Innovating India’s Schooling
5 November, 2016
Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore

The conference will be conducted in English. Live Tamil translation will be available throughout the day. Please bring your mobile and headset, if you would like to opt for the Tamil translation.

Advance registration is required and can be done online or by calling +91 94890 45225 /45115

Hosted By
Innovating India’s Schooling
Though India has gone through phenomenal transformation in the last few years, much of the nation’s latent potential still remains undeveloped. When one views the future through the eyes of a majority of India’s populace, it is still a bleak image. If this has to change, if wellbeing and prosperity have to touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people in our nation, quality education is a must. This is the key to empowering India.
However, India’s educational landscape is far from prepared for this task. The system churns out students driven purely by scores and very little of anything else. As a result, India struggles to produce a quality workforce despite a large number of youth with college degrees. The situation is grave, and if it persists, India’s demographic dividend will in fact become a dangerous liability.
The Conference
“Innovating India’s Schooling” is a conference, designed and conducted by Isha Vidhya, Isha Home School and the Isha Leadership Academy to bring together concerned individuals and thinkers from the fields of education, government and industry. It is a platform to generate and develop ideas, and share insights on the road ahead for better education. Through a series of lectures, debates and discussions, the conference seeks to redefine education as a tool to not just create a highly productive workforce, but also shape an inclusive, responsible and joyful society. The event also marks the tenth anniversary of Isha Vidhya, the rural education initiative of Isha Foundation.
The chief invitees and speakers at this year’s inaugural include yogi and mystic, Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation, Shri Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister for Human Resources & Development, heads of leading corporates that have made significant contributions to the field of education, heads of schools and eminent academicians.
The Topics:
  • “Bringing schooling in line with 21st century India”
  • “Re-imagining curriculum as a blend of modern and traditional thinking”
  • “Re-imagining the teacher's role in a tech enabled learning environment”
  • “Re-imagining teacher training for the contemporary classroom”

The conference will be conducted in English. Live Tamil translation will be available throughout the day. Please bring your mobile and headset, if you would like to opt for the Tamil translation.

Advance registration is required and can be done online or by calling +91 94890 45225 /45115

Who Must Attend This Conference

Heads of Schools

The conference is an opportunity to interact with eminent people in the field and hence gain knowledge about important practical methods, visions, and thoughts on education.

CSR Managers

The last few years have seen a significant rise in CSR involvement in the education sector. CSR managers will get a chance to understand emerging trends and will be better equipped to come up with new ideas and strategies for their CSR initiatives.


The last few years have seen a significant rise in NGO involvement in the education sector. NGO representatives will get a chance to understand emerging trends and will be better equipped to come up with new ideas and strategies for their NGO initiatives.


The Department of Education will have an opportunity to tap into the expertise and experiences of many teams and individuals who have evolved solutions to accelerate quality education in Indian schools.


Advance registration is required and can be done online or by calling
+91 94890 45225 /45115



The program fee is INR 1250/- per person inclusive of all taxes.

The fee includes:

  • Hospitality at the rejuvenating and tranquil Isha Yoga Center for the duration of the program.
  • Sumptuous, eclectic vegetarian lunch and refreshments.
  • Travel arrangements to and from Coimbatore.*


Group discounts

If 5 or more participants enrol as a group, each of them is eligible for 50% discount.

Substitutions & Cancellations

You can substitute your registration with someone else without additional charges. Your request for substitution should be sent in writing to

If you cancel on or before 15th October 2016, you will be issued a refund after deducting a 10% administrative fee. No refunds will be made for requests received after 15th October, 2016.

Planning your travel

Please plan to arrive at the Isha Yoga Center by Nov. 5, early morning.

Check in: On-site check-in will begin on Nov. 5 from 6 am. Those staying at the Isha Yoga Center can check-in from Nov. 4, 2 pm.


A government photo identity card is required for check-in.
Students should bring their approved, institution photo ID.

*Special buses for the conference will be available for pick up and return from the Coimbatore town bus stand and Coimbatore Railway Station to the yoga center. The buses will depart at 7:00 am and 7:30 am from both locations.

Participants must opt for this service during the registration process to reserve a seat.

The Isha Yoga Center is located approximately 30 kms from Coimbatore. Directions to drive from Coimbatore to the yoga center are available here.

Bus number 14D runs from Gandhipuram bus stand, Coimbatore, to the yoga center every half hour from 5:30 am.

Taxis can be booked through the below numbers.
Isha Travel Helpline: 9442615436, 0422-2515430
Taxi Taxi: 0422-40506070,
Airport Prepaid: 99764 94000,
Fast Track: 0422-2200000, 88077 63308 (Please check charges and book in advance).


Many excellent accommodation facilities are available in and around Coimbatore. Details are available here.


Limited accommodation is available at the yoga center on a first-come first-served basis. If you wish to make a booking, please email with your arrival and departure details.

Please note: Accommodation is not included in registration fee.

About Us

Isha Foundation

Isha Foundation is a non-religious, not-for-profit, public service organization founded by Sadhguru, which addresses all aspects of human wellbeing. From its powerful yoga programs for inner transformation to its inspiring projects for society and environment, Isha’s activities are designed to create an inclusive culture that is the basis for global harmony and progress. This approach has gained worldwide recognition and reflects in Isha Foundation’s special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

Isha is essentially a volunteer-based organization. 3 million volunteers in 250 centers across the globe support its activities, which include award-winning social initiatives to empower the deprived sections of India towards improved health, education and environmental wellbeing.

Isha’s education projects – under the umbrella of the Isha Education Trust – broadly fall into three initiatives:

Isha Vidhya

Isha Home School

Isha Leadership Academy

In the Presence of:

Founder, Isha Foundation

Yogi, mystic, and visionary, Sadhguru is a spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serve as a reminder that yoga is not an esoteric discipline from an outdated past, but a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times. Probing, passionate and provocative, insightful, logical and unfailingly witty, Sadhguru’s talks have earned him the reputation of a speaker and opinion-maker of international renown.


With speaking engagements that take him around the world, he is widely sought after by prestigious global forums to address issues as diverse as human rights, business values, and social, environmental and existential issues. He has been a delegate to the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit, a member of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders and Alliance for New Humanity, a special invitee to the Australian Leadership Retreat, Tallberg Forum, Indian Economic Summit 2005-2008, United Nations World Body Headquarters as well as a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, TED, YPO, WPO, TieCON, India Today Conclave and many more. With a celebratory engagement with life on all levels, Sadhguru’s areas of active involvement encompass fields as diverse as architecture and visual design, poetry and painting, ecology and horticulture, sports and music.

Chief Guest:

Hon. Union Minister
Human Resource Development,
Shri Prakash Javadekar

Shri Prakash Javadekar is the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India. He has held several positions in the government, including Minister (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, and also Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs.


Shri Javadekar has been involved in the student movement since the 1970s and was an elected Senate Member of Pune University from 1975 to 1987. He is the chairman of Gramshakti, an NGO working for rural development, and has worked on the development of tribal areas in Maharashtra’s Thane district as part of an initiative by the Bank of Maharashtra. He was also a key driver in the completion of the union government’s Watershed Development Project in Pune District from 1996 to 2000.

Shri Javadekar has been awarded the Sir Purshottam Das Thakur Memorial National Award for his research paper, “Rural Development and Banks’ Role in Coordinated approach.”

Guest of Honor:

Hon. Minister, Human Resource Development,
Andhra Pradesh
Shri Ganta Srinivasa Rao

Shri Ganta Srinivasa Rao is the minister of Human Resources Development of Andhra Pradesh. He is representing the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from Bhimili Assembly Constituency. He was elected thrice to the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly and once to Lok Sabha from various constituencies in Visakhapatnam district.

Speakers & Panelists

Former Director, National Council of
Educational Research and Training
Prof Shri J.S. Rajput

Prof J. S. Rajput is an Indian educationist, writer and the former director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training. Following his professorship at the Regional Institute of Education, Bhopal, from 1974–77, he served as the principal of the institution till 1988 when he was appointed as Joint Adviser on Education to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, a post he held till 1994.


When the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was established in 1994, he was made the founder chairman of the council, where he served until his move in 1999 to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), serving as its director. Rajput has published several articles and books on physics and education in English and Hindi languages. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2015, for his contributions to literature and education.

Secretary, Telangana Social Welfare
Residential Educational Institutions Society
Dr. Shri R.S. Praveen Kumar, IPS

Dr. Praveen Kumar, IPS, is a distinguished police officer turned passionate educator with special focus on educating the most underprivileged. He has had a distinguished career as a police officer serving in several senior positions for the government of Andhra Pradesh and the United Nations. His passion for serving the underprivileged led him to switch his career within the government of Andhra Pradesh to education.


He took over the leadership of the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, which runs over 290 schools (in the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh). Taking a holistic view of education, he transformed these schools into centres of excellence in academics, sports and other extracurricular activities. These schools have become a showcase of how government educational institutions can become excellent institutions of learning while serving the most deprived sections of societies. Dr. Praveen personally inspires and trains the teaching and student community of his schools while ensuring that the best practices and innovations are brought into the schools. Currently, he continues to serve as Secretary, TelanganaSocial Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society.

Former Vice Chairman,
University Grant Commision
Prof. Shri H. Devaraj

Prof. H. Devaraj is Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) from the University of Madras and has served as a Syndicate Member for 2 years and as In-charge Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras. He also served as the Guindy Campus Director and Director of Dr. A.L. Mudaliar Centre for Basic Science Development.


As Professor of Bio-chemistry, in the University of Madras’ Department of Zoology, he has held many academic and administrative posts besides being awarded many awards and honours. The prominent among them was the prestigious UGC-BSR Distinguished Scientist Award in the year 2011, the Exchange Visitors Fellowship – Clemson University, USA (1998-1999): Indian National Science Academy Award, University of Bonn, Germany (1998), besides other awards.

Director, TERI Prakriti School & Former
Principal, Modern School, Delhi
Smt. Lata Vaidyanathan

Mrs. Lata Vaidyanathan is a veteran educationist who stands dedicated and committed to the promotion of child-centered education. During her illustrious career of more than three-and-a-half decades, she was the Principal of Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan’s school at Chandigarh, the founder Principal of Eicher School at Parwanoo and the Principal of Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi for the last fourteen years.


She spearheaded burden-free education and is a practitioner of the Multiple Intelligence approach to learning and total quality management in education. She is well respected as an educationist both at home and abroad.

She undertook many outreach programmes to aid the community and sensitize students and teachers towards addressing issues concerning community development. Her contribution towards inclusive education of differently-abled children is commendable.

She was honoured with the ‘National Award to Teachers’ in 2003 by the President of India. She is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Dr.Radhakrishnan Award, ‘Bharat Shiromani Award’, ‘Madhav Gourav Ratna Achievement Award’, ‘International Lifetime Achievement Award 2009’ and ‘Global Warming Reduction Award 2009’, ‘Educationist of the Year Award 2013’ and the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award by the Patanjali Trust 2014’.

Her current assignments include being

    Member – Board of Management of National Bal Bhavan
    Member – Executive Committee of National Council for Education Research & Training
    Director of EdCIL (India) Limited, besides being associated with numerous educational institutions in an advisory capacity.

Chairman & Managing Director
CMD Educomp Solutions Ltd
Shri Shantanu Prakash

Shri Shantanu Prakash founded Educomp Solutions Limited in 1994, a few years after acquiring an MBA degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.


His vision has been to transform the teaching-learning process through the use of technology and best practices.

He is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of the Learning Leadership Foundation (LLF), an organisation dedicated to bringing best practices in education to under-resourced schools.

He is a charter member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), an organisation that connects entrepreneurs. He is a frequent speaker in education and business conferences worldwide.

Academic Director Isha Vidhya
Co-Founder, Director & CEO Karadi Path
Shri C.P. Vishwanath

Shri C.P.Viswanath is a multi-faceted personality. He is an educator, musician and entrepreneur with a strong background in international business. He has previously helmed the international business of one of India’s premier engineering companies, having incubated their operations in the USA, Russia and South Africa. He is a Co-founder of Karadi Tales Company Pvt. Ltd., one of India’s most acclaimed names as creators of children’s content. He is Co-founder and CEO of Karadi Path Education Company Pvt. Ltd., path-breakers in language learning pedagogy.


He is a co-creator of Karadi Path, a pioneering initiative which is changing the way English is taught in classrooms especially to first generation English learners. He is the Director of Pedagogy of Isha Vidhya Rural Schools which currently runs 9 schools across Tamil Nadu serving rural and tribal children. He is an accomplished Carnatic vocalist and mridangist with over 1000 public performances to his credit. Viswanath’s writings on education and music have been widely featured in the press. He has been a speaker/panelist at major conferences and on television.

Dr. Smt. Bindu Rana
Founder and CEO,
Millennium Education Management Pvt. Ltd.

Dr. Bindu Rana is the founder and CEO of MEM. She has an illustrious career spanning 30 years in the field of education and has innumerable achievements. She has been the architect of the largest private sector Research & Development initiative in the field of education in India.


She has worked on building path-breaking, research-based teaching and learning methodologies that have brought about a transformational and defining shift in the way curriculum and pedagogic thoughts have evolved in the industry today.

Over the last decade, she also led to the creation of the most valuable research repository of intellectual property ever created in the history of the education industry in India, across the private and public sector.

Shri Venkatesh Malur
President, Sampark Foundation

Shri Venkatesh Malur graduated from JNU, New Delhi in 1996 and started his career with MYRADA, an NGO working in South India. He then coordinated a program to create centers for institutional development and organizational reform in Karnataka as part of the core management team.


In 2002, he joined the Azim Premji Foundation and spearheaded the implementation of the Accelerated Education Program in 1500 schools of Karnataka. This was a remedial teaching program which included teacher capacity building and community mobilization.

Thereafter Shri Malur worked for UNICEF for eight years in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and New Delhi as an Education Specialist till early 2013.

Shri Venkatesh Malur has been closely associated with policy formulation for the implementation of Right to Free & Compulsory Education Act. He has been a member of several committees and taskforces constituted by the Government and Joint Review Missions for the ‘Education for All’ Program. In addition, he has been instrumental in creating a coalition of organizations across the country advocating for the Children’s Right to Education Forum, a platform of around 10,000 NGOs from 12 states across the country.

Shri Rakesh Kaul
Chairman, Spherenomics LLC

Rakesh Kaul migrated to the US in 1972 after becoming a gold medallist at IIT Delhi. He has had a distinguished business career as a Chief Executive Officer of multi-billion dollar companies in the US. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Electronics from Brown University. He currently serves as Board member and venture investor for several leading companies based in the US and India.


He has written extensively for leading newspapers and magazines and been a keynote speaker on the history, politics and culture of Kashmir. He was a founding contributor to the first Chair of India Studies at University of California Berkeley; to the Center for the Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania; to the Mattoo Center for India studies at SUNY and as Co-Chair of The Arts of Kashmir Exhibition at The Asia Society, New York. He played an instrumental role in the recovery of the purloined Tengapura Durga, the oldest continuously worshipped Durga, from Germany to India. The murti was returned by Chancellor Merkel exactly one year ago to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has partnered with the Sharika Trust to raise Rs. 1 crore for the Jagati School in Jammu, so that in the coming years it can emerge as a magnet school for young children. He is the author of the bestseller The Last Queen of Kashmir published by HarperCollins India in May 2016.

Smt. Rekha Purie
Chairperson, Vasant Valley School, New Delhi

Smt. Rekha Purie is one of India’s top educationist and reformist. She is a founding member of Vasant Valley School (VVS), which started 26 years ago and runs from K to 12th grade. As an active chairperson of the school, she personally ensures that the school emphasizes on learning instead of just teaching and that no child is left behind through the school’s inclusive programmes catering to special needs.


Graduates of VVS have secured places in prestigious colleges around the world from Oxbridge to MIT and are on their way to becoming leaders and pioneers in varied fields. This fills her with immense personal pride and joy.

Smt. Rekha has also been working with Tihar Jail for the past 20 years. She helped set up the educational program in the jail and opened libraries to help the inmates, who she firmly believes are victims of circumstances and deserve a second chance. She motivates many boys to enrol in the National Open School Exam and counsels them so that they can write their exam confidently. Before she realized it, she had become a sister to some, mother to some and a confidant to others. The inmates wait for her, so that they can talk, laugh, cry, curse or simply look at her and share her space momentarily. She works tirelessly for them in the jail as it rejuvenates her. She says, “I may or may not have helped the kids but they have changed me. I’m definitely a better, more compassionate person today.”

Dr. Smt. Geetha Narayanan
Srishti Institute of Art Design & Technology

Dr. Geetha Narayanan is an educator with over four decades of experience as a teacher, an educator and instruction designer. At all times a catalyst, she has tried over the years to evolve paradigms of learning that integrate the mind, body and consciousness.


In the last few years, she has worked at creating collaborative pedagogical frameworks for the teaching of mathematics, science and languages within the Indian educational system at the informal and formal levels of schooling.

Dr Narayanan is currently Founder Director of Srishti Institute of Art Design & Technology; Principal Investigator of Project Vision; a Director’s Fellow at the Media Lab, MIT (USA) and a visiting faculty at the Future of Learning Institute at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Shri K. Jayakumar
Vice Chancellor, Malayalam University;
former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Kerala

K. Jayakumar is a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from Kerala who retired as the Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala. Jayakumar is also a popular poet, lyricist, translator and scriptwriter in Malayalam. He is the son of noted film director M. Krishnan Nair. He is currently serving as the founding Vice-Chancellor of the Malayalam University.


Jayakumar belongs to 1978 batch of IAS. He has held senior posts such as the Director of Tourism Department, Government of Kerala; Director of Public Instructions (DPI), Kerala; Secretary, Tourism and Culture; Managaing Director, Film Development Corporation; Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India; Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Kerala. In 2008, Jayakumar was honored with the first K.P.S. Menon Memorial Award, in recognition for his distinguished service as a bureaucrat. On retirement as the Chief Secretary, Jayakumar was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor of the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University.

Apart from being a poet, lyricist, screenwriter, and scriptwriter, he is also a painter. He has written lyrics for nearly 100 films in Malayalam and large number of songs for albums, television and radio. He has also written and directed a children’s film. Totally, he has authored twenty-five books in Malayalam, and four works in English. His translations of Tagore, Kahlil Gibran and Rumi have been much acclaimed.


Isha Vidhya

Isha Vidhya was founded as a means for transforming the lives of rural children by providing affordable, high-quality education where it is otherwise unavailable. Isha Vidhya schools are designed to build confident, English-speaking and computer-adept youth, opening the door for them to participate in and benefit from India’s economic growth. Currently, there are 9 schools in operation with a total of over 7000 students. Many students are first-generation school-goers from their families. The project functions on a grass-roots level, relying on community involvement and the support of volunteers and donors.


Isha Vidhya is committed to ensuring that economic constraints do not deny a child a good education, and schooling is either offered free, or at a nominal cost for those who can afford it. Around 4000 students receive full, need-based scholarships, which cover tuition, books and transportation. Noon meals fortified with micronutrients are also provided to students for free or at a subsidized rate. For many children, the meal is often the only nutritious one they receive during the day.

Isha Vidhya successfully integrates children from all backgrounds, including children from tribal backgrounds, scheduled and backward castes. Special focus is given to education of girls and the schools maintain roughly a 1:1 ratio of boys and girls among students.

Isha Vidhya’s English-medium schools open the door for rural children to successfully pursue higher studies and gainful employment. The holistic, activity-based approach nurtures children’s development beyond just academics, ensuring that students realize their full potential and learn in a joyful manner.

Both individuals and organizations support Isha Vidhya activities. Across India, Isha Vidhya volunteers raise funds to construct Isha Vidhya schools. Isha Vidhya has also partnered with the CSR wings of several corporates, such as SBI Foundation, Infosys Foundation, L&T Financial Holdings, Cognizant Foundation, Sharekhan, ICICI Prudential and BPCL.

Isha Home School

Isha Home School (IHS) is a fully residential school located at the Isha Yoga Center. Set up in 2005, the school does not place emphasis wholly on academic pursuits; instead it provides a well-balanced syllabus which gives children an opportunity to explore every aspect of themselves. World-renowned experts in various fields frequently visit the Home School and share their expertise and unique insights with the children. Isha Home School is staffed by talented international faculty who recognize that the true value of education does not lie in rote learning, but rather in the inculcation of life skills and in the wholesome development of the child.

The school is affiliated to the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi, and has students from various parts of the world.

Isha Leadership Academy

Isha Leadership Academy was established by Isha Foundation to offer the highest quality of leadership education in India, by integrating external skill sets with tools for wellbeing. It focuses on cultivating leadership as an innate and intuitive process – beyond strategies or techniques. Its guiding principle is the importance of first managing one’s own mind, body and emotions, before one can manage external situations and people. The academy seeks to create leaders who are deeply rooted in their inner wellbeing and are able to operate from a sense of inclusiveness.

Isha Leadership Academy will offer a whole array of leadership education programs, ranging from a two-year MBA or equivalent, to shorter duration customized courses for those holding or aspiring to hold leadership roles in business, government, public service, civil society, politics and academia.


Advance registration is required and can be done online or by calling +91 94890 45225 /45115

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