Parikh: B.A, B.Com (Bom); MBA & ITP (Harvard) PhD in Management is Director: Lemuir Group of Companies, Technova Group of Companies, Noema (India) Pvt. Ltd, Tropicfilm Pvt. Ltd and Allied Pickfords; He is Chairman: G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture; Co-founder of the World Business Academy (USA), Founder President of the Centre for Executive Renewal (Switzerland), Managing Trustee of The Education Foundation of India, Member of the Board of Governors: Asian Institute of Management (Manila 1973 - 2009). Dr. Parikh is / has been Keynote Speaker in International Conferences, and Visiting Speaker / Seminar Leader at several International Business Schools in US, Europe, India, China and Japan as well as in several leading Multinational Corporations. He has authored “Managing Your Self : Management by Detached Involvement" (has been a Best Seller); "Managing Relationships: Making a life while making a living", and co-authored with Warren Bennis: “Beyond Leadership: Balancing Economics, Ethics and Ecology". He has worked on an Honorary basis for several Institutions and for the Government of India, as Vice Chairman of the Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism and as Chairman of the Film Finance Corporation, (now National Film Development Corporation) which co-produced the multiple Oscar winning film GANDHI.

John Thomas

Lecturer & Co-chair

John Thomas is Lecturer in Public Policy, Faculty Chair of the Singapore Program, and Co-chair of the Leaders in Development Program in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. His research and teaching interests are on how political processes shape policy change and organizational performance in a global environment. He helped to establish the Public Policy Program at the National University of Singapore and is a member of the Harvard Medical School Working Group on the Reform of Medical Education. He has counseled Asian, African, and Latin American universities on the development of public policy programs and advised the governments of Kenya, the Philippines and Bangladesh on land reform and poverty alleviation, organizational capacity and policy change strategies. He was a founding member of Oxfam America Board of Directors. Thomas holds MPA and Ph.D. Degrees from Harvard University.

Joost Bonsen

Social Entrepreneur

Joost Bonsen is a social entrepreneur who has helped bring to life some of Boston's best development ventures, including award winning start-ups Click Diagnostics and Assured. His own early ventures include the Howtoons Project, a comic book series directed at making engineering interesting by guiding children to build things from everyday materials, and a long running weekly television show titled HIghTechFever that highlights key players in social entrepreneurship. He is a student of all forms of innovation, from developments in research labs to overall innovation ecosystems. Bonsen is a double graduate of MIT. He has an Undergraduate work in Bio-Electrical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management. The findings from his Master’s Thesis were published by BankBoston under the title of MIT: Impact of Innovation.

Kavita Anand

Executive Director & Founder

Kavita Anand is Executive Director of Shishuvan School in Mumbai, founder of Adhyayan Quality Education Services and sole prietor of Active Learning Center. She is a trustee of the Tamarind Tree Trust and Mandala, a center for arts collaboration research and education. Earlier Anand served as a Program Officer at the Ratan Tata Trust and the Aga Khan Education Service. Her research experience focuses on mainstream and alternative schooling in India. She is actively engaged in theatre, film and television as a joint theatre and film critic for Mid-Day, Indian Post, the Sunday Observer and Asian Age, and the host of Teer Kaman, a chat show for children and Fireflies. Since October 2011 she has been the Vice-Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India. Anand has an Undergraduate Degree in Arts and a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Bombay.

Dr. Kenneth Mills

Professor of History at the University of Michigan

Dr. Kenneth Mills (D. Phil. University of Oxford) is the J. Frederick Hoffman Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Before arriving in Ann Arbor, he taught at the University of Toronto and at Princeton University. Professor Mills is an anthropological historian of the early modern Spanish world, with an emphasis on the colonial Spanish Americas. His special interests concern the history of religious and cultural transformation and re-creation, about which he has spoken at international conferences and given guest lectures at Somaiya Vidyavihar. Kenneth Mills is currently writing a book about an itinerant alms-collector and image-maker, Diego de Ocaña (ca. 1570-1608).

Larry Faulkner

President Emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin

Larry Faulkner is President Emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin and President Emeritus of the Houston Endowment. He served as the 27th President of UT-Austin from 1998 to 2006 and led the Houston Foundation from 2006 to 2011. Prior to these assignments he was Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois. In 2010 UT-Austin named its nanoscience building after him in recognition of his leadership in bringing the university's nanoscience program to national prominence. Faulkner holds undergraduate (Southern Methodist University) and doctoral (UT Austin) degrees in chemistry and taught on the faculties of The University of Texas, the University of Illinois, and Harvard University. He sits on the Board of the Exxon-Mobil Corporation and other companies.

Mehul Mehta

Vice-President and Executive Team member

Mehul Mehta is Vice-President and Executive Team member in Partners Healthcare International and Clinical Instructor in Ophthalmology in the Harvard Medical School. His service interests include memberships on the advisory boards of the Perkins School for the Blind in the U.S., the CSR health care and education projects of the Mehta Group, and the Max India Institute of Healthcare Management at the Indian School of Business in Mohali. He is a member of the American Institute of Ophthalmology and of the McKinsey Alumni Association. Mehta holds an undergraduate MBBS degree in Medicine, Surgery and ObGyn and a Master of Surgery degree in Ophthalmology from Bombay University and an MA in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University.

Pankaj Chandra

Director and Professor at the Indian Institute of Management

Pankaj Chandra has been Director and Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. His specializations are Manufacturing Management, Building Technological Capabilities, Supply Chain Coordination, and Hi-Tech Entrepreneurship. Chandra holds a B. Tech. degree from Banaras Hindu University and a Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Prior to joining IIM Bangalore he was on the faculties of IIM Ahmedabad, the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, and McGill University in Montreal, Canada and in addition has had visiting appointments in China, Switzerland and the U.S. He has been consultant to many private and public institutions in India, Bangladesh, Canada and the U.S., including the World Bank.

Porus Olpadwala

Adjunct Professor in the University of New Mexico

Porus Olpadwala is Dean Emeritus of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning and Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. After retiring from Cornell he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he is an Adjunct Professor in the University of New Mexico. His scholarly interests are in the areas of comparative political economy, urban and economic development, environmental issues, and problems of higher education. In the nineteen sixties he worked in India in the business sector, in Price Waterhouse and the Indian affiliate of Jardine Mathesen. Olpadwala holds an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting from the University of Calcutta and Graduate Degrees from Cornell in Business and Planning.

Rudra Pratap

Professor & Chairperson of the Center for Nano science & Engineering

Rudra Pratap is Professor and Chairperson of the Center for Nano science and Engineering of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. His research and publication have been in the areas of micro and nano electro-mechanical systems, nonlinear dynamics and applied dynamics systems, and structural vibration and vibroacoustics. He is the author and co-author of three books and over fifty scientific papers, and has lectured and taught in Switzerland and the U.S. Pratap has been honored with the M. Hetenyi Award of the U.S. Society for Experimental Mechanics, the H.D. Block Prize for excellence in teaching, and the Blue Ribbon Award for Literary Achievement from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He holds a B. Tech with Honors from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, an M.S. from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Samir Somaiya

Chairman and Managing Director of Godavari Biorefineries Ltd., President of Somaiya Vidyavihar

Samir Somaiya is a distinguished leader with a remarkable portfolio encompassing diverse sectors. As Chairman and Managing Director of Godavari Biorefineries Ltd., he drives the company's sustainable solutions for renewable chemicals and biofuels. Additionally, he holds key positions as the Chancellor of Somaiya Vidyavihar University and President of Somaiya Vidyavihar, contributing significantly to academic excellence and educational development. He also holds the position of President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, advocating for economic growth and trade.

Samir Somaiya's influence extends beyond education and business. He serves as the Chairman of K. J. Somaiya Trust, K. J. Somaiya Medical Trust, K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agriculture Research, and The Girivanvasi Pragati Mandal, organizations dedicated to social welfare, education, and medical advancements. Furthermore, he is the founder of the Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory (riidl), a Business Incubator that supports young entrepreneurs and fosters innovation.

Samir Somaiya has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards throughout his career, showcasing his exceptional contributions and achievements. Notable among them are the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, honoring his efforts in fostering international collaborations, and the Lala Shriram National Award for Leadership in the Chemical Industry, acknowledging his remarkable leadership and accomplishments in the sector. He has also received the Shri Kutchi Lohana Mahajan Gnati Gaurav for outstanding community service, the American Institute of Chemical Engineer’s Award for Scholastic Achievement, and the American Institute of Chemists Award, highlighting his exceptional academic performance and contributions to the field of chemical engineering. These awards stand as a testament to Samir Somaiya's relentless pursuit of excellence and his significant impact in various domains, earning him respect and admiration from peers and the broader community alike.

Furthermore, Samir Somaiya actively contributes to academia as a Visiting Instructor at the School of Chemical Engineering - Cornell University. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Dynamic Sustainability Laboratory at Syracuse University. With a distinguished educational background, including a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, an MBA, Master of Chemical Engineering, and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, Samir Somaiya stands as an accomplished leader, leaving a positive impact on various spheres of society.

Tanmayanand Saraswati

Teacher of Vedanta

Swamini Tanmayanand Saraswati is a well-known teacher of Vedanta, a body of Indian scriptures. She has undertaken in-depth studies of the Bhagavad Geeta, the Upanishads and the Brahmasutras. Presently she is committed to the teaching and propagation of the scriptures, both within the country and abroad. The Swamini is widely appreciated for her eloquent and lucid expositions of the scriptural texts. Swamini Saraswati is the founder and Chief Acharya of a spiritual organization called ‘Param Praman Darshan’ which has as its main objective the promotion of the culture and heritage of India and spreading the message of the ancient preceptors through modern means of communication. She has authored a number of books on topics related to Vedanta. Prior to undertaking a life of spirituality the Swamini earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education.