His Excellency Dr. Shashank Vikram, IFS ,
Consul General of India, Birmingham
Dr Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India, Birmingham is Diplomat from the 2004 Batch of Indian Foreign Service(IFS). Dr Vikram is a medical graduate. Before assuming the charge of CG, Birmingham, he has served in various capacities in Government of India, in Indian embassies abroad and in the State Government of Uttar Pradesh. He has worked in Embassy of India, Lisbon, Embassy of India, Brasilia and also as Consul General of India, Durban, South Africa. In Ministry of External Affairs he has served in PAI and OIA Divisions. In Uttar Pradesh, Dr Vikram has served as Special Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) & Additional Mission Director for National Urban Health Mission and as Special Secretary(Tourism) & Managing Director, UP State Tourism Development Corporation (UPSTDC). Dr Vikram is the Chief Patron of the World Music Conference, with the aim of promoting Music and Mental Health.
Amish is a diplomat, author and columnist. He has taken over as the Director of The Nehru Centre in London in October 2019. Amish has been listed among the 50 most powerful Indians by India Today magazine in 2019. Forbes India has regularly ranked Amish among the top 100 most influential celebrities in India. Amish was also selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, a prestigious American programme for outstanding leaders from around the world, in 2014. Amish published his first book in 2010, and has written 8 books till date. His books have sold 5.5 million copies, and have been translated into 10 Indian and 9 international languages. Amish is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta. He worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to writing.
Andy Street was re- elected as the Mayor of the West Midlands in May 2021.. The primary function of the role is t chair the West Midlands Combined Authority and brings with it significant powers over transport, housing, skills and jobs. Before becoming Mayor, Andy combined a career with John Lewis, Britain’s most successful workers’ co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government. Starting on the John Lewis graduate scheme, He was the Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership between 2011 and 2016, helping to build the relationships that have underpinned the economic growth of the region. Additionally, he has been lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group. Outside of work, Andy is passionate about the arts, particularly in the West Midlands. In June 2015, Andy was awarded the CBE for services to the national economy.
Professor Subic joined Aston University in August 2022 as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive. He is a recognised global leader in technology and innovation in higher education, leading on Industry 4.0 strategy and digital transformations across the university sector and with industry and governments both in Australia and internationally. He has received a number of prestigious awards for his work, including the Australian Business Innovation Award and the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Award. He is a passionate and lifelong advocate for multiculturalism, equity, diversity and inclusion, leading through clear actions and strategic initiatives at enterprise level. These include creating and appointing the first Dean of STEMM Diversity & Inclusion in Australia, establishing Women in STEMM Fellowships and mentoring scheme, Indigenous Research Fellowships, scholarships and internships programs, and creating an innovation precinct with start-up accelerators and industry incubators focused on founders from diverse backgrounds and access.
With a track record in higher education leadership, Peter’ career spans all aspects of
academia, from education to research and knowledge exchange. He joined
Birmingham City University on 1st July 2021, having previously worked at the
University of Northumbria. His responsibilities include all academic matters including
the portfolio, academic partnerships and TNE, student recruitment, student support
services, mental health and wellbeing and the student experience. He leads the
University’s response to TEF and REF.
As an active researcher, most of Peter’s published research has focussed on victims
and victimisation, criminological research methods, policing, prisons, and crime and
social divisions. He has just completed leading a major multi-partner and multi-site
R&D project funded through the OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition
examining student mental health and wellbeing support achieved through advanced
educational data analytics, relationship management, and effective models of
Recently he published three articles on educational analytics in HEIs, and on the
MAYOR OF SOLIHULL Councillor Ken Meeson Ken was born in Shoreditch at the outbreak of World War II and spent his childhood in North London apart from being a wartime evacuee in Essex. He later moved to West Yorkshire where he served in the West Riding Constabulary Over this time, he has chaired Committees, been Leader of Council for 10 years, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills and for Adult and Children’s Services and also Chair of Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board. Nationally he has served on the Local Government Association Children and Young People Board, People and Places Board, the Workforce Board and currently chairs the Management Board of West Midlands Employers, the Regional Employers Board for Local Government and other Public Sector organisations. He has a long-standing concern for vulnerable children, particularly those in care or in challenging circumstances and has chaired national conferences and given evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee on Special Educational Needs. For many years he was Trustee/Director of The National Children’s Bureau and is still a Trustee of The National Youth Agency. Locally he has been an NHS Non-Executive Director, Governor of Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust, is Mental Health Champion for Solihull and a Lay Hospital Manager under the Mental Health Act and Trustee of the Sir Josiah Mason Trust
Dr Paul Sabapathy CVO CBE. was awarded the OBE for services to urban regeneration in 1995. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to business and education in the West Midlands. He was awarded the prestigious Lunar Society Medal for his outstanding contribution to public life. He has received Honorary Doctorates from Aston University, Birmingham City University and University of Birmingham. Paul was appointed as the first non-white Lord- Lieutenant in 2007 and held this post until September 2015. In October 2017 in recognition of his outstanding services as Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands Her Majesty the Queen bestowed her personal recognition by conferring on him the prestigious and rare Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. He is the Patron of the British Carnatic Choir and ShruthiUK, a South Asian organisation based in Birmingham.
tAlison Ohta is the Director of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. She completed her doctoral thesis at SOAS, University of London on bindings of the Mamluk period (1250-1516). She has lectured and published widely on the subject and her recent publications include: ‘Looking inside the Book: Doublures of the Mamluk Period’, The Making of Islamic Art, Studies in Honour of Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, Edinburgh University Press, 2021, pp.184-207 and forthcoming ‘Mamluk Qur’ans: Splendour and Opulence of the Islamic Book’, Proceedings of the Qur’an Symposium, December 2017 at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian, Washington.
Vittal Ramamurthy, an internationally acclaimed violinist, a top ranking artist of All India Radio is the torchbearer and leading disciple of the Lalgudi bani. His resume of accomplishments include being a solo artist, accompanist, teacher par excellence, and last but not the least, a humble student of the art. He has accompanied stalwarts such as his Guru Lalgudi Jayaraman, M. Balamuralikrishna and others. He has students worldwide, many of whom are leading performers today. To give back to the community, he conducts summer music camps in his native house Karunbithil where he was born to groom more than 250 students in the style of Gurukulam. He was awarded with several titles including "Vani Kala Sudhakara' and "Asthana Vidwan" of Sri Sringeri Mutt and Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Says the Indian Express, "It is always a musical feast to hear the violin speak through the expressive bow of Vittal Ramamurthy."
Dr. Unni Krishnan Karikkat, is a Fulbright Alumnus (Doctoral fellowship: FNDPR-USA), Chevening Clore Leadership Fellow (Post Doc:CCLF-FCO-UK), UNESCO Bradford BUCoF Fellow (UK-2019-21), CSCLeaders 2020 . He has received Gold Medal from former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, India. He has taught and presented various lecture series across the U.S.A., U.K. and India. He is an author, academician, senior artist & curator with a flair for social education with a humble list of accomplishments. He is an associate professor and currently heads the Centre for Creative and Cultural Studies at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India, with doctoral research programs, projects and courses on creative communication, cultural leadership, media & culture policy.
Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan is an acclaimed senior musician steeped in traditional classicism. A recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy award, he is renowned for rendering effective concerts couched in ‘Bhakthi’ (devotion) and ‘Bhava’ (emotion), he skillfully elevates music to the pedestal of divine life philosophy. His excellent theoretical depth with extensive research of the best approaches makes him a distinctive musicologist. This multifaceted and versatile singer is also proficient at playing the veena and percussion instruments with strengths in ‘laya’ exposition. Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan hails from a culturally strong family, and was initiated into music by his mother Smt. Jayalakshmi Ammal. He obtained his early guidance from reputed gurus like Sri.Chembai C.S.Ananthamani Bhagavathar and Sri Srirangam R.Ranganathan. His hard work and passion towards music combined with the rigorous gurukulam training under Madurai Sri. T.N.Seshagopalan turned his musical abilities into a front ranking musician.
Leela krishnamurthy graduated from Clark Atlanta university with a degree in L S , she was given a full scholarship. She was recruited by LA county and was given the the position as head Librarian City of Bell, California .She arranged “Nature series “ at the library bringing animals lion cubs, orangutans , chimpanzees reptiles to teach children respect for nature. and received several commendations.. Because of her love and interest in music and dance she arranged concerts featuring famous musicians Lalgudi Jayaraman , Ramani , Chitti Babu , John Higgins , Dr L Subramanian trio with Vaidyanathan LShankar accompanied by Palgat Mani Iyer , ML Vasantha Kumari with Kanya Kumari KV Narayanaswami , TN Krishnan , hosting most of them . The dancers hosted included Kumari Kamala, Sri Vidya , Vyjayanthimala, Sanjukta Panigrahi She and her husband Nat hosted the first fundraiser at their home ,providing the seed money for the Venkateswara Balaji Temple , Malibu, California. She is on the board of UNICEF, HOUSTON HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, PAST PRESIDENT now Trustee of SANKARA NETHRALAYA USA, Board INDO AMERICAN ASSOCIATION ( promoting music )
Sujit S Nair is a foreign policy enthusiast who has been pivotal in promoting India's relations with the UK and the EU over the past few years.
He is also a fellow of Sandbox Network, a mobile society of the world's most extraordinary young game changers. In July 2014, he was felicitated at the UK Parliament by Lord Swraj Paul for playing an important role in promoting trade and relations between UK and India. In 2012, he was nominated for UK's prestigious National Young Masters Enterprise Awards (in association with Google) for Best Business Pitch. He was shortlisted for The Economic Times Young Leaders. In 2011, he was featured by Entrepreneur Country Magazine as some of the best entrepreneurs in the U.K under the age of 30.
He is currently the Chairperson of Europe India Centre for Business and Industry, which promotes business opportunities between India and the UK/ Europe.
Grammy-nominated virtuoso of the sitar for over 30 years, Gaurav Mazumdar has been offering audiences around the world compelling experiences with one of the world's most ancient and sacred traditions, Indian Classical Music. Through his performances and educational initiatives, he has been a champion of preserving the art form and tradition. Like his teacher, the legendary Pt. Ravi Shankar, Mazumdar has also been committed to expanding it through cross-cultural exchanges, like his Grammy-nominated performance with Daniel Hope, other East-West collaborations, his work with Philip Glass and his collaboration with the Hesse family on the ballet ‘Siddhartha’. His many achievements include being the only Indian artiste to perform at the Vatican, as well as his performance at the 'Concert for George' for the late George Harrison.