The Takshashila Institution awards the Gomtibai Govindji award to the best students of the first five batches of the Graduate Certificate in Public Policy. The Gomtibai Govindji Prize has been instituted by her family to recognise the overall best performing student in Takshashila’s GCPP programme. The prize comprises of a cash award and a citation.

NiveditaNivedita Kashyap
Nivedita Kashyap is a graduate student at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She worked at Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bangalore as a policy analyst before starting school, on projects promoting accountability in governance. Prior to joining PAC, she worked in the IT sector for 4 years, including a year in Lima, Peru, developing quality assurance strategy for software applications.

Nivedita holds a B.E in Information Technology from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore and a Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language from the Government of Spain.

Pranay Kotasthane1Pranay Kotasthane
Pranay Kotasthane has previously worked with two of the top 10 semiconductor companies in the world, doing mobile processor design. He is also a co-founder of a trust that provides financial assistance to economically underprivileged engineering students. The GCPP announcement came his way just as he was on the lookout for understanding policy making and governance. The course helped him get an overview of the policy making ecosystem in India and taught him to value empirical analysis over anecdotal conjectures.

As an outcome of the GCPP course, he took up a scholarship with the Takshashila Institution. The course gave him enough confidence and exposure to attempt a career change. A couple of months back, he quit his electronics design job to join Takshashila as a full time policy analyst. He is currently working on geopolitics research and curriculum development.

Anagha-P_med-res (1)Anagha Paranjape-Purohit
Anagha Paranjape-Purohit is an Architect and Environmental Planner. She is alumni of Arizona State University, USA and has worked in USA and India in her 14 years of professional career.  She heads a practice, VK:e environmental that consults in Environmental Design of Buildings. Anagha teaches various Masters Programs in Environmental Design, Planning and Management and she actively conducts short term training and capacity building sessions for students and professionals in the sector and Environment and Architecture. Through Sustainability Initiatives a trust that focuses on urban policy research, Anagha is active in creating white papers on Indian cities, policies and frameworks that are used for influencing and making urban policy in India. She serves on various National and State level committees on Sustainability issues, Environmental Planning and Green Buildings.

Anagha is active in local politics, having contested municipal elections in 2012 as a part of a citizen group. Her focus is on urban planning and governance. Currently, she has joined BJP unit of Pune. She writes a blog, which focuses on urban issues faced in Indian cities.

Aditya SridharAditya Sridhar
Aditya Sridhar has a B. Tech in engineering from National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. He has been working in the software sector for the last three years. His first encounter with public policy was in the form of an internship under Prof Rajeev Gowda at the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, which kindled his interest in the field.

To him, the GCPP was a way to satiate the urge to know more about policymaking and economic reasoning. The structure of the course was flexible enough to fit into his work-day schedule. The workshops conducted in this course were helpful to him, both in terms of networking with batch-mates and with respect to solving real life scenarios collectively. His main interests are in the realm of Geopolitics and International Relations and he intends to pursue research in these fields.

Srikant SastriSrikant Sastri
Srikant is a seasoned entrepreneur, and bridge-builder. After building and selling two scaled-up ventures in marketing services and temp staffing, Srikant drove an aggressive M&A strategy to help Publicis Groupe establish digital leadership in India. Srikant has been passionately involved in investing in, and mentoring start-ups via TiE and Indian Angel Network, He has demonstrated deep social commitment via innovative development programs in partnership with government, as well as social activism.

Srikant’s big focus in 2014 is to build a global business around Big Data, as a lead investor and co-founder at Crayondata.