Prof. Nalini K. Rao is a senior academic specialized in heritage and tourism studies, with vast experience in developing equitable and sustainable tourism plans and over 50 publications in national and international journals and several book chapters. She has authored three books on the art and culture of “Ladakh”, “Ladakh and Mustang”, “Himalayan Desert”, published by Roli Press. She was Head of the Department of Tourism, University of Delhi. She also taught at the College of Vocational Studies, and was visiting professor at Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia University. She served on the Board of Equations (Equitable Tourism Options), Bangalore and has made Tourism Plans for several states in India including Kerala, Ujjain, Himachal, Leh, Kullu Manali Valley with INTACH. As a Guest Faculty in the Dept. of Conservation, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, she teaches a course on cultural tourism and serves as a Guide for students in the final semester studio class on site development plans, mapping, design, restoration of processes and on the use of materials and application of theories of conservation to heritage buildings, arts, crafts and architecture. Prof. Rao researched Shekawati painted houses in Rajasthan while leading a project on Tourism and Representation: The Dalit Perspective- Case Study of Nawalgarh, Shekhawati, Rajasthan. Prof. Rao is co-PI of the IDH: Vijayanagara Murals project funded by DST, GoI at IIACD with Prof. Vijay Chandru (PI).
Prof. Vijay Chandru (PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has three decades of academic experience in digital technologies and computer science research at Purdue University and the Indian Institute of Science. He is a fellow of the Indian Academies of Science and Engineering. As co-convenor of the Perceptual Computing Laboratory (PerCoLat) at IISc for a decade (1995-2005), he participated in semantic web language development, in advances in visualization for scientific data and in development of the Simputer. Vijay is a recipient of several national and international awards including UGC’s Hari Om Trust award for contributions to science and society in 2003. He co-founded Strand Genomics (2000). Given his patient advocacy interests in rare/orphan genetic diseases, in 2014, Vijay co-founded the Organization for Rare Diseases in India (ORDI), which was incubated at IIACD. He leads the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Initiative at CHET. Vijay also heads the Digital Heritage technology team at IIACD that is building the Knowledge Bank which will serve as a repository of knowledge generated by over 20 art, cultural and technology institutions that have been working on the unique cross disciplinary multi-institutional Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) initiative supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, with a focus on Hampi.
Ranjana Ramchander was born in Pune, India, where she spent the first 20 years of her life. She studied Drawing and painting at the Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya and Sir J.J. School of art,Mumbai, India. She has held independent shows at Chitrakala Parishat and Alliance Francaise in Bangalore, Jamnalal Bajaj Art Gallery in Mumbai, and Art Forum in Singapore. She has worked with the French artist, Christian Puard on the ancient technique of Tempura painting, a technique she uses considerably in her new series of paintings.
Along with her husband Late Shri. Ramchander, Ranjana founded the Hemophilia Society Bangalore Chapter in 1992. The society has undertaken awareness programs at all levels and made the first animation film on hemophilia. As the General Secretary (from 2000-2013), Ranjana successfully advocated with the Govt of Karnataka to include Hemophilia in the,"Prevention of Disability Act" and hence provide free factor treatment (which is very expensive) through designated Govt hospitals throughout the state since 2005. She also served as Executive Committee member on the board of Hemophilia Federation, New Delhi and Vice Chairperson of Society for Hemophilia care, New Delhi.
Uma’s multidisciplinary background includes an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics (BSc) with a minor in Education from Women’s Christian College, Chennai, an MEd. from Lesley University in Special Education and an M.S from Purdue University, USA in Environmental Design and all but dissertation towards a doctoral degree in Cultural Anthropology at Purdue University where she was awarded a Doctoral Fellowship. Teaching experience includes: Design and Anthropology fundamentals at Purdue University, USA. As a faculty member of Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, Uma designed curriculum and taught Ethnographic Research, Design Research methods, Art and Design Law, Future of Craft and various other courses and labs for art, film and design students. She has guest lectured at postgraduate design and management institutes in Bangalore. As a Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH) at Smithsonian Institution (Fall 2007), she researched and reflected upon grounded and democratic policy and practices in the craft sector that empower and enable sustainable livelihoods of indigenous crafts communities in cultural and heritage tourism sites in India, without endangering human rights and community rights to equitable benefits from their tangible and intangible heritage. Uma co-founded the International Institute for Art, Culture and Democracy (IIACD) and heads the Heritage Arts Initiative (HAI) and Heritage and Youth (HAY) Programme at the Centre for Cultural Heritage and Tourism Studies. She is the Coordinator of the IDH Vijayanagara Murals project (2011-2015). Prior research and advocacy include: a comparative study of dry and wet Karnataka villages, gendered spaces in government housing and vernacular architecture in rural Karnataka, gender dynamics in rural household decision making, safeguarding intangible heritage of craftspeople, problems with geographical indicators in crafts communities, rights of indigenous people, sustainability of potters livelihoods, cultural tourism, cultural democracy, heritage arts, engaging community youth in cultural heritage, autism, rural healthcare.