VIDYA GYAN (U.S.A.)

Co-founder & President ~ Vijendra Agarwal

An IIT Roorkee educated physicist, born and raised in rural settings, he has held various positions in the US for over 35 years, including a faculty member, researcher, Department Chair, Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice Chancellor, Dean of Science and Engineering, Fellow of the American Council on Education and an Executive Fellow at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He currently lives in greater Minneapolis, St. Paul, with deep roots in his home village in India.

He has widely traveled as a researcher and educator. He understands how public policy, politics, public-private partnerships, relationship building, and systems function together for the greater public good. Coming from a middle-class background, he experienced challenges in furthering his education. Still, he was blessed with an exceptionally supportive family, teachers, and community to make his dream come true.

As a co-founder and President of Vidya Gyan, an educator at heart, he is committed to supporting aspiring individuals/institutions determined to follow their passion and expand educational endeavors. Quality education for all in the interconnected world is his lifelong dream. Paraphrasing the words of Nelson Mandela, he firmly believes that education is the most potent weapon to affect a positive and progressive change even in rural settings.

Co-founder & Treasurer ~ Indu Agarwal

A physician with MBBS from the King George Medical University, Lucknow, and resident/fellow training in the United States, she was blessed to be raised in an environment where education for daughters was highly valued. She has practiced intensive care medicine in the US since 1979 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Prenatal section. She is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. Previously she has spearheaded a pediatric outreach program on an Indian Reservation in the U.S. where there was no health care available for children. She also served on the national advocacy group for the health promotion of Native American children.

Throughout her career, she followed her passion for caring for newborn babies. Now, as a Co-Founder and Treasurer of Vidya Gyan, she plans to dedicate her energy to foster excellence in education and overall well-being through health, nutrition, and hygiene education among girls- the future mothers. She believes that all children deserve to be born healthy and be well educated to realize their full potential. She currently lives in greater Minneapolis-St. Paul with regular annual visits to remain connected with her roots in India.

Vice-President ~ Anurag Mittal

Anurag graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry from IIT Roorkee. This was followed by post-doctoral research at Queens University, Canada, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s College, California. He has published over 25 technical papers in international journals.
For the past 20 years, he has been working in Silicon Valley, California, in companies such as Apple and Intel, applying his knowledge of chemistry to the electronics industry, integrating new materials into various electronic products, and solving manufacturing problems.

He is actively involved in providing higher education to students in his native town in India. He is interested in providing career counseling to students who often do not know about opportunities they could avail of or the means to access this information.

Secretary ~ Amit Gupta

Amit graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics from Pune University and worked in IT/Management consulting for most of his career. He has worked with Ericsson, Tata Consultancy Services, UnitedHealth, and currently works for Accenture. Amit hails from New Delhi and has been living in the USA with his family since 2005. He considers himself very fortunate to have been born in a family where community service was given much importance and the seeds of “Giving Back” were sown. While growing up, he accompanied his parents to gurukul’s, distributing meals to kids and Animal hospitals caring for birds and animals. These values of helping other humans and animals have taken substantial precedence in his life. He is proud to be associated with Vidya Gyan and its mission in helping improve the lives of underprivileged children through means of education.

HONORARY ADVISORS/MENTORS

Dr. Sita K. Dash

Dr. Sita K. Dash, born in Odisha, with a doctorate in nutrition, embodies the “American Dream” as an innovator, scholar, entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist. His vision and relentless efforts led a little-known probiotic, as a health supplement in the seventies, to an industry worth about $35 billion today.

He established Dr. Dash Foundation, whose giving pattern has been shaped by who he is, his life experiences, and the causes he cares about. Currently, his philanthropic capital is invested in health and human services, education, and promoting and preserving India’s ancient art and culture extending far beyond India. “Helping others and giving to the have-nots” means a lot to Dr. Dash, and accordingly, he has contributed endlessly to charitable causes, including Vidya Gyan.

BOARD MEMBERS