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Organizing Committee
Key Note Speakers
Venue:- Le Meridien Kochi, India
Official Conference Manager
The Pan-Commonwealth Forum Committees

"The following committees have been constituted to help in the organization the Sixth-Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning:



Professor M.S. Swaminathan :- Honorary Chair
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as 'the father of Economic Ecology' and by Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary General of the United Nations, as 'a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction'. He was Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee set up in 1980 ...
Sir John Daniel :- Co-Chair , President & CEO of The Commonwealth of Learning
Sir John Daniel became President of COL in 2004 after gaining wide international experience in universities and the United Nations system. He obtained his full-time university education in Metallurgy at Oxford and Paris and later demonstrated his commitment to lifelong learning by taking 25 years to complete a part-time Master's degree in Educational Technology at Concordia University...
Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai :- Co-Chair , Vice Chancellor IGNOU
Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai is the Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. He is also the Chairman of the Distance Education Council (DEC), which looks after the co-ordination of standards, quality, recognition and developmental assistance to all the 13 State Open Universities, over 150 Distance Education Institutes...
Prof. P.R. Ramanujam :- Programme Chair , Pro Vice-Chancellor IGNOU
Professor P.R.Ramanujam is Pro Vice Chancellor at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. He was appointed as Director, STRIDE for the period August 2000-August 2005 and again for a second term in 2008. He has contributed substantially since 1986...
Dr. R Sreedher :- Director , CEMCA
Dr. R. Sreedher joined COL as Director of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) on 1 February 2007. Most recently, Dr. Sreedher was as a Project Director, Local Voices Project of Internews in Chennai, India. Prior to that he was Director of the Educational Multimedia Research Centre, IIT campus Roorkee and also at Anna

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Dr. Latha Pillai :- Advisor , Pro Vice-Chancellor IGNOU
Dr. Latha Pillai, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university, has been working in the field of tertiary education for over two decades. Dr. Latha Pillai holds a Doctorate in Applied Psychology from the University of Madras; has over two decades of experience as an Educational Planner & Administrator; worked in the University Grants Commission and National Assessment and

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Mr. Himar Arjun Singh :- Conference Manager
Hìmär is the Conference Manager at PCF6. As a research scholar, Hìmär wrote papers for leading Indian strategic think tanks on foreign policy and later worked as a Management Consultant for a Chinese Consultancy Firm in Shanghai. Hìmär also worked for the Economic Research and Policy Division at the Confederation of Indian Industry in

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Mr. Roger Mills :- UoL , Centre for Distance Education
Roger Mills worked for the UK OU from its earliest days for over 30 years in a range of roles, including Pro Vice-Chancellor and Regional Director. He is currently a Research Associate at the Von Hugel Institute, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge and a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Distance Education in the University of London. His main interests are in the fields of learner support, staff development, quality assurance and enhancement and management of ODL institutions and systems and he has published widely in these areas.
Dr. Don Olcott :- Chief Executive , OBE
Dr. Don Olcott, Jr. is Chief Executive of The Observatory of Borderless Higher Education (OBHE).  Dr. Olcott is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and served as USDLA president from 2006-07.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the UK’s Council of Validating Universities (CVU),

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Mr. Brian Sayer :- Consultant , Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Solomon Islands
Brian Sayer is an independent specialist in distance learning for development, currently supporting teacher education programmes and a national policy for DFL in Solomon Islands. He is also a Visiting Fellow of the University of London Centre for Distance Education and led the organisation of the fifth Pan Commonwealth Forum (PCF5) which was held in the UK in 2008.

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Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen :- Director , UNESCO
Mr. Parsuramen, Director of the UNESCO Office in New Delhi, and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Born in 1951 in Mauritius, Mr. Parsuramen holds a B.A. Honours degree in Administration from the University of Mauritius and started his career in the field of education as a secondary-school ...

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Sir Mason Durie :- Deputy Vice Chancellor

Mason Durie is from New Zealand and is a member of the Rangitane, Ngati Kauwhata, and Ngati Raukawa tribes.  He graduated in medicine in 1963, completed specialist training in psychiatry at McGill University, Montreal in 1970 and was subsequently appointed Director of Psychiatry at the Palmerston North Hospital, NZ.  From 1986-1988 he was a Commissioner on the Royal Commission on Social Policy

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Prof. Sunday Reju :- Professor , NOUN
A pioneer staff of the National Open University of Nigeria, and the Former/Pioneer Director of the Regional Training & Research Institute for ODL (RETRIDAL), NOUN, Nigeria for over six years - an International Institute co-established with COL for  W/Africa. A Professor of Computational  Mathematics  & Optimization with ODL expertise in QA and eLearning, he coordinated many COL-supported activities in W/Africa. He is currently on a contract with the Polytechnic of Namibia.
Ms. Stamenka Uvalic :- Chief HED/AMQ, Trumbic

Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić is Chief, Section for Reform, Innovation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education at UNESCO. Previous appointments included Secretary-General of the Association of Universities of Yugoslavia and Programme Specialist at the European Centre for Higher Education in Bucharest. She was Executive Secretary of the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education.

Prof. Dominique Abrioux :- President Emeritus, Centre for Distance Educationr
"A pioneer in open and distance learning, Prof. Abrioux spent over 30 years with Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University.  Following the development and delivery of Canada’s first distance-delivered French language program, Prof. Abrioux occupied various academic administrative appointments before serving as the university’s president from 1995 – 2005.

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Prof. Asha Singh kanwar :- Vice President , CoL
Professor Asha Singh Kanwar became Vice President of the Commonwealth of Learning on 1 April 2006 and assumed additional responsibility as Programme Director in April 2007. She is specifically responsible for stakeholder engagement and programme direction. Professor Kanwar joined COL as Education Specialist, Higher Education, on 1 March 2003

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Dr. S.S. Jena :- Chairman , NIOS
Dr. Sitansu S. Jena is the Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), the largest Open School in the world, and functions as an autonomous institution under the auspices of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India. Prior to the current assignment,

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Prof. Dr. RIM Aminur Rashid :- Vice Chancellor , BOU
Prof. R.I.M. Aminur Rashid, Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Open University, born in 1945 had MSc from Dhaka University and Ph.D from University of Kent, UK, joined Dhaka University in 1967, became Professor in 1987, worked in Goteborg, Sweden; University of Oxford, UK; Trieste, Italy; Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia under different fellowships. He was Chairman, Dean, Provost, Member of Syndicate in Dhaka University. He published many fundamental articles and his work on the Superfluid Bose System is known as “Evans-Rashid Transition”.  
Prof. Kris Murugan :- Professor , Tamil Nadu Open University

Dr. K. Murugan joined the Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai, India in August 2004 as Professor and Founding Head of the School of Humanities and the Founding Director in charge of the Student Support Services Division. Immediately prior to this assignment, he was working for the erstwhile University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC),

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Prof. Uma Kanjilal :- Professor , SOSS IGNOU

Prof. Kanjilal is Professor of Library and Information Science at Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. She has served as Director, School of Social Sciences from July 2007 to June 2010 and as University Librarian from June 2004 to May 2006 in IGNOU.

Prof. Ellie Chambers :- Professor , Emeritus

Ellie Chambers is Emeritus Professor of Humanities Higher Education, Institute of Educational Technology, the UK Open University. She was founding Editor of Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice and of the book series ‘Teaching and Learning the Humanities in Higher Education’, Sage. Recent publications include (2006) Teaching


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Mr. K. Ganesan :- Principal Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu
Dr. C. G. Krishandas Nair :- Managing Director, cochin International Airport Limited
Dr. Pauline Greaves :- Social Tranformation Prog. Div , COL

Educational Administrator with 25 years’ experience in education administration, program development in K-12, universities and colleges. Highly motivated, team-oriented leader with successful track record in administration, management, education planning, curriculum development, program development and evaluation.

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Prof. A D Braimoh :- UNISA

Dele Braimoh is currently the UNESCO Chair of ODL at UNISA, where he heads a new Institute for Open & Distance Learning (IODL).  He was for many years a Professor of Adult & Distance Education at the National University of Lesotho.  Prof Braimoh holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Mass Communication, an M.Ed, in Industrial Relations and a Ph.D. in Adult Education.  He belongs to many reputable professional associations world-wide.  His research areas include: adult, distance and continuing education, higher education policy and management, community education and rural development including development communication.

Mr. Dave Wilson :- Communication Manager , COL
As Communications Manager, Dave Wilson is responsible for matters related to communications and reporting documents, publications and public representations. He is a Canadian staff member with a background in association management, continuing professional education, educational technology and communications. Prior to joining COL in 1991,

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