5:00 PM IST, Thursday, 22nd September 2022


One of the oldest relationships in human history is the relationship between a teacher and a student. There are many stories about how this relationship has existed and evolved over the course of history. In the Indian context, when you think of a ‘Guru & Shishya’ relationship, the image that comes to mind is that of a serene environment under the shadow of a tree where exchange of knowledge took place. In that context, the Guru assumed multiple roles of a teacher, mentor, parent, guardian and friend. This relationship has undergone significant changes over the course of time. With every major revolution, be it agrarian, industrial, scientific or technological, we are constantly exploring the ever-changing facets of this ‘Guru & Shishya’ relationship.

Since the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic, this relationship has experienced many challenges. Learnings from these challenges define a whole new spectrum of knowledge-transfer and understanding. One major shift has been the advent of online platforms and the engagement of learning being primarily online without any in-person interaction between teachers and students.

The webinar will explore the ever-evolving nature of the ‘Guru Shishya’ relationship. In today’s complex and transient world, it has become increasingly apparent that there are no clear boundaries between who is a Guru and who is a Shishya. All of us are constantly learning from one another, so much so that we can simultaneously don the roles of both. That is why, perhaps, it makes more sense to move away from the dichotomy of imparter and receiver, and instead focus on the process of learning taking place in a specific context. The moderators and panelists will engage in a conversation about the interchangeability of this relationship and how best learners can create an environment of mutual growth and learning.



Moderator: FAZAL RIZVI

Dr. Fazal Rizvi is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Rizvi’s disciplinary background is in Philosophy, but much of his research has addressed issues in education policy. Recently his research has focused on issues of identity, culture; global mobility of students; and theories of globalization and the internationalization of higher education.

Moderator: JAI KAPOOR

Jai Kapoor is a former student of Vasant Valley School. He is presently studying Mathematics and Economics at Brown University, USA. He is particularly interested in the shifts of the learning process in today’s world, with the blurring of lines between the Guru and the Shishya, especially with the rapid progress of technology.


Ven Geshe Tenzin Damchoe completed his B. Com at St. Philomena’s College of Mysore University. He studied Buddhist Philosophy at Buddhist Dialectic School at Dharamsala and received a Geshe degree (Ph.D.) from Drepung Loseling Monastery, India. He is a visiting scholar at Earlham College, USA, Tibet Fund, USA, and Oxford University, England. At present he is engaged as lecturer and coordinator at the Sarah College of Higher Tibetan Studies, Dharamsala, India.


Prof Malavika Karlekar is Editor of Indian Journal of Gender Studies and Curator of Re-presenting Indian Women: A Visual Documentary, 1875-1947 and of the annual calendar based on archival photographs of women, all at Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi. She has authored several books and is also Editor of the Women and Photography, the online newsletter of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts. Educated at the Universities of Delhi and Oxford, Karlekar has been a university teacher and researcher. Since 2001 she has been writing on archival photographs, treating them as material objects that can help in understanding social relationships, cultural paradigms and changes in people’s lives.


Ugyen Jigme Rangdrel is an alumni of The Royal Academy, Paro, Bhutan. He is currently pursuing computer science and engineering at NIIT University, Neemrana, Rajasthan, India. He is a passionate learner who loves to explore space science and emerging technologies. In future, he aspires to expand the cybersecurity industries in Bhutan and worldwide.

Panelist: KAVI ARYA

Dr. Kavi Arya is Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay). He did his B.Sc.(Hons.) in Computing Science from Imperial College of Science & Technology (UK) and M.Sc.(Hons.)/Ph.D. in Computation from University of Oxford. He worked in various positions in industry before coming to IIT Bombay in 2000. He is empaneled on high-level Govt. committees on IT Advisory Boards in Industry and is on Governing Council and Academic councils of several universities.

At IIT Bombay Prof. Arya is Principal Investigator of the e-Yantra Project popularizing “Project Based Learning” using robotics in engineering colleges.


Educated and trained in Silicon Valley, Sonia lived for 20 years in the Valley and worked for Fortune 500 companies Sun Microsystems & Oracle. She relocated to Bangladesh and has served as Director, business development for Microsoft South East Asia New Markets, Country Director for Dell Bangladesh and Managing Director of Microsoft for Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan & Laos.

Currently Sonia is Vice Chair & Governing Council Member of United Nations Technology Bank. She is also the Founder of SBK Tech Ventures, a licensed Venture Capital (VC) Fund and the Founder of SBK Foundation, a not for profit licensed Micro Finance Institute (MFI) which empowers rural communities with access to technology and digital lending.


Kaushiek Pranoo is the founder of Unlearning Ashram, an initiative offering facilitated spaces that empower human transformation towards co-creating a more inclusive, balanced and conscious world. Exploring through the lenses of yoga philosophy, decolonization and holistic unlearning pedagogies, his work is an invitation for people to slow down and closely re-examine every aspect of our lives so that we may recognize, re-imagine and re-design our lives into a more meaningful, conscious and joyful experience that can transform not just ourselves, but also relationships and help reshape this world. For over a decade he has facilitated spaces and worked with diverse groups of people and projects across the country around alternative education, youth leadership, wellness, yoga and more.


Shikha Vats is a former student of Pallavan School in Jhalawar, Rajasthan. She completed her graduation from Miranda House and is looking to do further studies in creative writing. She sees the world through the intersectional feminist lens. She aims to deconstruct patriarchy through her work for an equitable society.