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 own education, but he was blessed with very 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 who are 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 powerful weapon to affect a positive and progressive change even in the 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 US since 1979 and is a Fellow of American Academy of Pediatrics and member of 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 health promotion of Native American children.

Throughout her career she followed her passion of 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 ~ Neeraj Kumar

Neeraj completed a Bachelor of Technology (Computer Science) from Nagpur University. After a number of assignments in India, US, Australia, China, Hong Kong, he did his MBA from the University of Minnesota. For the last twenty years, he has worked in the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area providing solutions to the airline industry. He is actively involved in community work and does volunteering with many different organizations. He also puts in efforts to prove financial assistance to needy students.

Secretary ~ 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 University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He holds a 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 have the knowledge regarding opportunities they could avail or the means to access this information.

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 health supplement in 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 for promoting and preserving the 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 for charitable causes including Vidya Gyan.