Award Jury

Award Jury (International Category)

CMS VATAVARAN 2011 Award Jury (International category) met from Nov 18-20 at New Delhi. The jury was chaired by Dr Balakrishna Pisupati. Details of jury members are given below.



Jury Members

Dr Balakrishna Pisupati (Jury Chairperson)


Chairperson, 6th CMS VATAVARAN 2011 Award Jury

Dr Pisupati is currently the Chairman of National Biodiversity Authority. He was the Head of Biodiversity, Land Law and Governance Unit of United Nations Environment Programme's Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (UNEP-DELC) based in Nairobi prior to joining the NBA. At UNEP he was managing UNEP's biodiversity related environmental conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) as well as those of World Heritage Convention (WHC), Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Previously he held positions such as the Programme Coordinator for Biodiplomacy Programme of the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) based in Japan. He also served as Head of the Asia Regional Biodiversity Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) based in Sri Lanka during which time he helped several countries in Asia region develop national policies and regulations on conservation, use and development. He has more than 20 years of direct experience in global, regional and national policy making and implementation besides serving as an advisor to many Governments, UN Agencies and institutions in policy and law making.

He holds a Ph.D. in Genetics with specialization in agricultural biotechnology.



Mr Aishwani Dhar

An electrical Engineer by profession he completed B.E. from NIT, Srinagar (Kashmir). Presently he is working as General Manager & Country Head, Corporate Communication, BHEL, New Delhi. During the last thirty-six years of experience with nation's premier engineering major, BHEL, he has worked in varied fields including Planning & Management Services, Technology Transfer, Project management, Marketing, PR & Communication, etc. Recently, Planman India- Marcom group chose him as PowerBrands Hall of Fame Most Dynamic Corporate Communication Professional of the Year and the award will be presented in Dec 2011 at London

His greatest professional campaign has been the very successful opinion-building campaign carried out to mould public opinion for providing a level-playing field to the domestic power equipment manufacturing industry vis-a-vis cheap Chinese imports. Through tactical media management and informal briefings to decision-making stakeholders, domestic industry was able to drive home the point about the gross injustice being meted out to it by not levying customs duty against dumping by Chinese.

Mr A S Panneerselvan

Mr Panneerselvan took charge as the Executive Director of Panos South Asia on 1 July 2004. Panneer shares his time between the seven Panos offices located across the subcontinent. He is a steering committee member of Global Forum for Media Development and an Advisory Panel Member of the Knight International Journalism Fellowship programme. He joined Panos after being the Managing Editor for Sun Network, an Indian Television Network operating in five languages across 10 channels. As Managing Editor he was in charge of evolving and implementing an editorial policy across the network, apart from managing a large team of writers, producers and reporters and coordinating between various departments, bureaus and languages- Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and English. Before joining Sun Network, Panneer was the Chief of Bureau, for Outlook magazine, a multifaceted English language weekly. His areas included economy, politics and neighbourhood relations. He has published more than 200 articles in various national and international publications. He has also directed a video film "Making Trouble Where There Is None." This documentary, produced by Frontline magazine of The Hindu group, is about communal mobilisation under the cover of the Lord Ganesh festival in Chennai.

Panneer holds a Masters degree in Psychology. He was a Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford in 1998.



Mr B M S Rathore

Brij Mohan Singh Rathore, an Indian Forest Service officer is the Joint Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. He has been the Member Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Biodiversity Board where he was engaged with multi-stakeholders processes for conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of use of biodiversity and associated knowledge. Prior to this, he was the Forest Conservator of Seoni Forest Circle and a trainer at the Wildlife Institute of India. He was responsible for the design and implementation of training programs in integrated conservation and development for protected area managers, field staff, NGOs and local communities. He has more than a decade of experience as a field forester and has initiated and developed strategies for joint management of forests by government and local communities.

He is recipient of national award "Indira Priyadarshini Vriksh Mitra Award", for excellence in community based forest management.



Mr Himanshu Malhotra

Over the years, Himanshu Malhotra has emerged as an expert director and cameraperson and is considered an authority on conservation and ecology. He has been felicitated by the government of West Bengal and Vatavaran Film Festival for his contribution to conservation and wildlife filmmaking. His film on animal rights "Are We So Insensitive to Life" exposed the inhuman torture animals are subjected to in India and brought him the Rishab award. The film was taken as evidence in various court rulings for reforms in favour of animal rights in India. His footage on circus animals was used in the campaign to ban the use of animals in circuses in India. His most recent productions are "Diminishing Resources" under the UK Environment Fellowship and "Don't Buy Trouble". His other films include Seasons "In the Sun" on the Keoladeo National Park and a short film, "Return to the Wild". His documentary on Siberian cranes has been shown at the Ramsar Convention in Moscow and is the only documentation of the Siberian Project in India. The film "Flight to Discovery" on bird sanctuaries of Uttar Pradesh was screened at Vatavaran 2002. He is currently working on a film on the Gulf of Mannar Trust in Tamil Nadu and a film on the zoos of India. Malhotra is honorary wildlife warden of Delhi and is a member of the advisory board of the National Zoological Park, Delhi.

Himanshu Malhotra has completed his masters in mass communication from York University and Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.



Mr N Sunil Kumar

Sunil's work within the Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility arm of ABN AMRO/ RBS includes Technical assistance/capacity building of nascent Microfinance institutions, promotion of microenterprise/livelihoods among communities dependent on critical ecosystem resources thereby achieving sustainable, community backed conservation; Employee engagement and employee training in community and environment issues; business advisory on community and environment risk. Prior to this, Sunil has spent 20 years with NABARD in agriculture project management, rural infrastructure development, rural bank supervision, Credit and natural resource planning, Self Help Groups and microfinance promotion.

As a wildlife activist he has worked towards the promotion of conservation of key species like tiger and its habitats. He has undertaken field work in enumeration, tracking, surveys, training; lobbying and campaigning and has also handled community based conservation initiatives



Mr Sanjay Barnela

Sanjay Barnela is a part of a Delhi based production team with specific interests in the issues related to environment and development. He specializes in camerawork and has worked on a range of issues from the politics of shepherds accessing grazing pastures in the Himalayas to the politics of water. Much of this work has taken place in the high mountains, including the filming of a few mountaineering climbs above 20,000 feet. Over the past decade the team has produced a number of films which have been screened at several national and international film festivals, apart from being telecast on television. Some of his better known documentaries are Turf Wars, Hunting Down Water, River Taming Mantras and Pastoral Politics. Hunting Down Water won the award for 'Best Documentary' at the Festival du film de Strabourg 2004 and was awarded 'Best Direction' at the Festival du Cinema de Paris. River Taming Mantras won the Best Documentary award at Vatavaran 2005, Wildlife and Environment Film Festival, Delhi. Turf Wars won the 3rd prize at Jeevika 2003 a National Livelihoods Film Festival, Delhi. Village of Dust, City of Water was nominated in the One Planet award category at Wildscreen Film Festival 2006, Bristol, UK and has won the Best Film in the environment category in Wild Life Asia 2007, Singapore.



Award Jury (Indian Category)

The Award Jury (Indian Category) for 6th CMS VATAVARAN 2011 consisted of eminent individuals from different walks of life. The Jury was headed by Mr Suresh P Prabhu, former Union Minister for Environment and Forests and had five distinguished members (Bio given below). The Jury met from Oct 20-22 at New Delhi to select the best of CMS VATAVARAN nominated films for awards. The awards will be presented during the Award Nite ceremony on Dec 9, 2011 at New Delhi.



Award Jury (Indian Category) members
Mr Suresh P Prabhu (Jury Chairperson)
Mr Prabhu is a four time Member of the Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Rajapur Constituency of Maharashtra - one of the biggest states of India. He has held several important portfolios in the government including that of Minister of Industries, Minister of Environment and Forests, Minister of Fertilizers & Chemicals and Minister of Power, Heavy Industry & Public Enterprises. As the Union Minister for Power he had imparted a new dynamism to the functioning of the Ministry and was committed to the all round development of this crucial sector economy. He was also the Chairman of Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers with status and rank of a Union Cabinet Minister.

Mr Ashok Vajpeyi
A Hindi poet-critic, translator, editor and culture-activist, Mr Vajpeyi is a major cultural figure of India. With more than 13 books of poetry, 7 of criticism in Hindi and 3 books on art in English to his credit, he is widely recognised as an outstanding promoter of culture and an innovative institution-builder. Over the years he has worked tirelessly to enhance the mutual awareness and interaction between Indian and foreign cultures. He set up the renowned multi-arts centre Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal; has been the first Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (set up by Govt. of India). For more than a year he doubled up as the Director General of the National Museum, New Delhi and as the Vice-Chairman National Museum of Man, Bhopal. He has been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Dayawati Kavi Shekhar Samman and the Kabir Samman. Mr Vajpeyi has been decorated by the President of Republic of Poland by the outstanding national award 'The Officer's Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland', the French Govt. by the award of 'Officier De L'Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres' and the Embassy of Romania to India by the award 'Best Promoter of Indo-Romanian Relations'. Presently he is the Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India.

Mr Bikram Grewal
Mr Grewal serves as a trustee of several wildlife-based institutions and also acts as a consultant on eco-tourism to several Indian states. He is currently helping the Government of Nagaland, set up a five-year biodiversity conservation programme. He has written over thirty books on diverse subjects, ranging from travel to the joys of collecting British natural-history art. He has had several hundred articles and papers published in journals and magazine. His first book on Indian birds sold over 250,000 copies. He has written several more books on birds as well as on Indian wildlife. He helped conceive the 'birdsofindia' website, which is now the biggest birding site in India and is ranked amongst the top ten birding sites in the world. He is a trustee of the Wildlife Preservation Society of India (WPSI), a premier NGO, working to prevent the illegal trade in Tiger parts. His NGO in the Sundarbans works on anti-poaching activities as well as man-animal conflict.

Mr Ashok Rane
The Director of IFA - Indian Film Academy, Mr Rane is one of the noted film critics, a film academician, researcher and writer. He has been in film journalism for the last three decades. In this tenure of thirty years he has been writing extensively on Indian and world cinema. He has been attending film festivals not only in India but all over the world. As a missionary of good cinema, as he is fondly known, he has been actively participating in film society movement for the last twenty-five years. He has been invited as film critic to the Berlin International Film Festival since 1996 and so far he has attended the same seven times. He was also invited to the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) in 1999 and Sundance and Asian Film Festival (Orlando) in USA in 2002. He was a member of FIPRESCI (The Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique) Jury for Moscow International Film Festival - 2003. He received the National Award for his book 'Cinemachi Chittarkatha' in 1996 and the second one for Best Film Critic in 2002.

Ms Anusha Rizvi
Ms Rizvi is a young film director and Screenwriter. Her directorial debut film "Peepli Live" was a runaway hit. The movie won the Best First Film award at the Durban film festival. She was a journalist before venturing into film direction. She graduated in history from St.Stephen's College, University of Delhi. It was selected as the Indian nomination in the Best Foreign Film category for Oscars 2011.

Dr Purnamita Dasgupta
Dr Purnamita Dasgupta is Ford Foundation Chair & Acting Head, Environmental Economics Unit, at Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. The Institute is a centre of excellence of the University of Delhi. Dr Dasgupta's areas of specialisation are environmental and natural resource economics, rural and urban development, research methods. She has served on several Government and non government committees in various capacities including as Member of the Expert Committee and drafting committee on Electronic waste legislation (India), Co-ordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Scientific Steering Committee on Economic Costing and Ethics of the IPCC, Policy Research Committee of the ICFRE, Member Secretary of the Expert Committee for Net Present Value of Forest Lands constituted as per the Supreme Court of India directive among many other special assignments. In a research and teaching career spanning two decades she has held Visiting Professor positions and fellowship at the University of Cambridge, UK and Johns Hopkins University, USA. She has been principal investigator on several externally funded projects from agencies such as ICSSR, MoEF (India), SANDEE, DFID, WORLD BANK, UNDP apart from participating in teaching and training programs in different institutions in India. She has several publications in national and international journals. She participates actively in forums and discussions on environmental issues.