Keynote Speakers

gurmeet s raiGurmeet S Rai has worked in Punjab(of India), for over 2 decades recognising which UNESCO appointed her as the lead consultant for preparation of the Cultural Heritage policy for Punjab.

In 2012 she was appointed by the  World Monuments Fund (New York) as the project management consultant for 43 protected monuments in Madhya Pradesh. Gurmeet has been on the jury of the Asia Pacific Architectural Heritage Awards of UNESCO for over 10 years and is currently the Vice President of ICOMOS India and an expert voting member on the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism.

anupama sekharAnupama Sekhar is the Director of the Culture Department at the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), which promotes dialogue and collaboration among policymakers, artists and arts organisations in 51 countries across Asia and Europe.

Anupama is in charge of ASEF’s culture portfolio, which comprises of artistic collaborations, support to networks, policy dialogues and information platforms. She is also part of UNESCO’s Expert Facility to support capacity development initiatives for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. She is a trained dancer in the Indian classical style of Bharatnatyam.

Alan GemmellAlan Gemmell OBE has been Director British Council India since April 2016.

Alan was the British Council’s Director Israel since November 2012 running a £10m stem cell research fund working with world-leading medical research foundations like the British Heart Foundation and Parkinson’s UK. He launched the UK’s first multi-lateral research fund in the Middle East, a platform for Israeli, Palestinian and British scientists to work together to tackle critical water challenges in the region, and a PhD programme for Palestinian scientists to study at Israeli universities — supporting a new generation of scientists to work together across borders.

In 2015, Alan commissioned mixthecity an interactive digital art work with the BBC and Arts Council of England featuring Israeli YouTube artist Kutiman and British digital agency Flying Object. Over 500,000 users in 190 countries have taken part.

Partnering with the United Nations and the British Film Institute, Alan created fiveFilms4freedom, the world’s first global, online LGBT Film Festival. In 2016 fiveFilms4freedom became the world’s biggest online LGBT Film Festival with 1.5m film views and a total social media reach of 140m people. It published a Global List of 33 inspiring people from around the world promoting freedom and equality. The 2016 List included Indian film-maker Sridhar Rangayan and actor and director Manish Gandhi.

Alan has worked in Mexico and Brazil. He joined the British Council in 2008 to head its Government Relations. Before joining the civil service Alan established the Scottish Youth Parliament. He studied law at Glasgow University and piano and trombone at the Junior School of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Scottish Conservatoire).

Alan was appointed OBE in the 2016 New Year Honours List for services to arts and science.

ananya bhattacharyaAnanya Bhattacharya is Director and Vice-President, Banglanatak.com is a commonwealth scholar with Masters in Sustainable Development, Staffordshire University, U.K. with over 26 years of experience.  Ananya specializes in gender and in communication for development using theatre and developing community led creative industries based on intangible cultural heritage like performing arts and crafts.

Ganga S. RautelaGanga S. Rautela is a science museum professional and an expert in science communication he did extensive research work in science education and science literacy. In a career spanning 39+ years he has provided leadership in museums profession and in development of a large number of interactive science cities and science centres and museums across India and abroad. He held various positions in a national organisation including director of Nehru science centre, Mumbai, Director, Science City Kolkata and director general, National Council of Science Museums. His professional experience encompasses culture, science and technology museums/ centres, non-formal education, management and research. He is well networked nationally and internationally with professional organizations in the field of culture, museums, science and technology and STEM education.

He has widely travelled and presented papers at national and international seminars and symposia. He has published over 55 research papers and articles in reputed journals and published books and monographs on museums, science education, science centre management and learning in non-formal setting.

He also served as a chairman of International committee on Education and Cultural Action (CECA) of International Council of Museums (ICOM) for 6 years. He was also the regional coordinator of CECA for Asia Pacific and Australia for 6 years.

He has several awards to his credit for promotion of science and non-formal science education.


shuvaprasanna bhattacharyaShuvaprasanna Bhattacharya’s checkered career spanning over four decades includes a varied range of work as a graphic artist, painter, educator, writer and art activist. He’s the Founder of College of Visual Arts and Arts Acre Foundation – the International Centre for Creativity and Cultural vision; and member of CIRCA Geneva.

He is recipient of several awards including the AIFACS, State LKA and Birla Academy Awards. His art has been exhibited in over 55 solo and group shows in various Indian cities and around the world. His work features in the collections of National Gallery of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Akademi and College of Art, New Delhi, Chandigarh Museum Punjab University, Birla Academy Calcutta; Times of India Group, WHO Geneva and Glenbarra Art Museum, Japan, amongst others.

Supreo ChandaSupreo Chanda is an Associate Professor and the Current Head of Museology in the University of Calcutta, India. In his 28 years of career, he served more than 12 years in different kinds of museums at various positions before joining academics. A member of ICOM since 1988, he has been very active in the ICOM India. He is a Life Member of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata and also a Life Member of the Museums Association of India.

He served the Board of the ICOM India (2006-09), member of the Current Interim Committee of the ICOM India; was Vice President of the MAI, Editor-in- Chief (2011-2013) of the Journal of Indian Museums (Published by the MAI); currently he is the Chief Editor of the Journal of Indian Museum (2015-2017), a peer-reviewed journal having ISSN. He also edits the Journal of the Department of Museology, University of Calcutta (refereed journal).

Mr Chanda has about 35 research papers/ book chapters in his credit. His interest both in theoretical and applied museology has been evident through his research publications in different national and international journals. He supervises several PhD programmes in Museology. Being a wheelchair-bound person himself, he understands the disables’ rights very well. He attended the ICOM Sanghai 2010 as Grace Morley Research Fellow, ICOM Milano 2016 on ICOM Travel Grant and regularly visits museums in India and abroad for academic purposes.

amar gallaProfessor (Dr.) Amareswar Galla
Founding Executive Director
International Institute for the Inclusive Museum
An alumnus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Prof Galla is currently the Curator of Amaravathi Heritage Town, upholding how Mahayana Buddhism took birth and spread from here to all over Asia. He is also a Visiting Professor and International Curator at the Don Bosco Museum and University, Shillong, India; and an Honorary Professor in the prestigious Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia. He provided in the recent past strategic cultural leadership in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region as the first full Professor of Museum Studies in Australia at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Prior to that he was Professor and Director of Sustainable Heritage Development Programs, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.

He was also until recently a Visiting Foreign Professor of World Heritage and Intangible Heritage and mentor for PhD candidates at the University of Split located in the World Heritage City of Split. He has been appointed as the Honorary Professor at the prestigious Global Change Institute, the University of Queensland. His extensive publication record ranges from World Heritage: Benefits Beyond Borders, Cambridge University Press & UNESCO Publishing, 2012 (French & Korean translations 2013), to Heritage Curricula and Cultural Diversity, Prime Minister & Cabinet, Australia, 1993. Prof Galla was one of the international advisers for the preparation of the Gender Policy of UNESCO, Paris, launched by the DG of UNESCO on 8th March 2015.