Trustees

 

Trustee

Profile

shankar-bajpai
K SHANKAR BAJPAI, Chairman

K Shankar Bajpai joined The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust as Chairman in 2014.  An alumnus of Merton College, Oxford University, UK, Mr  Bajpai joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1952.  He served in Bonn, Ankara and Bern from 1955-58;   He was Special Officer for Disarmament from 1958-62;  Political Officer at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan from 1962-65 following which he was Special Officer for Pakistan Affairs  for a period of two years.   He was Ambassador to Pakistan (1976-80), China (1980-82) and the United States of America (1984-86).  Between his stints in China and the United States, he was Secretary – External Affairs Ministry from 1983-84.  

Mr Bajpai entered academic life post retirement from government service in 1986.  He has served as Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies and Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley, from 1989-92. He was First Professor of Non- Western Studies, Brandeis University from 1992- 93.  In addition, he served as Visiting Fellow, Centre for International Security & Cooperation, Stanford in 2002. Mr Bajpai was also Senior International Adviser, Merrill Lynch International, New York from 1995-2000.  He is Chairman, Delhi Policy Group, an independent think-tank, since its founding in 1994.

rasgotra
M K RASGOTRA, Trustee

M K Rasgotra has been a Trustee at The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust since 1995.     He  helped the Trust in its formative years by providing key guidance and leadership.  He was Chairman of the Trust from 2011 to 2013.  

Mr Rasgotra, a student of Punjab University, began his career as Tutor at the Government College, Lahore in the early 1940’s and taught English at the Government College, Ludhiana.   He was appointed to the Punjab Educational Service in 1948.  He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1949. During his tenure, he served as the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, and Ambassador to Morocco, Tunisia, the Netherlands, Nepal, France and UNESCO.  Mr Rasgotra was Foreign Secretary from 1982-85. He received the Padma Bhushan in 2002.

soli-sorabji
SOLI SORABJI, Former Attorney General of India

Soli Sorabji  joined The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust in 1996.  He is a former attorney general of the country and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.  He has served as both the Solicitor General and Attorney General of India.  Mr Sorabji has argued several cases of constitutional importance in the High Courts and Supreme Court of India. These have been relating to fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution, particularly issues relating to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, censorship, independence and accountability of the judiciary and scope and limits of judicial review. He has also argued for the Government of India in the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

The UN Human Rights Commission had appointed him for the role of Special Rapporteur to report to the UN General Assembly on the human rights situation in Nigeria; and  UN High Commissioner appointed him as Personal Envoy for Human Rights to report on the human rights situation in East Timor to the High Commissioner and he has been a Member of the UN Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, as well as a Member of National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution. He has been appointed an honorary Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for service to Australia-India bilateral legal relations. He was also elected as Chairperson of the 56th session of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 2004

 

shakuntala
SHAKUNTALA BHATIA- Managing Trustee

Shakuntala Bhatia, wife of late Prem Bhatia, is a post graduate in political science from the University of Punjab.  She is a founding member of the Board of Trustees and has been associated with the Trust since its inception. She has been the moving spirit behind the Trust and managed it virtually single handedly in its early years.  She was responsible for organising the publication of Prem Bhatia writings in the two volumes published by the Trust: Witness to History and Reflections Along a Political Journey.  Mrs. Bhatia has been a very active social worker and has been involved with several organisations both in India and abroad.  She was one of the founders of The Asian Women’s Welfare Association in Singapore.

Anand
ANAND BHATIA – Managing Trustee

Anand Bhatia is the son of  Prem Bhatia and joined the Trust in 1996.  He graduated with in an Economics Degree from both Delhi University and Cambridge University in the UK. Most of his working life has been spent with Unilever, both in India and abroad.  His assignments have included being Managing Director of Lipton India Ltd. and Chairman Unilever Caribbean.  Post his retirement from Hindustan Unilever Ltd,  he is a non-executive Director in several companies including Whirlpool of India and EID Parry.  Mr Bhatia looks after the day to day administration of the Trust.

ASHA RANI MATHUR, Media  Consultant

AshaRani Mathur joined the Trust in 2004.  She is a freelance writer and editor who has edited and produced books on aspects of Indian life and culture as well as art catalogues for the Festivals of India – for which she was Director, Publications and Publicity – and also edited the inflight magazines of Air India and the former Indian Airlines. She has scripted documentaries for television and authored books on textiles, jewelry and shawls (among others) and written on subjects as far apart as restaurant food, travel and ancient India.

She was the  Music Producer for the label Music Today, and served for a year with INTACH as Director Cultural Affairs. Apart from acting as Trustee on the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust, she is also on the Advisory Council of ITRHD (Indian Trust for Rural Heritage Development).  She edited the Trust’s publication: The Indian Media Illusion Delusion and Reality,  which was a collection of essays in honour of Prem Bhatia.

mushirul-hasan
PROF. MUSHIRUL HASAN, Educationist

Prof. Mushirul Hasan   joined The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust in 2004.  Prof. Mushirul Hasan  has held the position of Vice Chancellor for the years 2004-2009 for Jamia Millia Islamia. He completed his M. A. at Aligarh Muslim University in 1969 and his Ph.D. at University of Cambridge in  1977. He has held positions as  Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Director, Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia.

He has received numerous prestigious awards including the highest French Civilian Award – Officer dans I’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the Prime Minister of  France.  He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 by the Hon’ble President of India, A P J Abdul Kalam.  Some of the other awards that Prof Mushirul Hasan has received  include the Professor Sukumar Sen Memorial Gold Medal by The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2006, Ford Foundation (SARC) Fellowship by the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Oxford in  2002-3.

He has published numerous books and papers and been part of a vast number of government sponsored delegations.

rami-chhabra
RAMI CHHABRA, Journalist

Rami Chhabra is a journalist, feminist and development consultant.  She joined The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust in 1996.  At a time when the number of women in journalism were a handful , Rami  Chhabra started her career at the early age of eighteen.   She started a column called ‘Woman About Town’ for The Statesman in 1969. It documented both the excitement of the first decade of the Indian women’s movement as well as a tracked women who were trying to make a difference to society. The passage of the controversial Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in 1972, which legalised abortion in India, was argued by Rami, which resulted in saving millions of women’s lives.

She wrote a  column ‘A Feminist Viewpoint’ for the Indian Express  which  focused on issues such as the Mathura rape case, dowry deaths, trafficking and other violence against women, the need to raise the marriage age, legislate matrimonial property rights, and address the poor representation of women in Parliament and the legislatures.

Rami Chhabra  has also worked with the Family Planning Foundation in 1978, where she bought a feminist perspective to a vast variety of public health issues. In 1986, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi handpicked her as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. She  has, during her career, been  invited to do a series of consultancies for the World Bank in Africa and World Health Organisation in Asia. She was responsible for the creation of the Prem Bhatia Award for excellence in reporting on environment and development issues and is the convenor of the Jury that selects the awardee.

ajay-s-mehta
AJAY S  MEHTA

Ajay Mehta has been a Trustee at The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust since 2004.  Ajay S Mehta has been the Executive Director of the National Foundation for India (NFI).  It is a philanthropic trust which supports civic action for promoting democracy and social justice.

He completed his education from Yale University, and did his M Phil (Economics) from Jawaharlal Nehru University.  In 2001, Ajay Mehta was General Secretary of the Association of Voluntary Agencies for Rural Development (AVARD), a national association of voluntary organizations in India. Ajay has also been a Chief Executive for Seva Mandir, an NGO that works with poor peasants on issues connected to health, education, livelihood and building their own community organizations. where he is currently the President of the board of trustees. 

raj-chengappa
RAJ CHENGAPPA , Journalist

Raj Chengappa is Group Editorial Director, India Today Group.   Prior to this, he was Editor-in-Chief for The Tribune Group of Newspapers.   He is also the founder editor of the Indian edition of Scientific American and India Today Aspire, a guide to education and careers.  

Raj Chengappa’s association with the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust began as the winner of the  Prem Bhatia Award for Political Analysis and Reporting in 1998.  He was inducted into the Board of Trustees in 2010.  

He has also won the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting in 1987. Mr Chengappa was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Henry Stimson Fellow for international security at Washington DC and a Harry Brittain Fellow partly at Oxford University. Mr Chengappa has covered the 2008-09 Sri Lankan Civil War, the 2003 Iraq War, the 2001 Afghanistan War and the 1999 Kargil War.

In addition, he has interviewed several leaders including General Pervez Musharraf and Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, Vladimir Putin, Hamid Karzai, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa, Queen Rania of Jordan, John Kerry, former US Presidential candidate, Al Gore, former US Vice President and Ms Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State.  He has authored award-winning exclusives on India’s nuclear tests in 1998.

He is also the author of the best selling book on India’s nuclear weapons titled Weapons of Peace: The Secret Story of India’s Quest to be a Nuclear Power.

parthasarathy
G PARTHASARATHY, Former Ambassador

Gopalaswami Parthasarathy has been a distinguished diplomat and civil servant with the Indian government. He has served as Ambassador of India to Myanmar, (1992-95), High Commissioner of India to Australia (1995-98 )and to Pakistan (1998-2000) . He joined the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust in 2010.

Mr  Parthasarathy is currently a visiting Professor in the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and a Senior Fellow and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi.  

Mr Parthasarathy has also served in Russia, Tanzania and USA. He was the Deputy Secretary in the Foreign Secretary’s Office in New Delhi. He has served as the Spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs Information Adviser and Spokesman in the Prime Minister’s Office to Late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.   

He also writes for a number of newspapers and news agencies in India and abroad on foreign policy and national security issues. He is on the Panel of Experts from India for Track 2 Dialogue with ASEAN and the advisor to the National Security Council.

shyam-bhatia
SHYAM BHATIA, Journalist

Shyam Bhatia is the son of Prem Bhatia and joined the Trust in 2011.  Shyam Bhatia was selected as Foreign Journalist of the Year in the annual British Press Awards in 1994. He has been  a foreign correspondent  who has operated out of  Cairo, Beirut, Jerusalem and Washington DC. Mr Shyam Bhatia has been Middle East correspondent and diplomatic editor of The Observer, foreign editor of the Deccan Herald and editor of Asian Affairs magazine.

He currently lives in London. He is the author of the book Bullets and Bylines: From the Frontlines of Kabul, Delhi, Damascus and Beyond

seema-mustafa
SEEMA MUSTAFA, Journalist

Seema Mustafa joined the Trust in 2012.  She is an Indian print and television journalist and founder of The Citizen, an independent digital daily based in New Delhi. Seema is a recipient of the  Prem Bhatia Award for Excellence in Political Reporting and Analysis in 1999 for her coverage of the Kargil war in May–July 1999.  She began her career with The Pioneer in Lucknow, followed by  The Patriot in 1979. She has worked for several Indian publications, including The Telegraph and Indian Express .She joined the Asian Age in 1997 as its political editor and Delhi bureau chief.  Seema worked as Resident Editor of Covert, a fortnightly  political magazine. She has also worked as Resident Editor of The Sunday Guardian .  She has worked at NewsX, hosting a weekly interview programme named Straight Talk With Seema Mustafa. She has also been National Affairs Editor at News X.

Seema Mustafa was responsible for editing and producing the Trust publication Journalism Ethics and Responsibilities.

khare
H C  KHARE, Journalist

Dr Khare joined the Trust in 2015 for a second time.  Earlier he had been a Trustee for several years before stepping down because of other commitments.  He has had extensive experience as a reporter, commentator, public policy analyst, and academic researcher. He has worked for The Hindu, The Times of India, and The Hindustan Times as well as other Indian and foreign publications.

He recently published a book on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, How Modi Won It — Notes From the 2014 Election. Dr .Khare, between June 2009 and January 2012, was Media Adviser to the Prime Minister of India. From January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, he was a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow.

Harish Khare has a PhD in Political Science from Yale University, USA. The Tribune Trust appointed him as the Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune Group of Publications in 2015.