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WITP: First of its Kind Institution

While India has an extensive policy and research capacity in academic and other Institutions, the predominant focus is on social and economic dimensions. Policy analysis on technology dimensions remains relatively underdeveloped. Various central and state governments have embraced automation and collect a plethora of data but silos persist and the data collected is often not analysed. Data analytics and artificial intelligence offer tools to get better insights into data to fine tune policies and frame new ones. These tools also provide ways to solve myriad problems relating to economic development, provision of health services, improving learning outcomes, environmental protection, food security, equitable distribution of resources, and more.

WITP aims to adopt a whole of government approach towards enhancing outcomes of existing and proposed policy measures by integrating them with relevant emerging technology applications, keeping in view ethical aspects as well. WITP’s intended use of emerging technology in policy formulation and impact measurement will be the first of its kind in India.

Relevance of Emerging Technologies to Govt. Officials

  • Getting insight into projects being implemented
  • Evaluating proposals and plans based on data points to select the appropriate technology
  • Designing new applications and processes with tangible outcomes
  • Review of implementation of policies/programs (outcome measurement Vs what was envisaged in the policy)
  • Solving systemic problems with the help of data and AI
  • Use emerging technologies for improving service delivery
  • Measuring impact of policies using new age technologies
  • Ensuring ethical issues connected with emerging technologies are taken care of.

Skilling

The upskilling is planned through training institutions by embedding courses in their academic plan/program or by organizing sector specific training/workshop for individual/group of ministries/departments dealing with similar subjects. Partnership is being finalized with IIPA, ISTM, LBSNAA and few State ATIs. WITP will also conduct

Sector specific training/workshop at Ministry/Department of Central/State Govt.

Our ambitious goals of making government officials understand the concepts and algorithms of emerging technologies and the explosive progress happening in the field of AI will be met by bringing specialized and tailored programs suiting different groups. This will also cater to the need of creating a learning journey in Emerging Technologies in general and Data Analytics in particular for officers, right from their training days at training institutes to equip them to use such emerging technologies to take better decisions, create new applications and measure impact of policies. These training programs will enable them to fully appreciate the nuances in identifying AI opportunities, its key performance metrics and the challenges in development, deployment and maintenance of AI-based applications.

Strategic Projects

Training on use of emerging technologies generally follows request for proof of concept or a pilot. WITP will be undertaking few ‘Proof of Concept’ (PoCs) to showcase use of these technologies. Teams from respective Ministry/Department will also be trained to run and operate the PoC. Successful PoC generally leads to large scale deployment. Teams from Ministry/Department will be trained to draft Statement of Work (SoW), Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Request for Proposal (RFP). They will also be trained to evaluate responses received to select the bidder. WITP will also help the ministry/department to create a Project Management Unit (PMU) to manage the project.

Tech Centric Policy Review

The third pillar of WITP is the tech centric policy review under which WITP will review, research, assess, and generate papers on the technology policy of the Government of India. The team will analyze policy issues of various ministries related to technology and policies that have a technology component to identify gaps in the government’s policies and suggest measures to bridge those gaps. The research topics will range from data security, data storage and sharing to adoption of new age technology (AI/ML/Blockchain/3-D Printing etc.) by governments, democratization of technology and data including data strategy. The objective will be to work to influence policies that will improve public service delivery through the implementation and application of key emerging technologies.

Cost

Wadhwani Foundation, running WITP, is a philanthropic organization and the entire training program as well as content will be provided free of cost, like its other programs under skilling and entrepreneurship.

About Wadhwani Foundation

Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving job creation in India and other emerging economies through large-scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, small business growth, innovation, and skilling. Founded in 2003 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dr Romesh Wadhwani, today, the Foundation is scaling impact in 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Our Values

At Wadhwani Foundation, our six values represent a strong belief in the contribution we are making towards a better future. These values dictate our actions and are based on a framework of passion, commitment, enduring quality and impactful socio-economic delivery.

Innovation

Collaboration

Integrity

Excellence

Leadership

Impact

Board of Advisors

The Advisory Board of WITO is led by Dr Romesh Wadhwani. Dr Wadhwani is the founder and chairman, Wadhwani Foundation. He is Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist. Until 1999, built three successful companies, the last of which was exited at over $9 billion. He is the founding Chairman and CEO of $3.5 billion Symphony Technology Group. He is also the founding Chairman of PE firm Symphony AI. He is member of the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge and a Padma Shri 2020 awardee of Government of India. He was President Obama appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John. F. Kennedy Center and is a Board Member of Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.

Romesh Wadhwani

Founder and Chairman, Wadhwani Foundation

Ajay Kela

President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation

A person wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

Description automatically generatedDr Ajay Kela is the President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation. He leads the Foundation’s initiatives globally and is driving its expansion across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

He expanded Foundation’s initiatives across 20 countries and enabled over $100M of Govt. investment during the past eight years. Prior to joining Foundation he worked with start-up Symphony Services where he scaled its revenue from to $175M with eventual exit at $780M. He grew AutoCAD business from $170M to $850M during 10 years at Autodesk. His PhD research on computer graphics lead to multi-million dollar products at GE and Autodesk.

R Chandrasekhar

Mr. R Chandrasekhar is currently the Chairman of the Centre for The Digital Future, based at Gurugram, India. Additionally, he is associated with several organizations in advisory roles and Board positions. As a former Secretary to the Government of India for Electronics and IT, Chairman of the Telecom Commission of India and Secretary Telecom and later as President, NASSCOM (National Association for Software and Services Companies) he possesses a unique breadth of expertise and experience, both in the Government and private sector, that covers the entire gamut of the IT and Telecom sectors. He was a member of the country’s premier Indian Administrative Service since 1975.

Adil Zainulbhai

Mr Adil Zainulbhai is the Chairman of the Quality Council of India. He is also the Chairman of Network 18 and TV18 and is currently on the Boards of Reliance Industries Ltd., Cipla Limited, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited.  As Chairman, QCI, Mr. Zainulbhai is involved in many Government of India Committees and was involved in major projects of the Government of India such as ‘Make in India’, ’Startup India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and many others. Mr. Zainulbhai retired as Chairman of McKinsey, India, after 34 years at McKinsey, and the last 10 years in India. Prior to returning to India, he led the Washington office of McKinsey and founded the Minneapolis office.

Prakash Kumar

CEO – Wadhwani Institute of Technology and Policy (WITP)

WITP is led by its CEO, Mr. Prakash Kumar. Mr. Kumar is a former Indian civil servant who built India’s Goods and Services Tax Network. Prior to WITP, Mr. Kumar was a senior advisor for Deloitte and has worked with Cisco and Microsoft after spending two decades with government. He brings in more than three decades of experience in working at the cross-section of governance and technology, both in the public and private sectors.

Kamal Das

Mr. Kamal Das is the Dean, of the Training Academy at WITP. He is an experienced business leader in the fields of training, technology & finance and has been rated the best faculty in Data Science 2021 by AIM. He has also ranked in the top 0.15% (Top 250 of over 1680,000) in the competitions category of Kaggle. He has worked across – India, Hong Kong, & Germany.  He has been with Manipal Group, Jigsaw Academy, as the Head Data Science & Partnerships. He has worked with Investment Banks ( Barclays, Capital, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan.  Kamal is an MBA from IIM-A and has a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from BIT, Mesra in Electronics and Communication Engineering.  

Ramesh Mishra

Mr. Ramesh Mishra is the Director of Strategic Projects at WITP. He has experience as a Cheif Technology officer, Enterprise Architect, and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He worked on multiple flagship projects for the Government of India like Umang, ESIC, CCTNS, APDRP (UP, Haryana), and project Insight. He led the IT implementation project as an associate partner in EY for the government and public sector in his previous role. Ramesh Mishra holds Masters’s Degree in computer science.  

Alok Gupta

Mr. Alok Gupta is the Director of Policy and Technology at WITP. He has over two decades of experience working in various leadership roles in the private sector and government. He has implemented technology projects in the Indian government across Departments and Ministries. Alok specializes in strategy, opportunity analysis, solution conceptualization, developing policy frameworks, and conducting program and stakeholder management. His experience includes working in diverse sectors like IT, financial inclusion, identity, health, maternity and nutrition, education, skills, agriculture, transport, labour & employment, and food processing. In his most recent role, Alok was associated as an Advisor to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.  Alok has a bachelor’s degree in computer applications and an MBA from Aligarh Muslim University.

Shyam K. Krishnakumar

Mr. Shyam K. Krishnakumar is a technology policy consultant whose work engages with key regulatory questions around emerging technology in the Indian context including 5G, digital public goods, and India’s evolving data regulatory ecosystem. He has worked with key Indian think-tanks and has consulted on technology policy for organizations including the Eurasia Group and the Center for Communication Governance at NLU Delhi. Shyam has designed and delivered executive programs on technology policy for technologists, lawyers, and policy professionals. Prior to this, he co-founded EduSeva, an ed-tech startup focussed on providing world class-education at the grassroots. Shyam is a Computer Science graduate and holds a Masters in Political Science with a specialisation in International Affairs from JNU. He occasionally writes for public media.

Apoorv Vishnoi

Mr. Apoorv Vishnoi is a Senior Manager of Technology Training In the Acedemy. He comes with over 11 years of experience. He is an MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB), and has conducted over 100 trainings on topics such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Data Science. He has also developed quantitative strategies for the equity market.

Purabi Mitra

Purabi Mitra is an Associate Director, for Learning & Content Design in the Academy. She is a specialist in leading Learning, HR & OD and has over two decades of experience. She has spear-headed, created & delivered multiple learning transformation projects in a variety of sectors like BFSI, Telecom, Auto, Education, IT, ITES, PSUs, Petroleum, Hospitality, Infrastructure, and Empowerment. She has led as the Head of Training in organizations and brands like Dale Carnegie India – Walchand Peoplefirst, HSBC, RBS, and EXL Service. Purabi is a seasoned HR, Learning & OD Practioner from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the University of Central Missouri, USA, both in Organizational Development and Leadership Development and holds a diploma in Training & Development from ISTD.

Bhawna Kumari

Content Design in the Academy. She is a learning & development architect with expertise in strategizing, leading the design & implementation of L&D Solutions. Adroit  in Gamification, Micro-Learning, Digital Learning, leading the complete learning cycle cased Instructional Design – ADDIE model. Her experience is in peer-to-peer learning, self-paced learning, online learning, & social learning that enhances people & business performance. She has worked with organizations like Transsion Holdings, Tata Teleservices and EXL services​. Bhawna holds a diploma in Training & Development from ISTD and a certified NLP practitioner, ID certified professional and a graduate from Banaras Hindu University.