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Organizing Committee
Key Note Speakers
Venue:- Le Meridien Kochi, India
Official Conference Manager
Co-Chair:- Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, 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 in the Conventional Universities and in other private Open and Distance Learning institutions in the country.

Prof. Pillai has been at the helm of affairs of many institutions for higher education during his career spanning over 37 years. His experiences and contributions to the field of science and educational administration are rich and varied. He has served as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi; Director of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore; Vice-Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala; Vice-Chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology; Founder-Director of the School of Chemical Sciences; Dean of Faculty of Science; Controller of Examinations; Director of College Development Council; Founder-Director of the School of Professional Distance Education and Chief, Employment and Information Guidance Bureau of the Mahatma Gandhi University. He is a Fellow of the prestigious Indian Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.

An active teacher and researcher in the field of Chemical Sciences, Prof. Rajasekharan Pillai has held post-doctoral and visiting research professor positions in the Universities of Tubingen (Germany), Mainz (Germany) and Lausanne (Switzerland). He has created an internationally renowned research group in the area of biopolymers and peptides and has published extensively (about 200 refereed research publications in international journals) in this area. He has guided more than 50 doctoral researchers, all of them now occupying leading positions in academia, R&D and industry in India and abroad. His research publications have received over 1600 citations during the last 18 years and he is one among the top-cited chemists in the country. He holds an International patent for the gram-scale preparation of biologically important peptides.

In January 2008, he received the Presidential Gold Medal of the Indian Science Congress from the Prime Minister of India. In 2007, he was conferred the Triennial National M. V. Pylee Award for the Top Academician of India and was the recipient of the R.R. Varma Foundation Best Teacher Award in 2006. In 2005, he received the Indian Chemical Society Award for his life-long research achievements in the area of chemical sciences. In 1996, Dr. Pillai received the Materials Research Society of India Lecture Award. His contributions to science and education have also been recognized through the conferment of honorary doctorates.

Widely travelled all over the world, Dr. Pillai has presented papers, given invited and plenary lectures, chaired sessions at a large number of National and International conferences, delivered Convocation Addresses, Endowment Lectures and Special Orations in a large number of Universities and institutions. He has hosted several National and International discussions and meetings, including the Indian Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting and Vice-Chancellors Conferences.

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Commonwealth of Learning at the ceremony to launch preparations for the 6th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, Chennai, India on 10th October, 2009
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